Humanitarian Agencies & Digital Success

By 31st October 2016Humanitarian

Like any other brand in today’s crowded digital ecosystem, digital success for Humanitarian Agencies is a challenging prospect. The almost limitless measurable variables across devices, channels, and sources, amongst others make understanding successful digital performance, increasingly complex.

As a humanitarian agency, your digital presence is an equally complex animal. Unlike other B2C brands, the purpose of humanitarian agencies online is unique, as their digital presence has to simultaneously maintain brand awareness, fundraise, educate about the mission, share new, and more.

Digital activity should be segregated into the relevant role it plays in the donor journey – such as awareness, engagement, and conversion. Each section would therefore have a clearly defined set of KPIs based on the objectives of each section.

To drive real impact across the organisation, humanitarian agencies have to derive insights that paint a cohesive picture of this increasingly fragmented digital landscape, and measures cross-device, cross-platform behaviour. It’s about understanding how the results can be used to drive success across the organisation.

Understanding the donor’s journey at key touchpoints ensures that humanitarian agencies focus on the specific needs of the donor and segment metrics across their journey to ensure that the right content is delivered on the right device, at the right time. To get the most value from digital, humanitarian agencies have to see the full picture of what a donor is doing. This can be difficult as donors often start and finish their online journeys on different devices, and different platforms.

Key Metrics

Overall Traffic: Overall traffic gives you a top-level perspective of where you stand. Benchmarking your total traffic over time helps to bring to the fore emerging patterns, like seasonality, that can help you to prepare for potential opportunities.

Brand Sentiment: Negative sentiment can seriously harm your brand in a short space of time. Monitoring the comments from your actual and potential donors, in addition to the world’s media gives you a snapshot of how your content is being shared around the world.

In addition, creating a systematic plan for responding to negativity is just as important as avoiding negative comments.

Total Conversions: These are some of the most important metrics a digital professional can measure – the number of people who took a desired action on your site. While measurement of the conversion rates should tally with your macro-level organisational objectives, tracking conversions can help you to understand the parts of your digital presence that work.

Channel Specific Traffic: Looking at the different sources for your traffic is important to measure for full-scale engagement campaigns. You will be able to see the causes for fluctuations in traffic and where your campaigns are excelling.

Engagement Metrics: Not all engagement online is equal; not all platforms are equal. While there is no standard method or widely used tool to compare engagement platforms with events, when tracking your social media performance always try to measure engagement over reach. Your reach only determines the size of your audience – it’s more important that your fans are actively engaging with your brand and your content.

Finally

While no two organisations are exactly the same, the metrics you measure should be specific to you and answer questions that are important to your business.

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Managing Director at Semantica Research
Lawrence Ampofo is a thought leader on the impact of digital technologies on humans and society. Lawrence is a trained political scientist, strategic communications consultant, author, trainer and speaker who focuses on the impact of emerging digital technologies on the geopolitical system and global business.
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