Building your organization’s digital strategy

July 23, 2013       The NonProfit Times      

Making an impact online these days requires more thought and strategy than ever. This is particularly true for nonprofits, which generally have smaller budgets and fewer resources at their disposal.

According to Macala Wright, head of digital innovation and strategy at Group Partners, with offices in London and Los Angeles, developing an effective digital strategy starts with planning and assessment. Your digital marketing strategies should focus on creating valuable content, while remaining consistent with your branding message and committing to interacting on social-sharing platforms.

Developing an effective digital strategy starts with planning and assessment, according to Wright.

Define Your Story. All good campaigns have core messages. What is the story you are trying to tell, and more importantly, why should your audience care? Most nonprofits inherently have an emotional story to share, so it’s vital to figure out how it connects to the lives of the donors you are trying to reach. And, finally, know exactly how your story will elicit a response from your audience.

Platforms and Engagement. Once you have your story you’ll want to think about how you will spread it. In other words, what social media networks will you use to engage and interact with your audience? To determine which mediums will be most effective in your digital strategy, you first have to consider who is most likely to be moved by your story and want to help your cause.

Consider this group of people in terms of age, lifestyle and geographic location. Which social platforms do they favor and what type of technology do they use to gain access to the Web? The more you know, the better able you’ll be to reach them.

Measure and Evaluate. Success means constantly measuring and evaluating results. One way to help determine the effectiveness of your digital campaign is to use social listening tools such as Radian6 and TweetReach to gain insights into how your audience is interacting with your message. A little time spent on evaluation will save money and headaches down the road, and ensure every campaign gets the returns anticipated.

Mobile Options for Nonprofits. There is a huge demand for mobile services from consumers and it isn’t solely directed at for-profits. Nonprofits must focus on incorporating mobile-friendly strategies into their marketing and fundraising campaigns. Technologies like SMS and text donations, mobile websites and apps allow nonprofits to extend their reach as well as their cause.