What matters the most to NGOs is not just getting connected with their target audiences but making them feel the causes that’s behind their own very existence and urge people take the desired call without any delay. Discover 10 ways to make the digital media work for your NGO.
Whether you pick up Mahindra’s #SeedTheRise crowd-funding campaign that received donations worth INR 1 crore or Nivea India’s Mom’s Touch that succeeded in awakening the society regarding the unflinching endeavor and sacrifices put forth by mothers, particularly those from the underprivileged community in shaping the future of their children, or the Government of India’s Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao campaign, or any other contemporary campaigns aimed at developing society, you can notice one stark similarity among them. They all are leveraging the power of digital media to achieve their objectives – spreading awareness about the cause, promoting the brand and evoking an urge to take intended action – signup, subscription, sharing the cause, donation, etc.
However, these are the few that we noticed or the world noticed, what about the rest. They got unheard and better say ignored by the society though not intentionally. Perhaps, making a campaign viral is an art as well as a science. What is required is portraying the pains, emotions, satisfaction and other instincts of the human psychology using the digital tools and thereafter making the masterpiece reach the right audiences, at the right time. It’s easier said than done. Here are 10 Keys to a successful digital campaign.
Phase I: This must-do homework is to nurture the ground for a successful digital campaign.
1. Define Objectives & Identify Challenges
What social issues are baffling you, how do you want to challenge the status quo and what differences do you want to make with your development program? It’s a must that you understand all. Here is what you should outline first about your campaign.
(a) Vision and mission
(b) Time-bound goals (short- and long-term, both)
(c) Details on possible bottlenecks
2. Collect Information
Before you invest resources, time and money in a digital campaign, it’s important that you brainstorm with your team and churn out information like the target audience, the engagement channels like search, social, community sites, blogging networks, video sharing sites, etc., the pros and cons of previous campaigns, if any, and last but not least, the digital competence your team members or marketing partner possess.
3. Boost Online Presence
Take stock of the online reputation of your brand. Identify the strength (exiting subscribers or supporters) and the weaknesses (negative reviews, comments, etc.). Comb every channel and look into every window, be it Google Search, social, community sites, consumer complaint board, and much more. Assess what perception your audience has about you. Keeping everything in mind, ideate and execute the right online reputation strategy to have a healthy digital presence. Here is how to get started with:
1. Keep your website abuzz with fresh user- and SEO-friendly content with a great emphasis on your success stories
2. Go social with Facebook, Twitter, etc.
3. Create healthy online profiles across reputed platforms adhering to their guidelines
4. Try to respond to queries pouring in via different channels
5. Dare to respond to the dissatisfied users positively and at your earliest
4. Get a Mobile App
The people in India spend 2 to 3 hours a day with their phone. Amazingly, a whopping 85% of that time is cornered by mobile apps alone. Target the mobile platforms that are mostly used by your target audience. Make a list of engaging and intuitive features that can encourage users to take the action you want. Customize your app with features like set up fundraising goals, create profile, update picture and story, ask for donation, send follow-ups, share your progress, say thanks to donors and, eventually, think of a feature that can let you maintain transparency in what you do. You should apprise them of how you utilized their contributions. The backend of your app must facilitate you ways to measure the success of your campaign.
Choosing cross-platform app development, rather than native app development would be cost efficient as a single app-build can work across multiple OS platforms including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, etc. The app should be easy-to-use, stable and secure and must not challenge the patience of users.
You Might Be Interested In: Native or Hybrid App Development: Finding a Better Bet
Phase 2: The ground is ready. Here is how to proceed with a digital campaign to make an impression and champion the cause.
5. Chalk Out Content Marketing Strategy
Learn the digital content choice and preferences of your target audience. Web analytics tools like Google Analytics, Yoast or Moz can be of great help in depicting the user-engagement health of your website. Ask your webmaster to dig deeper with the webmaster tool offered by Google or others that he or she is well versed in. Once you have a fair understanding of what the target audiences are looking for, it would become easier for you to set up your digital campaign across different channels using the methods discussed below.
6. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Campaign
No campaigns can equate the power of SEO results, provided you do it right. Go with proper planning and sequence. First, take stock of the Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and Mobile-Friendly Updates and make sure your website fully complies with their terms. Second, get acquainted with the Google’s Search Algorithmic Updates. This will help you strategize your copy writing and content publishing endeavor. Third, make a blueprint of search engine optimization to create and push all sorts of content materials including text, video, audio, graphics, etc. across various channels. Remember, resort to story-telling mode while depicting the causes you are working for as users. Let users relate with the stories you narrate. The narrative must evoke a sense of responsibility in them and urge them to come forward with your mission.
Fourth, keep measuring the success of your effort through Google Analytics and Webmaster tools and, accordingly, keep on improving your SEO strategy. Don’t resort to black hat SEO practices to gain visibility. This may bring temporary results but may disrepute the authority of your website, thereby causing long term damage.
7. PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Campaign
Imagine, your NGO comes across a road accident victim who can’t afford expensive medical treatment that’s a must for his or her recovery or your organization is fighting an epidemic situation and needs to do fundraising at once without fail to cope with the situation.
Such emergencies demand instant action that can be achieved with a well-planned PPC campaign. This helps you to reach the right audience at the right place and at the right time to ensure maximum conversion.
As your account associated with Google AdWords would get debited with the configured bidding amount for every click that your ad receives, it’s important not to experiment much. Any small error with the campaign setting may lead to colossal financial loss. Hiring an expert to work in-house or outsourcing the digital campaign to someone or a company with a proven track record would be the best remedy.
8. Social Media Campaign
Leverage the power of popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach out to your target audience, drive engagement and achieve conversion. Social media campaigns can also help you achieve short- and long-term goals.
With consumers spending more and more time on social media, it’s a must that you keep your social accounts buzzing with the latest posts talking about your news, events and causes that are plaguing the individual and society. Stay vocal about everything but with a sense of modesty. Surprisingly, all social accounts are not the same. Users have different perceptions across different social media channels. A post that could arouse people on Twitter, might fail on Facebook. So you should have a thorough understanding of the pattern of content materials that are liked and that are vehemently rejected across different platforms.
Nowadays, all social channels allow you to run paid social campaign. Sponsoring a post (as you do in a Google AdWords campaign), you can reach out to more people on the real-time basis. It’s satisfying that the cost of running a campaign on a social platform is comparatively lower than that of an AdWords PPC type.
9. Affiliate Campaign
Knowing your audience better, reach them out on third-party sites and promote your cause effectively. While choosing the affiliate sites to run your ad, you must assess their domain authority. In the wake of Fred updates, a good deal of affiliate marketing sites that were having substandard content, have been penalized, i.e., pushed down the search results. So any digital campaign on those sites will be futile. Hence, identify sites that have quality content and that are relevant to your objectives. For instance, if you are raising funds for health causes, try to be on sites that talk about health and wellness.
10. Email Marketing
If you have a good command on the language that your target audience speaks and understands the most, this could do wonder. Take help of email mining software tools or any agency to collect as many emails as you can do. Your email message should have a balance of texts and visuals. It wouldn’t be a difficult job as there are many free templates available online that can help you organize your message. Using the right vocabs is as much important as is using the right tone. Pick words wisely and bring rhythm, rhyme and everything that you can to move the recipients. The message must resonate with them for a considerable amount of time.
Once the template is ready, it’s time to set up the email marketing campaign. Free and paid both kinds of email campaign management applications are available. Based on ease-of-use, features, analytics and security choose the right one. It has the highest conversion rate as compared to other digital campaigns you read. Apart from the composing etiquettes what matters the most in an email campaign is patience. At times, you might have to do several follow-ups to achieve a single conversion.
Hope you enjoyed reading. Do share your thoughts in the comment box. I’ll be back soon with more updates on championing brand value and achieving goals, until then goodbye.
Stories by Dindayal Gupta