The old saying for advertising is you want to reach the right people with the right promotion at the right time. The goals for fundraising ads have changed little in recent decades. What has changed significantly is how you do those things, and how many options you have digitally. Targeting is one of the most nuanced parts of the marketing process today. Finding the right people is crucial to spending your budget as efficiently as possible.
Many organizations could say that their cause is so universal that just about everyone is a part of their target audience. And while that could be true, a large broad audience will rarely be the most responsive group of people. The more you can narrow your audience to the most likely to embrace your message, the more efficiently can you spend every dollar used for advertising.
Here are 5 tips for targeting your digital fundraising ads:
- Know your budget – Finding the best audience for your ads is directly connected to your budget. The size of the audience you can reach depends on how much you will spend on advertising. If your budget is small, then you can target the smallest and most niche audiences. If your budget is large, you will have to target more audiences to spend efficiently. This is a balancing act between scale and specificity.
- Less is more – Bigger targeting is not usually better. Targeting 100 million people for a fundraising ad will usually produce poorer results than targeting 1 million people. That 100 million people may care about your cause, but because budget is always limited, we want to find the 1 million that care the most.
- Find people who are active – It is not enough to target audiences and groups who are the right type of people, you also want to reach users who are active in the interests you are targeting. Say you are promoting a unique type of coffee to raise money for sustainable agriculture. If given the choice between targeting people with an interest in coffee and targeting people with an interest in coffee taste testing, I would pick the latter. Because that interest demonstrates activity. These folks are more likely to try the new coffee.
- Trade good for best – Finding a good audience will work but push deeper and keep looking for the best audience. If you are promoting a women’s ministry, then it will likely be better to target women. Sure, there is a truth that men may refer the ministry to women, but women are more likely to take action on the ads. And since dollars are limited, we want to reach the best audience we can with the few dollars we have. Do not be afraid to eliminate good audience segments to focus on the best segments.
- Targeting is learning – The more testing you do, the more you will learn about who responds to your organization and similar causes. The more you learn, the more efficient you can be when you start your next campaign. A mistake made today should be a mistake prevented tomorrow.
Need help with your targeting? Let’s talk!