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Google Ad Grants are an INCREDIBLE resource for nonprofits! Imagine having $10,000 every single month to amplify awareness, generate leads, and hopefully new donors too! But it takes some finesse to make it all work.
Today, Chris Barlow from Beeline Marketing is breaking it all down for us in this in-depth case study. He’ll share how one of their clients used this exact strategy to bring in hundreds of new leads each month. This episode was so much fun for me to dig into and I truly hope you geek out as much as I did.
If you haven’t heard about Google Ad Grants, it’s literally the best low-hanging fruit you can take advantage of as a non-profit. If you qualify, Google will give you $10,000 every single month to raise awareness, attract donors, and recruit new volunteers, all through Google search ads. And the approval process is so easy, you could be up and running in less than a month!
The key with any type of ad campaign is that it needs to actually work. And when it comes to nonprofits, you need to meet your donors or potential donors where they are.
Chris worked with an established Jewish food bank that had been around for over 100 years. Many of their donors were getting older and they wanted to attract more young donors. They asked themselves, “how can we give people a taste of our mission?”
Using Google’s free Keyword Planner, Chris reviewed many different topics and keywords, searching for keywords that had less competition, but viable search traffic. Other alternative tools (that are paid) include SpyFu and Semrush.
He ended up offering a recipe book for the Jewish holidays, exchanging something of value for clicking on the ad. Pitching different celebrity chefs and influencers to donate recipes to the book gave it more clout, and they could then use their names when creating ad copy.
It was a brilliant move.
Google Ads have many different components, and it’s important to understand how they all work to maximize your success.
When you launch an ad campaign, gone are the days when you’d write a single ad. They now have responsive ads, where you’re invited to write several different headline and description ideas, and Google will mix and match them to find out which ones perform the best.
Some of their best-performing ads have the following headlines:
There are no visual components to a Google ad – everything is text-based. So it comes down to having eye-catching headlines and copy and something click-worthy.
Always, always provide something of value.
Setting up targeting for your Google ads comes down to choosing the best keywords and selecting your demographics.
With the grant, you aren’t allowed to target single keywords, so consider pairs. In their case, they tried “Jewish recipes”, “Passover recipes”, and specific chef and influencer names connected with the recipe book.
Chris also drew from cultural moments, considering the timing of Jewish holidays, like Rosh Hashanah. As the holidays passed, naturally these keywords dropped in traffic.
If you’re trying to reel in younger donors, you can also set demographic parameters, bidding higher for people who are a certain gender or age range, what income bracket they’re in, or their location, etc. So far, the majority of the people that have clicked on their ads have been in the 65+ range.
The results Chris experienced for his client were incredible! Since launching their Google Ad Grant in August, they had spent about $8,000 and gained 250 new subscribers. He anticipates they’ll trend towards 150 new subscribers per month on average!
Do you know any amazing copywriters? Chris needs help writing for his blog. Connect with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“When you’re offering something of value, like a digital resource, like an e-book, you’re going to be targeting informational terms, which are not as competitive or expensive as product or service-related terms. So a lot of times you’re offering something when people are just doing research, and that’s exactly who you want to attract. And those are not usually as competitive keywords.”
“Most of the time, people are going on Google to search for something that they’re trying to solve a problem, or answer a question or get entertained. So you’ve got to figure out, ‘how can our organization take our skills, our experience, our knowledge, and meet a need in a small way of our potential donors?’”
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