Looking for love?
I have a good friend who desperately wants to find love. The problem? She hasn’t made a connection with, well, anyone, really. Every time we meet, she laments, “Where do you meet people. Where are all the prospects?”
Much like my friend trying to make a love connection in the real world, making a love connection with prospects online can be tricky terrain for charities. And much like my friend, the question of where or how you exactly meet these prospects, is quite a pertinent one.
And while to my friend I generally shrug my shoulders and stammer a pitiable response, unable to help her in her quest, I have much more insight to offer you on the sexy world of attracting digital leads.
Capturing the attention of your perfect match
You may believe that you have a lot to offer your desired match, but knowing you’re a good fit isn’t enough, you have to sell yourself to them. Why should they commit to you and your vision, rather than another possible partner? You have to make them feel something, you have to inspire them.
Once you’ve got their attention, you need to get their detail, otherwise there is no way to see where this will go. You can’t build a relationship without more contact. You need to have a legitimate reason to get in touch again. In life, dinner is enough, in the online campaign and fundraising space, you need to be able to feed back to them on what you’re achieved. You’ve got to prove yourself – almost like a mating ritual in the animal kingdom, you have to fluff up your plumage and keep their attention.
Online, you don’t always have the opportunity to do a mesmerising love dance, you have to prove you’re a good match in more rational ways.
Here is what some charities are doing to capture their intended’s attention.
But how do you get them to this point? Love stories have to start somewhere? How did I arrive at this point?
How good’s what you got?
Content marketing is still king, and good content is still the best digital lead source. We’re keen storytellers in the not-for-profit sector, so acquiring great content shouldn’t be hard (theoretically). But making sure this content is digitally-savvy to attract the right prospects is important. Create impactful, engaging content that is relevant to the type of digital leads you want to attract. And remember, content isn’t just pages of text; it’s video, compelling imagery, downloadable resources, interactive games, apps, infographics, blogging, which provides insightful and valuable information.
Search engines like Google equate good content with good website, so focus on quality not necessarily quantity. Implementing a SEO strategy, targeting keywords relevant to your organisation and mission, and integrating these into your articles/blog posts, URL structures, navigation, and metadata, will pay off over time. Good ranking in search results means higher visibility for websites or landing pages, attracting the right digital leads in the process.
What signals are you sending out?
Email marketing is a tried and tested method for attracting and nurturing digital leads – and this still holds true today. How are you capturing email leads? How personalised, advanced and engaging are your email nurturing campaigns? Do you segment your audiences accordingly? Do you use surveys effectively? Are you ensuring that your emails are scheduled regularly, not just when donations are needed? While email can sometimes feel like a rusty tool for digital lead sources, in an age where different channels are saturated with overwhelming information, email is still the go-to where prospects can ask questions, get support and information, and initiate action.
How do people get to know you?
Being social is a great way to raise awareness and conversation around your organisation’s goals, campaigns, and events – naturally why everyone is on social media. The trick, however, is knowing where to find who you’re looking for. Not every organisation is going to find the quality leads they want on specific channels – i.e. having a Snapchat account probably won’t be the best way to encourage donations for tax appeal. Much like segmenting email lists, social media offers you the chance to test where new digital leads might be, and which campaigns work best across which channels. For example, you might want to leverage corporate fundraising for an event through LinkedIn, or target younger audiences through compelling campaigns on Facebook and snappier campaigns on Twitter.
Remember that organic social should have a softer approach to targeting leads – more about brand awareness, listening, and an individual connection to your prospective leads – so content should be engaging, informative, as well as highly shareable. This will encourage people already associated with your social channel to comment, like and share amongst theirs.
How much are you putting yourself out there?
If the right people haven’t been coming to you organically, how hard have you actually been putting yourself out there?
- Pay-Per-Click advertising
- Banner ads
- Facebook (social) ads
- Remarketing campaigns are all effective digital lead sources.
Google Pay-Per-Click advertising is still one of the most effective ways to push traffic to your site. But if you haven’t already, try branching out to Facebook, Twitter & Instagram ads, remarketing campaigns, and affiliate marketing banner advertising, to really cast your net far and wide when it comes to putting your organisation out there and attracting the right types of digital leads.
Are you asking like-minded people?
Shanelle wrote a compelling blog on the topic of finding like-minded organisation’s that you can share leads with you. It’s well worth a read, but also important to reiterate as a means for attracting digital leads. Has your organisation considered:
- 3rd party websites to host/share content on?
- Using affiliate marketing and displaying advertising on websites where potential leads spend their time?
- Co-registration campaigns?
- Co-branded email campaigns?
- Renting email lists?
How are you maintaining where it’s kept?
Prospective digital leads will not only be pushed to your site through your different channels, but will also find your website on their own through search and other means. Ensure your conduit is as good as your content, so to attract and nurture digital leads.
- Is your website easy to navigate from a user’s perspective?
- Do you have specific landing pages you are pushing prospects to (different based on campaigns/channels)?
- Do you have enough/appropriate Calls-to-Actions?
- Is your site visually engaging?
- Are forms simple and effective?
- Does the layout and design work for you?
- Is information and resources easy to find? You might have the digital content, channel and ad strategy in the world, but without an optimised site, the efforts probably won’t pay off.
Once you’ve put your feelers out to attract digital leads, the path to love is still a continual process of nurturing prospectives through a journey. But putting yourself out there and sparking that connection is the first small step to a happily-ever-after.
Perhaps that’s the advice I should give to my love forlorn friend.