Posted on 8th April 2019

Why your website needs a marketing strategy

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So you’ve just spent a few months and a small fortune on building a top-notch website that your team are proud of. Well done!

But now, the real work begins.

Getting a good website in place is great but turning a good website into an effective website requires a different skillset, and indeed mindset: marketing.

The widely debunked ethos of “build it and they will come” has been thankfully replaced with one of continual improvement. Before your website is launched you should be thinking about the next 12-18 months. It can be helpful to start by asking some pertinent questions:

  • What resource do we realistically have to throw at this?
  • Do we have the funds to cover ongoing marketing strategy?
  • What is our expected outcome in terms of goals and ROI?
  • How does this fit into our wider organisational strategy?
  • How do we intelligently review and iterate our strategy?

These can seem like big, scary questions at first; especially if “marketing” does not come naturally to your organisation.

How to fulfil the marketing need

Marketing, for both charities and small businesses, can be a blindspot. It’s common to think that a website alone is enough to “fix things” if you are not having the impact you’ve projected.

This is a mistake that many organisations discover sooner or later by which point a lot of funding has been poured into unsuccessful projects, some of which never see the light of day. This should obviously be avoided because it costs not just money but can be detrimental to the energy and morale of the organisation and its staff. There are two ways to avoid this:

1. Create a marketing role

Or, a role that has some marketing component. A part-time member of staff could be tasked with meeting some marketing needs. It does not need to be devilishly complex. Here’s a small sample of what this person could be tasked with doing on a monthly basis:

  1. Speak with service users or partners
  2. Uncover ways in which you’ve helped them
  3. Produce case studies based on this “good news”
  4. Post them on your website and to your social media channels

Marketing doesn’t need to be “all or nothing” and just small steps like this can eventually form part of a wider strategy. Of course, if you have the funds and the ambition, you could alternatively…

2. Hire a marketing agency

Get on-board an agency who will tackle your marketing more holistically. This doesn’t come cheap but the returns can be in multiples. For third sector organisations, your ROI will likely be more than just income. A good marketing agency will be concerned with how the strategy feeds into your theory of change, and measure the appropriate activities to this effect.

We can provide this level of marketing support, so get in touch if you need help in this area. Alternatively…

3. (bonus tip!) Get staff training

A cost-effective, halfway house approach could be to train up your existing staff. This could include one-off bespoke training sessions as well as ongoing mentorship to help staff reach their goals, and those of the organisation. This can be desirable because it invests in staff know-how and empowers them to do the job themselves.

Again, this is a service that we provide. Find out more about our digital development programme.