Charities exist for the purpose of helping those most in need, so it is only natural that as times change that so, too, must the approach of reaching out to potential sponsors. Whereas before charities were reliant on collection boxes and physical sponsorship forms, now the rise of the internet means that it has never been easier to donate to a cause close to your heart.
With a multitude of digital platforms to utilise, charities are reaching out to an audience that may otherwise have not easily found them. Social media and SEO are just two of the digital strategies employed by charities, ultimately helping to increase donations so as those in need receive the help they require.
To understand how charities are utilising social media, you first need to understand how brands in general are using the platform. The value of social influencers has grown considerably over the course of the last 10 years, with a single social post costing as much as $250,000, but it goes without saying that not every brand can afford to buy a shout out from Kim Kardashian.
Micro influencers with a few thousand followers are much more viable options for businesses looking to compete with more established major brands. These micro influencers are trusted within their niche and enjoy a high amount of engagement, which is exactly what brands are looking for.
Now let’s look at this from the perspective of a charity. What they want is to raise awareness of the cause and the work they are doing to tackle the problem. With the average millennial spending more than five hours a day on social media, checking their smartphone device on average 43 times, it makes sense that this is where that message should be relayed.
Images and videos are more powerful than words, especially on platforms like Twitter that include a character limit, and act as fantastic engagement content. An image or video telling a story, posted by a micro influencer, is highly likely to be shared far and wide. With a link pointing directly to the page of the website taking donations, users are encouraged to support the cause while the emotional effects of the content are still strong.
Unlike other forms of advertising employed by charities, SEO is a much more technical – no so emotive – approach to garnering exposure. Instead of pulling on the heartstrings of potential sponsors, optimising the website serves the sole purpose of ranking the website for keywords with good search volume.
The idea here is that users searching for such keywords already have it in their heads that they will be donating to the cause. For example, a user searching for ‘cataract surgery donations’ are likely to land on Al Mustafa Welfare Trust, a charity that offers a specific campaign to this cause.
From here, the expectation is that the user’s visit will then be converted into a donation – or a sale if you take the e-commerce approach. SEO for charities works exactly the same as it does for any other e-commerce site, with keyword research performed to judge search volume, landing pages created with the intention to rank for those keywords and work towards improving the user journey.
The simplicity that comes with making an online donation has been a huge contributing factor to the success that charities have had in the digital age. One-off or regular payments can be set up in seconds, with all money reaching the charity instantly – meaning they can use that money for a good cause without delay.