How to write a digital marketing strategy for your charity

As we emerge into a new, post-covid landscape, at Marketing with Purpose, we speak to more and more charities and not for profit organisations who are looking to become more strategic in the way that they use their digital communications. 

We see that organisations are consistently looking for a digital-first approach to communications when working towards raising their profile, building reputation, and increasing engagement with stakeholders: whether that’s for donor acquisition, lobbying for change or for supporter retention.

But how do you ensure that your digital content is strategic, consistent, and creative AND delivers the results you are looking for? In this blog, we look at three key steps to building your charity’s digital marketing strategy to help you develop and grow your charity’s online presence.

The difference between a strategy and a plan?

Mapping out your strategy will set out the approach that your organisation will use to achieve your goals. 

What you are essentially doing is creating a game plan – it’s a set of tactics that are going to increase your engagement with your target audiences: whether that’s donors, customers, or service users. 

Once you have your strategy in the plan then you can really begin to drill down to create a ‘tactical plan’ which would include specific actions.

Step 1. What do you want to say?

How do you want to be known? What does your brand mean to each of your stakeholders?

Building your key messaging is an important step in communicating your ‘why’ to the outside world. 

You may have more than one key message – we suggest three to five is a good number so that you can speak directly to a wider range of stakeholders. And, by developing these key messages you can ensure that your whole team, large or small, are all on key in all their communications.


Step 2. Who are you trying to reach?

Do you know who your target audiences are? Who do you really want to speak to? 

Begin to build an in-depth picture of all of your stakeholders: service users, funders, donors, and volunteers. Explore how each different audience looks, their ages, genders, interests, and values.

You may be wanting to reach multiple audiences via social media, your website or email marketing so remember, with digital comms, like any other kind of marketing, one size doesn’t fit all.


Step 3. Where are you going to connect with people?

Identifying all your different stakeholder groups is the first step, and now you’ll need to understand how you will reach them.

Do you know where they ‘hang out’ or where you will be able to ‘meet’ them? You will certainly need to adapt and change content to meet these different stakeholders. Rather than use the same content across all platforms you should be building a content calendar for each based on the specific audiences.

Use data to find out which platforms work best and where you need to improve.  If your resources are limited, will you be building on your successes or seeking out those audiences that you’ve yet to reach?

Map out and explore all the different options for each group, and then revisit the resources available to you to get the maximum coverage.

We know that it is often a challenge to find time to step away from the day to day running of your charity. However, by working through these first steps you can begin to build the structure of your digital marketing strategy and work towards increasing the impact of your organisation in the long term.

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