When it comes to target audiences, conventional businesses have it easier than nonprofits - they only care about the people who are buying their products and services.
Nonprofit organizations have it a bit tougher.
As a nonprofit, there are two major groups you probably have to focus on - your beneficiaries and your donors.
It is absolutely vital that you identify and discuss your specific target audiences so you can focus your content and marketing materials on them. To put it simply, you can't market to your audience until you actually know who they are.
Now, it's okay to have more than one target audience as long as you're completely clear about who you're marketing to at any given time.
Start by making buyer personas
You'll want to create a buyer persona for each group.
Even if the people in question aren't buying anything from you, the basic principles apply. Using these to both target your audience and understand who your ideal audience would be (such as donors likely to to donate more) can help you target those audiences far more effectively.
Once you've crafted those personas, look for any discrepancies between who your audience is and who you'd like them to be. If you're not attracting the kind of donors or beneficiaries you actually want to have, then there's probably a problem with your branding and outreach efforts.
Make sure the buyer personas represent real parts of your audience - as much as we'd all like to have billionaire donors who fully fund us with no questions asked, that's probably not going to happen. Buyer personas are most useful when they genuinely represent real people, not people as you wish they were. Unfortunately, some non-profits allow themselves to get carried away here, and it usually ends up hurting them.
Using your blog to target your audience
The best way to target your audience is to focus each of your blog posts on one of them, keeping in mind what each audience wants to know about your non-profit.
For example, potential donors may care about how each donation is divided and what percent of your funds are spent on your main mission, while beneficiaries may be concerned with the maximum amount you're willing to give and any restrictions that may apply.
The root of this is the fact that most people will not become followers of your blog. It's true - even if they like you a lot, and even if they donate a large sum or act as a model beneficiary, they're probably not going to become long-time readers.
This is a good thing - you can focus each blog post on being a good landing page without worrying too much about the rest of the audience. As for those who are reading it, they'll happily skip over any post that isn't actually targeted towards them.
The root of this is your search engine optimization (SEO) - by selecting the right keywords, you can ensure that the people who are most likely to find a given blog post are those it's actually targeted to.
Learn more about the importance of SEO: 4 Reasons Why It's Important To Build In SEO From The Very Beginning Of Your Website Redesign
Instead of trying to get anyone to read more of your blog, focus on getting email addresses and providing content that way.
You'll probably want to create a separate newsletter for
each target audience, just to be sure the content they get is truly relevant to their concerns. Donors want to hear that money is being spent wisely, after all, while beneficiaries care about things like when you're going to announce the distribution of funds.
Meanwhile, your blog should just be focused on finding new leads for your company. Don't hesitate to adjust the ratio of donor-to-beneficiary posts based on how things are going - if you have an excess of money but not enough people to give it to, make a few more posts about
beneficiaries. If you have too many people asking for grants, focus more on donors.
By themselves, each post is unlikely to be more than a small trickle over time - the real value of blogging shows up when all of those trickles are gathered together into one big stream.
Looking for more tips on growing your readership? 5 Ways To Build A Bigger Audience For Your Blog
That's why it's so important to keep blogging. It's a long-term effort, and while it won't help you adjust your audience overnight, it's still one of the best tools you have. It also means that you can't react very quickly to changes, so it's better to figure out how much the average donor gives you, how much the average beneficiary needs, and aim for a long-term balance between the two.
Thanks for stopping by,