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The 6 Most Frequently Asked Digital Marketing Questions Answered

Marketing is a key component of any organization's business strategy. It is how a company's value is shown to the unique audiences it serves. It is the voice of an organization. Marketing ultimately answers the questions of what is offered, who it is offered to, where one can obtain it, and how much of an investment is required.

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1. What Are the Different Types of Marketing?

Digital vs. Traditional

In a digital world, digital marketing is king. Digital marketing occurs on the Internet or using Internet-based technology. Examples include social media, email marketing, and digital advertising. On the other hand, more traditional marketing methods include brochures, direct mail, billboards, radio ads, and television commercials.

Digital marketing allows an organization to engage with its audiences in ways traditional marketing does not. An organization can build a relationship with its audiences through digital marketing channels like social media. It is also how a business portrays its values and maintains its reputation.

Inbound vs. Outbound

Digital marketing can be further segmented into inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is consumer-focused. It further engages interested consumers and considers their wants and needs. Outbound marketing is product or service-focused. It is directed at a broader audience, regardless of interest level. Inbound marketing typically refers to the content the audience is already digesting, and may commonly be found through blogs, search, social media, and opt-in emails. In contrast, outbound marketing is disruptive, commonly found via display ads and cold-calling.

2. What Is a CRM and Does Our Nonprofit Need One?

CRM stands for customer relationship management. A CRM is a technology tool that allows an organization to manage relationships with leads, prospects, and customers. It's a system that lets businesses manage their marketing, sales, and customer service. CRMs enable streamlined efforts in a collaborative way.

A CRM solution enables companies to store individual contact and company information, identify sales opportunities, and manage marketing campaigns all in one place, with visibility for all who have access. A CRM platform is especially valuable to nonprofits and small organizations that often run on limited resources. CRM tools that are embedded in the daily functioning of an organization are most useful.

Here are a few of the best options, with information on their areas of expertise:

  • HubSpot — marketing automation, sales, customer service, content management, reporting, small organizations, nonprofits
  • Salesforce — marketing, sales, support, campaign building and management, fundraising, large organizations
  • Salsa — donor management, list segmentation, online petitions, volunteer management, nonprofits
  • Kindful — fundraising tools, data analysis, personalization, nonprofits

There are many CRM options available. When deciding which one is best, an organization needs to consider its budget, how many team members need access, and the primary needs of the software. Visit each CRM organization's website for pricing information.


3. What Constitutes a "Digital Marketing Campaign"?

Marketing campaigns are efforts to promote a specific product, service, or goal based on a predetermined strategy. They reach consumers in a variety of ways and types of media. Digital marketing campaigns are marketing campaigns that occur on the Internet or using Internet-based technology. The messaging used is connected across platforms and promotes the same end goal. A good example is an email, social media post, and display ad all promoting the same event.

Before executing a digital marketing campaign, it is essential to ensure that a strong digital marketing strategy is in place. The strategy should be a plan to hit goals in an achievable way. It should take into consideration what the organization is doing well and areas of improvement. These are the pillar pieces of any successful marketing strategy:

  • Buyer personas or audience segmentation
  • Goals and key performance indicators
  • Tools and channels needed
  • Budget
  • Content types
  • Other resources needed, such as team members

4. What Are "Platforms" and Which Ones Should My Organization Use?

A platform is a computer, device, operating system, or virtual environment on which software runs in order to accomplish a goal or service. Digital marketing can be accomplished through many platforms. There are projects or task management tools like ClickUp, Teamwork, and Asana. There are email platforms like Mailchimp. There are CRM systems like HubSpot (also a CMS) and Salesforce. There are donor management systems like Kindful and Salsa (which are both also CRMs). There are content management systems (CMS) like WordPress. There are social media schedulers like Hootsuite, Agorapulse, and Sprout Social.

Which of these an organization chooses depends on its goals, the number of team members that will be using them, and the budget. If a nonprofit has a lot of projects and moving parts, a project management tool is vital. CRMs help with efficiency by managing sales, marketing, and customer service all in one place. Donor management platforms are vital for nonprofits that often rely on donors for their funding. A CMS houses a business's website. Social media schedulers and email marketing platforms are great for organizations that run marketing campaigns.

Pricing for these platforms is often dependent on the number of users, so decision-makers will need to take that into account when choosing the necessary platforms to meet the company goals.

5. Why Is Blogging Important?

Blogging can be time-consuming, but it's very important for website traffic. Blogs help with search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of improving the web traffic to a website from a search engine like Google. This is done through backlinking (linking from one site to another) and ensuring the use of keywords (words a consumer is likely to use in their search) throughout the blog.

Blogs are usually articles, news, or thought leadership regarding a specific topic. They're often educational in nature (like this one!). Blog posts can vary in length. According to HubSpot, in its blog about blogs, the ideal blog post is 2,100 to 2,400 words. However, recommendations can differ based on the blog type. For example, a post focused on lead generation should be 2,500 words. List-focused blogs or "listicles" should be 2,300 to 2,600 words. How-to blogs should be between 1,700 and 2,100 words. Question-and-answer-based blogs should be between 1,300 and 1,700 words. This post could fall under either the listicle or question-and-answer-based categories.

6. How Much Time and Money Should My Nonprofit Invest in Digital Marketing?

Talking about finances can always be a bit uncomfortable, especially when they seem very limited. Ultimately, the amount of money a nonprofit invests in marketing depends on the industry, organizational goals, organizational revenue, and comfort level of key decision-makers. According to HubSpot, the typical marketing budget is 11 percent of the overall budget or 7 to 8 percent of revenue. Business-to-consumer (B2C) organizations usually spend a higher percentage of the overall budget on marketing as compared to business-to-business (B2B) organizations.

The percentage of the marketing budget that is spent on digital marketing specifically is also dependent on industry, goals, and audiences. Industry matters greatly. Education-focused organizations spend some of the highest amounts on marketing, while energy-focused organizations often spend the lowest. Goals and audience influence marketing tactics, which can alter budgets. Some healthcare organizations may need more traditional marketing methods like brochures for in-office care, while a technology organization is likely to use digital marketing solely.

For a deeper look at how to budget your digital marketing, check out this TechSoup blog post.

Grow Your Digital Marketing with Expert Help

With digital marketing, the options can seem endless. It can be overwhelming for an organization — nonprofits in particular — to know what all the jargon means and how and where to best spend one's time and money. Without the expertise of a marketing professional, it can be difficult to stay relevant.

TechSoup offers a myriad of digital marketing services, including a free digital marketing assessment, expert-guided marketing plans, and customized campaign solutions. TechSoup's experts help nonprofits define goals, build marketing plans, launch campaigns, and manage ongoing digital marketing needs, all at discounted nonprofit rates.

Ready to take your nonprofit's digital marketing to the next level? Schedule a Digital Marketing Consultation with one of our experts today.


Additional Resources

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