This is the fourth blog post in our series of posts that have specifically been written for non-profit organizations and a continuation of our Finding the Right Digital Marketing Solutions for your Non-Profit Organization . If you missed the other posts in the series, please follow the links to read about Digital Marketing Opportunities for non-profit organizations and Google Ad Grants.
In our last post we compared finding the right digital marketing services to buying a new car. The information below will go through pros and cons of each service. We all have general ideas of the pros and cons of different types of vehicles. Pros for trucks would be that they are great for work and Alberta winters, the cons are higher fuel costs and you’ll have to help all your friends move.
Below we will go through the most popular digital marketing options and give pros and cons for all.
We all know what social media is, but what platforms should our organization be on? What should we post? How often should we post? Our Digital Marketing Specialist Shawn likes to compare social media to poker, “it takes minutes to learn but a lifetime to master”.
Answering all these questions is different for every organization and we’d be happy to provide you with a plan for your organization. But there are some universal pros and cons of using social media to promote your organization.
- Flexibility in budgetary and time commitment.
- Easy to learn. (Difficult to master, see Cons)
- Great freedom on types of content and media (photos, graphics, videos).
- Lot of different platforms to choose from. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Tik Tok all have different audiences and benefits.
- Takes time to build an audience.
- Requires consistency (we recommend 3-5 posts a week).
- Can be difficult to come up with ideas of content.
- Amount of options for content types and platforms can be overwhelming if you don’t have social media experience or guidance.
Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising should not be used interchangeably with social media or social media marketing. The difference is social media ads have a cost per click or impression. You create a social media ad campaign with a set budget, duration, targeting, goal etc.
The followers, views, and web visits you get from free social media posts are referred to as “organic”. There is not a financial cost to get these engagements, just the time and energy to create engaging and interesting content.
Ads can be used to help get your message to more people but posting on social media is different than running a social media ad campaign and there are different pros and cons.
- The flexibility to determine costs and timelines that ads are running.
- The flexibility to target your audience based on demographics, interests and more.
- Helps you reach a larger audience quicker than through organic social media
- It can be more complicated to create an ad than to create a post.
- There is a cost for every view or click depending on how you create your ad campaign.
- Lots of different options for types of ads which can be overwhelming.
Blogging is a great way to share your organization’s expertise and perspective on topics that are important to your organization as well as current and potential volunteers, donors and stakeholders.
Blogging allows the opportunity to share longer messages that could never be shared on social media. It also allows for different voices within your organization to share their messages. Unlike website content, blogging can be more topical, more in-depth, and more conversational. Readers have different expectations of a blog and it allows a different way for you to reach your audience.
- Search Engine Optimization benefits.
- Flexibility in time commitment. Blogs content doesn’t need to be created as often as social media content but will take longer to create (see cons).
- Allows you to go into more depth on topics that are important to your organization.
- Writing blog posts is a larger time commitment and can seem overwhelming.
- It can be difficult to find volunteers within your organization to write the blog posts.
- Guidelines will need to be created to ensure subjects and the tone of the blog correctly represent your organization.
Content Writing, Search Engine Optimization, and Local SEO
Optimizing and creating new content for your website is a great way to drive new traffic to your site, and convert more of those visitors to donors or volunteers. Prioritizing relevant, current, and easy-to-read content will not only ensure a great experience for visitors to your website, it will also help you get new visitors.
Google looks at many factors when ranking websites, but we know they prioritize sites that give users a great experience. Creating a strategy and action plan to ensure your website is always current is an important aspect of any digital marketing plan. Click here for our recent blog post on SEO and Local SEO for 2021.
- Search engine optimization benifits.
- Ensures your content is accuarate and up-to-date
- Results might not be as immediate as other digital marketing options.
- Can be time consuming.
There is a lot of confusion around Google Ads. Google Ads are a form of digital advertising, search engine marketing or PPC (pay-per-click). However, they are very different from Search Engine Optimization. As discussed above, SEO is about getting more organic traffic by optimizing your website so Google will show it to users searching for the keywords you want to be found for.
Google Ads allow you to jump right to the top of the page, of course, there is a cost for this. The good news is you only pay for those who click on your ads. The bad news is there is a lot of work to be done to ensure you’re getting the right clicks that are converting into customers.
- Quicker results than other forms of digital marketing.
- The ability to target people looking for what your organization has to offer.
- The ability to control when (the time of day and days of the week) and where (geographic locations) your ads appear.
- You have to pay every time someone clicks your ad.
- Cost per clicks can vary dramatically depending on many factors.
- Time investment to monitor and optimize ads to ensure they’re delivering the results you want.
Google Ad Grants
Google Ad Grants allow registered charities to access $10,000 USD a month without having to pay for the ads. This is a program we feel all charitable organizations should be aware and you can read more about them in our last blog post.
While the pros might be obvious the cons are almost non-existent. Yes, setting up your ads is a time investment and does require some knowledge of Google Ads. We do recommend working with someone who has experience with Google Ads to ensure your organization is getting the most out of Google Ads.
We know we’ve given you a lot to digest in this blog post, thanks for reading the whole way through (even if you just skimmed some sections, thank you). As you can see, we love talking about this stuff and would love to speak with you about your organization’s needs.
Knowing the different options available can provide the confidence to take the next step.
Click here to learn more about our services for non-profit organizations and complete the contact form to set up your free consultation or call us directly at (780) 473-4600.