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Three steps to unlock digital ad revenues for your charity or association

With little or no direct cost associated with it, digital advertising offers a rare opportunity for charities and member organisations to create ‘free’ revenue – a valuable means of offsetting the rising cost of member communications.

Yet, digital advertising remains one of the greatest untapped revenue streams for charities and membership associations in the UK.

Drawing on our experience of supporting dozens of membership organisations on digital and omnichannel advertising sales strategy, we’re sharing the three key questions that every organisation needs to ask, as you build or refresh your digital advertising strategy:

1: Which digital communications channels should you monetise?
The first step here is to audit your digital comms: how are you communicating with your members and supporters, right now? Think email, social media, member portal, website, blog – consider everything.

Lay sound foundations for your digital revenue strategy by fully auditing your digital communications mix. These are all the places where you could, potentially carry advertising, and it pays to consider every one of them as you build your digital or omnichannel revenue strategy.

2: How much ad space should you sell?
There is no one-size-fits all answer here. Find the answer that is right for you, by weighing up these factors:

How many digital advertising options you have: look at your audit to determine this
How much advertising you actually want to carry? Think frequency as well as volume.

The most important thing to remember at this stage is that when it comes to advertising sales quality as well as revenues, less is usually more.

As a membership association or charity, your first priority is to assure the integrity of your editorial content: so the goal of your ad sales strategy should be to complement that content, with an appropriate quantity of hand-picked advertising content with genuine appeal to your readers.

And remember: your digital advertising options are not limited to traditional display-style advertising. Think out of

the box to create advertorial-style, high-value long-form paid content opportunities. Your readers will thank you for it, but – perhaps surprisingly – you’ll see the positive impact on your bottom line, too. A limited quantity of well-placed, high-quality ads will usually generate bigger and better revenues, than a large volume of low-cost advertising space that is low value and often harder to sell.

3: Will your digital advertising offer impact your print revenues?
This is a risk that many charities and associations rightly worry about: without the right strategic planning, your attractive, new digital advertising packages may damage your established print ad revenues if current advertisers prefer to migrate to digital.

Ensure this doesn’t happen by thinking strategically about the buyer behaviour that you want to encourage in your future advertising sales, and pricing your packages accordingly.

At Bourne Media we specialise in designing omnichannel advertising packages, that encourage advertisers to think ‘print first’ – protecting our clients’ print revenues whilst growing their new digital offerings.

Digital advertising strategy inspiration
Browse our case studies for practical inspiration on how we have developed high-value digital advertising strategies for charities and associations like yours.

  • A 300% boost in ad sales revenues for Parentkind – without increasing the volume of advertising sold
  • Leveraging scarcity to secure regular, recurring digital revenues for the National Deaf Children’s Society
  • An omnichannel-led revenue boost for The Landscaper

Could you use some support to develop your digital ad strategy? Book a free advertising audit and benefit from our years of strategic experience: helping you to develop a high-yielding digital ad strategy, at no cost to you.

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