Digital marketing outreach is an important tool for any organisation looking to reach wider audiences and often hard to reach audiences, and the public sector are no exception!
With the right techniques, digital marketing can help you engage your target communities in meaningful ways online.
Digital outreach brings with it a great opportunity to reach people who may be unaware of the services that are available in their area or how they can access them.
By leveraging social media platforms using video, images, and text, and go further by using email, and your website, you can effectively target potential and existing service users to ensure that they understand the resources available to them.
Who do you want to reach through your digital outreach?
To effectively reach out to communities through digital means, you first need to understand who you are targeting and how best to communicate with them.
This means researching demographics relating to their location, age range, preferences, and beliefs so that messages can be tailored accordingly. It’s also very important to understand that each services has its own ‘target audience’ and therefore, if, for example, you’re responsible for running the main page for your local authority, whilst all messages will go out onto one page, we do recommend that key services or support programmes have their own page, so that you don’t lose the interest of your audience, as what a young people who is thinking about apprenticeships may find interesting, someone who is seeking support for housing will not!
What content will you create to improve your existing digital outreach?
It’s also important that you create content that is relevant and engaging for the audience it is intended for; using language that resonates with them as well as visuals or videos that appeal to different styles of communication.
One of my biggest bug bears on social media, is organisations using leaflets that have been designed for print on their social media channels! Firstly, it’s really hard to see on a mobile device, and users may not know how to make images larger on their devices, and secondly, you just need to use the image to grab attention, and an image that’s full of text doesn’t grab attention, people just scroll on by!
Determine who you want to communicate a particular message to, think about how you can deliver that message in the most concise way without using jargon, think about an image that would grab the attention of that audience (there’s plenty free stock images that have creative commons licences that you can use or edit, or you can create one yourself in Canva) and consider whether video might be a better option to get your message across. The more compelling the social media post (or email, or webpage) the more likely your content will get shared on social media, and your message will reach a wider audience!
What platforms will you use for your digital outreach?
Once you’ve created your content specific for your audience, you should then consider what platforms will enable you to best reach their targeted audience. Different social media sites have different user bases; for example, Instagram tends to be used by younger audiences while Facebook has a more varied demographic range, Linkedin is a great place to reach business owners, and TikTok and Snapchat are the domain of younger audiences. Similarly email campaigns should be designed appropriately so as not to alienate potential users of public services who may not appreciate overtly sales-y messaging (although DO ensure that there’s a call to action within your emails, and that it’s very clear how people can reach out for support)
Finally public sector organisations should consider the value of posting regular content when connecting with communities through digital means; having regular contact with the same users helps keep public services visible in people’s minds so that when they do require assistance, they know where to turn first. This could either involve revisiting topics or themes over time, considering what is happening in real life to create themes (i.e., Valentines, New Year, Christmas) or offering something new each month (a focus on a particular service or support available) – this provides an ongoing connection with users which is beneficial for both parties involved.
What will you do differently on your social media channels or email to engage more people this year?
Interested in finding out more?
A 15-minute conversation with us to discuss your goals and how our social media marketing services will help you to achieve those goals costs you nothing!
Simply call our friendly team on 01245 791969 or drop us an email to [email protected] to arrange a confidential chat.
The Social Accelerators, founded by Caroline Thomas in 2010 advises clients around the UK on strategic marketing of your public sector funded programme, project or portal.
Her firm designs and runs digital marketing campaigns, conducts online research and designs online client journeys that get the results you need across social media, websites and email campaigns.