So you launched your new website and have an online marketing plan in hand to help you reach new audiences. Everyone at your organization thinks the new website is fantastic. Your board, donors, and activists love it too. Now what? How are you going to maintain the website and make it compelling over time? What are you really going to implement from the online marketing plan that is packed with a lot of great ideas, but in all honestly, you just don’t have the resources to do them all.
Not to worry, here are some tips that Avi Kaplan and I of Rad Campaign compiled to help nonprofits rock your online presence.
- Create a broad annual online marketing calendar, which lays out the major marketing initiatives, campaigns, and priorities for the entire year.
- For each major marketing initiative answer the following questions. Note, this was adapted from the book Social Change Anytime Everywhere by Amy Sample Ward and I.
- What are the short-term and long-term goals and objectives?
- Who are the target audiences?
- What is your core message for the initiative?
- What actions do you want people to take? (Share a story, donate money, sign up for a contest, watch a video, etc.)
- How do think your target audiences will prefer to get info for this initiative?
- How you will reach your target audiences? (Online advertising, your email list, etc.)
- Plan for any additional staff and budget needed for technology, design, content, online advertising, and other implementation costs for the year.
- Review procedures for rapid response and crisis management with key leadership.
- Set benchmarks and specific goals for traffic, engagement, and online giving for the year.
- Review the upcoming month in the annual online marketing calendar
- Timeline when you will create key content for upcoming campaigns, events and conferences, and marketing initiatives, and clarify who on the team is responsible for overseeing and implementing tasks.
- Convene online marketing meetings with key department representatives (Fundraising, Programs, etc) twice each month to plan out upcoming initiatives in the annual online marketing calendar, divide up tasks, and review progress.
- Create a content calendar for the month including the target publish date, channel (Website, Facebook, Twitter, etc) topic or related initiative, call-to-action, and the staff person responsible for producing each piece of content for the month.
- Plan for any meetings needed to solicit content or input from departments and outside support contractors.
- Look for opportunities to test different calls-to-action and other key content that is important to your organization.
- Send 2-3 emails each month. Run A/B testing for email subject lines and for content on landing pages for any email appeals or other actions.Produce a monthly website and online engagement report of key metrics
- Monthly Website Stats: Monthly visits, unique visitors, pageviews, pages per Visit, time on site, and bounce rate (aim for under 60%).
- Site Insights: 10 most visited pages on the site, top 10 referring sites, and top 10 exit pages (How can you improve the content on pages where you are loosing people’s attention?)
- Email: Number of new subscribers, open rates and click through rates, best performing subject lines and topics, and most engaged email audience segment.
- Online Giving: Number of online donations per month, number of new sustaining gifts per month, average online gift size, common referring sources for online gifts (email appeal, web content, external sites, etc.)
- Do Online Advertising:
- Test 10-15 new Google AdWords: Test ad and landing page copy, targeting, keywords, and other ad settings using your nonprofit’s Google Grant. Group ads by topic and create groups of ads tailored to different key pages and initiatives each month.
- Test 3-4 new Facebook Ads: Test different ad types (promoted post, sponsored story, etc.), test different images, ad copy, and targeting.
- Review the content calendar and tweak it for the upcoming week based on current events or stories happening within your community including day, channel (website, blog post, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), topic, draft headline, and bulleted ideas to expand on.
- Test different approaches to incentivize sign up to your email list and key calls-to-action and see what generates the most responses.
- Change 2 homepage slideshow items on the website. Add visual variety by highlighting new photos, captions, and links in the slide rotation every week.
- Publish 1-2 blog posts each week. Cycle through a combination of blog authors and guest bloggers from within your organization, board members, influencers, etc. Consider the following types of blog posts:
- Your Impact
- Spotlight/Profile, Interview
- Announcements, Breaking News, or Events
- Commentary or Editorial
- Media – Photos, Video, Audio
- Lists Post (e.g. 10 Ways To Curb Your Carbon Footprint)
- Checklists or How-to Tutorial
- Did You Know?
- Call to Action
- Link Roundup
- Review the content calendar for the next couple of days and draft, edit, and post content to the appropriate online channels.
- Share compelling content on Facebook (1-2 times a day), Twitter (at least once a day), and other social media channels.
- Respond to people who engage with you on social media channels. Thank people, answer questions, follow up, and show personality to build on these relationships.
- Monitor your organizations social media channels daily to see what is resonating with your community.
- Record key online engagement on a spreadsheet so you can track what compels your community to engage with you online. Track what inspires people to comment, like, share, and engage, though don’t place too much value on “Likes” since the quality and tone of engagement and the action people take when they are inspired by your stories are more important.
- Be prepared to respond to events that impact your community happening online and on the ground.
- Mobilize your organization’s rapid response plans and convene the necessary leadership quickly when a real-time response is called for.