If you are planning a campaign of any sort, whether it’s a fundraising campaign, an awareness campaign, or a campaign to acquire more members, you will need a plan which considers multiple digital marketing channels – website, email, social media and paid advertising too (if possible).
Integrating all aspects of the campaign will ensure it’s seamless for your audience. Instead of marketing efforts standing alone, they work together to usher your supporters to where you need them to be, and to advance the longer-term goals of your organisation.
This guide will help you target your communications to specific audiences and tie your activities to your goals.
Step 1 - create SMART objectives
Measurable objectives are important. They mean you’ll be able to refine and adapt your efforts and know if you’re on track with where you need to be. One common way of doing this is by using the “SMART” system which stands for “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely”.
It’s important that your objectives are clear (specific), measurable, that you have the skills and time to achieve them, that they’re relevant to your goals and that you have a time by which you want to achieve them or a way to quantify success.
Examples of SMART objectives:
- A 30% increase in new clients from surrounding suburbs within 3 months.
- Increase online donations by 20% compared to last year in our tax appeal fundraising campaign.
- Increase subscriptions to our newsletter by 15% within 6 months.
Step 2 - understand your target audiences
Using detailed data will help you target appropriate messages to the right people at the right time. Analyse data you have about your current audiences and find common characteristics of those who are most engaged.
Data you can use to define your audience might include:
- Demographics of your donors or members.
- Past marketing data of recorded history of engagement with campaigns from EDMs and social media.
- Website analytics.
- Survey data or data from feedback or enquiry forms on your website.
- Customer service data (if relevant).
- Any qualitative research you have done such as interviews or user testing, even if it was for a different campaign or purpose, it may still yield good data about who your audiences are.
- Information from staff who work directly with your target audience.
Once you have analysed it, it’s time to document the following:
- Are there one or many audiences that you want to target with this campaign?
- What problems are those in the target audience trying to solve?
- What are their likely mindsets and motivations?
- What medium/channels does your target audience typically use?
- What is the best and most efficient way to communicate with the target audience?
- What are the demographics (age, SES, gender) of the target audience, if relevant?
- Where along the customer journey are they?
- Awareness - they know about you but haven’t donated or joined yet
- Consideration - they have engaged with content but haven’t donated or joined yet.
- Active stakeholder
If you have a few different audiences, with different needs, interests or behaviours, your SMART objectives for each audience might be different.
Here’s an example of a disability service that offers a LEGO Club for children under 14. Their group recreation service offers one-hour sessions for up to six children with one staff member, and one of their main audiences will be the parents of the children. They may also have other audiences such as corporate sponsors, donors or other potential partners. For each of these audiences, a new row could be added. These would then be included in the plan below.
|Audience||Our goals||What we offer them that they want||Key message|
|Parents of children||Have a full roster of children||Quality, small group play under NDIS||We understand your needs and your child's love of LEGO|
Step 3 – competitors and other considerations
Do some desktop research to establish what similar organisations are doing in the space, or have done previously. You want to make sure you do something different, but at the same time perhaps there are things you can learn from their campaigns.
- The timing of your campaign – does it overlap with other major key events outside your organisation, for example school holidays or other significant dates like international children's day?
- Consider what else is trending in the market or in the news? Is there a new topic your audience is interested in?
- Consider other planned communications across the organisation and how your campaign might overlap or compete for resources.
Step 4 – decide your channel mix
Your strategies are the different components, usually channels, needed to achieve your objective(s). You need to decide which channels you will use and for what. For example, an acquisition campaign might use frequent messaging across social media and SEM, whereas an appeal campaign for loyal donors might focus on EDM and lower frequency social media in conjunction with a direct mail pack.
|Strategy||What it is||How you measure it|
|Paid social media campaign||This involves using a platform like Chuffed to serve your ads to databases of social media followers other than your own.||
|Paid social influencers||Paying someone who aligns with your brand to promote your campaign on social media.|
|SEM (Search Engine marketing)||Paying for ads on Google. See our guide to Google Ad Grants to see how not-for-profits can access these for free|
|Display advertising||Paying for your ads to appear on other websites|
|Remarketing||Showing the same, or follow-up ads to people who have already engaged with your original ones but not yet converted|
|Strategy||What it is||How you measure it|
|Blogs and articles (content marketing)||Writing content on your blog or your website and then using that content on other websites to draw people into your own.||
|Website and SEO||Making sure your website is well-managed and up to date and optimised well for search engines|
|Newsletter||Having a regular EDM going out to your supporters. Always refresh and maintain an up-to-date list of your engaged subscribers||
|Email campaign||Creating a series of EDMs asking your supporters to take a particular action|
|Owned social media||Regularly engaging your supporters via social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and others.||
A good campaign on a budget might be use the following mix (depending on audience and goals of course):
Website, with good SEO
Making sure your website is well-managed, and up to date with your latest compelling campaign messaging, is a great investment. It’s an “always-on” platform speaking to current audiences and attracting new ones too, if you can optimise it well.
Communicating directly with those who have explicitly asked for information from your organisation guarantees a more engaged audience
Organic social media
Leveraging your organisation’s existing followers with a compelling campaign will allow great reach within your own networks.
If you have any budget to spend, spend it on paid social to reach new audience groups and build larger brand awareness. See how the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter did this, using Chuffed to promote their ads across social media.
Step 5 - develop your message, branding and visuals
- What is your message and unique proposition and why they will donate, join or sign the petition? Gather a few people together to brainstorm this if possible.
- How will you catch the attention of your audience? See our guide to creating multimedia on a budget.
- What is the call-to-action in each channel? For example, sign up for our newsletter, register for an event, sign a petition.
Step 6 - create detailed plan
The following framework assumes one target audience and shows how to map strategies and tasks to your objectives, and how to measure each.
Repeat this for each target audience and each smart goal.
Target Audience: Parents of children under 14 interested in LEGO
|Add 100 new weekly clients to LEGO Club sessions within three months||Create referral program for friends of current clients||Create landing page on website for referral program||
Click through rate
Send email to current clients
|Share LEGO related stories on Facebook once per week||Source Facebook links||Likes, comments and shares (engagement)|
|Review website with focus on sign up registrations||Work with designer to update website||Increased online registrations|
|Review website for search engine optimisation||Work with agency to update SEO||
More traffic from search engines measured through Google Analytics
|Showcase great Lego creations on Instagram||Create weekly Instagram post with lego creations and call to action to register for session||
Click through rate
Likes, comments and shares (engagement)
|Offer discount for choosing weekly sessions||Update pricing on website with new deal||Conversion rate|
|Offer special deal to families who are not currently signed on as weekly attendees.||Email families||Conversion rate|
Step 7 - implement, analyse and optimise
Integrated marketing plans should not be set in stone but should be flexible and leave room for optimisation.
Tracking metrics and maintaining an open mind will help you utilise dynamic strategies that can be altered and optimised along the way, adjusting your campaign to achieve your goals. For example, you could try a few different Instagram posts and see which gets more clicks and then run with the more popular. Or for Google AdWords, adjust your bidding strategy, keywords or audience if your ads aren’t getting the clicks you hoped.
And when they campaign is over, you can use data and your learnings to inform the next one.