Creating marketing content for an online audience can be an exhausting process. This is especially true for marketers that work for nonprofit causes, NGO’s and organizations with noble causes. The challenge of online marketing is that it is an established industry full of specialized terms and operations.

Studies show that Google gets over 100 billion search queries every month. It is imperative that marketers understand what it takes to reap these numbers for their own websites and content. A marketer who focuses on inbound marketing has to know what terms apply to his or her content at any given moment. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most valuable inbound marketing terms that every marketer should be aware of.


  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)


SEO represents the proverbial backbone of content optimization on the web. Good SEO can help your content rank higher while the opposite also applies.

In order to get the most out of SEO, you should use tools such as Google AdWords to your benefit. Make sure to always use popular keywords relevant to your nonprofit niche. This will help your content become more “relevant” in Google’s eyes and ensure that people hear what you have to say.


  • CMS (Content Management System)


Depending on the type of content you want to publish, you can choose one of several CMS platforms. The most popular CMS on the web is WordPress with over 30% of sites being powered by it.

The CMS you choose will dictate the type of content you create as well as the ease of customizing your website as a whole. It’s always a good idea to choose the most supported and most popular CMS. This will ensure that you can easily hire new content managers or marketers and have them take over some of the workload.


  • Content planning


You might be familiar with writing, design or blogging in general. This process is called content creation and it is exactly what it sounds like. However, in order to make the most out of content creation, you need to plan ahead. Content planning is the process of creating a content calendar for your website.

Inbound marketing is just as much about planning as it is about creating traffic and monetizing your website. Make sure to plan content several weeks in advance in order to create a safety net for your writers and marketers.


  • A/B testing


Inbound marketing is all about targeting the right audience with the right content. Even nonprofit organizations need to know exactly what type of content works for which group of readers on the web. A/B testing is a popular method of testing out different content versions through test groups.

For example, visual marketing material with a father and a child will affect people differently than the one with a mother and a child. This is an arbitrary example in which A/B testing can help you determine the right approach for your audience.


  • Performance analysis


Any advertisement campaign is only as effective as the measurable data it produces. Performance analysis can and should be implemented for each piece of content you publish. You can track performance data through your CMS or through an SEO optimization software application. Make sure to never publish content without being able to track how it performs.

A very clever idea might tank with your audience while a trendy one might go very well. The same rule applies for localized content. Using translation services reviews to find professional translators will only help you so much without adequate tracking. Analyze the data created by your content until you are satisfied with the performance it creates for your inbound marketing.


  • CTA (Call to action)


The performance of your content is often dictated by CTA’s. Calls to action represent the literal “actions” you ask from the audience. For example, you might want your readers to donate to a certain cause or to show up for a fundraiser.

Properly implementing a call to action into your content will help you achieve your goals. CTA’s often show up in two types: they are either placed in the conclusion of an article or take center stage of visual ads. Use the right CTA for your current campaign and you should see your response rates spike as a result.


  • SMM (Social media marketing)


We are all familiar with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, using these platforms in inbound marketing is another matter entirely. You can easily implement social media into your content through calls to action.

People will willingly share your content on social media and help your nonprofit cause if they identify with your mission. It is also a good idea to post marketing content on social media platforms themselves in order to get even more traction. Combining these actions into one campaign is what is commonly referred to as social media marketing.


  • Conversion rate


A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to a website who complete a desired goal (a conversion) out of the total number of visitors. The balance between “seen” and “participated” is commonly known as “conversion rate” in digital marketing. People who “convert” into contributors, volunteers and willing participants are the ones who will stick by your brand and marketing. Others will have to be targeted through other means or simply written off as people who are simply not interested in your nonprofit in any shape or form.


  • CTR (Click-through rate)


Whether you are a nonprofit marketer or a company representative, you want people to interact with your content. People who go through multiple pages of your content are the ones you should focus on in your marketing efforts.

To that end, the click-through rate represents the percentage of people who interact with your content. Just because someone has “seen” your content doesn’t mean that they have done something about it. CTR is different than conversion rates because the former doesn’t include active participation such as a donation. CTR is the percentage of people who clicked on a link, a survey or another hyperlink which you included in your inbound marketing content.


  • ROI (Return on Investment)


Lastly, no business can survive without some form of profit or income – nonprofits included. While your colleagues and you might not get paid for your work, the organization itself needs funds to survive. Return on Investment (ROI) in digital marketing represents the literal return which you make on your advertisement investment. This is an important term to remember since every penny matters in nonprofit organizations.

Make sure to always buy ads or promo materials if you are sure that they will bring you more value than they cost. The ROI doesn’t have to be actual money – for example, you can measure your ROI by the number of volunteers you attract. Keep this fact in mind the next time you decide to bump up your inbound marketing strategy and invest some money into it.


There is a plethora of marketing terms and operations to remember on a daily basis. Always keep a compendium nearby if you need to quickly educate yourself and learn something new ad hoc. After all, the nonprofit you work for can use every ounce of exposure and revenue from digital marketing. Make the most of it and don’t be afraid of new strategies or marketing techniques.



Dina Indelicato is a blogger enthusiast and freelance writer. You can find her on Twitter @DinaIndelicato and LinkedIn.


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