Charities: How to successfully navigate the digital maze

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There is a diverse range of online platforms available for charities to broadcast their story and build community, and it is crucial the sector harnesses the potential of these routes to market.

New media is always evolving and you have to evolve with it.

Of course, each platform – whether it be TikTok, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter – has its own DNA profile and those tasked with telling your charity story need to understand the importance of adopting a chameleon approach to marketing. Be prepared to adapt and change your marketing communications as you work through the platforms, one size doesn’t fit all. 

But despite the need for reshaping your creative execution depending on where you are posting there will always be a constant: great stories, told well, will always connect and inspire. Place great content at the core of what you do and it will be the foundation of success. 

Once you’ve invested in remarkable content your next step is to back that content with a budget brave enough for it to be visible on the devices of your target audience – long gone are the days of relying on organic reach.

You’d be amazed how often charities and businesses fail to set aside sufficient advertising budget, it is a persistent blind spot.

The wide range of social media on offer means you can now deliver your communications with the accuracy of a marksman, maximising its impact and minimising cost. 

Hitting the sweet spot is only possible by choosing the right platforms for your products and messages. What are your target demographics and behaviours? How do consumers interact with the platform? And crucially, how precise are the ad tools in the ‘back end’? 

I talk about marketing marksmanship but it is only possible if your chosen broadcast platform has the precision ad tools for you to target the right people at precisely the right time. 

Perhaps the most honed of all broadcast platforms is the behemoth Facebook. The choice of the ‘mature’ market, Facebook’s algorithm is highly complex, and at times a little glitchy, but if you can learn to read it, the results can be transformational.

Three quick tips to digital transformation

1 If you are working with limited time and resource, don’t attempt to win on all social platforms. For most charities Facebook’s laser guided ad tools means it should be your first choice.

2 Creatives drive results, videography is crucial. Front load your videos with ‘scroll stopping’ content and remember, real life stories perform – less corporate, keep it honest and unscripted. Heavy branding will kill your performance.

3 The average number of third sector posts on Facebook is just nine per week – it’s not enough to drive engagement and help to build your conversion funnel/custom audiences. Your posts shouldn’t always be about what you have done or achieved, open up your conversations and include a range of posts that will encourage sharing and debate – it will drive engagement and send positive signals to Facebook’s algorithm. You don’t want to be the pub bore who only has one topic of conversation.