Not-for-profits will need to throw out the rulebook this year in their online approach, an expert in digital marketing has said.
Hancock Creative, a company providing social media marketing and training courses for charities, not-for-profits and social enterprises, is putting on a 24-hour online digital marketing summit this month.
Unite 2021 will have three streams of non-stop live training from over 40 speakers – teaching organisations how to survive and thrive in a digital 2021.
Digital marketing challenges in 2021
“The challenge for not-for-profits this year is that they do need to kind of throw out the rulebook a little bit. Things that worked before just aren’t going to work for them this year.” – Alecia Hancock, CEO and founder of Hancock Creative
Alecia Hancock, director of Hancock Creative, said the aim of the summit is to prepare people for the upcoming challenges this year.
“There is still a lot of uncertainty this year, and there is still that ability for things to change on the dime and people need to be able to therefore learn how to do things in a more digital way,” she told Hope 103.2.
“The challenge for not-for-profits this year is that they do need to kind of throw out the rulebook a little bit. Things that worked before just aren’t going to work for them this year.”
The summit will have a mix of practical advice and inspirational stories.
“Hope is really important when there’s so much uncertainty, and people need to be able to see you can still succeed when things are hard,” Ms Hancock said.
“We’ve got people like the amazing Tim Costello, who was the CEO of World Vision, talking about leadership and inspiration in tough times.
“We’ve got people like Ronni Khan, who founded Oz Harvest, talking about how she went from a small event company to running one of the largest non-profits feeding thousands of people around the country every day.”
How the pandemic changed digital marketing
“Hope is really important when there’s so much uncertainty, and people need to be able to see you can still succeed when things are hard.” – Alecia Hancock, CEO and founder of Hancock Creative
Last year, the pandemic forced a lot of people into the digital world. One of the challenges of digital marketing is competing with other people who are also creating content in this space, according to Ms Hancock.
“If you’re doing the same thing as everyone else, if you’re just copying what everyone else is doing, or you don’t have a plan at all, and you’re just going ‘Right, I’m just going to fill a space on these pages and I’m just going to post random things’, I guess the danger is that you’re not going to be able to cut through, you’re not going to be able to reach people,” she said.
Video an under-utilised tool
“We find that the most effective videos are just livestream videos where people just answer questions and are just more themselves.” – Alecia Hancock, CEO and founder of Hancock Creative
Ms Hancock believes that video is one of the most under-utilised opportunities by not-for-profits.
“We find that the most effective videos are just livestream videos where people just answer questions and are just more themselves,” she said.
“If things are a bit bumpy and you knock the screen or you’re walking around and it’s not perfect, people don’t really expect that anymore.”
In fact, the more rough and unpolished the video, the better it is for not-for-profits, according to Ms Hancock.
“I guess it’s just that psychology of it being no different to you going to a charity event and it’s in a really fancy hotel, you have a different perception than if it was in a community hall,” she said.
“There’s sometimes the perception that the one in the community hall, they need me more because they don’t have a fancy hotel, they don’t have a big budget, it’s kind of the same thing with things like video.”
Predictions for 2021
Ms Hancock predicts there will be a boom in the story space this year and the rise of audible platforms.
“We’re seeing more move to quick-share content like stories, we’re seeing the rise of audible social channels like Clubhouse, which is absolutely blowing up right now because people are wanting to move away from the video camera we’ve been stuck behind a lot in 2020,” she said.
There are opportunities in different spaces for not-for-profits, depending on what they are doing, Ms Hancock said.
“Don’t be too narrow as to what is right for you, and actually look at what your users want,” she said.
“If you’ve got people, for whatever reason, who don’t like video, well maybe you need to install audio-only channels. If you have people who are visually impaired then that’s an amazing opportunity potentially to build community.”
For the summit, Ms Hancock is looking forward to listening to the speakers herself – some being people in the industry she has greatly admired – but she is most looking forward to helping people.
“The real treat is actually just being able to help a lot of people because that’s what this is all about. I really believe that the knowledge and education we’re bringing together can really make a huge difference, and that’s what I’m excited about,” she said.