There’s a prejudice in the non-profit world against marketers. They’re often thought of as “slick” (not my word – a direct quote), slimy and very, very expensive.
The truth is, a marketer should look just like you, whether you’re slick or a slob. If you’ve decided you want a website, you’ve got to tap into your inner marketer to make it a success. Suppress your shudders when you hear words like “strategy” and “metrics” and “target audience” – instead learn what it means to be your own website marketer, and your site will be better.
You don’t have to enroll in classes at Sloan to apply a few elementary marketing skills (although it can’t hurt, if you have the time and budget). Bone up on these few areas, and you’ll be in a much better position to be using your website as a tool that works for you rather than an annoying necessity.
Have a basic understanding of how SEO (Search Engine Optimization) works. The good news is as long as you apply a little common sense, your search engine standing will improve. Write in natural language, make sure you use sensible page titles and include the words that best describe what you do, otherwise known as “keywords.”
This is a great article on understanding the basics of SEO.
2. Social Media Basics
Even if you’re not on board with compulsive Twitter updates, realize that social media is a useful tool for reaching a target audience. Spend some time looking for the social networks that your audience uses. Participate often, and give your fans and followers ample opportunities to communicate with you.
Check out this list for how to get started with social networking.
Think about how much time you spend reading when you’re on a website (pretty much all of it, right), and then think about how much thought you give to the copy. With most non-profits, there’s a discord.
Learn about writing for the web, and pepper your site with calls to action. The care you take will pay off when it comes to communicating a clear message.
Copyblogger gives loads of good advice with content-based marketing.
Marketing is a job that never ends. The best way to accomplish it is to nibble away bit by bit on a regular basis. Make a schedule for yourself, and devote yourself regularly to different marketing tasks.
If want a little help, try out 52 Website Marketing and Promotion Tips, which gives you one easy thing to do per week.