Marketing budgets vary business to business. Sometimes it’s appropriate to splurge on advertising for a special event. However, creating a solid plan for your business needs to have a steady base that showcases your brand as it helps you reach your customers. When your business isn’t for profit, though, it creates a conundrum. Marketing for non-profit companies is different than the strategies applied to for-profit businesses.
For non-profit companies, there are so many budget items on which you could use your limited funds. Sometimes it takes a reminder of the importance of good marketing or the perspective from an outside source to remind you that marketing for non-profit businesses is both necessary and beneficial. Once you understand that advertising on your own behalf isn’t something you should ignore or feel you’re unentitled regarding, you can apply yourself to developing a solid strategy.
If marketing isn’t your strong suit, paying for help could be a good idea. You might also consider ways of getting the help you need without hiring a consultant or firm at top dollar. Is there a local consultant who would be willing to donate their time or give you a discount if you are willing to brag to your volunteers and contributors about the service they’re doing for you? If there’s a college with a marketing program near you, do they have a program where students work on campaigns marketing for non-profit companies and you only pay the cost of materials? If not, is there a professor who’s willing to incorporate marketing for non-profit companies into their syllabus by using your company as an example? Maybe you don’t need a whole campaign done for you. If you only need some ideas, scour the web for non-profits similar to yours in other areas. What do they do? Can you repurpose some of their ideas to work for you?
Think about the connections you’ve already made in your local area. Are you capitalizing on them? Do you have your Facebook page linked to those of the local for-profit businesses in your area? How about the local business administration? Are you sending your promotions and events to them so they can cross-promote for you? Think about the community events in which you can participate that will help people know who you are and what you do. Brainstorm promotional ideas to grab local media attention and social media ‘shares.’
When marketing for non-profit businesses, it pays to get creative.