This fall, I’m joining a team of cyclists for the Napa Valley Ride to Defeat ALS. You may remember this organization for its game changing Ice Bucket Challenge. Admit it — even if you didn’t do it, you knew people who did.
Recently, I had the pleasure to work on a Facebook marketing project. Inspired by the Ice Bucket Challenge, Facebook saw how easy it was for friends to encourage others to participate in causes. So they created tools, including buttons for people’s posts, and training to enable nonprofits to connect with people on Facebook and increase engagement.
My Marketing Challenge
If you’ve read my blogs before, you know I’m a fan of many marketing techniques. (A marketing nerd, it would be fair to say. I wear my badge with pride!) The marketing nerd in me wants to see how well the new Facebook tools (plus classic inbound marketing activities) do versus some other techniques.
The event itself is a 62-mile bike ride through lovely Napa Valley California is September 23, 2017. I’m launching my campaigns on September 1 and running through September 31. Here are the key tactics I’ll be employing for each strategy.
Lead nurturing is the most traditional tactic used by many organizations. In fact, I was inspired to do this test because I think that lead nurturing is slowly evolving into “spam.” I get so many fundraising requests, but for 99% of them, I give no money. (I do sign petitions and did send a letter to the FCC regarding net neutrality.)
However, in signing up for the ALS event, they provide you with the tools to build a fundraising website and the ability to email your entire address book. I will also have the ability to send reminder emails. So, why not?
In the name of my own personal best practices — I will send the first one, with a “P.S.” at the bottom asking them to reply if they’d like a reminder. I will then personally thank the ones that do donate and set up a note remind those that asked for it.
I do find that people read P.S. notes, and often do not mind a reminder. But in the second email, I will offer up a new photo, updates on how you’ve been doing in both training and fundraising. Make it worth their time to read it!
Account-based marketing requires a great list and a great value proposition. In this case, I will make a list of people who also bicycle, and who would appreciate being a part of the action. People willing to sponsor a leg of my ride will get a photo of me with a sign commemorating their leg (suitable for framing) and a bottle of wine native to that leg. Because this is a small list, I will likely start with an email, and follow up with other pings until I get a yes or a no.
Facebook’s News Feed is the best example of content for inbound marketing. You create a post because you have something of value to offer — kid photos, funny videos, lists, quizzes. You haven’t interrupted anyone with these posts. This is what they have come there to find. If they are seeing your posts, it is because the algorithm has determined that this is content that is relevant to them.
Stay tuned for a separate post about the factors in the algorithm, but long story short, it’s based on:
- People you care about
- Topics you care about
- Topics the people you care about care about. Oh, and ads!
I’m going to create some Facebook posts based on best practices (one image based, one video based, one poll based) with the “Donate” button and leave it up until it has been viewed by the same amount of people I sent the first email to. I will be making liberal use of tagging people that I think would want to see this post. And I will respond to any and all comments.
After the event, I’ll do a summary email and post, and then we’ll see which tactic raises the most money. And we’ll have stood up in the fight against ALS.
P.S. No good inbound campaign would be complete without some element of search-optimized blogging, so thank you for reading this! (And donate via this link if so inclined… I would love to have you put your finger on the scale for inbound. 😉 )
Stay tuned for the next post where I share results and learnings!