Being able to make the most of limited resources is often one of the skills that fundraisers are required to have.
I'm always looking for low cost, effective ways to promote my cause, events and activities and have been testing a range of adverts on Google using their fabulous non-profit grants programme (seriously if you haven't applied for this you are missing out) and after various testing I am ready to give Facebook and Linked In a go.
Here are some lessons learnt from Google Ads and ideas for Facebook and Linked In.
You need to be specific. General appeals for volunteers and to visit our website haven't converted very well at all. What has worked brilliantly is targetted ads in areas of London near our charity shops. We were inundated with e-mails and phone calls and have had to narrow the area we are advertising in. We now receive 10-12 offers of goods per day and with each bag of stock being worth ~£20-30 this has generated thousands of pounds worth of donations.
Test, test, test. You need to continuously amend your ads and keywords and refine them based on past results. By pruning the keywords that don't convert you can make the most of the $10,000 a month you are given.
Have a specific landing page for your google ads. Tailor it to the advert and track what people do on the page using google analytics. Test different pages to see what works best.
One of the most interesting thing about Facebook ads is the level of targeting you can do. If you wanted to you could target people at a specific workplace, by an age range or their interests. For example, in theory you could target Everton fans, living in London between 30-35. This means if you can identify your key audiences then you can really target them well.
As you pay per click and the minimum spend is only $10 you can quickly test and see if something is likely to work. e.g. if you know a runner is worth £100 to your charity then you might be willing to pay £15 to recruit them. If you pay £1 per click for your ad, then you need to convert 1 in 15 of your clicks to break even.
I'm going to use it to try and recruit volunteers for street collections targetting students and the retired - though the ad range only goes up to 64 years old - haven't Facebook heard of silver surfers?!
I'll be honest and admit I hadn't even thought of using Linked In until I read Mark's recent blog post, but thinking about it, it makes total sense, as the profile of users is older and wealthier than on Facebook and Twitter.
I'm going to use it to advertise for runners for the London Marathon and other London runs at executives in the city and will also do some general promotional ads and see what works.
Do you have any tips or experience of using Facebook and Linked In? I'd love to hear them and will let you know how my adverts go in the next few weeks.