I’ve spent many hours working on creating content, on and offline, that you can only hope will be valued and enjoyed by customers, members, donors and the like. It’s great fun to start with a concept and take it right through to completion but most of all I’ve enjoyed producing content to set free online, utilising the new media that is now so readily available at no cost.
Reach large or small audiences through a variety of channels. If you have no online strategy, have a think about some small things you can do to get your message out there, which supports your mission and organisation’s values and will be consumed by your supporters.
Here are a few ideas to get you going:
It’s an obvious one and most organisations have them now but so many are done so poorly. The user experience is important. Get a few people, unfamiliar if possible to the site, to test out the user friendliness. Can they find all the information they need? Is it easy to navigate? Do all the links work properly? Is the design and layout attractive to the eye and is there enough content to keep the user on your website? Donation buttons, correct ‘Contact Us’ information and ease of contacting (email address, telephone, social media site links – we’ll come onto that later). The website is the first place people will find you or keep returning to, to get news updates or to donate through. Keep content fresh and accurate.
On Facebook, it’s an organisational page you need and NOT a profile page that individuals have. It’s against Facebook rules to use profiles for organisations, so make the change over if you are using a profile. Again it’s important to have accurate and fresh information on your page. Use stories, links, photos and news to update the content and keep your organisation in your followers minds.
Tweeting is microblogging and posts your tweets in real time. Have conversations with followers in and outside your circle using hashtags (#). For example, Connecting Up (@connectingup) has fortnightly tweetchats on the hashtag #npau where you can join in the conversation and have your say. You’ll find more if you experiment and spend time looking to see what others are doing. If you do that though, look for the larger, multinational organisations who have dedicated digital staff. Search ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ or ‘Twitter Basics’ if you’re just getting started and need help to begin. The more advanced will have Twitter widgets embedded into their webpages to populate the most recent tweets.
For the novice out there, Blackbaud Voice if Blackbaud’s blog about fundraising. A blog is defined by a series of discrete entries or posts. Blogs are often the work of an individual or they can be from a group, usually about a single topic. They’re a form of social networking because visitors can leave messages and comments, and content can be posted to other social media sites. You may want to use it for outreach or opinion forming, branding or public relations.
If your cause has no voice online, a blog is a great way to get started. Advertising your blog URL in your organisation’s email signature can be an easy way to gain followers and get interest in posts. Google search picks up on blog content so keep your posts fresh, relevant and specific. Google also has the search function to be able to search only ‘blogs’ so take a look at a few that exist in your organisation’s mission space and see what others are discussing. To get started there are free blogging sites you can customise, alternatively look at investing and getting the professionals to get you started.
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