Charities rely on the support of their volunteers, and your online presence is a great way to both find new support and to keep interest going amongst your existing team.
But how can you make sure the content that you’re putting out is relevant to your volunteers? And how can you use that to create an interest around your charity?
We’ve put together some top tips for attracting new volunteers (and generating interaction amongst existing ones) by creating engaging online content.
Firstly, what is content?
‘Content’ can be classified as the information and experiences that your organisation puts out. In digital terms, this can mean a whole host of content types including blogs, videos, social media posts, emails and the landing pages of your website. The content you create should be informative and relevant – but it should also be interesting and catch your audience’s eye.
Start by identifying your channels
What digital channels do you have available to reach your volunteers? This can be anywhere they’ll find your content. Your website, and email database are a great place to start but you can also reach your volunteers in other ways, such as guest articles on other publications. Once you’ve identified your channels you can create a plan for making unique content for each of these. Don’t forget you can push content from one channel across others – such as posting your latest blog on your social media or publicising a video from your website in your latest email.
Create a content calendar
Planning your content in advance will mean that you can give the proper attention to each piece, rather than rushing content creation to meet a deadline. Identify key days that your volunteers and audience will engage with you, such as national days of interest, public holidays and other cultural topics (think the return of popular TV shows and other events that will generate discussions)!
Think about the type of content volunteers find interesting
Ensure that you produce a mix of content that volunteers will find interesting. Behind-the-scenes posts are great for showing the unique quirks of your organisation. Interesting facts and statistics help increase your credibility and trust with audiences, whilst rich media like images and videos typically attract more attention. Users engage with content that they directly relate to, so make sure you use posts and pictures involving your volunteers in action to encourage them to share amongst their own social groups – user-generated content is also a great way to quickly amass large amounts of content without too much time input!
Create an exclusive content area
Build a sense of community by creating an exclusive content hub for your volunteers. A private Facebook group or newsletter is a great way to put out volunteer-tailored content that your followers will find useful. In particular, a Facebook group is a great way to allow volunteers to upload their own photos and news that can then be used as content.
Use emotive language
Using ‘your’ and ‘you’ in your posts helps the audience empathise with the content, which will increase the likelihood of interaction. Try and end your posts with a call-to-action, such as ‘comment below’ or ‘find out more now’ that encourages your audience to engage with the content.
Find the right places to reach them
There are plenty of ways to make sure your content gets seen by potential volunteers. On Twitter, you can use Twitter Hours, which allows you to use relevant timed hashtags to get your tweet seen by more people. One of the most popular Twitter hours is #CharityTuesday, which can be used to tell people about your organisation’s mission. In Birmingham, you can take part in #BrumCharityHour every Thursday at noon. On Facebook, you can use local and interest groups to reach communities – most admins are happy to publish posts if you contact them.
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