Mind the digital strategy gap

There is a growing divide between organisations that take digital comms seriously and those that don’t. 

The divide will continue to widen unless all organisations recognise that action needs to be taken. 

UK charities offer services for all our communities, including: health, education, animal, environmental, international and arts. Many charities offer critical support for people when they need it most and fill in the growing gaps left by the NHS.

For third sector organisations, digital channels can offer the most cost effective ways to raise awareness, offer support services, promote events and raise the finances needed to continue their work.

In the last five years people have changed the way they communicate at work, with family and friends, and how they use their time. Technology and mobile devices have changed everything. 

It’s challenging for business with big budgets to keep up with the relentless change in the way people communicate. For charities and non-profits, it’s even tougher, as many don’t have access to the right digital skill sets or budgets. 

But the fact remains that digital needs to be at the heart of your growth strategy. If the people you support are more advanced digitally than you are, at best you won’t be offering very good customer services and at worst they won’t even find you on a search engines. 

A couple of weeks ago Google updated its search algorithm and it’s likely to have devastating effects on the rankings of charity websites that aren’t mobile friendly. Google will now punish websites that aren’t mobile friendly and prioritise those that are. 

However, Google has said: “The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.”

There are actions you can take to patch up your site in the short-term, but an investment in a mobile friendly site will need to be seriously considered. The way people are accessing your content is changing and for you to provide a seamless online experience having a website that works well on mobiles, tablets and desktops is crucial.

But the worrying thing for Comms and Digital Managers is that you need to try and predict the future when investing in a new platform. Most TVs are now smart, which means you can access your info on a 42” TV. More recently, there’s the smart watch at 1”. 

You obviously need to pick your battles, but starting the journey is critical.