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Why Digital Marketing is Vital to Your Advocacy Group’s Mission

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It’s infinitely clear from any time spent online that there are serious issues with our world—hunger, poverty, disease, and inequality, to name a few.

Thankfully, there are passionate people and organizations focused on addressing these challenges head-on. That includes nonprofits, especially those who actively advocate for specific changes within our social structure to fix these problems.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of worthy causes. Similarly, charities can drown out one another as they each scramble to earn support and attention. If you work at one of these organizations, you know all too well the challenges of advocating for your issue.

Effective digital marketing is one solution to nonprofit overcrowding. Just having a website or social media account alone won’t fix the problem, but not having either will certainly cause your organization to fall behind.

Your Website as a Central Hub

Securing a solid online presence is no longer a nice-to-have—it’s a pre-requisite for effective modern advocacy. And your online presence begins with your website because it’s the primary digital asset that your organization can completely control.

Your website serves as your advocacy group’s central digital hub. It should be where any interested party comes to learn more about who you are and what you do. Keep in mind, that  this might mean serving different audiences, such as:

  • Kids and parents
  • People within your community
  • Policymakers
  • Volunteers and board members
  • Journalists and the press
  • Other similar nonprofits

Create clear navigation and content to serve each of these groups. Make it easy for them to locate and access information that will help them support your cause. Immunize Colorado is a great example of one of our clients who handled this challenge well.

Create Helpful Digital Resources

Your website is more than just a collection of pages and text. It’s the opportunity to share free resources that further your cause. These should be pieces that your audience can download, consume, and continue to share with others.

These resources will look different for every advocacy group, but some examples include:

  • Whitepapers and ebooks
  • Reports and infographics
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts or blogs
  • Sharable graphics
  • Educational manuals or guides

Collect all of these resources in one place on your website. Organize them by type or topics. You can also “gate” these resources—requiring an email address to access them. This creates a marketing funnel so you can continue to communicate with people.

The International Copper Association is another of GreenMellen’s clients that effectively showcases a wide range of resources on their website.

Build Virtual Community

All advocacy groups rely on a community to build and spread their message. Connecting with like-minded people and meeting together to share ideas is vital. Thankfully, this community building is not limited to in-person or specific locations.

Plenty of tools and platforms allow your organization to gather people online. These online grassroots efforts can take plenty of shapes:

  • A monthly video call with a small group
  • A focused Facebook group
  • A sub-Reddit or other forum discussion
  • A Slack (or other chat) channel
  • A group text or email thread

Regardless of the form it takes, the goal is to deepen relationships and connect people. This doesn’t happen automatically but requires careful planning and an investment of time. 

Find the right group on the right platform. Create guidelines as needed. And provide topics or questions as needed to keep the conversation flowing. 

Communicate Through Email

Email is one of the most undervalued digital marketing channels. Social media gets a lot of love, but email marketing remains the most reliable way to communicate with people en masse.

As an advocacy group, you’ll need to share regular updates with your audience:

  • Recent policy changes
  • Updated statistics or reports
  • News coverage mentions
  • Upcoming events
  • Opportunities to get involved or take action

Building an email list allows you to share the right information with the right people. Segment your list by the various audiences you need to reach. Monitor the types of messages that people respond best to.

Clear Calls to Action

Action is vital to fulfilling your advocacy mission. You need people to learn, become inspired and act to support your cause. That means your calls to action (CTA) should be clear and consistent across your digital marketing channels.

These CTAs will vary based on your organization, but they might include:

  • Volunteer to serve
  • Attend an event or rally
  • Right a letter to your representative
  • Sign a petition
  • Start a conversation with friends
  • Donate money or in-kind good
  • Subscribe to our newsletter for updates

Every online platform allows you the opportunity to reinforce your call to action. Focus only on one CTA at a time. People don’t want to choose what to do—they need your expertise to narrow down the list. Show people why they should get involved and then explain how to.

How is Your Organization’s Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing can be a lot to manage when you’re also trying to change the world. But investing the time and resources into online marketing will boost your organization’s potential to help people and change lives for the better.

At GreenMellen, we’re proud to have worked with many nonprofits and advocacy groups. You’re the expert in your field, and you can let us be the expert in digital marketing. Together, we can build a brighter web and a brighter world.

About the Author

Robert Carnes

Marketing Manager

Robert Carnes is a freelance writer, published author, and professional marketer. His book, The Story Cycle, is your business's guide to becoming a better marketer. Robert lives in Atlanta and you can follow him on social media @jamrobcar.

View Robert's Profile

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