You want to run Facebooks ads for nonprofits, but you have no idea how to jump in. You have tried boosting posts and maybe played around a bit in the ads manager and nothing happened, well at least nothing you want to talk about. (Got it.)
Good news: The strategy and tactics for Facebook ads for nonprofits are not any different than those used by for profits. The difference is in how nonprofits think about content, online marketing and well…Facebook advertising.
Approach Facebook advertising the same way you approach other mediums. Adjust any overinflated expectations. Though you may be enchanted with Facebook ads, understand the true magic of Facebook advertising is in trial and error.
Nonprofits are big on raising [awareness] — a difficult metric to measure in the real world. Awareness campaigns are built into Facebook. Facebook has a collection of ad objections can that when done right can produce positive smile-inducing results.
Nonprofits are notorious for the gimme gimme gimme’s. Sign up, volunteer, come to this, donate now, etc. One quick piece of advice: Stop making the ask right up front. You haven’t built enough goodwill or given people a reason to care.
One thing that online marketers have mastered is the art of giving before asking because people truly want to know how you are relevant to their lives, yes, even if you champion a noble cause.
Great news: My process for Facebook ads creates the warm and fuzzies before we ask for anything in return. I’ll show you how to use Facebook ads to not only get your message out there, but also get people engaged with your content so they are more likely to give when you ask.
I call it a humanity campaign. You are in the business of humanity. Here’s how to create that human connection first using Facebook ads before asking for donations
Ultimately, you want to turn cold audiences (people who have never heard of you) into warm audiences (people who know you exist) into hot audiences (people who love or strongly like you) and convert them into raving fans, volunteers and donors.
There are four warm audiences you want to build: people who have engaged with your content, people who have watched a video, people who have been to your website and people on your email list. <<—Nonprofits list build really well.
Before we get started in Facebook ads manager, let’s get things rolling on your nonprofit page and website.
Go LIVE on Facebook (or create video assets). If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand views. When you go live on your Facebook page, it increases engagement and the Facebook algorithm really loves video. Create live videos on your Facebook page as much as possible. Daily video is best. Weekly will do. Some examples on how to use Facebook live include live Q&A, behind the scenes of an event or the mission, tutorials, meet the staff, animals in action and announcements or big reveals.
Write a blog post, but not just any post. Create a blog post as the information destination for your organization. This blog posts must be about the people you want to reach and not about the organization. Blog post should be about 1,000 words with relevant takeaways a reader can use. Examples of a great blog include a comprehensive list of community resources, relevant story connected to a national headline or detailed success story with action steps.
Create a shareable resource: Nonprofits are a hub of valuable information. This at the heart of what you do. Package those resources into an attractive pdf. You can use this resource within your blog post (also known as a content upgrade).
How to tell if you are in an abusive relationship and what to do (domestic violence)
How to make food last on a budget (hunger/food insecurity)
Things you should know before adopting (animal rescue)
Tips for caring for an aging family member with resources (aging/seniors)
How to spot drug abuse or how to secure drugs in your home (teen drug abuse)
Humanity Campaign: Create a three-part Facebook ads campaign
Here is where we start creating awareness about your organization.
What: Run a Facebook ad campaign to cold traffic offering a FREE piece of information. No strings attached. No email request. No sign up for anything. Simply FREE. This could be either a blog post or a video.
How: Post blog on your website. Post blog on your nonprofit Facebook page (to capture all engagement). Use an existing email list to create a lookalike audience and/or create an audience using general interests. Set ad objective to engagement or video views. At the ad level, use existing post that contains the blog.
What: Review data. Run a Facebook ad campaign to warm traffic using a custom audience who have engaged in month one. Give away a shareable resource (could include a video) and ask for an email address to view the content. We call this a lead magnet in the online world.
How: Retarget people who viewed a percentage of your video, people who engaged with your page content and people who visited your website. Set ad objective to engagement or video views (depending on content).
What: Review data. Run a Facebook ad campaign to warm traffic building on the same audiences. Now we are ready to make the ask, either donation, volunteer request, etc.
How: Retarget those same audiences. Set ad objective to conversions.
That’s it. Always analyze. Swap creative to avoid ad fatigue. Adjust campaigns as needed.
But wait. You have more questions.
Still not sure about Facebook ads for nonprofits? Want to learn more?
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