Inbound marketers do three things:
1 Get found
2 Convert leads
3 Analyze results
As a nonprofit, your #1 inbound marketing goal is to get your organization’s website found. But first, your organization needs to be found in social networks. Then, you can pull traffic into your website by nurturing those networks you’ve established. Simply opening a Facebook or Twitter account isn’t going to cut it though. You will need to launch a conversion campaign that provides your audience with a hook to not only draw them into your social networks, but to convert them into fans, friends or followers. Follow this step by step guide to launch a conversion campaign for your nonprofit, and you’ll begin to see your social media reach explode organically.
Start a Facebook Fan Drive. Don’t just throw out a zillion ideas for contests and sweepstakes to see what sticks. You’ll end up wasting time and money. Start a social media campaign that inherently demonstrates what your organization does.
The National Drowning Prevention Alliance launched a Lifesaver of the Year contest in November 2011and more than doubled their social media reach while capturing testimonialsabout drowning prevention that went viral during the voting phase.
The South Carolina State Museum launched a high school Field Trip Contest and College Week Competition with the prize incentives drawing attention to their blockbuster exhibit BODY WORLDS Vital, and they more than tripled their social media reach.
TalkAboutGiving.org went from 0 to more than 1,000 fans by turning a Central Carolina Community Foundation grant into the Summer Grant Giveaway Facebook campaign for local nonprofits to compete for the $2,000.
Each one of these examples were super successful based on the analytical results, but they were even more impactful to the brands because the mission or goal of each organization was clearly demonstrated through campaign messaging and incentives.
Use a Third Party Application to Build a Landing Tab. Every conversion campaign needs a landing page or tab. Facebook’s promotion guidelines are rather strict, so CYA by using ShortStack, Wildfire, or another third party application software to host your campaign. These inexpensive do-it-yourself applications are relatively easy for the average user, and they’re full of templates that will help you figure out the best way to organize and execute your campaigns complete with forms and customizable designs.
Have a Voting Period. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes for a minute. If you had a chance to win an iPad by signing up to win something, are you going to share that with all of the world to see? Probably not. Why? Because you don’t want to decrease your chances for winning. However, throw some competition into the water, and the sharks will come out to feed. Require people, or better yet, require organizations to compete for the grand prize. The more competition the better, so structure your contest so that there is a submission period followed by a voting period. It could be a free for all based on eligibility, or you could choose finalists during a selection period if you’re concerned with the appropriateness of a winner.
Integrate Traditional PR with New Media. Launch your campaign with a press release distributed to your traditional media outlets to drive traffic to your Facebook landing tab. Then, repurpose that press release into a blog article on your website. Make sure the tone in your blog post is more conversational than your standard marketer-to-media style of press release writing. Promote the blog link in your social media channels, and continue to target traditional media outlets who are on Facebook and Twitter. Crank out a short video trailer to introduce the campaign on YouTube (which happens to be the second largest search engine next to Google), and embed it into your blog to add layers of dimension to your message. iMovie 2011 templates are useful in producing this video content, and anyone can use Animoto.com to repurpose images, graphics and video clips into multimedia music videos. Here are just a few examples:
- South Carolina Future Minds “This School’s Got Talent” Competition
- South Carolina State Museum’s BODY WORLDS Vital “Field Trip Contest”
- National Drowning Prevention “Lifesaver of the Year” Contest
Advertise the Conversion Campaign. Don’t waste your nonprofit’s advertising budget on one dimensional awareness campaigns, especially if you’re placing ads with expensive traditional media outlets. Just as you are integrating your traditional PR with new media, integrate your advertising dollars with your conversion campaign’s hook, or call to action. Use Facebook Advertising’s microtargeting capabilities to only reach those who are interested in and qualified as your target audience. Feature your call to action in all traditional advertising, and consider using mobile text messaging in traditional ads.
The South Carolina State Museum featured “Text BODY to 313131″ in all billboard advertising and racked up over 1,000 opt in mobile telephone numbers during the BODY WORLDS Vital exhibit. Upon texting the keyword to the number, texters would receive an automatic reply with a trivia message and shortened link to download a Family Guide for more information. Traffic to the site from mobile devices went up 500%.
Analyze the Results. Monitor Facebook Insights to measure growth in your Facebook business page. As you build your network, be sure to monitor engagement as well. No one likes a blowhard, and your analytics will likely reflect that. Keep the content interesting and relevant, and limit self-serving cheesy information in the news feed. Otherwise, you’ll find your unsubscribe rates going up and your network size going down. Shoot for at least a 50% conversion rate on Facebook ads. In other words, if less than 50% of your click throughs do not end up liking your page, then you may need to rethink your microtargeting strategy. And finally, monitor Google Analytics for web traffic to see if there is any correlation to your Facebook Fan Drive campaign and increased web traffic to your website. Keep doing what’s working, and stop doing what’s not.