The Five Pillars of an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Nonprofits

digital marketing strategy nonprofits Sep 14, 2022
The Five Pillars of an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Nonprofits

In a rapidly digitizing world, your nonprofit organization can't afford to fall behind the times. An effective digital marketing strategy is essential to keeping your nonprofit relevant and engaging with potential donors. 


But what exactly should that strategy entail? Here are some key points to consider.


5 pillars of an effective digital marketing strategy

Pillar #1: A Strong Website

In today's digital age, your website is often potential donors' first exposure to your nonprofit. As such, it's important that your website makes a strong first impression. Potential donors should be able to easily navigate your site and quickly find the information they're looking for. When we work on nonprofit websites, we use the StoryBrand copywriting approach to simplifying the messaging.  Most websites use too much internal jargon and confusing or generic language for a stranger to quickly understand what you do, who you do it for, how you do it, and what you want the visitor to do next. Most importantly, your website should be mobile-friendly; over 60% of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices, so it's essential that your site can be accessed and viewed on a smartphone or tablet. 


Pillar #2: Compelling Content

Once you have potential donors on your website, you need to give them a reason to stay there. Compelling content is the key to keeping visitors engaged with your site. Your content should be well-written, informative, and relevant to your nonprofit's mission. blog posts, infographics, videos, and other forms of visual content are especially effective at holding visitors' attention and driving conversions. As we execute our signature A.R.T. of Engagement Framework for content marketing, we use a 3D Matrix process to build an editorial calendar that has unlimited content topics while ensuring everything we publish reinforces the brand and positioning of the organization.  The key is to plan the (content production) work, and then work the plan.


Pillar #3: Search Engine Optimization

If you want potential donors to find your website, you need to make sure it's optimized for search engines. That means using relevant keywords throughout your site content and metadata, as well as earning backlinks from high-quality websites. If you're not sure how to go about optimizing your site for search engines, consider working with a digital marketing agency that incorporates SEO-insights into their content production. One effective and easy methodology is to use the They Ask, You Answer copywriting approach.  Too many website do not answer their target audience’s actual questions, concerns and hesitations, but continue to publish content that doesn’t establish the organization’s authority or relevance to what the visitor’s experience and POV is.


Pillar #4: Email Marketing

Email is still one of the most effective ways to reach potential donors. You can use email newsletters to keep donors updated on your nonprofit's latest news and activities; event invitations to promote fundraising events; or thank-you messages to show donor appreciation. No matter what type of email you send, be sure to personalize the message and make it specific to the recipient. A consistent stream of email conversations needs to be planned and produced if you want to effectively engage your audiences.


Pillar #5: Social Media Engagement

Social media should be a key part of any digital marketing strategy. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide nonprofits with a powerful way to connect with potential donors and build relationships with supporters. Publishing engaging content, responding promptly to comments and questions, and running social media ads are all great ways to increase brand awareness and drive donations on social media. It today’s times, video is the new black. If you haven’t started to invest in more video publishing, this is the year to double down and start. The language of the web audiences today is video, and if you’re not speaking it, your audience won’t notice you at all and pass you by.


Digital marketing is essential for any nonprofit that wants to stay relevant in today's world. But crafting an effective digital marketing strategy can seem daunting; where do you even start? This article has outlined the five pillars of an effective digital marketing strategy: a strong website, compelling content, search engine optimization, email marketing, and social media engagement. Most leaders can take a quick high level audit to figure out which of these five areas is the weakest regarding digital marketing efforts. Keep these pillars in mind as you develop your own digital marketing strategy, and you'll be well on your way to driving more donations for your nonprofit organization!

If you need help putting the A.R.T. of Engagement to work for your nonprofit or ministry, let’s talk!


  • Kenny Jahng

We'd love to share our approach to content strategy as well as our A.R.T. of Engagement Framework for creating content with purpose. Let us help take the guesswork out of marketing so you can connect with the right audiences.


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