Levelling the playing field – how small charities can use their size to their advantage

Working in marketing at a small charity can be hard. Battling against low brand recognition, a lack of digital skills and small or non-existent budgets. But in digital marketing, being small actually opens up a huge number of options if you know how to use your size to your advantage.

One of the things I love about digital is that it’s open and if you know where to look you can take inspiration from other charities’ tactics. In the words of Steve Jobs “always be shameless about stealing great ideas”.

There are other huge opportunities for small charities. Many people have lost faith in large charities and are looking for organisations they can trust, with low overheads and can show exactly how their money will benefit the cause. Unlike other channels, digital isn’t just about budget, it’s about the strength of your tactics and ideas.

Read the full article on the CharityComms website

Are we chasing a relationship with supporters they no longer want?

There used to be a time when customers were loyal to their favourite shop, to their electrician or to their favourite charity.

But in recent years the number of people giving monthly has decreased in favour of ad hoc donations. Younger generations are even more promiscuous than baby boomers with the lowest levels of regular giving. It may be time for charities to accept that we may be chasing a relationship with supporters that they no longer want, and work out what to do about this fundamental change in supporter behaviour.

Read the full article on the CharityComms website

How to set up goal tracking in Google Analytics

The most important thing when running a campaign is to be clear on your goal and what you want to achieve. The best way to do that is to set up goal tracking in Google Analytics so whether you want people to reach a ‘Thank you’ page on your website, increase time spent on news pages or make a donation you can have that data at your fingertips.

How to set up goal tracking on Google Analytics:

  • In order to set up goals on Google Analytics you need to have admin access – request this from whoever has managerial access to your account
  • On the top menu select ‘Admin’ then ‘Goals’ under view
  • Select ‘+ New Goal’
  • Select the template which most accurately matches what you are trying to track


  • Name – give your goal a name e.g. Sale Completions
  • Goal slot ID – unless you have goals set up already on your account, this should be ‘Goal ID 1 / Goal Set 1’
  • Type – this is where you decide on what your goal should be – if you are an e-commerce website then that may be a page you want users to reach, if a media outlet then it may be duration or an event such as playing a video

Goal details

If ‘Destination’ is your goal:

  • For ‘Destination’ select ‘Equals to’ and then enter the URL of the page or section you want to track starting with the / after your domain name (e.g. for google.co.uk/maps.html enter /maps.html or /maps/ to check all pages in that section)


  • Value – assign a monetary value to the goal
  • Funnel – this allows you to track the path people take towards your goal and identify where users are dropping off
  • Click ‘Verify’ to check that your goal works and then save

Google analytics cannot track historic data for goals and so it will only start collecting data from when you set them up. Once you have got some data you can access goal reports under ‘Conversions’ on the left hand menu and then ‘Overview’.

You can also add goals as a column on most of the reports on Google Analytics allowing you to cross-reference information – do more people convert on mobile than on desktop? Do more people convert from certain sources than others?

Adding goals to your dashboard

Taking this one step further, you can add all this useful info on to your Google Analytics dashboard so you can see in a glance what works and what doesn’t.

To add a report which shows the traffic source, number of sessions and goal completions:

  • On your dashboard select ‘add widget’
  • Give your widget a title e.g. ‘goal completions by source’
  • Under ‘Standard’ select ‘table’
  • For ‘Display the following columns’, ‘dimension’ add ‘Source / Medium’
  • For ‘metric’ add ‘Sessions’ and ‘Goal completions’ and then save

What you’ll then have is a unique insight into what works and what doesn’t and can tailor your marketing to just focus on actions which will result in a conversion.

Top 5 free digital tools

There are so many fantastic free tools and websites that I use on a daily basis that make my tasks so much quicker and my life much easier. It has taken me many years of searching the web and much frantic scribbling during conferences to compile a list of my top five:

Social media management

1) First up there is Hootsuite, by far the easiest tool I have found for managing social media. Hootsuite is a tool for managing Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and countless other social media sites, allowing you to post to multiple social media accounts simultaneously, schedule posts to be sent out at a later time or for monitoring multiple twitter / social media streams. I use it to keep track of Facebook messages and page feeds across several accounts, following Twitter lists, hashtags and mentions. Push notifications on mobile are particularly useful which vibrate and flash up when I receive a mention or a message.

Hootsuite is free for up to 3 social profiles and one user: https://hootsuite.com/

Free link checker

2) Next up there’s Xenu. Xenu is a fantastic link checker which crawls your website to check for broken links – an essential part of maintaining a website – but can also be used to view site metadata. I run a monthly report to update broken links and use the metadata function to find pages with missing metadata or poor descriptions.

Xenu is free: http://xenus-link-sleuth.en.softonic.com/

Social media listening

3) Buzzsumo is a great tool for finding out what content works on social media and finding influencers for different topics. I use Buzzsumo to find people who have high number of followers who are active in my field. I can then start to interact with them over a period of a few months – promoting their content, engaging in discussions, retweeting their posts – with the hope that the favour will be reciprocated and they will retweet my messages. It is also useful to find out which pieces of content are performing well on social media so that I can more accurately deduce which articles to commission for the highest chance of success.

The website requires you to sign in and you can access the top 10 influencers / content on a free account: http://buzzsumo.com/

Free image editing

4) Believe it or not, but not every computer has Photoshop and working at a charity I have had to get used to not having all the tools I need at my disposal. Pixlr is a web-based image editing platform which will perform many of the basic functions of a tool like Photoshop. From cropping, resizing and adding text to creating layers, adding transparencies and merging images.

Pixlr requires you to log in and set up a free account: https://pixlr.com/

Web analytics

5) The daddy of them all has to be Google Analytics. One of the most powerful web analytics available and all for free. The capabilities of Google Analytics are virtually endless – on a daily basis I use it to find out what content / pages are working on my website and which ones need to be culled, to track user journeys and to spot areas of weakness, to ascertain the effectiveness of my marketing efforts by looking at acquisition reports and to get a better idea of my web audience. The best thing I have done recently is to set up goal tracking which allows me to see how many people are reaching my website goal (whether that is buying something, filling in an enquiry form etc) and to then backtrack to look at their journey through the site, where they came from etc. Link up Google Analytics with your Adwords account and suddenly you can see which keywords work best not just for advertising your website but for actually reaching people who will convert.

Google Analytics is free: www.google.com/analytics/
Training and certification: www.google.com/analytics/learn/index.html