Is your Legal Aid Organization missing out on millions in free marketing?

July 15, 2020

You need more than a website or social media page to market your services. Effective digital marketing is an essential tool in elevating the awareness of legal aid services. Furthermore, a well-executed digital marketing strategy can boost funding for your legal aid organization.

The term "digital marketing" is usually associated with expensive tools or high-priced experts. However, a legal aid organization can run a successful digital marketing strategy using free tools. One of these free tools is Google Ad Grants. Even with a limited budget, legal aid organizations can be creative and reach new clients.

Google Ad Grants offer a monthly budget for qualifying nonprofits to use on ads to promote their mission, raise awareness of their services, and drive funding.

How does a Google Ad Grant Work?

In collaboration with Relatable Communications Group, we recently worked with Central Virginia Legal Aid Society ("CVLAS") to qualify for a Google Ad Grant. With this program, CVLAS receives US$10,000 per month to spend on Google Ads and promote Is Bankruptcy Right for Me, an online guided interview that helps Virginians decide whether they should file bankruptcy. This is a quick summary of Google Ad Grants and how your legal aid organization can apply.

  • If you are considering ads to reach your target audience, then there is no better platform than Google Ads. Google Ads is a paid advertising platform that falls under a marketing channel known as pay-per-click (PPC), where the advertiser pays per click or per impression of an ad.
  • To help nonprofits utilize their advertising services, Google created Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits. This program enables nonprofits to spend $329.00 on Google Ads per day, which adds up to $10,000 a month.
  • You will want to determine your eligibility for Google Ads before starting the process. To be eligible, an organization must be a nonprofit and have an IRC 501(c)(3) charity status.
  • If your legal aid organization is eligible, you will have to apply for Google for Nonprofits. Your organization will have to fill out some necessary information, including the domain to your website. To successfully apply for Google for Nonprofits, your legal aid organization will need to obtain a TechSoup validation token. TechSoup supports nonprofits, and charities by providing access to donations and discounts on software, hardware, and services. In this case, TechSoup will validate your account and ensure Google that the legal aid organization qualifies as a charity.

  • Wait to be approved for Google for Nonprofits. The validation can take between two and fourteen days. In our experience with CVLAS, it took less than five working days.
  • Register for Google Ad Grants via your nonprofit's official Google account.
  • Create a Google Ads account.
  • Activate Google Ad Grants and submit your activation for review. Do this by logging into your Google for Nonprofits account. You will need a Customer ID, which will be provided when you applied for Google Ad Grants. The review process for Ad Grants accounts can take up to 10 business days. In the case of CVLAS, they got approved in less than five days.

  • For Google Ads, you'll need a well-maintained website. This means your organization must own the domain and have a clear description of the organization. Additionally, your webpage will need to load promptly and safely (using https).
  • Get approved for Google Ad Grants!
  • Begin setting up your first Google Ad campaigns. Rather than creating one general campaign, be strategic and set up multiple campaigns based on your organization's different goals. Take the time to think about the associated ad groups and keywords for the ads.
  • Submit your ad campaigns for review by Google.
  • Run your campaign.

Final Thoughts

Given its reach and authority, Google Ad Grants should be a part of any legal aid organization's digital marketing strategy. If a Google Grant Ad account is set up correctly and well maintained, it can drive highly engaged visitors and funders.

Google requires that all ads meet high professional and editorial standards leading users to content that is relevant, useful, and easy to interact with. That’s why managing a Google Ads account can be a lot of work, especially if you don’t have the time. Google Ad Grants have been around for over 15 years. That means that a legal aid organization without a Google Ad Grant has already missed out over $1,800,000. In other words, the right moment to start is now. Contact us to help you with your digital marketing strategy today or getting set up with a Google Ad Grant.

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