What if I told you your organization could receive $120,000 per year in free advertising? And what if I told you that on average, these ads would be seen over 400,000 times, generate 16,000 visits to your website and result in over 800 ticket orders or donations. If your average ticket order was $70, this grant could generate $56,000 in revenue that you didn’t have before at absolutely no cost to you.
Thanks to our friends at Google, this in-kind grant is available to any nonprofit who is willing to fill out the application and adhere to the terms of the agreement. In short, the terms require that you do some minimum of work on those ads every 90 days, such as changing the ad copy, trying new keywords, and adjusting the amount of your bids.
And while this is not simply a set-it-and-forget-it type of promotional effort, one could argue that no really effective marketing strategy ever involves leaving it alone. Testing, measuring, and adjusting are the most important part of the process. Neither is it sufficient to enter into this tactic without an understanding of how it relates to the bigger picture: your digital marketing strategy. If you don’t have a specific digital marketing strategy, this is the year to create one. With the growing prevalence of mobile devices and Internet connectivity in our society, you need a strategy that focuses solely on this channel, if only for one important reason: Google.
Google gets more visits to its search engine that any other site on the Internet, and how and where on their search results page your organization appears has become increasingly important in the age of small screens and smaller attention spans. Even just two years ago, if you had searched on “live theater in Orlando” you might have come up in the top three results on the page. But that has changed dramatically for two key reasons:
- Google is constantly changing the “formula” that determines where you show up in the search results. This is called “organic search.” Each page on your website needs to be optimized to give it the best chance of coming up on top. You can’t fake the system, but you can do things to improve your ranking. This is known as SEO.
- This year, even the number one organic result is appearing further and further down on the page, replaced by paid ads, maps, user reviews, and “cards” which give details on your business. Because of this, it is no longer a good option to have a digital marketing strategy in which you just let Google’s formula handle it, because local competitors for your patron’s money are embracing these new options with very good success.
The most important thing you can do next year is invest in a digital marketing plan. This comes at a cost, but Google’s grant has made it easy for you to more than recoup that investment, all while improving your digital presence and making it easier for new patrons to find you. And just like running your Google ads, this is something that you can do for free with the right amount of time and staff knowledge and experience. But with Google’s ever-changing formulas and the industry’s evolving best-practices, your in-house staff probably don’t have the time to acquire all the “geek” skills needed to be successful.
Because I think this is the most important marketing strategy you should focus on in 2017, we’re introducing a low-priced service to help you out. (Low priced, like you buy us a cappuccino a day for a year).
In the end, not only will you be better off in how you appear on Google, but you stand to recoup our fee by a factor of 20 or more. Contact us if you want more information.