ShortBooks - Digital

Your strategies and resources for digital marketing must be current, adaptable and easy-to-use. Barefoot Creative has a proprietary digital suite to help you stay engaged with your donors. Give us a call today to see how we can change the way you use digital marketing to achieve your goals. 

(online is part of a bigger strategy, integrate it with everything)

With the advent of online environments, marketing gurus have lamented the end of traditional tactics. We know that every year the number of online users increases. More and more people turn to their smartphones for social life, commerce, information and play. 

Statistics tell us that 88.1% of all people in North America regularly use the internet. That’s awesome – because online marketing has many advantages. But don’t abandon traditional methods. On average, direct mail still brings in a 5.3% response on our house lists compared to 0.6% for email alone. 

If anything, online tactics make marketing more complicated. We see huge returns in integration. Adding email, social and web presence to a direct mail campaign multiplies results. In one case, just adding a digital strategy doubled results. But we still needed the print to launch the campaign.

For a stronger brand and improved results take advantage of all channels available for your target audience. Keep your message and offer consistent, regardless of platform. 

Strategically include your digital components into overall strategies for greater success.

(use digital tools to enhance your work)

Too many organizations have not yet maximized the power of online tools to make their work easier. Project management, resource gathering, resource storage, major donor relationships, donor loyalty and many more activities are strengthened with online systems. 

We are still seeing deplorable e-commerce systems that seem to duplicate print systems. We’ve seen websites written as if they were a brochure, tossing aside all the advantages of digital exploration and discovery. 

We can report back to donors instantaneously with video, emails, text messages, Instagram, Facebook, and the list goes on and on.

Think digital when you develop campaigns and donor/customer treatment. We are fast-becoming a small screen world.

(plan your digital journey with your audience in mind)

Websites and emails must of course be legible and readable, but that’s still just the first step. We have to stop seeing our digital platforms as we do our printed pieces. A website is not a static piece of paper. The user experience is critical.

Explore various formats and functional tools to make your digital communications dynamic and engaging. Involve the donor in your content in ways that are relevant and meaningful. 

Track the way people wander around on your website. Find out which pages they are going to and which ones they go back to. One of the most consistent stats we are seeing is that donors don’t actually roam around your site, instead they go straight to donate. Why is that? 

We also know, when your site has information that people want to know, they go directly to find it. Your digital environment must be strategic for the user – not for you. Too many organizations are jamming their sites with information they don’t want to print but want available. Frankly, if you can’t waste money on printing the information, don’t waste money by putting it online. 

Without an in-depth knowledge of digital media, this task can be difficult. Barefoot Creative is happy to talk with you to discover ways to your make digital work!

(track closely, adapt to behaviour)

Web, social media, email… digital communication is quick and the turnaround time to understand success is fast. Know that people are not coming to your site randomly. It’s important for you to invite them to come through digital and/or traditional media. 

Digital is one of the easiest platforms to track response – and you should! With your digital communications, you can also adjust quickly and for far less investment than having to reprint something that isn’t working. 

As your campaign unfolds, track the responses in real-time to monitor the successes and opportunities. If your current systems don’t allow for real-time tracking, consider adopting a system like Barefoot DIGITAL so you can check your success right on your smartphone!

(don’t just shout your message at people)

This is, in our evaluation, a missed opportunity. Digital environments are perfect places to invite conversation. Too many organizations set-up their website or social media page and then never return. Oftentimes there is a conversation happening about your work and you’re not involved! To make sure your donors have their questions, concerns and reviews heard, have someone responding to online comments. 

Some of our favourite fast food chains are turning complaints into relationships with their clever and timely responses to customer Tweets. Take this one from Wendy’s, a clear winner in the Twitter-sphere:

@hyper9vids: Why should I choose you guys over @McDonalds for dinner tonight?

And while there was no response from McDonald’s, even though the customer tagged their company in his tweet, Wendy’s wrote back within 2 hours:

@Wendys: Because you are an intelligent, discerning individual who can tell the difference between quality and whatever it is they have.

These responses have not only garnered over 2.8 million Twitter followers, but their sales increased by an impressive 49.7% last year.

If you’re not responding to your donors, what message are they hearing?

When posting in social media, be brave, invite conversation. Be there when it happens and keep it up. The interaction is a great way to encourage people to take you seriously.

(choose the platforms you can manage and build from there)

While we may have grand visions of online domination, we need to be realistic about our organization’s bandwidth. If you attempt too many channels, too fast, you’re going to end up making poor investment decisions and not achieving your marketing goals. 

Map out your digital plan and then lay the framework for successful growth. You’ll be building on smaller successes rather than chasing to keep up with your digital strategy.

There are almost unlimited social media platforms to use, but Facebook continues to be, by far, the most pervasive. Will it stay #1? Maybe, maybe not. But right now, our numbers show that Facebook is the #1 go-to place to hang out. Our job is to know the numbers, track our donors and invest in the places they hang out.

(be compelling, and real – offer value)

Great content not only keeps your donors engaged, but it also increases your SEO and gets you noticed. Relevant and engaging sites drive traffic to your organization and ideally, become a low-cost, but highly effective, acquisition tool. 

As well, your current partners can turn to your digital presence to affirm their decision to give and allow them a platform to share your mission with their friends and family. 

The way we write and add content matters. Short sentences, lots of video, photos and quick information make a difference. Constant updates are critical.

(use video and images to communicate your message)

We know that great marketing tells great stories. But in the digital realm, you have an opportunity to tell your stories in different ways to engage different audiences. 

Video and photos bring your donors directly to the field, they feel they’re walking alongside you as you use their donations. Stories and their corresponding visuals are one of your most important marketing tools worthy of investment.

That connection is priceless and opens the door for long-term donors who are loyal to your organization.

(use targeted landing pages and custom payment forms)

A great online banner ad or eblast is the first step in attracting your audience’s attention. But without proper follow-through, you’re left with little in the bank. 

Having an ad that directs viewers to your site’s homepage is taking them to a dead end. Targeted landing pages are the roadmap to the donation. Ensure the message and offer is consistent from the ad to the landing page and ultimately, the donation form. If at any point the donor feels lost or unsure about how to give to the offer they saw in the initial ad, they’re going to leave your site without giving. 

When you send a targeted eblast, it must be personalized and speak to the reader directly. Digital platforms make it easy to personalize – so make sure you’re taking advantage!

(build your strategy using real-time data)

Digital platforms allow for cost-effective analysis that’s easily accessed by key people in your organization. Here are just a few of the indicators you should be tracking in your digital marketing: 

  • SEO
  • Overall website visits
  • Traffic to your site by channel (organic, social media, direct, referral)
  • Are your visitors new or returning?
  • Time spent on the site and on individual pages
  • Interactions per visit
  • Bounce rate
  • Click-throughs
  • Conversions
  • the list goes on…

If these metrics aren’t on your radar or you’re unsure where to begin, contact Barefoot Creative. We can not only give you a comprehensive strategy, but our proprietary tools like Barefoot DIGITAL can help you analyze these results quickly and easily.

(watch the trends and experiment)

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain

An important aspect of every fundraiser or marketer is to keep in tune with what’s going on in the industry. If you’re seeing it, so are your donors. 

Technology changes rapidly and it can be difficult to keep up. But when we stay aligned with the trends that affect our business, we’re in a better position to test new ways of reaching our audience. The digital playing field often allows for short-term tests that are cost-effective. So, see what’s available and try it out. 

In the coming year, we’re seeing a further development and usage of artificial intelligence, smart speakers, 5G and digital printing. What strategies best suit your organization and how can Barefoot Creative help you implement them?

Communicate with Impact

Barefoot Creative is always here to help. 

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