5 Ways to Upgrade your Digital Marketing Skills

4 minute read

As restrictions are lifted and many charities are looking into returning to the office in some capacity, it’s a good time to take stock of what Covid-19 has taught us about remote work. And it must be said that the sector has adapted remarkably well. We saw many charities swiftly embracing online events, trialling innovative methods of fundraising, and exploring new social media opportunities.  

So what can you as a candidate do to show that you’re up to speed with the latest digital trends? How can you upskill yourself in this field? We take a look.  

Covid-19 digital transformation in the charity sector 

The 2021 Charity Digital Skills Report shows that 60% of charities now have a strategy in place for digital. This is an 11% increase on last year. And 83% of the charities questioned said that they’d started offering online services. Over two thirds (67%) now see digital as a prime concern for their organisation, with similar numbers planning investment in digital infrastructure. 

One area in which digital has dominated over the past 18 months is fundraising. The role of an events officer is typically focussed on face-to-face interactions and top verbal communication skills needed to manage physical events. Remote working meant a new focus on online-only events due to social distancing measures and lockdown restrictions.  

Although lockdown rules are being relaxed, digital events are continuing to prove successful by increasing accessibility, online exposure and interaction. This means that charities now slowly expect fundraisers to be armed with skills that were typically associated with digital fundraisers: using remote event platforms, landing page creation and donor journey user experience. 

Whether you work in fundraising, marketing, sales or operations, there are many ways in which you can make sure that you’re keeping up with the sector’s digital transformation.  

brush up on digital fundraising skills

1. Google Analytics and Ads  

Google Analytics and Google Ads are among the most important digital marketing tools. Analytics tracks website traffic and provides rich, real-time data analysing the online behaviour of your site users and return on investment. This can be linked to multiple domains and your own social media platforms. So you get rich, in-depth data on organic traffic, returning users, session length and website referrals, to name a few.  

Google Ads, formerly Google AdWords, is Google’s chief advertising platform for users looking to advertise on the search engine, mobile apps, and videos. When combined with Google Analytics data, you can take a calculated approach to directly target your audience. The beauty of Google Ads is that it’s globally accessible, self-managed and the pricing structure is transparent.  

There are several free Analytics courses which you could consider if you’re looking to upskill yourself in this are. The most renowned is Analytics Academy which offers free, online learning on Google Analytics and other data analysis tools. You can use Analytics Academy to prepare for the Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) exam—an industry recognized qualification. If you’re looking to learn more about Google Ads, Google Digital Garage is a good place to start. 

2. Social Media Marketing 

Social media marketing is another accessible route to advertise your business for a minimal cost, or even for free. Providing free content and useful updates refers to ‘organic’ social media, whereas investing a small cost to roll out a calculated marketing strategy and sponsored marketing messages is viewed as ‘paid’ social media.  

Here are some platforms that can help promote your charity and their services: 

Twitter: Unify charity involvement under a dedicated hashtag and encourage interaction from members of the public, professional institutions, media organisations and job seekers  

Instagram: Promote your charity through creative and visual imagery without the direct sales push to provide a personal touch. Launch your online shop, i.e. merchandise through Instagram Marketplace, or screen a live event. Make use of the ‘Donate’ buttons available on profiles where followers can contribute to your campaign directly.   

Facebook: Fundraising on this platform is huge. Encouraging followers to host a birthday fundraiser for your charity can become a decent income stream. It’s worth taking a look at Facebook’s specific advice for charities.   

LinkedIn: Connect with professionals in your sector to find jobs, build company partnerships, attract corporate sponsors, and interact with industry experts  

YouTube: Deliver creative and informative video content to your service users, from self-help guides, to live events  

Other social media platforms include Snapchat, TikTok and Twitch which are good for reaching younger audiences. Twitch can be particularly good for live fundraising.  

And there are many free social media training platforms to aid you throughout your journey, including Facebook BlueprintHootsuite Academy and HubSpot Academy.  

digital fundraising social media

3. Content and SEO 

Powerful content is underpinned by clever SEO tactics. Without these, your digital efforts may reach a limited audience . When you produce online content, any knowledge you share should be high quality, search engine friendly and be helpful to the user.  

Search engines, such as Google, rank content based on many factors, such as clarity, usefulness, and complexity. If your content fulfils these criteria, it will likely rank well. To dive into the intricacies of content planning, content creation, and SEO, it’s worth attending training courses or digital marketing conferences such as Brighton SEOHubSpot Academy or Learn Inbound 

4. Building landing pages   

Landing pages are one-page websites used to direct cherry-picked users to a selected message, i.e. a remote event, exclusive training session or a limited-time service offer. They enable you to keep this information self-contained and independent from your main website. Landing pages can be drawn up in minimal time using low complexity tools such as Wix and Mailchimp.  The standalone webpage can be used to track referred traffic from the likes of social media or a dedicated marketing campaign.  

interview presentation design

5. Donor journey UX 

UX, short for user experience, refers to all the interactions that a visitor has with a website. Good UX design makes donor journeys smooth, enjoyable and frustration-free. Perhaps most importantly, it also means that the user is likely to keep returning. You may already have a UX Designer at your charity, but it’s always useful to know the basics of UX yourself, particularly if you work in marketing or sales. There are several UX tools which offer free courses that you might like to try, including those from Figma and Coursera 

Select the right courses for your needs 

It’s all about choosing the right courses to suit your role and level of experience. So think about where you would like your career to take you next and then look at the digital avenues that will help you to achieve this. Good luck! 

Sharon McDougall

Sharon McDougall is a financial advisor, instrumental in helping indebted individuals lead the way to a debt-free future.

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