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Creating an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

Creating an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy


Hello and welcome to today’s webinar, “Creating an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy.” I’m Andy King, a training specialist with the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington, D.C. I’m the host for today’s session. Joining me are Bethany Dusablon and Joanne Lau from our partner at Education Northwest. They’ve been involved with us in developing today’s webinar and will be helping support you with the WebEx technology. You’ll see us all in the chat and the Q&A to help address any questions that you may have. Before we started the session, many of you shared your marketing challenges in the chat window. And so thank you for that participation already. A number of you mentioned that you were having trouble reaching a particular audience, maybe there was a very specific segment of the population that you’re trying to reach. Others of you talked about a lack of budget or you didn’t have the right resources or the know-how to do your marketing effectively. Some others talked about some specific things, not having a strategy or a good plan, like not really knowing what it is that you are trying to accomplish. So, we have set out a number of goals for this webinar. So, I want to review those quickly. Some of the challenges that you posted in the chat, we will be able to get to. Others may be more specific, and while we can’t address them directly, we do hope that with presenting you with the way to create a strategy, you’ll be able to get to the answer to some of those questions. So, by the end of this webinar, we hope that you’ll be able to identify the core elements of a digital marketing strategy, that you’ll be able to set goals for your marketing efforts. Thirdly, that you’ll be able to define and really narrow down and pinpoint who it is that is your intended audience, and then, from there, you’ll be able to develop a basic digital marketing strategy that will help you get to the goal that you outlined. And to do that, we’re going to walk you through the process of developing a journey map, which is a tool that you’ll be able to use to help plan out how your strategy will unfold. As I said before, we’re going to mention a number of resources in this session, but that does not constitute an endorsement or a recommendation. So, now I’m really excited to introduce our presenter for this session. Jeff Rum is the founder and the CEO of Ignite Digital Strategy Group in Bethesda, Maryland. Jeff is an award-winning digital strategist, educator, and public speaker. He brings nearly 15 years of experience in digital strategy, branding, and marketing. Jess has served as a digital consultant with the White House, the United Nations Foundation, and a host of national nonprofits, foundations, and associations. So, we’re really delighted to bring Jeff’s expertise to you, our VISTA members. So, Jeff, I’m going to turn things over to you. Great. Thank you, Andy. Thanks everyone. I’m really happy to be here with you today on this webinar. Let’s start out by simply asking the question, you know, what is a digital strategy? There are many definitions out there. You can Google it and you’ll find a whole host of different definitions, but here’s one that is simple and easy to understand by a group called Carousel30. “Digital strategy is the process of translating an organization’s goals into a plan that will create effective digital marketing initiatives by doing these four things: listening and responding, bridging brand experiences, engaging your audience, and activating new relationships.” A digital strategy for nonprofit organizations, for instance, is often used to accomplish three things, recruit volunteers, gain donors, and build organization or mission awareness. And, as mentioned in some of the comments earlier, you may have several campaigns running to meet these goals, and this is part of an overall digital strategy. So, people asked me why should we even have a digital strategy, what does it mean, why, when we have a lot of other methods that work, like direct mail and solicitation, you know, one-on-one communication, and many other ways. I usually like to show this picture. You know, this is an image of a college lecture hall about 15 years ago, back when I was in college. Do you notice anything unusual? Well, this is the same college lecture hall today. As you can see, it looks a lot different. This is why having a digital strategy matters, today more than ever, because it is important that any campaign goes where the audience is. That’s what we’re taught. That’s what we learn. We consume information and connect with others, and it impacts how we make decisions. So, thinking about digital strategy, whether it’s a friend asking you to donate to their personal fundraising page or a video that may shape your opinion around an issue or a cause, or simply a Facebook message to join an upcoming event sponsored by a local community organization, our technology helps us stay connected to the people and the causes we care about. And before you start to create a digital strategy, I recommend asking the following questions just to make sure this is right for your organization at this time. Is the audience we are trying to reach active online? Are our marketing resources better spent somewhere else? Is digital marketing key to our overall business strategy or our overall organizational strategy? And are we looking to expand and reach new users and new audience members? The answers to these questions will help you understand if a digital marketing strategy is right for you. And before we dive into the steps behind building a digital strategy, let’s take a 10,000-foot view of your organization and its core message. Let’s take a look at what Simon Sinek calls the golden circle. As many of you know, Simon Sinek is a popular TED Talk commentator and he does great interviews. And I like to start here because, until you truly know and can articulate your organization’s “why,” it’s very hard to create a digital marketing strategy that supports it. So, the “why” is the purpose. What is your cause? What do you believe? Or it’s the belief that inspires you to do what you do. And then the next ring in the circle is the “how,” the process. These are the specific actions taken to realize the “why.” And finally, the “what,” the result. This is the easiest for most organizations. This is what you do, the services you offer. This is the result of the “why,” the proof. You start with “why” and then you can build it out from there. So, let’s take an example. You can go to the next slide. So, Apple, right, Simon Sinek uses this example, and I think it’s a great one. Everyone understands the brand. So, if Apple communicated the way most organizations communicate, this is what it would sound like. We make great computers and smart phones. They are user-friendly, beautifully designed, and easy to use. You want to buy one? This is okay, but not right. This is how Apple actually communicates. With everything we do, we aim to challenge the status quo. We aim to think differently. Our products are user-friendly, beautifully designed, and easy to use. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one? As you can see, the second one communicates why they do what they do. And so you all, in your organizations, need to think about the “why” within your own organization. So, let’s take a few minutes for a quick chat activity. What’s your organization’s “why”? In other words, what is your cause, what do you believe? You can enter your ideas in the chat box and make sure you send to “All Participants.” We want your comments to be visible to everyone, so please be sure to enter them in the chat panel and not the Q&A panel further down on the screen. All right. And we’ll give you just a minute or a few seconds to get your responses in. So, they’re coming in quickly now. Socioeconomic liberation. We’ve got fighting poverty, a lot of that. Working on homelessness, social justice, access to food, student performance, lots of food access, food security, youth services, empowerment. Wow, you guys are fast now. A lot of great comments. Yeah, new ways to educate students. Many of you working in the, you know, housing security, ending homelessness, transitional housing. And one thing I’ll just add here is, you know, try to challenge yourself not to think of your “why” necessarily as your mission statement. Your “why” goes a step above that; right? If you could — keep asking yourself why; you know? So, to break the chains of poverty; why? Reduce food waste, end hunger; why? It’s hard sometimes to think in this way, but once you get to that real core of why you’re doing what you do, people will more likely believe in it and more likely want to help and support the organization. These are all great. Yeah. Yes. Some of you are talking about the philosophy behind your mission, what it is that you’re doing. A lot of them really are focused on mission. As you were saying, Jeff, this is what we do, this is what we’re all about. But, yeah, the “why,” it is a deeper question, and it’s sometimes assumed, but it’s harder to articulate. Yeah, there’s a great one here from Scott Mizrahi, “All young people deserve access to a quality music education.” I love that. And I would even go further. You could say, “Because we believe,” and then, you know, why is music education so important, kind of take it a step above that. But these are all great. Thanks for participating. Okay. Well, thank you all for sharing that. So, let’s get into the steps to create a digital strategy. Here’s an overview. The process starts with “why,” the 10,000-foot view that we just talked about, and it ends with some concrete tasks and tactics. And so these steps include setting your goals, defining your audience, creating what we call a “journey map” or a customer journey, then turning that into developing a campaign or multiple campaigns, drafting a content calendar that drives the campaign, planning your resources effectively, and then, finally, measuring results to know how well you’re doing. So, the strategy I’ve laid out here really comes full circle, as the measurements at the end of the strategy connect back to the goals that you’ve set. Someone, very early on in the chat window, David I believe, you know, talked about one of the challenges is developing a written strategy so that there’s something there for someone who would maybe come in to take over his role. And this — you know, I believe this kind of framework could help with that because you start to — you talk about kind of the big picture and get down into the tactics, and you write it out and compile it in a way that’s easy to understand. You can — someone can really come in and dig into each step. So, let’s do just that. Let’s dig into each step of the strategy. So, when thinking about creating a digital marketing strategy, we want to focus on short-term measurable steps you can take to reach your goals. And I typically would recommend having no more than three goals. And I like to follow the popular SMART acronym for goals, which many of you may have seen before. So, SMART goals are specific, they’re measurable, they’re attainable, they’re relevant, and they’re time-based. So, for example, what are some goals that an organization can set for a digital marketing strategy? And here are just some examples. Number one, obtain 5,000 new signatures for your organization’s flagship advocacy campaign. Number two, acquire 5,000 new email addresses for your weekly email list. And number three, bring in 500 new donations of 25 dollars or more. Now, the number are not that important, but, as you can see, the ideas are specific. You can measure against them. Hopefully, they’re attainable and they’re relevant to the organization and the work that you do. So, the key takeaway here is that an organization’s goals should be specific and measurable. And examples are often helpful, so we’ll use a fictional organization as an example as we go through today’s webinar. I made this up. It’s called Tutor on Wheels. So, let’s imagine this is an organization — a local organization dedicated exclusively to the educational needs of homeless students, an at-risk population. So, let’s get — let’s start with these goals. What are the goals of the digital strategy? So, let’s look at goal number one. To increase the number of Tutor on Wheels volunteers by 20 percent to meet the anticipated demand in the following year. As you can see, it’s specific, you can measure against it, you know, hopefully you’re finding goals that are attainable, that are realistic. It’s relevant to the organization’s mission. And there’s some — it’s time-bound, you’re going to be able to see if you can reach these goals in a specific period of time. And goal number two, add a hundred new donors to the Tutor on Wheels system, their back-end system, in order to hire a part-time associate. So, again, if you can — if the organization can reach that goal, there’s a great reward in turn. They can hire the part-time associate that they need to hopefully raise even more money. Goal number three, add ten corporate supporters listed on the Tutor on Wheels website, this will add funds to repair three vans. So, you can see, you know, again, this is an attainable goal, trying to build a corporate support system, and, as a result, they’ll be able to repair three of their vans. And finally, number four, educate the local community about homeless students using Facebook-promoted posts, and their goal is to have 100,000 views. And this is a goal that I’d like to say is, you know, more focused on brand awareness, because I hear that a lot. Organizations want brand awareness. So, this is a way to take brand awareness, which is very broad, and make it more specific and measurable. And as I said before, I typically like to say you can have three goals. If you need a fourth, that’s fine, as long as you’re prepared to do the work and can support it. And you can visit our website, IgniteAction.co/resources, to download this worksheet, as well as a few other helpful worksheets. And once you’ve identified your goals, you will start to focus on who you need to reach in order to get to your goals. The goal of any marketing effort is to reach a particular audience with its message; right? And once you have your goals identified, as we just talked about on the previous slide, the next step is really to define your audience. And the more specifically you can define the audience, the better off you’ll be as you develop the rest of your strategy. Someone mentioned early on in the chat window, you know, one of their challenges is reaching all of your target audience. Well, hopefully this practice will help with that. You’ll want to create three to four personas for the three to four audience groups you’ve identified for your digital strategy. Audience personas can be created by interviewing your audience or simply talking to people within your organization who interact with the audience. And this can help you better understand the people that you’re trying to reach. You may want to include fundraisers, volunteers, you know, senior staff in your organization, and others, to get a diverse group of people. And you can ask the following questions for each audience group. Number one, what are their needs and wants? Two, what motivates them to either give or volunteer? Three, what are their online behaviors? Four, what sites do they visit often, what websites are they using? And finally, how do they get their daily news or information? Additionally, you can ask what type of experiences may they be looking for or what are their demographics? How would they find your organization? And which issues within your organization would they care about the most? So, if we go back to our example of Tutor on Wheels, one of our goals is to increase the number of volunteers by 20 percent. So, we would want to create an audience group for potential volunteers. We would then look at the other goals and define the audiences for each one. Once you’ve focused on identifying three to four core audience groups, it’s important to create personas and give them real names, write their stories based on the questions I mentioned during the previous slide, or any other questions that may be relevant. I like to use a free online tool. There are several out there. There’s one from Xtensio called User Persona Creator. And you can visit Xtensio.com, that’s X-T-E-N-S-I-O .com, and drop down to the “Tools” tab, there’s a User Persona Creator that helps you come up with your ideal user types. And you can create as many personas as you like. And this persona here that you see on the screen is just an example of how you can format a persona, but there are many ways to do so. The important thing is to really bring this person to life as a representative of a particular audience. So, in this case, Olivia represents an audience group made up of young professionals who are interested in improving educational opportunities for all in her community. Finally, what is their decision-making timeline? This will help us later when we get to create user journeys. So, let’s take a minute to brainstorm who you would define as part of your target audience. So, in the chat box, please list your ideas, and be sure to send to “All Participants.” Make sure not to use the Q&A panel further down on the screen. This is about your organization’s goals, or, more specifically, your marketing goals. You may also think about a particular audience group that would want to volunteer, donate, or become aware of the work of your organization. I see we have students, teachers, foster parents, donors, parents. And if your organization is focused on donors, for example, and it’s mainly a fundraising — your organization has a fundraising focus, you may want to divide your donors into three separate audience groups. You may have major donors. You may have young donors. You may even — there may even be a need to have donors by gender. So, if you’re really focused on one broad audience, it’s sometimes helpful to get a little bit more defined and have separate audience groups that you might have separate messaging, separate campaigns targeting. Yeah, there’s a real interesting variety here from, you know, specific types of individuals to other types of organizations, you know, businesses, city and state governments, other nonprofits. You know, and some are very narrow in focus, as you said, and others are really broad. So, they all range here. Sometimes I’ll just take — you know, write on a board all the different audience groups that we can think of, and then start to group them together, because you may have — you know, you may come up with ten or 15 audience groups, you can’t have ten or 15 campaigns running, most likely. So, you may need to group some of those because perhaps some of the messaging will apply to the same audiences. So, for example, I’m seeing a message here from Eniki who wrote, “Superintendents, principals, teachers, retired school administrators.” You know, I would ask, you know, do each of those need a separate messaging, separate campaigns, or can maybe you group, for example, superintendents and principals as one audience? Maybe not. I don’t know enough about the organization, but that’s just something to think about. As you’re listing out your audience groups, you might consider grouping some together, when it makes sense. I see potential adoptive parents. Yeah, I’ve worked with several organizations that do adopting, that have adopting as their main focus, and there’s definitely a difference between the messaging or content for potential adoptive parents and then adoptive parents, people that have already adopted. So, those would be, like, examples of perhaps two very different audience groups. These are great. Okay. So, let’s move on. Thank you for those who have commented in the chat window. It’s really helpful for me to see. So, once we’ve defined our audience, the next thing we want to do is create what’s called a customer journey or a journey map. There’s some different names out there for it. And, you know, over the course of the year or a campaign, your organization develops numerous opportunities to connect with your supporters or your audience. These opportunities may include your website, email newsletters, social media channels, a live event, direct mail, perhaps mentions of your organization through the media, family, friends. And the sum of all of these parts and how your audience interacts with your organization at each stage creates what we call this customer journey. And the journey is a full life cycle, in a sense. It’s a view that details all of the interactions a person has with your organization, as well as the internal or external influences affecting the person’s behaviors. And that customer journey map, it’s a tool that can help your organization move your audiences to action. You may ask why should you even create this customer journey. There are many benefits to investing time into something like this. And you’ll see on the screen that, you know, it increases consistency in messaging. It identifies opportunities to help your audience take the next step in the journey. It also identifies pain points or road blocks so you can remove them. And finally, it builds empathy for your audiences, and consensus internally to support those audiences. Having it written down and having a visual map that you can look at can be very beneficial. Finally, you know, what is it that we’re actually trying to get users to do? And that’s why the customer journey map is really helpful. And here are the stages of a typical customer journey. Now, you know, sometimes there are slight differences, but this is the general framework of what the industry knows is the customer journey. The first stage is the awareness stage. So, in this stage, the user becomes familiar with the brand through digital channels, like social media or search, for example. And then the user gets to the second phase, which is what we call the consideration phase. The user may get to the organization’s website, for example, and actively consider whether or not to take action on whatever it is that you want them to do. And then, finally, we have the intent stage, and this is where you want, eventually, the user to get to. The user takes some sort of action, they donate, they sign up for a newsletter, they register for an event, they sign a petition. And once they’ve done that, there’s, you know, the decision or retention phase. And this is when the user comes back for more information or they want to engage with you again and perhaps, you know, be contacted by the organization. And this is the — these are the people that you really want to encourage, you know, brand loyalty. And finally we have the loyalty phase, or sometimes it’s called the advocacy stage, where the user actually goes and takes the step of spreading the word about either your campaign, your product, your organization. And this is when they really become an advocate for the brand or for your organization. Ultimately, you want everyone, or as many people as possible, to get to the loyalty stage. It’s not enough that they’ve taken action. If they’ve taken action at the intent stage, oftentimes organizations stop there, but really the next two phases are critical to keep them engaged. So, let’s just take a quick look at an example here. On the far left column, you know, this is where I typically list the channels. And there are many ways to design a journey map. This is a very kind of basic, simple way that looks like a spreadsheet. But on the far left column, I typically list the different channels that you want to use. And remember, these come from the persona exercise. These are just a few possible channels and platforms, you know, the website, email, social media, online advertising, but you can add any channel that is relevant to your audience and that will be part of your strategy. And remember, before attempting a user journey, you should understand what are the user’s goals, what are their motivations, what are their current pain points, their overall character, right, what’s their behavior or habits like? And finally, what are the main tasks that they want to achieve? The user journeys tie back to personas, they tie back to real people. So, you’ll want to create at least one journey per each of your primary personas, at a bare minimum. Or you can get creative and they can overlap each other, if that’s something that you want to do. So, remember Olivia from our persona? You know, what does her journey look like from the moment she finds out about this educational program in her local community until she’s actually ready to make a donation online, and beyond? What are the key moments for Olivia to make her convert from someone who is simply aware of the opportunity to making the decision to give, and then become a loyal fan of the organization? And in this version of the journey, you know, not all of the boxes need to be filled in because there are some that just may not be relevant for Olivia. When you’re ready to turn your customer journey into a full-fledged map, there are plenty of resources online that can help you get started. For example, you can check out Megan Grocki and UX Mastery, they have a great video and post detailing how to create a customer journey. BigDoor also has their own “Quick Guide to Customer Journey Mapping.” And I also recommend searching Pinterest or Google images for customer journey maps to see all the different types of examples, and you can get some creative ideas going when you do that. And, like I said, journey maps can be created in many different ways visually and with as much detail as you feel is important for you and your team. You know, here’s another example of a journey map from Smithsonian. It’s a bit more complex than the previous one, and it just has a different visual element, it’s more of a timeline graphic rather than a spreadsheet, but any of these can work. It depends on what works best for you and your team. So, thinking back to the persona you chose in the last activity, which channels do you think would be most appropriate for your target audience and why? You can take a minute, put it in the chat box. What channels would you use? All right. So, maybe everyone’s thinking back to their earlier personas. There they are. Yeah, website, social media. And one that I –. You know, it’s also interesting, you know, social media is a very broad term. And I would encourage everyone to look at some of the latest data. And this changes regularly, so you want to find the most up-to-date data on demographics and what social media tools people are using. If you’re trying to reach teenagers, you’re not necessarily going to want to use Facebook as your social media tool. Teenagers aren’t joining Facebook as fast as they were a generation ago. They’re on Snapchat. They’re on Instagram. They’re using some other tools. So, that’s just one example of how you want to truly understand the audience and then find the channels where they are so you can go to them, which is something to consider. YouTube also. And honestly, sometimes the channel is offline. Sometimes you need to start offline with people. Maybe there’s a big event or something, and then you’re driving people, you know, at the event, to visit a website, for example. Yeah, and Jeff, I noticed a number of folks here have included a newsletter in their channels. And it’s hard to tell, is that a printed and mailed out newsletter, is it electronic, is it like a blog? But still, I think the newsletter is something that’s really very familiar, particularly in a lot of community settings and smaller communities in particular. So, that could be a very old school approach. And Kimberly mentioned fliers. So, very low tech. They still can be brilliantly conceived and executed, with beautiful artwork and powerful messages. But those — you know, you’re right, Jeff, that these kinds of things can still tie in. And I know that a lot of VISTAs are using them. Yeah. Now, the email newsletters often become a staple of an organization. You know, they may send it out monthly and create content and put a lot of work and energy into it. I would also, like, encourage people to think creatively about what they can do perhaps instead of the traditional e-newsletter format where you have story, link, story, link, story, link. Maybe it’s a quick note from the executive director. Maybe it’s a letter from a recipient of your nonprofit. You know, trying to engage people in a way that they won’t just delete the email when they see it come in because they don’t have time to read it all. So, I would — it doesn’t mean you can’t also include a traditional email newsletter in your program. You might want to find other ways to use email to connect with your audience. These are all great. Okay. I think we should just keep moving forward as we continue with the program. So, thank you, again, for everyone, for using the chat window and participating. It’s great to see all of the engagement. So, once you’ve completed this journey map, which also can be a really fun activity to do as a team. Oftentimes, I’ll get a marketing team or even a whole organization, if it’s a small team, in a room and build the journey map together, either on a whiteboard or using some markers. But once you’ve created this for your different audience groups, you can then start thinking about what a digital marketing campaign would look like. So, how do you translate what we’ve done from the journey map to an actual campaign that you can execute? We’ve defined the channels and the content that is required, like landing pages and emails, for example. We’re not going to be diving into detail in today’s webinar and setting up a campaign, but once you have detailed your journey map for Olivia, for example, and your other personas, you would then move to developing an online campaign, or at least, you know, building a framework for the campaign as part of the strategy. This could include email marketing, social media, website updates, for example. We’ll go into more detail about building and managing a digital campaign in a future webinar. So, I hope you’ll attend that. But the campaign would include — if you could just go back one slide, is that possible? Okay. So, just a note, you know, in developing the campaign, as part of the strategy, it would include a title for the campaign, some key messaging, the content that you would want to include, whether it’s text or images, you’d identify those channels that we talked about from the journey map, and then include what is the call to action — this is the really important piece. What do you want people to do? If you can’t get to that answer, then you may want to rethink what this campaign is supposed to do. So, every campaign should have a clear call to action so that you know how to measure in the end of what you want people to do. Okay. Next. So, drafting a content calendar, really it is a simple tool for making content marketing focus count. It’s what we use to make sure that we are making the most of our effort, and many times it’s a game-changer for us and our audience. So, once you have that campaign created or the elements of what you want the digital campaign to look like, the content calendar allows you to identify what is the content that you need and when do you need to produce it and when does it go out. So, these are all — this is now we’re getting into the mechanics. So, here’s why. Number one, the strategic goals require strategic tools. You know, content marketing itself is a strategic venture. It’s all about understanding what your users want and giving it to them in a digestible way. You know, this is a strategic goal and it requires a strategic tool. The editorial calendar essentially is a place where we can see a panoramic view of the content marketing and its strategy. And number two, focus allows you to reach your goals. We usually accomplish what we focus on; right? If you’re focusing on building traffic or blog roads, then making a concerted effort to plan your content will only make reaching these goals easier; you know? So, website visits will increase when you make consistency and quality your top priority. The content marketing calendar or editorial calendar puts these goals front and center. Number three, it will make you more consistent as a marketer. There’s something powerful that happens when you write down a plan. It becomes tangible for your team and everyone will be more likely to stick to it as they go along. The content calendar will give your team the accountability it needs for building the discipline of creating content day after day or week after week. Your team will actually thank you. This is number four. There’s a good chance that your team could benefit from better communication. Many teams use such a wide variety of tools that they often have a hard time staying on the same page. So, a good calendar or content calendar will bring them to a single place to visualize and execute their shared goals. And finally, your audience will love it, but one of the easiest ways to please your audience or the people you’re trying to reach is to give them something that they would like to receive. Better content is more focused on what they need, and is always welcome. And I believe that, you know, your users will appreciate your efforts. And your efforts will be realized if you create an effective content calendar. And you can go to the next slide, please. Your calendar will include the steps to execute your digital strategy; right? This would essentially correspond with your digital campaign. What types of content will you be creating? What are the platforms you will be using? Which personas or audience groups will you be targeting? And what will be the user’s call to action? These can be organized in a simple calendar spreadsheet that includes author and owner of each piece of content. I often sometimes use, like, a web-based spreadsheet, like, for — like Google Docs, for example, so that multiple people can sign in in real time and make updates. And it includes dates for development and distribution, such as the publish date, and any other information that will be helpful to you and your team. So, going back to our example, Tutor on Wheels, here’s a sample calendar for Olivia; right? So, you know, the first topic on the calendar is about a volunteer day at a university. And this piece of content is going to be an image that they’re creating. And they’re going to post the image on Facebook, and using email. And the call to action is going to be to send them to an RSVP page so that they can, you know, respond to this particular volunteer day event. So, these are the different elements. Now, you may have other elements that are important. You might want a “Notes” area for people to comment. I like the images of the persona because it reminds me of who we’re actually trying to reach. And you want to also remember that there’s a difference between the author and the owner, sometimes. It may not be, but sometimes the person creating the content, so in this case the volunteer day image, could be different than who’s taking ownership of this marketing effort and will actually be pushing it out. And so you want a due date of getting the content internally, and then a publish date of when you’re actually publishing. So, and then you can see the second item is, you know, work-life balance tips and volunteerism. It’s a piece of blog content. So, you would have that written up in some kind of Word doc, most likely. So, you would want to just put the name of it so everyone can access it. And then where it’s going to be placed. This one is going to be published on Facebook and LinkedIn. And then the call to action is going — you want to get more people to like or follow your organization on social media, so that would be the call to action. Finally, in this example, one of the pieces of content is a volunteer spotlight. And so this is going to be a piece of content that’s on the website and the different vehicles or platforms to get people there would be Facebook, email, and the website itself. And the call to action would be someone visiting that page, and hopefully sharing it as well. So, these are just examples. You could probably, you know, think of others that you would want to include as part of your content calendar. And the list would just keep going down. This happens to be a daily post, so this organization, this fictional organization would post every day. You may not be posting every day. You may be posting once or twice a week. So, that would just be noted in the calendar. So, again, you can go to our website, which is IgniteAction.co/resources, to download this template, as well as other worksheets from today’s presentation. So, finally, for any digital strategy, in order to be successful, you need to know what resources you have available for implementation. That includes time, people, and software or technology. First, there needs to be an owner of the digital campaign. It doesn’t need to be the person who’s executing on everything, as I mentioned in the previous slide, but someone needs to take ownership of it. And next, you’ll need people who are actually going to execute on the content, authors and content owners, it could be visual designers, it could be writers. And finally, you’ll need to ensure that you have the software and training necessary to execute, so that may be email marketing software or a social media scheduling and management tool. And perhaps someone who can install and review the analytics on your website. Again, resources means time, people, and software, and all of these things cost money. So, planning and budgeting will help ensure the success of the campaign. This is really important. You don’t want to go through all this effort to create a digital strategy and realize that you don’t have the funds to support it. So, it’s kind of important that you balance between the two. As you’re creating the strategy, think about the resources and how much time you have available from people, and do you have the software that you need to execute it. And last but not least, it’s critical that we know how we’re going to measure results, but the amount of data available through programs like Google Analytics or Facebook Insights and others can certainly be overwhelming to many people. I hear that a lot. Therefore, you know, I suggest focusing on those metrics, those analytics that were related to your specific goals. Remember, we talked about those smart goals back when we started the webinar. That can help you in ways to use the data to inform decision-making. For example, we take a specific goal like growing our donor database to 5,000 users, number one, driving targeted traffic to the website. So, you know, tweets containing photos, quotes, and numbered lists have been most effective in driving traffic to the website. That could be something that you realize after looking at the analytics. Understanding which content users find the most useful. So, not just looking at the most visited pages, as pages with low averages of time spent we would not consider effective, but, rather, seeing examples of users sharing and discussing site content on social media, this could be an effective metric. Persuading visitors to take desired actions, for example, like making a donation. You know, how many people donated, that’s an important metric. So, what might Tutor on Wheels look for to measure their success? Well, if you recall, one of their goals we stated was to increase volunteers by 20 percent. So, we can look at the volunteer sign-up page to see how many visits and form completions there are, and compare that data to previous time periods. So, this is an example of how we can connect the measurement plan back to the goals. And all of the other stuff that, you know, a program or something like Google Analytics can give you is almost clutter. You can remove a lot of that from those dashboards and only focus on the things that you need to measure your goals. Next. So, all of these digital strategy components, as we talked about, will help you create a successful online campaign, a digital strategy that is meaningful, manageable, and measurable. I like to use those three words, meaningful, manageable and measureable, because if it’s not meaningful or manageable and measurable, then, you know, you may want to consider going back and rethinking some of the components. And just as a reminder, our mentioning a resource does not constitute an endorsement or a recommendation by the AmeriCorps VISTA program, or the Corporation for National and Community Service. So, here are some of the resources that we mentioned up on your screen. And if you have any questions you can always reach out to someone and they can help direct you. So, before we close, here are a few things you can start to do to think about your digital marketing strategy. So, number one, create your “why.” I mean, you could do this as a group. And I recommend watching Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why.” You can Google it and find the video. It’s a great video to watch. And then, as an organization, you know, use that bullseye that I showed you earlier and create your own “why.” Secondly, you can just set some realistic, smart campaign goals. What is it that you want to accomplish, and set, you know, three or maybe four goals. Then define your audience, build those personas, you know, create audience groups that really will include a lot of detail and color and description about who it is that you’re actually trying to reach. And finally, I would encourage you all to consider developing a journey map or a customer journey so that you can start to think about what does that journey look like for each of your audience groups. So, those are some things you can start to do. And, you know, I hope you all learned something new today and started some ideas flowing. I want to thank you all for participating in today’s webinar. And thank you, Andy and the folks at VISTA, for inviting me. And I look forward to being back soon. Great. Thank you so much, Jeff, for all of this information. You’ve given us all a lot to think about. And we’re going to get to the question-and-answer period, but before we do that I want to invite everyone who’s taken part in this to tell us what you think by using our evaluation poll. You can see that open on the right side of your screen. And just remember that now that the poll is open, the Q&A has closed. So, if you just click the little carrot or the little triangle next to the letters “Q&A” that will reopen the Q&A panel so you can ask your question there. And we do take into account all of your comments in the evaluation. I read all of them myself, and a number of other people do as well. So, if you have ideas or other types of webinar topics, maybe related to this or totally different, please add those to your evaluation. We really do take those to heart and we use them when we put together our upcoming sessions. So, with that, we are going to move to the Q&A. And, as I mentioned, you could use the Q&A panel here in WebEx to write your question in. We’ve got a few already queued up. But I’m going to ask our operator, Julie, to come back on the line and give us instruction for how to ask a question by phone. So, Julie. Yes. Thank you. If you would like to ask a question, please press “*1” and you will prompted to record your first and your last name. Please unmute your phone when recording your name. And to withdraw your question, press “*2.” One moment, please. All right. And while we’re waiting for questions to come in on the phone, we do have a couple questions to get us started. And one thing I’ll mention as we get into this, I know many of you, and I’ve seen some conversation in the chat, have some very specific tactical questions, like, you know, “How do I use a certain social media platform to do X?” We won’t really focus on those types of questions because this session really is about your digital marketing strategy. So, we’re going to try to focus as much as we can. And if you’ve got those strategy-related questions, we’d love to see them. So, anyway, the first question comes from Emily, and she says, “Should we create three to four personas for each audience that we’ve included in our goals?” Great question. So, if you were a large corporation, I would say that’s very ambitious and that would be great. I think for probably most of the organizations, it’s — if you have three to four audience groups to develop, you know, kind of your persona for each group. But if you’re feeling, you know, ambitious and you want to create several personas for each audience group, that will only help you, but then that means that, you know, you would typically create content, messaging, and campaigns specifically for each of those audiences. So, let’s say, for example, you’re trying to reach parents as one audience group. If you want to go deeper and create three or four personas of parents, only do it if you really are going to have different messaging and different campaigns running for each one of those audiences. I would just keep in mind that if you’re doing — if you have two or three other, you know, larger audience groups, and you’re going to do the same for those, that could be a lot to manage. So, typically, I tell organizations, come up with your three or maybe four audience groups and develop a persona that you think would fit, like, overall for each one. So, that would be my suggestion. Great. Thank you. Next up, we’ve got a question from Emma. She says, “If my organization has only limited capacity for digital marketing, what would be the most important thing for us to focus on in our digital marketing strategy?” So, if you’re really limited on resources and, you know, you’re a small shop and you don’t have a lot of time or energy to build this kind of strategy with all of these different components, I would still look at, like, the fundamental question of — you know, come up with one goal then, if you don’t come up with three or four goals; right? Come up with one goal. What is it that you think you’d be able to do in a particular period of time? What is the most important think that you want to accomplish through — perhaps through digital marketing? And maybe take one audience group. So, if you’re a nonprofit trying to reach a certain segment of donors, maybe you have one goal for them and one audience group. And for this quarter, or even for this year, you’re going to just focus on that. And then think about where is that audience group, where can we go to find them. So, maybe, for example, there’s a certain audience segment that happens to be active on Facebook, maybe your strategy or your micro-strategy will focus on a single Facebook campaign targeted at that particular audience. So, you can pare this down if you really need to. And I know a lot of the organizations on this webinar are small and don’t have a lot of resources or even time to deal with this. So, but hopefully you can use some of the fundamental practices we’ve talked about, even if it’s on a scaled down — or a scale down version of it. So, I would just say do something. I mean, start small, but focus on one goal with one audience and one platform. And if you can do that successfully, maybe in the future you’ll want to try to expand that. Great. And related to that, Jeremiah says, “How would you scale the work down if the marketing, media, design role is all one person as opposed to a team?” Is there any –. Yeah. A thought there? And it often is. Yeah. I know people in those roles. Again, I think that, you know, something I’ve done for an organization that was smaller, that had minimal staff, is we created one video, a small video. And we used that for about, you know, three to six months really. And that was the piece of content that we used, but we put a lot of energy and production value in that one video. And, you know, the person who was responsible for pushing it out did all of the work on the different channels, but had real one piece of content that was all driving people to take action on a particular issue. So, that’s one example, but if you’re trying to — if you need to write the copy, design the graphic, and also push it out to the audience, then it’s just about scalability. You just want to think about, you know, what are some ways that we can make it easier for us to get the majority of or the vast amount of content out. Maybe it’s not designing content. Maybe it’s using a variety of posts in a creative way so you don’t have to put a lot of visual time work into it. So, I think it’s just understanding what your capacity is and trying to find the best balance. It’s not always easy, but. Indeed. So, let’s turn to the phone lines, Julie, and see if we have any callers there with questions on the line. I’m seeing no phone questions. Okay. Great. Well, we’ve got a few more here, so we will keep going. So, Jeff, Kimberly wants to know, “How do I advertise to where people are interested and not sympathetic when I advertise? Also, how do advertise effectively for socially-negative topics? I help children who are aging out of foster care as well as working with incarcerated individuals.” So, it sounds like she’s got some tough maybe social stigma to overcome there in her marketing efforts. Yeah. So, I’ve also had to deal with this kind of — these kind of issues before. What’s challenging about this is oftentimes with these difficult issues you have to educate people first, and then ask them to take action on whatever it is that you want them to do. So, breaking the stigma, it’s hard and you have to create content that’s, you know, engaging people, but also educating them at the same time. Perhaps it’s, you know, a compelling slideshow or a short video or a little story, just ways that you can — where people can see the human side to the work that you do. And, again, it’s challenging. It’s not easy, but once you’ve identified the audience and who it is that you’re trying to reach, you know, Facebook, for example, if you determined that that was the tool you wanted to use, you can get very targeted with your, you know, sponsored posts, to the point where you can target people that are, you know, maybe associated with different types of organizations that are like yours. You can target people geographically, ethnographically. You can target people by age, by demographic, by income level, people that are interested in foster care or whatever other issue, or maybe, you know, other groups that they belong to. There’s lots of ways to create a targeted audience within a social media tool like Facebook, and then only promote your posts to those people so you’re directing it to the right users. I believe in the next webinar we’re going to get, you know, a bit more into the creation and execution of campaigns. So, hopefully that will help you as well. Great. Thanks. Let’s see. So, Scott has a question about journey maps. He says, “How might journey maps overlap for different personas?” Yeah, so, they may overlap, and they probably should overlap. So, imagine if you have a map and you’re tracking the journey of one user, and then you had a clear piece of paper with another journey on it and you overlapped it. I mean, essentially that’s what you’re doing. There might be places where you can identify with this overlap that there are similar pieces of content that you can use for different audiences. So, as you’re developing each persona or — I’m sorry, each customer journey, imagine there’s a grid on the page that you’re creating for each one, and each of those vertical columns have, you know, a marking. Well, you may decide that when they’re in the, you know, decision-making stage, that the same piece of content or the same message can go out to two of the three audience groups that you’re doing. You can certainly overlap them. And sometimes what we’ll do is create one large journey map that’s kind of an overarching journey map that has the three or four different personas, and they’re each tracked by different color lines, and sometimes they intersect and sometimes they don’t. It’s almost like a big graph. And you can chart out each journey and you can see where they connect and where they don’t connect, so you know what kind of content needs to be created. So, there’s lots of creative ways to do it, but it is a great point. And likely you will have some points where they do overlap, and that’s okay. Yeah, and it sounds like it’s a real opportunity for some creativity and thinking about who you want to reach and how, as well as what the messages would be and when they might be the same or when they might have to be different. So, interesting. Yeah, and it also allows you to work more efficiently. You may find, you know, a dozen points where you need to create content and you can use the same content for the different audiences. So, it can create some good efficiencies in the process. Okay. Julie, let’s check one more time on the phones. I don’t want to keep anybody holding there if they’re queued up. We have no questions, sir. Okay. Great. Well, just interrupt us if someone comes on line. Let’s see. So, next up, Christine is curious, she says, “How do I advertise a vague volunteer opportunity, like if the volunteer opportunity was do whatever you think will benefit these people?” So, you know, again, if you’re doing that because you need to capture that information, it sounds like a great opportunity to measure it. So, how would you measure something like that? I think you might want to give people options of what the — or examples of what some of those volunteer opportunities could look like, maybe highlight some people that have volunteered so you can see what kinds of things they’re doing for a particular population. But I would encourage you to think about how can you measure that. So, maybe it’s — you know, volunteer — you know, maybe there is a vague message about volunteering whatever is meaningful to you, but maybe you can also ask them to share what they’re planning to do or share what they’ve done, whether it’s through a comment section on a social media post or maybe it’s a hashtag, but some way so that you can measure how successful that campaign is. Because if you’re being vague in the message and you have no way of knowing if people have done it or not, then it’s going to be a very hard metric to come back and say, like, were we successful in doing this. So, I would try to think about it from that perspective. Yeah, good suggestion. Next up, Alexa says she’s serving at a nonprofit that provides peer-run services to people who experience severe and persistent mental illness. So, as part of her outreach and marketing, she does public speaking. And she wants to know whether you would say she should educate first and then personalize, or what approach would you recommend for outreach and marketing in her role? So, if I’m understanding the question correctly, if you’re already out there speaking, if you can take some of that content of what you’re speaking about and perhaps — I love, like, recycling content; right? So, you’re already out there speaking, you probably have different messages that you use for different audiences when you’re out speaking. Maybe you can take some of those stories that you share, some of the content, and use it to educate people through your marketing, you know, so you’re continuing the education. And then if you have a targeted group of people that already understand this issue and they’re already educated, then perhaps that’s a separate group and you have different messaging and different content for those people. So, I would try to separate the two from people that are already kind of in your camp that you can deliver certain content to and messaging to, and probably a different call to action even, and people that you need to educate around the issue and, you know, focus on storytelling and ways of getting them more aware of the issue. So, that’s how I would approach it. All right. Nice advice. So, finally, I think, we have a question from Laura, and this gets more into tactical, but since she asked it and we’ve got the time, I’ll put it to you, Jeff. She says, “Do you have any suggestions for gaining followers on any social media?” Yeah, so, you may not like the answer to this question, but my first question would be why do you want followers? What is the goal for what you’re trying to achieve? Because I hear this a lot, people want to get more Facebook — people to like their Facebook page and more followers. So, I usually ask the question why, and the reason I ask “why” is because you can buy followers in a sense; right? Like, the more you post or the more you put into a budget with — I’m just using Facebook as an example, but if you were to post on Facebook and then you wanted people to like your page, you can set up a campaign to get people to like your page. But, again, you know, why is it that you want people to like your page or follow you? Who is it that you’re trying to reach? So, you know, so I would ask that question. If you — if there’s an answer to that question of, well, we want people to follow us because we want people who care about this issue to know about the work we’re doing and to — we’re trying to reach these goals, then I would say the best way to get people to like your page or to follow you is to create relevant quality content that’s engaging for your audience, which, again, is not easy, but that’s the best way and that’s the true way to get the right people to follow you. Because I’d rather have the right people following your organization than to get a whole host of people following you that don’t actually care, because that’s what you’ll get if you just focus on the number of likes or shares or followers and less on who it is that you’re trying to reach. But if you defined your audience well and you have really — you have good content that people will then share with other people, you’ll naturally create a following. But it all comes back to the content. The content is — they say content is king, and it’s — you know, I think that will always hold true. People engage with good quality content. If you’re not delivering that to them, they’re less likely to follow you or engage with you. So, I don’t know if that’s helpful. It’s not a straight answer, but I think it’s the most accurate one I can give. There’s no quick win here. This stuff takes time. And gaining followers, it’s an organic process. If you try to find a quick win or a quick fix, likely, you’re not going to get the right people. Yeah. Well, good advice. I think you’re right. By taking us back to the question where we started, and that is “why,” you know, what is it that we want to accomplish, and that, you know, keeps it at the strategic level and, you know, keeps us from running down rabbit holes that don’t really get us to what we want to accomplish. So, I think that is good advice. Well, we’ve come to the end of our time together. And so, first of all, I want to say a huge thanks, again, to Jeff Rum from Ignite Digital Media for all of your expertise and for sharing this great presentation with us today, and for handling all these questions. I also want to thank all of our participants for all of their engagement and participation, their sharing of ideas and resources. And I want to invite all of you back. Jeff will be coming back with us in June. I don’t have the details here, but we’ll be sending them out to everyone by email. It will be a follow-up to this presentation and it will, as he mentioned earlier, will go down — get into the specifics of the tactics around digital marketing. So, Jeff will be back. But, next month, we’ve got two sessions lined up for you. One is related to career search maybe after your VISTA service is over. It’s “How to Translate your VISTA Service to Your Résumé and Your Career” on April 13th. And then we’re really excited, later in April, on the 25th, we’ve got a presentation called “In Their Shoes: Perspectives on Spending Decisions Made by Americans Living in Poverty.” So, this is going to be presented by Dr. Stephen Pimpare, who many of you have seen, you’ve watched the video “13 Lessons about Poverty” or maybe you’ve watched the video that we’ve got on the Campus, the conversations with Dr. Stephen Pimpare about poverty. He’s done a number of webinars for us before, hugely popular. And we’re really excited to announce he’ll be joined by Linda Tirado, who’s an author, a blogger, activist, and public speaker. She, herself, has experienced poverty, and she’s written very eloquently and passionately about it. So, that’s April 25th with Stephen Pimpare and Linda Tirado. We hope you all can join us. And then we’re encouraging VISTAs to plan to get together with other VISTAs right afterwards for a conversation, whether you do that at your own site, at a coffee house with VISTAs from all over town, or even virtually if you don’t have anybody serving near you. So, more details will be coming your way by email, so watch out for those. Thank you all for joining us. And we hope to see you again soon.

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