For most of you, at least some of these terms are familiar. Some of you may know all of them and, for others, I may have well been writing in Farsi. All this month we’re going to be focusing on the marketing of your organization, primarily by marketing your website. I deal with these things all day, every day, but I realize some of you have a life 😉 and may not be as familiar with the various forms of marketing, their terminology, or even be sure what marketing is or why it is important. So, I thought I’d start there.
Marketing is a business term. Since I’m not a business marketing isn’t important for me. Right?
Yes, marketing is a business term, but, “No!” not being a business doesn’t mean that you don’t have to market your organization or website. When you boil it all down…
Marketing is simply letting other people know your organization exists and telling them why they should connect with you.
That is something every organization needs to do. If you are a business, you need to tell people why they should purchase your products/services. If you are a church, you need to reach people with the Gospel and tell people why they should attend your church. If you are a school, you need to attract new students. If you are a ministry, you need to tell people why they should be a part of your ministry, support your ministry, or why they need the help of your ministry. Every organization needs to market itself.
You need marketing to succeed!
OK. I need to market my organization. So, how do I do that?
There are many ways to market an organization, everything from commercials to search engines to a guy spinning a sign on a street corner. Because at OurChurch.Com our mission is to help you achieve your goals online, we’re going to focus on online forms of marketing. Below are some of the ways you can market your organization online:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This is doing what it takes to get your website to show up at the top of the search results for keywords (search terms) related to your organization. The most common things you can do for SEO are making sure the search engines can read your site, optimizing your web pages for specific keywords, and getting other websites to link to your site. For local organizations, SEO also includes setting up listings in local search engines, getting reviews, and creating citations.
- Pay Per Click Search Advertising (PPC): SEO (above) can take time and for certain keywords it can be very difficult to rank well. So, the major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo provide a way for you to pay to show up in the search results. You bid a certain amount of money to show up in the search results. Then every time someone clicks on your advertisement you pay the search engine that bid amount. It’s a way to get into the search results immediately and show up for keywords for which you would not otherwise be able to rank well.
- Social Marketing: Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ provide a great way to reach a lot of people with your message. You can make announcements and provide videos, pictures, articles, quotes, coupons and other forms of interesting content for people to enjoy and share. As people share your content, more and more people become aware of your organization and learn about who you are and what you do and you can draw people into your website.
- Online Advertising: Many websites have ads on their site. For a price you can put an ad on their site and get your brand and message in front of all their website’s visitors.
- Affiliate Marketing: This is when you offer people (called affiliates) a commission to either sell your products/services or send you leads (people who are interested in your products/services). Unlike online advertising where you pay up front for the ad space, with affiliate marketing you don’t pay until a sale has been made.
This is just a basic overview of some of the more common ways people market their organizations online. I believe marketing is crucial to every organization and online marketing is crucial for every website. Without online marketing, your website is like a building in the middle of the dessert with no roads leading to it.
As we continue on through this month, we’ll discuss how you can be using these forms of marketing to grow your organization and achieve your goals.
Are you doing any marketing right now?
If so, what are you doing and what kind of marketing have you found to work best for you?