If Your Nonprofit Isn’t Marketing Through Mobile, You’re Missing Out

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Are nonprofits paying attention to the mobile marketing explosion around them? There is a golden opportunity awaiting traditional nonprofits for fundraising, social sharing of campaigns, charitable impact and more.

Going Mobile

Mobile MarketingMore than half of all Americans are carrying smartphones in their pockets, and a majority of them are using these devices to search, shop, communicate, work and even donate. And new fundraising and donation sites like Kickstarter, IndieGo and GoFundMe have sprung up in recent years, bringing a new tech edge to traditional fundraising and social commerce. Combined with new mobile advertising programs from social networks (see below), this development is causing a stir in nonprofit circles.

Instead of sticking to email newsletters and traditional fundraising tactics, nonprofits should look to the future of the Web. These organizations can start now to focus on mobile marketing tactics, by first mobilizing the websites, switching to cloud-based data storage such as Mozy, adding share buttons, getting permission for text opt-ins and more. There are number of mobile marketing best practices that nonprofits can start to implement now.

Non-Profits and Social Advertising

Just one year ago Facebook admitted it didn’t make a dime off mobile users. Today it’s set to capture nearly 16 percent of the mobile marketing share, according to digital marketing research firm eMarketer. This is the same company whose initial public offering was drowning at $18 before it launched mobile ads but is now flourishing at $42. The turnaround is huge for Facebook, but it also makes a statement for the mobile marketing industry. It’s booming.

The Pew Research Center reports that 72 percent of mobile users in the U.S. use a social networking service on their device. Social media plays a huge role in mobile marketing, because it offers the most exposure for marketers compared to mobile websites. Businesses are creating new ways to market using the avenues these social networks offer for advertising.

Targeted Ads

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are enormous aggregators of user data. Facebook’s recent “Graph Search” feature lets users search for just about anything regarding what others on the network have regarding profile information. Facebook even put together a map of NFL loyalties by counties to show just how powerful and specific Graph Search is.

This data aggregation lets marketers uses “suggested posts” and “sponsored tweets” to advertise to a more targeted audience. A Facebook user who follows health and fitness pages will likely see ads for supplements and exercise programs in place of less relevant content not specified for that user. This means businesses pay less to target fewer users who are more likely click on those ads.

Hashtag Marketing

Twitter (and now Facebook) hashtags give businesses the chance to use keyword marketing to target specific audiences. They can use sponsored posts or engage directly with users who post hashtags on their own accounts. A financial firm can take a better look at how their business engages potential clients online by searching key phrases through Twitter and Facebook.

Companies like RadiumOne help businesses analyze social networking keywords to make targeting ads more efficient. The popularity of hashtags on these social networks created a new economy of companies who play middle men between social media and advertisers.

B2B Marketing

Companies aren’t just reaching out to consumers online. B2B marketing has huge potential in social media due to networks like LinkedIn, who put our a major revamp to its mobile app this year and allowed sponsored content.

As LinkedIn transforms from an online resume to a social sharing space, companies can interact with each other in ways they couldn’t on more consumer-driven networks like Twitter and Facebook. Mobilemarketer.com reports that only one-third of LinkedIn’s revenue comes from advertising-only accounts, but that number is expected to rise now that B2B marketers are jumping on board.

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Leah Gibson

Leah is a business reporter who watches the financial markets.

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