Creating a marketing strategy before you launch will be critical to your campaign’s success. Just because you create a fundraising site doesn’t mean that people will automatically visit it and start contributing. You have to make people aware of its existence and bring them to the site, which is what marketing is all about. But you can’t just jump in cold. You need to have a roadmap for:
- How you are going to launch it
- How you are going to build and maintain momentum
- How you will get people to share by leveraging your social network
Phase 1: Planning
✓ Think about the main channels that you want to communicate through
- Email is a given, but where else can you find the people you want to target? Knowing where they are and how they are best reached will help you focus your efforts. So ask yourself questions such as, are they:
- Accessible via email?
- On Facebook?
- Active on Twitter?
- Avid Tumblr users?
- Members of a club you belong to?
- Parents of kids you are trying to help?
✓ Identify key influencers you know who can help galvanize your community to offer support
- You want to ask them to give, but also to share – think of it like a chain letter.
✓ Determine your campaign’s timeline – do you have a deadline?
- Based on this amount of weeks or months, you need to plan your communications strategy so that you can be ever-present, communicating at least weekly, and daily if appropriate.
- Consider setting weekly or monthly goals for yourself.
✓ Gather all of your contacts for everyone you know
- Even people you haven’t been in touch with in a while – you never know where a contact will come from.
✓ Devise any offline materials that you would like to spread the word:
- Business Cards
✓ See if you can get some media coverage:
- Create a press list of publications you’d like to share your story with.
Tip: Based on the above, you can (and should) literally make a map to plot out your plan. Having a document to return to and ask yourself if you are meeting the objectives of the plan can be very helpful and keep you accountable.
Phase 2: The Launch
✓ Start with the key influencers in your life: Who can you personally tell about your campaign to get them on your side to contribute first?
- It may seem like mass emails and Facebook posts are the most efficient, but individual outreach can go a long way in getting someone on your side to do mass outreach on your behalf.
✓ Get early contributions to show traction and build credibility
- People like to follow the herd; if they see others giving, they are more likely to give, too.
✓ Do an email blast to all of your contacts
- During the first week, consider doing two to kick things off. Learn more about creating an email marketing campaign here.
✓ Start sharing daily through your selected social media channels
- Learn more here about leveraging social media to share your campaign.
✓ Issue a release about your campaign
- To local newspapers, TV, radio and even bloggers.
Phase 3: Building and Maintaining Momentum
✓ The key is that you can’t lose steam
- If you do, then so will your supporters.
✓ Continue to email weekly and post often in social media with excuses to reach out, like to:
- Update people on your progress
- Show gratitude and do shout-outs to people who’ve been helpful
- Spread a special occasion like your birthday and that this would be the perfect gift to let people know about
- Let them know you’ve added new pictures and videos to your fundraising site
✓ Network and talk about what you are doing
- People can’t help connect you to the right people if they don’t know what you’re working on.
✓ Look for press opportunities to raise the profile of your effort
- Will the paper do a profile about you?
- Will a local DJ interview you?
✓ Keep learning and ideating about how you can get in front of people.
- Is there an opportunity to put out postcards at the community center?
- Would a local bar be open to hosting a fundraising event?
- Can you identify any speaking engagement opportunities?
- Would it make sense to send flyers home to every parent at the school?
What’s The Message?
✓ Ask people to contribute.
✓ Ask people to share.
✓ Keep your emails and social media posts brief.
✓ Give updates to keep people engaged and in the loop.
It is worth it to invest some time to create a marketing plan. You will see how much easier it is to market when you have a road map to follow! If you’d like any help with this plan, or additional tips, don’t hesitate to contact us.