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What Is Integrated Digital Marketing and How Can My Nonprofit Get Started?

Many nonprofits have been slow to modernize their marketing strategy and adopt a more integrated approach to their digital communications. As a result, nonprofits are losing market share to consumer brands and more technically advanced nonprofits in their sector.

Recently, the pandemic has forced many nonprofits to go fully virtual with their events and communications. This has accelerated their need to integrate their disparate website, email, social media, webinar, and content marketing initiatives. For those nonprofits embracing the transition to integrated digital marketing, they are quickly discovering the benefits of connecting their communication platforms and campaigns.

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What Is Integrated Digital Marketing?

Integrated digital marketing attempts to meld all aspects of digital marketing communications, including SEO, social media, email, virtual events, content marketing, and website. This is executed via a mix of tactics, methods, channels, media, and activities, so that all work together as a collective force. It is a process designed to ensure that all your nonprofit's messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on each stakeholder journey.

A recent blog post on Think with Google shared examples of purchase paths for makeup, headphones, flights, and candy. According to the post, the number of "touchpoints" for each ranged between 20 (candy bar) and 500+ (flights). To successfully attract consumers, brands must capture their information and drive them to purchase. This relies on integrating these touchpoints, such as social media posts, blogs, and emails, to successfully complete the specific customer journey.

Enlisting a loyal supporter to your nonprofit is no different. You must engage each prospective supporter with a customized and unified message along your organization's multiple touchpoints to successfully nurture them into lifelong funders and advocates. This entails a truly integrated digital marketing approach.

Benefits of Integrated Digital Marketing

TechSoup now offers comprehensive and affordable Digital Marketing Services and Consultations for nonprofits that want to effectively integrate their digital marketing efforts and websites. Here are some more key benefits of integrating your digital marketing efforts.

  • Reach a wider audience than on-off marketing channels
  • Deliver a greater chance of being seen on multiple channels, thus keeping your nonprofit top-of-mind and pushing supporters closer to conversion (join, donate, register, share, volunteer)
  • Increase trust with new followers as they see a consistent message about your mission on multiple channels
  • Save your organization money as your digital assets are reused across multiple digital channels and, depending on your campaign, advocates can help you market your efforts as well

7 Key Steps to Launching Your First Integrated Digital Marketing Campaign

When launching your nonprofit's inaugural integrated digital marketing campaign, it's enticing to simply address each channel as a standalone campaign. This goes against the principle of eradicating the silos that are characteristic of traditional nonprofit marketing. Here are seven key steps to get you started.

1. Establish Your Primary Campaign Goal

Select your most important goal and target persona to get started. For example, if you run a nonprofit for pet adoption, your goal might be "puppy adoption," and your target persona might be "retirees ages 55 to 75."

2. Choose Your Digital Channels

Segment your email list by age and geographic area. Select key social media channels such as Facebook and relevant regional hashtags and search keywords associated with your audience. Then create your messaging, calls to action, and landing pages on your website.

3. Define Your Buyer Audiences by Channel and Your Desired Outcomes

Take the channels above and assign the outcome of each and how they are connected. For example:

  1. Create a social media post about a new puppy that needs a home.
  2. Drive traffic to a related blog post about that puppy.
  3. Fill out a form to be contacted by email to adopt it.
  4. Upon adoption, request a donation.

4. Identify Your Internal Digital Channel Leaders at Your Nonprofit

Certain staff and volunteers will have unique communications strengths. You may want to assign social media posting to one person and email marketing to another. It is key that they work together and that their platforms be connected to complete the user journey.

5. Integrate Your Digital Marketing Channels

If your site is on WordPress or other platforms, look for related plug-ins for forms, social media, blogging, event registrations, and email that you can leverage to connect your communication assets. You can also reach out to TechSoup for consultation.

6. Establish Your Plan for Collecting and Converting Leads into Funders, Members, or Other Roles

Identify and integrate the CRM (customer relationship management platform) that you will use to capture, segment, and target your key audiences across their respective digital channels.

7. Launch, Grow, and Adapt Your Campaign

Use Google Analytics to measure the success of your campaigns so you can pivot and A/B test your messaging across your integrated communication channels.

Everything Works Together

While not every integrated digital marketing campaign or promotion needs to be on all of your nonprofit's channels, they should at least support each other to avoid a fragmented brand experience for your followers, funders, and fans.

Finally, a successful integrated digital marketing strategy starts with you. You can't have your nonprofit team members working in silos because that's counterintuitive to what integrated marketing is all about. Whether you manage your organization's marketing in-house or outsource it, your digital channels work together to create a better stakeholder experience, and so should your team members.


About the Author

Joseph DiGiovanni is the co-founder of Tapp Networks, LLC. Tapp is a mission-driven digital innovation agency that serves nonprofits worldwide seeking to accelerate their social impact through the latest advances in marketing technology.

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