How to Choose a Nonprofit Marketing Agency
Top Tips for Finding the Right Agency to Accelerate Your Nonprofit's Growth & Mission Online
If you’re running a nonprofit organization, having a strong marketing presence is vital. If you don’t have the resources in-house to build a great campaign yourself, find a marketing company that will partner with you to make the magic happen. Whether it’s a simple website build or the total social media and online marketing package, selecting the right company is an important step, so we’ve gathered our top tips on choosing a marketing agency for your nonprofit organization.
1. Figure Out What Services You Need
Marketing agencies offer many different services. So when choosing an agency, you want to make sure they have all of the services that you’ll be needing for your marketing plan. Here are some examples of the services that marketing agencies can offer you.
Research and Strategy
Research and strategy can really help you plan a strong strategy based on real, proven results. Whether you need a deeper knowledge of markets & buyer personas, social media, or search engines, an agency can help you. Research is vital to creating targeted strategies that lead to growth in impact, online presence, and campaigns.
You don’t want to throw darts at a wall and see what sticks – not when your priority is creating maximum impact with the minimum marketing dollars so that you can save the big bucks for your programs and services. Any PR or social media marketing agency company that your nonprofit engages should start everything with an in-depth discovery or research phase. If they want to skip research and dive right in, be skeptical – very skeptical.
Consumers today are constantly surrounded by content – from social media to their inbox. With the use of filters to curate a user’s content preferences, as well as complex algorithms, it’s becoming even harder to be seen. An agency can help you to create engaging website content, eye-catching graphics, or inspiring email marketing campaigns that cut through a cluttered
Branding is an important part of your marketing strategy and presence. A marketing agency can help you create logos, emblems, colors, branded hashtags, and more. These will help people to become familiar with your nonprofit and recognize it in their social feeds and online research. It’s important to note that “branding” is more than defined colors and a logo, though, it’s an established and intentional strategy that carries through everything you do, both online and off. Not just in your marketing materials, but also in how you answer the phone or engage with your target population.
Website Design & Development
Whether you want a website with a simple design or one filled with customization, a marketing agency can provide you with website development help and clear direction on how to effectively use your website to reach your target population, and increase volunteer or donor engagement. This includes research, employing best practices, following your brand and style guide, and ensuring your website has a successful launch.
Additionally, some agencies can also continue to host your website, fix any errors that may come up, and run updates that are needed overtime to maintain the strength of your site.
Social Media Management
Whether you need help with only a single social media account, or ten, marketing agencies can help you in multiple ways. They can monitor your posts’ performances, engage with your customers, and create exciting and unique content that will get seen. The right agency will also have the knowledge to create and execute on a social media marketing strategy that is right for your organization. They’ll have the
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization or SEO is what will help your website to rank well on a search engine results page, without having to pay for ads. Marketing agencies can do in-depth research and analysis to help you start your SEO off on the right foot and create a plan to build on for success in the years to come. The right marketing agency will also work with you to make sure that you have the knowledge and understanding to create a strong SEO presence. If given the option, always work with a marketing agency who values teaching and sharing knowledge and isn’t afraid to show you all their cards.
2. Plan Out Your Goals for Marketing
Once you’ve decided which services you need from your marketing agency, planning out your goals is a natural next step. Taking the time put aside everything else and really consider what you want from your marketing presence just helps make it that much stronger, especially because you’ll be able to share your vision with your marketing agency. Having clearly defined goals makes it much easier to set a realistic budget and find an agency who has a track record of success in that area.
Create S.M.A.R.T. Goals
When it comes to goal setting, we recommend using S.M.A.R.T. Goals.
A S.M.A.R.T. goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. S.M.A.R.T. goal setting helps bring structure and trackability to your personal and team objectives. It defines clear milestones and attainability for the task, which helps bring it closer to real accomplishment. Using this type of goal setting can also help companies with transparency and clear communication between employees and your agency – everyone involved in your online presence.
What if you don’t know how to set marketing goals?
If you aren’t sure how to create marketing goals, we often recommend that you start from the bottom and work your way up. Decide what your end goal is, whether it’s a certain amount of dollars fund-raised or a certain number of new volunteers. This usually takes a little math. Say you know you need 20 new volunteers each month – how many people express interest in volunteering but never actually fill out the full application? How many fill out the application but are not qualified? If you ask enough of these questions, you might be able to develop a goal as to the amount of traffic that you need to direct to your volunteer page on your website, knowing that there will be several phases in the process where people drop out, and eventually you’ll get your 20 volunteers.
Still need help? No worries! the right marketing agency can even help you set these goals, after a thorough review of your website, email, and social media analytics and other key information from your nonprofit.
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3. Find a Marketing Company That Aligns with Your Values
Lastly, finding a marketing company that aligns with your values is just one more way to create a strong presence. One of our favorite ways to think about business values comes from Simon Sinek's golden circle of marketing: "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it."
To be most effective, you need to communicate the "Why" or the purpose of your organization in a way that will
While you, as a nonprofit, don't have a product to sell, you do have values that drive your organization. These values are what
You want to work with a marketing agency that is excited about your mission and shares your values. You don't just want to be an account number, but want to work with a team who places importance on helping your nonprofit change the world.
Though we at Road Warrior Creative have partnered with a broad range of businesses in different industries, we do some of our best work with social good and nonprofit organizations. Our team has on-the-ground experience in these industries and brings a unique understanding to the marketing work we do for these organizations.
Additionally, we are a strong, values-based company and believe in giving back. Not only do we give our employees paid days off every year for volunteering at a nonprofit organization, but we also give away a free website to a 501c3 nonprofit annually, and we offer a 10% nonprofit discount on all products and services.
Our specialties include the creation of innovative brand identities, compelling website design and copy, quality WordPress development, and online marketing strategy consultation + fulfillment, including social media and search engine optimization. If you would like additional information about our capabilities, please get in touch.