The North Georgia Community Foundation recently invited us to present a program about digital marketing strategies for nonprofit organizations, and we had such a good time that we thought we should share five key takeaways from the session on our blog.

1. Digital Marketing is More Than Social Media – Effective digital marketing is more than a few Facebook posts. It is what you do to promote your organization online and includes tactics such as e-mail, your website, your blog, a social media strategy, pay per click and search engine optimization. Social media is one tool in your marketing tool box; it’s not a silver bullet.

2. Your Digital Presence Should Reinforce Your Brand – Your brand is more than just your logo; it’s everything the public thinks and knows about your organization. Your brand provides a foundation for your organization by defining what sets you apart, why you matter and who needs to know. By using digital marketing as a tool, you can tell your organization’s story and regularly connect with your audience where they are. It is, however, vital your story and thus your brand remain consistent across all platforms. Your messages should be tailored to the medium (traditional or digital) but convey the same key points. Images and colors should be consistent, and you could even incorporate your core values into your digital ads.

3. One Size Doesn’t Fit All – Not every organization needs to incorporate every digital tactic. Just like with traditional marketing, you need to know your target audience – who are you marketing to? The best digital strategies are built upon buyer personas. Think about your target personas – who are they, what do they do or what can they do for your organization and what are their wants? Your plan should be well thought out and strategic, including the channels and messages most relevant to your organization and your target personas.

4. You Need a Strategy – Your marketing goals should be tied to the main organizational goals. Are you looking to increase volunteers or increase donors? Your strategy is the series of actions that will help you achieve your goals using digital marketing. Tailor your specific actions so they meet your organization’s goal and map out your strategy for an extended period of time. The timeline for your activities helps ensure the strategy is executed.

5. #1 Source of Business is Still Word of Mouth – The majority of people trust word of mouth over advertising. Social media is serving as today’s word-of-mouth referrals. Harness the value of your constituents and work to make your brand part of their lives and their lives part of your brand. Engage influencers to post about your organization and share information from your organization. People still like to connect with people – even if through a digital device.

And one more tip because we think it is so important, we couldn’t leave it out. Your website must be responsive. People are viewing websites on mobile devices, and more than 60 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing. Organizations are losing potential customers, donors, volunteers, event attendees and others every time a visitor does not have a good user experience on your website. And, this experience, or experiences like these, all play into your brand and reputation.