5 essentials for successful paid-social fundraising campaigns
At Opticomm we have been building successful Social Media fundraising campaigns for our Charity clients for a long time – we love to see our campaigns fly and achieve ROI’s everyone thinks are unachievable. There’s very little luck involved, instead it has taken a lot of effort, testing and refining our approach to really nail it. To save you that pain of that journey here are the top 5 tips for success – enjoy the fruits of our labour!
If you are thinking of either taking the leap or can’t seem to get the results you know others are getting – get in touch!
1. Planning – Plan, Plan, Plan
You can never forget the traditional planning rigour – start with a proposition or message, then the audience and then the media. It’s a good structure that’s just as relevant to Social as any other format. Pegging this against a communications framework, we like ARICA (Awareness, Relevance, Interest, Consideration and then Action), will also assist in developing a plan that over achieves against the goals set – and we all like that! We have developed single plans that start with awareness and then morph into fundraising – all possible and made much easier with sequential ad placing (dictating which creative in seen by which audiences in a specific order).
2. Audience – Keep it broad or keep it warm
As a rule, aside from obvious warmer audiences, ‘go broad’ – this allows Facebook targeting to work its magic and start to deliver more of the same people that will engage and convert. It does this by broadcasting to pools and seeing which take the bait and then follows it with roll outs until it sees marked decline.
As for warm audiences, fan pools are key – remember to keep a campaign schedule of at least once every 6 months or these will soon disappear. It’s also worth remembering that retargeting is perfectly legitimate on Facebook, even in the most strict of GDPR environments. Great for getting those conversion action rates up.
3. Channel – Facebook rules
What channel choice really depends on what audience you are after – generally Facebook rules – really because it can do everything and reach everyone – from brand awareness through to pure ROI. It allows creative testing, regional variation, specific audiences (for some clients we have even used it to target parents of specific ages). However for younger audiences usage is sparing – not nothing but limited – and our experience has shown campaigns really need to layer to any target group under 30.
We are starting to see real performance in this group from both Snapchat and TikTok!
4. Creative -Vary your creative
Nothing is better than seeing click rates through the roof because the marriage of message and audience is brought together strongly by the creative. However we have seen also big variations in how different images perform – not just at a response level but through to donation. In a recent donation campaign for a health charity there was 108% variance in creative that showed the beneficiary vs one that didn’t – this is replicated into other sectors such as animal welfare where the variation has been over 120%. It’s not just the visuals that count, copy has just as a dramatic effect, where more emotive story telling vs information and statistic based reason typically sees over an 100% increase in donation value. We use a bespoke testing methodology up front to ensure once the campaign is fully active we aren’t using that time to learn what delivers.
5. Optimise, report and repeat
The harder we work at optimisation the luckier we get delivering above target campaign performance. Much of the hard miles is in the daily tweaks we make to ensure the campaigns we run are achieving to plan and above. Our gold class reporting schedule utilises online dashboards and weekly calls as standard and means we don’t just pick up media issues but also onsite UX issues. For one client we worked collaboratively to achieve a 300% increase in onsite conversion directly from a media reporting call. One watch out is once a campaign is live those pesky consumers might engage in your posts and that means moderation!
Of course, as per old school DR plans the trick is to take the learning and repeat -but in Social it’s usually at greater volume and a better efficiency.
More donors more cheaply – sounds good!