Digital Marketing Tips for Charities
We recently uploaded a blog talking about the Importance of Digital Marketing for charities and how we ourselves have been embracing the online opportunities to help our clients. We asked our Marketing Consultant to talk through some of the most important digital marketing channels to include in your charity’s marketing plans in 2022.
Sarah Maginn has been working in marketing for the past 15 years. Here are her top digital marketing tips for charities.
Online presence, regardless of industry, can have a huge impact on success. Even since Covid-19 drove so much communication online, some charities still haven’t recognised that a large proportion of building awareness and donations nowadays will first start with an online channel.
Having a strong online presence, will present your charity with digital opportunities to generate interest and extend your reach to communicate your message and campaigns even further.
First Let’s Cover What’s FREE to Set Up
- Google Business
- Google Reviews
- Social Media Channels including:
- Email marketing – try Mailchimp
- Design Tools – try Canva
Where You’ll Need to Invest
- A Website
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Marketing resources to implement and maintain
The beauty of online is that there are so many tutorials available. Each well-known marketing platform will give clear guidance how to set up and get started. You don’t need to understand the technical aspects when starting out, but you will need to learn the basics, have a little natural flare and a way with words. For some, marketing is naturally engrained and just requires a little extra training to tap into.
Simple Free Marketing Tools & Tactics to Help your Charity
Let’s Start With Google Business
Google Business will be a massive help to promote your charity locally, even if you don’t have a website. Be clear about what you do and think about the phrases your audience might use to find your charity online. If you want to get a little more techy, you can utilise tools such as Ubersuggest to help with keyword ideas.
Google Business Posts. A similar concept to social media posts but via Google. Share updates, campaigns, events, and fundraising initiatives. Don’t forget to set aside a little time to upload photos and videos.
Google Reviews is part of your Google Business listing. It gives your recipients the opportunity to share their feedback about your charity. This however will depend on the sensitivity of the charitable sector you work in. Google Reviews will help validate what you do as a charity and help promote trust to your audience.
So, how do you get them… ask for them verbally, add a direct link via your website, social channels, and email marketing.
As a Google product, Google Business activity will help not only your Google Business listing be seen by more of your target audience but will also support in the process of your own website ranking higher on the search engine. It’s a Win, Win!
Social Media, the Market Potential is Massive
Social Media doesn’t need to be scary. Just be relevant and consistent. Proofread before posting and keep it simple. Remember if you post something with a mistake, you can edit it! Social media remains key to extending your charity’s reach. In lockdown especially, social media kept so many of us occupied.
You don’t have to add social posts every day. Aim for three a week. Just be relevant and consistent in content and timing. After 6 months, take a look at your insights (reporting on performance – each platform has it) and it will help you understand whether you’re posting at the right times and what is of most interest to your audience.
Which social media platforms to use? Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to be everywhere. Focus on one platform to get started. As a simple rule of thumb Facebook and Instagram are more consumer focused and Linkedin and Twitter can be more business-led. Tiktok was once for younger audiences, however since lockdown it has skyrocketed for all. If you’re handy with a bit of videography and creative, it’s a great place to go viral. If you don’t feel ready, build your confidence first through the classics. Obviously, there are loads of other social platforms, but these will be your core starting point.
Help to be seen by more people. This is all about extending reach. It’s a bit techy so to keep it simple, just think of each post needing to appeal to the recipient. The longer someone stays on the post looking at its content, the more the social platform will help people see your post. Basically, it shows that your content is of interest, and this makes the social channel show more people who might interested. Three simple ways are to use video content, upload more than just one image, and write blog style text content for the platforms which accept more characters. To make it manageable why not aim for one social post a week which aims to capture more interest through longevity.
Aim for the 20:80 concept. 80% of your posts should be informative incorporating updates from the charity and examples of what’s happening. 20% to be more sales led and promotional. Your audience will be more engaged by real-life stories than promotional messages. You can still do both by also including links and calls to actions (i.e., Learn more… Donate here… etc.)
Followers. It is a misconception that success on social media is reliant on your number of followers. Social media is about networking predominantly. So, the most important elements are about engagement. Make sure you ‘Like’ posts, comment on posts and respond when others comment on your posts. Share other people’s/charities posts which are relevant to your audience.
Time poor. There are ways to manage your social media when you’re busy. Set aside one day a month to put together social media post content. Utilise a scheduling platform such as Hootsuite to schedule your posts for the month. Then allocate 30 minutes to an hour a week to look through your notifications and engage with your audience. Trust me it’s much easier to manage this way.
Add Donate buttons to social platforms where possible. The same goes for your website, ensure the website development team includes clear donation ‘calls to action’ as part of your website structure.
Nowadays the majority of online activity takes place via mobile phone. With this in mind, it’s also worth considering QR codes, ‘Text to donate’, cashless alternatives and contactless donations.
Finally, Let’s Touch on Email Marketing
Depending on your charity sector, you’re likely to have access to data for an amazing captive audience. Many of your donors will want to hear about where their donations have been spent and where they can help in the future. As long as your database complies to GDPR guidelines, make the most of what you have available by sending a monthly newsletter. Also look to incorporate email marketing into upcoming campaigns.
There are several email marketing platforms on the market which offer free use or inexpensive monthly costs depending on the amount of data you have. Platforms such as Mailchimp allow charities to make a personalised appeal by targeting specific demographics and interests to potential donors at a click of a button. Mailchimp also currently offers a discount for non-profits. Make sure with any paid for resources that you check for discounts as there will likely be a percentage reduction for a charity. You can also integrate data capture in the form of newsletter sign ups via your website. Plus, the activity of your audience will help give even more guidance in marketing activity moving forwards.
If you are a charity in need of support, we are here to help through Hands-on Fundraising and our Trust Fundraiser training and mentoring programme. Get in touch to find out more. Complete the form below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.