Why digital strategy is critical for non-profits/ social sector in India?
Digital technologies transform how non-profits connect with clients and create value with their stakeholders. Digital strategies change how we in the non-profit sector think about our mission and its role in the current marketplace of ideas and services. Most dramatically, digital technologies have exploded how non-profits think about data and innovation. In India, we see a trickle-down effect where the social sector organisations themselves might not transform due to digital innovations but are adopting or integrating among a few. Digital strategy and marketing is still a huge gap in adoption and execution by many NGOs, non-profits in India.
What is digital strategy for Indian social sector?
Digital strategy is based on the organisation’s digital objective/ goal it wants to achieve. These objectives can be revised after a year or 18 months based on the outcomes and organisation goals. The organisation’s area of focus, program goals, fundraising target, target audience/ stakeholders engagement objectives are some of the reasons in defining digital strategy goals.
Many large social sector organisations have a robust digital marketing plans and social media marketing campaigns but yet it is surprising that many of them don’t have an underlying digital strategy across marketing activities, channels and campaigns. This is why we stress on the relevance of digital strategy that helps us align and monitor digital campaigns consistently.
Why digital strategy for nonprofits?
Going beyond SEO and social media activities
Digital strategy or marketing is not only about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or social media campaigns. Digital strategy similar to brand strategy is about aligning various digital marketing activities with a larger singular organisation objective although each digital campaign has its own objective. Maintaining and improving keywords, audience engagement focused digital campaigns and campaigns for your organisation as a brand beyond program driven campaigns need to be considered as part of digital strategy.
Branded content is the resource, the material which is used for all digital marketing activities. Hence, branded content is the MOST important resource, the organisation needs to invest and consistently create so that the distribution of content across digital channels can be optimised. This also means quality content, specific objectives, target audience based engaging content through written, visual and video formats.
Coherence of multiple digital channels
Only distribution of branded content across multiple digital and social media channels is not enough. Research and plan about which channels to optimise for what content based on target audience and objective is critical. The organisation needs to optimise channels and sometimes leverage across channels to bring coherence to campaigns and drive audience towards common objective.
Monitor & evolve with your audience
Digital strategy is not a one-time exercise like brand strategy. As the organisation evolves, the brand evolves and so does the digital objective and its strategy. We need to constantly monitor also our target audience or stakeholders that engage with our content. Certain digital channels are more effective for specific target audiences and those insights constantly help us to evolve our digital approach and how to drive future campaigns more successfully.
There are few online resources on digital strategy for non-profits or understanding of digital strategy better. So what would be the call to action for organisation that need to adopt digital in a more effective way?
1. Hire or consult with relevant digital professionals/ firms.
2. Get started.