Whether your church is reliant on member donations or your organization has corporate backing, marketing on a budget is a reality for the majority of nonprofit organizations.
Consequently, spreading your message in order to bring in new donors and/or members can seem like an impossible task. However, this isn’t the case.
If you want to expand your reach to experience greater growth and success, you simply need to make the most of the resources you have by making smart decisions.
10 Tips for Marketing on a Budget
These 10 tips will help you make those smart decisions so that your marketing is more efficient and effective, thereby keeping your costs down…
1) Enlist Volunteers
Members of your church or nonprofit all have unique skills, and many of them would be willing to use those skills to help you grow. Seek members who are writers, graphic designers, web designers, and marketing or PR professionals to help you with your marketing.
The key here is to keep your requests light and short and praise them for their efforts so that you don’t wear out your volunteers.
You can also help some college students by offering internships. These students are often happy to work part time so that they can build up their portfolios, gain experience, and have some references to present in the future.
2) Offer Anonymous Surveys
The more feedback you have about your organization, the more easily you can cater to what your members and the community want. Then, you can take that information and plan more effective marketing campaigns that cost less because they are more on target.
Most people are more willing to speak truthfully about their feelings toward your organization if they can do so anonymously. So, give them that opportunity frequently. Offer a survey link on your website and mention it often.
Ask for truthful feedback that can help you improve, and then use those tips to change how you go about marketing your church or nonprofit.
3) Use Inexpensive Digital Options
There are 3 reasons you should focus most of your marketing efforts on digital marketing:
- It’s Less Expensive – Printing brochures is expensive, but there are many inexpensive digital marketing options available.
- It’s Where People Are – If you stick to more traditional marketing methods, you’ll be limiting your reach since most people are online these days.
- It’s More Powerful – With digital marketing, you can include videos and audio that enhance your marketing and draw on more senses and emotions.
4) Advertise on Facebook
Facebook advertising is one of the cheapest advertising options out there—making it an excellent choice for those marketing on a budget. You can boost posts and run ads for as little as a couple of dollars a day.
And once you know it’s working, you can scale it so that you can spend a lot more because you know your return will be higher than your ad spend.
5) Remember Why People Join Churches & Support Nonprofits
Sometimes, when you are worried about your membership and/or donations, you forget what is most important, and that is to ensure you are delivering what your members and supporters really want. Apart from issuing regular surveys (which you should definitely do), it’s crucial to remember the main reasons people join churches and support nonprofits:
- They want to be mentored (not preached at)
- They want to feel valued and worthy just as they are
- They want to give back
- They want to make friends and be part of a community
- They want to become better people
- They want to feel comforted during difficult times
- They want to make the world a better place
Use storytelling in your marketing to speak to the emotions surrounding these reasons, and you’ll set yourself up for success without having to spend too much.
6) Get with the Times
Regardless of whether you run a church or a nonprofit, it is imperative that you remain relevant. If you aren’t changing with the times, you’re done for.
Just look at what happened to Blockbuster Video and then look at the contrasting rise of Netflix.
This is especially important when it comes to churches, as most millennials believe that churches are outdated and obsolete. This is something you must constantly be aware of so you can come up with creative ways to remain relevant in the eyes of incoming generations.
According to a 2016 Pew Research Center study, almost 60% of millennials search online when they are looking for a church.
If your website is outdated or doesn’t work on mobile—or worse yet, if you don’t even have a website—you are hindering any marketing efforts you are making.
Marketing on a budget means allocating your funds toward changes that will give you a more modern presence and help you stay with the times.
7) Get Up Front & Personal with the Surrounding Community
It’s easy to become so focused on developing the community within your church or nonprofit that you forget one of the best ways to engage in marketing on a budget is to just go get involved in the community outside of your organization.
- Participate in community events.
- Speak at your local chamber of commerce.
- Support your local sports teams.
- Partner with your local library, farmer’s market, animal shelter, etc., to make a difference together.
- Bring volunteers to local fairs and get to know people.
Always be on the lookout for ways you can reach people in new and refreshing ways, and get out there and be there for your community. It won’t go unnoticed.
8) Have a Social Media Presence
Your nonprofit or church is there to make a positive difference in the world. Social media is there to help people interact and reach audiences. Bringing those two together only makes good sense!
Search for organizations similar to yours on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media networks you want to focus on. Look at what they are doing that is working and use it to guide your own social media interactions. Get creative with it and have fun—after all, that’s what social media is there all about.
9) Don’t Forget SEO
While advertising brings in more immediate results, search engine optimization (SEO) brings in organic traffic that is free. The only problem is that it takes a while to earn search engine rankings. You’ll need to put in the work over time consistently, and then you’ll start to see results.
It’s best to hire a company to help you with SEO, but be mindful of which you choose. If you’re marketing on a budget, you should look for one that can assist you in building a long-term strategy.
Of course, SEO can be done in-house by the person who handles your content and/or marketing as well. Use these tips to get started with SEO.
10) The Ultimate Tip: Hire Help
While it may sound counterintuitive to hire a company when you’re marketing on a budget, the best way to ensure money isn’t wasted is by developing a solid strategy first, which is easier to do when outside help is involved.
You can either stumble around and spend a lot of time trying to do marketing on a budget yourself, or you can enlist the help of an agency that can get you real results so that the dollars you spend give you a big return.
How Viral Solutions Can Help Those Marketing on a Budget
At Viral Solutions, we understand what you’re going through. We cater to churches and organizations that are marketing on a budget, so we know how to help you get the most from the marketing dollars you spend.
At the very least, schedule a free consultation so we can explore the possibilities together!