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August 22, 2018

What the Heck Is an Adlob? 6 Tactics to Create a Multichannel Campaign

For creative professionals, multichannel fundraising campaigns are extraordinarily exciting, but they can also be extremely daunting, especially with a limited budget and high ROI expectations. Developing creative that will resonate across a multitude of channels is a lot to manage, so it helps to do some serious prep work before getting down to individual channel tactics and techniques.

Here are 6 tactics to create a multichannel fundraising campaign that resonates with donors.

  1. Create an adlob
    An adlob is an ad-like object. (It is also sometimes referred to as a mood board.) It answers the question: What’s the big idea? The adlob conveys the theme behind a multichannel campaign. This is the most important part of the process: developing channel-agnostic messaging and a visual platform. Here’s an example of an adlob:

    multichannel creative tactics adlob heroic fundraising

    The adlob is the visual and verbal umbrella under which all your elements in the campaign will fall, regardless of the channel in which they occur.
  2. Keep it direct, not clever
    “Clever” is not the goal of a fundraising campaign’s messaging and visual platform; direct, emotional resonance is. Resist the temptation to create messages or images that are self-serving. The trick here is to communicate to your donor, not to yourself or your co-workers. Remember that making an emotional connection with the donor and showing how she can effect change, regardless of the media she receives, should be the focus of your multichannel campaign.
  3. Build in flexibility
    Your creative messaging platform should be pliable enough not only for a variety of channels, but also for a variety of fundraising initiatives — acquisition, lapsed donor reactivation, cultivation, monthly giving, affirmation, and awareness. Consider creating at least three adlobs to cover any specific drivers that would resonate with donor groups. For example, a hospital might create three adlobs to position the donor as helping solve the “problem” from a patient, doctor, and research perspective.
  4. Establish your donor’s journey in the channels she utilizes
    Use the campaign messaging platform to visually map out the donor’s journey and user experience. Define the donor’s campaign entry points and calls-to-action, and what every step and engagement will be in her experience. Will she first be exposed to online banner ads, a direct-mail appeal, or an environmental ad? What’s the next step we would like her to take? Sending a gift? Raising her hand? Clicking a “like” or even a “share?” Are we seeking her email address? Clearly understanding her path and actions will help in two ways:

    > It defines the exact elements you need to execute and helps build accurate budgets.
    > It creates a seamless, smooth donor journey, resulting in a stronger relationship between organization and donor.
  5. Establish consistency throughout the donor journey
    Verbal and visual consistency is paramount to any multichannel campaign’s success. This is where your messaging platform, in the form of your adlob, comes in handy. They help ensure your creative strategy is unified throughout the donor’s journey. NOTE: Consistent does not mean identical or repeated from channel to channel. It means related, both verbally and visually, and thematically clear. A great way to test this is to lay out all elements pertaining to the campaign across a table and/or screen and see if they all look and sound like a family of consistent themes.
  6. Think outside the proverbial multichannel creative box
    Don’t limit the channel elements to just the usual suspects — email, banners, direct mail, etc. Explore other avenues to promote the campaign and to cultivate engagement, especially if you wish to target a younger audience. Try online advertorials, lead generation quizzes, Facebook canvas ads, Instagram story ads, Pandora ads, etc. As you widen your channel palette, you’ll see how your preparation pays off.

Remember, the trick to developing an effective multichannel campaign is to do the heavy lifting first. Create a messaging platform — an adlob — that will resonate in the donor’s heart and that you can build upon. Establish the donor’s journey and get clarity on what elements you definitely need to execute on. And finally, make sure that there is thematic consistency throughout all elements, both verbal and visual, which you defined by your messaging platform: your adlobs!



This is part of our blog series about multichannel fundraising. Subscribe to Heroic Fundraising to have fresh fundraising insights delivered to your inbox monthly.

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