By October 13, 2011 0 Comments

Online Marketing for Nonprofits | Part 1

For the past two years, Razorfish has supported charity: water’s digital marketing efforts by managing donated media, providing social strategy consulting and manning their paid search program, funded by Google Grants. charity: water is an NYC-based nonprofit “bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.” As one of the most digitally savvy nonprofits, garnering the loyal support of big name celebrities (Adrian Grenier, Justin Bieber, and Jenna Elfman, to name a few) and thousands of people like you and me, charity: water has helped more than 2 million people in just 5 years. Earlier this month, they kicked off their 5th anniversary “September Campaign,” the goal of which is to raise $1.2 million for a drilling rig.

The nonprofit space has been an interesting foray for the Razorfish search team. Earlier this year, Google launched the Google For Nonprofits program, which provides a wider range of free or discounted services for grantees.

Last year’s challenge was cleaning up the account in order to increase traffic volume. The charity: water SEM account was managed internally until the partnership began. We worked countless hours on:

-          Reorganizing charity: water’s keyword portfolio into semantic ad groups

-          Refreshing ad copy

-          Updating landing pages

-          Expanding the portfolio to cover geographically-oriented searches

And this year, in addition to all of the wonderful work we do for current clients, the team is focusing on performance optimizations to increase valuable traffic volume. Limits of the Google Grants program force us to be innovative. According to Search Account Executive Hana Lee, “I think our  biggest challenge is the $1.00 bid limit. For some brand exact terms, we are not in first position and often don’t appear at all. That leaves us to heavily depend on CTR to increase our quality score.” Things we search marketers take for granted – for example, conversion tracking – are not available to fully help us gauge the success of our efforts.

In addition to overcoming the bid limit, we aim to:

-          Study where our audience resides so we can effectively utilize geo-targeting options

-          Expand our negative keyword coverage

-          Utilize a stronger call to action

-          Utilize insights from Google Analytics

What are your thoughts on nonprofits in the digital space, useful KPI’s and the role of private sector companies in ‘giving back’?

Posted in: Paid Search

About the Author:

Nick Brady is a digital marketer with more than 3.5 years of experience across several verticals: Travel, Automotive, Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods. He lives and plays in Brooklyn and is well known for still quoting Anchor Man at various points throughout the day. You can follow him on Twitter @ThatNickBrady or circle him on Google+.

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