The recent shifts in technology can seem a bit overwhelming.
As the D+C Chief Strategist for Digital+Data Science, my job is to help organizations optimize their influence online through strategic measurement strategies and bring those insights to life through digital experiences.
I recently presented at our annual Summit the significant shifts in technology that have influenced human behavior over the last few years.
And the good news is this: You can adapt to influence behavior as well!
Despite adversity, you can continue to make an impact if you focus on two things: authenticity and flexibility.
The idea is to build authentic relationships with donors who become advocates – people who not only donate but are on fire for your cause and excited to tell others about it.
And not only is authenticity important, flexibility gives you the headspace to test and try new technologies, leverage data, and connect more personally with your audience.
Because 2022 brings with it a new day.
Some of the major changes that have occurred this past year include the increased usage of social media around the world, the desire for faster access and immediate communication, the resurgence of the QR code, the rise of text messaging as a mass communication tool, and the widening of the generational communication gap.
We live in a global society, and through modern technology we’ve become increasingly more connected.
So as we enter into 2022, here are my top 10 ways to adapt and maximize impact (Drumroll…):
- Pay attention to the experience
There are more platforms and ways to communicate than ever before. Leverage heat-mapping and user surveys to see if parts of your website are confusing or no longer relevant. Take time to ensure your message is clear and sounds the same on your website as it does in direct mail or social media.
- Consider implementing BIMI
Consider implementing BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) to improve email sender reputation. If you’re not yet ready to take that step, at least ensure you have DMARC and SPF authentications complete.
- Diversify your digital advertising
Facebook advertising is still a great way to engage with your audience and acquire donors. However, Facebook is not your friend and like any social media company, it’s very volatile. Taking your best performing creative from Facebook into other display networks gives you a test ground so that you’re not empty handed if another disruption occurs.
- Capture stories
For some, it may be a brand video that can be used to inspire your staff, donors, and board members as you shape the next season of your ministry. For others, it may look like leveraging tools like Zoom, VideoAsk, or user generated content on social media to gather stories from your donors or those you serve in the field. No matter how you choose to do it, commit to killing the stock photo in 2022 and finding creative solutions to enhance your communications.
- Take digital security seriously
When donors give us their payment information, they trust that we’re handling it with care. Today, personally identifying information like a physical address, name, email and phone number are just as valuable as a credit card number. This kind of data is valuable in machine learning and more and more companies are popping up with new ways to leverage it. While you should be careful with who has access to your CRM and online tracking tools, it’s also important to fully understand how organizations that you enter into agreements with are planning to use that data.
- Adopt social media trends
There is so much more to social media than simple posts. Adapting your content for stories/reels/shorts is key to staying relevant. As a bonus, when you use these new organic placements when they are initially released, they typically have greater reach as the platform algorithm favors them.
- Leverage texting
As the email inbox becomes overwhelmingly full and social media algorithms shift, texting is a great option for getting your communication through. With an over 98% open rate and texts being read within 15 minutes of delivery, it’s a powerful tool for communication.
- Update your communications calendar
Does your calendar reflect your priorities and act as a helpful strategic planning tool? Does it maximize efficiency across staff members by serving as a central reference point? Your communications calendar should cover all channels online and offline and be designed to make your process easier and your message clear.
- Improve your tracking
A focus on data means more authentic communication. There’s an incredible amount of information that can be tracked online. Leverage tools like LeadsRX, Google Analytics, Google Optimize, or website pixels to understand what your audience is telling you and handle that information with care.
And the number one way to adapt and maximize your impact in 2022 is…
- Stay flexible!
There are sure to be many new challenges and opportunities ahead of you this new year. However, when you commit to leveraging technology to deepen your relationship with donors, you set yourself up for a strong foundation despite disruptions.
So don’t be overwhelmed. Stay authentic in your relationships and flexible as things continue to change.
Remember: More opportunities mean more impact.
And as always, we’re here to help.
+ More Insights from Dunham+Company: “If God Will Provide, Why Do We Have to Ask for Money?“