In an age where technological change is a constant, with new social media platforms popping up all the time and more of the charitable sector turning virtual, it can be hard to keep up with the ever-shifting sands of the brave new digital world. It might feel to you like a minefield of tweets and Facebook posts and so here are our 5 top tips for keeping your online marketing firmly on the front foot.
1. Know your demographic
Knowing who you are marketing to is essential not only for what you post, but WHERE you post it. For some, the days of Twitter and LinkedIn are over, with Snapchat and TikTok taking the lead. But for those charities aiming at an older demographic, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are still the fan favourites. If you’re uncertain as to which platforms your supporters are using, a simple email survey or poll will soon send you in the right direction (see point 4!).
2. Don’t underestimate your website
One of the most dispiriting things I find online is when you click on a website link from a social media platform and it leads to an awful website! It could be that the site is hard to use, it’s difficult to find what you’re looking for, or there’s just not a lot of information. I think a great example of a well-designed website is the BBC Children in Need website- it’s clearly layed out, it has links to all the social media accounts and, most importantly, a big button in the corner to donate! However, whilst we all wish we had the budget of Children in Need, that is simply not realistic, but keeping your website simple, bright and tidy is enough to stop people immediately leaving.
3. Have an active blog page!
We all turn to Google when we’re looking for an answer to a question, or to buy a product, and I’m sure I’m not alone in clicking the first link that comes up after a Google search. Not only does having an active blog page keep your existing supporters up to date on what’s going on, it creates new traffic to your site by helping you engage directly with a user’s queries that they type in a Google search. Using the right key words and regularly updating information tailored towards your supporter base will ensure your information floats to the surface and helps you reach your intended audience in a competitive Google environment. The more blogs and range of topics you have, the more links are out there for potential supporters to click on.
4. Develop a relationship with your supporters through email marketing
Once you have made a connection with your supporters, a further great way to engage with them and get a conversation going is through email marketing. It reminds the recipient of what you do and can be a great way to advertise new products. A regular newsletter can be a great way to update your supporters on everything going on from news, campaigns and events, and can also help you to learn more about what your supporters want to see through surveys and polls. To keep up to date on everything DSC for example, join our email list to receive our daily newsletter. See what I did there!
5. Use the rule of thirds
Rumoured to be a rule DSC’s very own CEO Debra Allcock Tyler swears by, the ‘rule of thirds’ is a reliable way to keep people engaged with your social media platforms and maintain the conversation. No one wants to see a page just filled with campaigns and product launches as it comes on a bit strong. One third campaigns- let visitors to your site know what you do and where to find your latest campaigns and product launches. One third about what’s going on in the sector, whether that be news, government policy, or general information of value to your supporters. Finally, one third personal. Showing the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of your charity is a great way to increase engagement and build a rapport with your supporters. Introduce your colleagues on social media through some ‘meet the team’ posts or share a photo of the work Christmas party. People love to see the inner-workings of a charity- and the team that runs it!