The Power of Visual Content for an Online Campaign
Even with traditional forms of media, visual content has always been the most effective. Stacks of magazines, billboards, and back-to-back commercials are proof of that. But marketing campaigns today are adapting with advancing technology. A Digital 2019 report revealed that people spend almost a third of their time online — 6 hours and 42 minutes each day to be precise, with half of that on mobile. For non-profits, that means you can reach more people with your message and create a bigger impact for your community.
However, that’s not exactly an easy task. Hosting online campaigns and virtual fundraising events take a lot of work. This is why you need to focus your resources on what makes the most impact: visual content.
Why Visual Content Works
Thanks to social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, online marketing campaigns are dominated by images and videos. These are the fundamental types of content you have to master, as an iScribbler infographic points out that the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. That means a quick video update is likely to hold a viewer’s attention better than a long essay or speech. This is especially true within the context of a virtual event or online fundraising campaign, where short sharp info is key to achieving your fundraising goals.
Instagram and YouTube are big players. But don’t feel restrained by these two because digital media is continuing to evolve. Maryville University describes the digital media industry as hybrid, because it now requires technical skill as much as creativity. The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in marketing and fundraising campaigns is just one example. These succeed in creating immersive and unforgettable experiences for viewers.
It’s exactly what you want to achieve in your own online fundraising campaign — pique a person’s interest with visuals, tell your story in a compelling way, and elicit an emotional response. Stories have a way of evoking emotions and these are what drive people to act.
How to Tell Your Story
Highly advanced tools like VR and AR may not be accessible to all, which is not a problem as long as your message is simple but also creative. These steps should help you hone your storytelling skills:
1. Return to Your Message
The heart of every charity may be pure but many fail in promoting their cause. This is often caused by a failure in creating a clear mission statement. Before starting on your online fundraising campaign, clarify your message first by asking these questions: What is that your campaign trying to solve? Who are the communities affected? And finally, how can people help?
2. Create a Story Outline
Knowing the answers to the questions above is the first step in planning a well-informed online campaign. You now have a conflict and a mission. All the story needs are the cape-wearing protagonists. That’s where the donors come in.
When planning a video, for example, you should always feature a call to action. Include details on how people can donate to the cause. More importantly, be transparent in what their support can do. Highlight the actionable outcomes their donation will afford and why this is so important to you as a charity.
3. Share Valuable Content
With creativity and skill, the possibilities with visual storytelling are endless. However, you have to make sure that what you’re sharing is relevant to your message and valuable to your viewer.
It is important to consider the audience who will be viewing the content you create. If you are hosting a virtual gala or event there will need to be careful consideration around what content you are sharing with those attending. Your time with a captive audience is limited and you need to make the most of it. For example, are the guests loyal followers of the charity and support year on year or is it a corporate event viewed by individuals who are new to the charity? Much like you would plan your physical event around this, you need to take the same things into consideration for a virtual gala and the related content.
4. Be Consistent
Posting consistently is the key to keeping your supporters engaged. Share updates on the progress of your project or how close (or far) you are from achieving your online fundraising goal. Givergy’s guide to maximizing virtual fundraisings highlights the importance of sticking to a schedule, especially if you’re planning a longer campaign. Being consistent with your posts is great practice for your digital media arm, too. More importantly, it’s an effective way of keeping the momentum going, and eventually, reaching your goal.
Article contributed by Danica Morgan
Solely for Givergy
Chief Operating Officer
Ben is at the forefront of every project in Givergy, listing and actioning constant improvements across the business. With over a decade of experience in the charity and events sector he brings a deep understanding of what the fundraising industry needs to operate effectively and efficiently.