6 tips for improving your charity’s digital storytelling

Producing fresh and engaging content can feel like hard work sometimes. If you feel your content needs a bit of a refresh, considering these few tips could make all the difference.

1. Set yourself apart

Offering something that others don’t can really help drive traffic and increase engagement. Finding a ‘niche’ makes competing for funds and donors a little easier because you are providing something different.

This can be difficult when there are multiple organisations behind a single good cause. For these, your content, campaigns and methods will set you apart, rather than your overall cause.

Creating videos, telling your story, doing interviews, etc. are just a few ideas. It’s good to take a look at charities similar to yours, bigger or smaller. You may take inspiration or spark an idea for something new or you can assess what is/isn’t working about their content and see what you’d do better.

An example of a charity that’s made their content stand out is Gift of Water. Their 2012 video used the hashtag #firstworldproblems. It worked effectively by making people reevaluate their fortune.


2. Leverage images, memes or pop culture references

Integrating dynamic images, memes, infographics or pop culture references is a simple way to improve your content.

Marketing statistics suggest people are over 50% more likely to remember information when paired with a fitting visual.

This is because images can makes your digital story more exciting, help readers relate to your brand and have a more powerful and immediate effect.

However… stock images can be damaging if they’re just used as filler. You need the image to contribute to the text to ensure people don’t glaze over the content as easily as if it was just text.

There are tons of charities doing a good job with their images. A great example is Childs I, who tell stories with their photographs.

We have written a separate article all about effective image use that you can check out here.


3. Surprise readers with insight

By throwing in interesting statistics, shocking insights or material your readers are surprised by your article is guaranteed to resonate.

Statistics and quick facts are also easy for people to share. This means your information can gain word of mouth and potentially attract some new visitors.

You can display these facts or stats in various ways, but it’s always good to make them stand out in the text. This may mean giving them their own info-graphic, or as simple as having them in bold or colour within an article.

If people are drawn to that information, it may be enough of a hook to engage them with the entire text.

An example of a charity doing this to a high standard is WaterAid, who allocate a separate page to their key stats. They also pair them with headings and images to make it as clear as possible.


4. Use case studies to inform your readers

You can tell people what impact their donation is going to make or give big figures about the people you have already helped, but personalised case studies can sometimes be the most powerful thing you can create.

You could choose to explain why and how your charity was formed, or could tell individual success stories. Whichever you choose, it can really help bring people closer to your cause. The more people know about what you do, the more likely they will want to get involved.

Case studies can be useful for everyone that makes up your website’s traffic, whether it be donors, grant-funders or people looking to use your services.

It’s important to consider who your most significant demographic is before writing because this means you can tailor your writing accordingly.

An example of a charity with good case studies is Centre Point. They separate their case studies into categories to help people looking to use or find out about specific strands of their services.


5. Make your content actionable

Giving readers all this useful information is great, as long as they have something they can do with it. This could be sharing it, exploring the rest of your site, using your services or making a donation.

You need to give your reader clear options for what to do next. If you don’t they could easily shrug off the information and get on with their day.

This can be as simple as having donate and contact buttons at the bottom of your article online or by hinting or explicitly suggesting within the your text.

World Cancer Research Fund are a relevant example as they place a donate option at the end of each of their blog posts, proving how simple it is to make your blog actionable.


6. Follow up

It’s good to produce a follow up post or series if a post does particularly well as it’s a good way to keep readers engaged. It may delve deeper into something explored in your first article, or could be new content on a similar topic.

It gives readers a reason to come back. If they’re visiting more frequently visit or spending longer on your site this is always a positive. The more they find out the greater potential there is for a conversion.

Take a look at your website and social media analytics (if you promoted your original post here) to work out if any recent articles have done particularly and consider why; was it something topical or different?

Once you’ve sussed out what might have made that article popular, you can work on producing another.

Just Giving have done this to be able to cover a broad range of topics on user experience.


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