Four Ways Businesses Can Give Back Using Digital to Make a Difference

There is a quote by Maya Angelou that goes, “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” For many companies, being able to give back sets the tone for creating the core values of the culture.

And, if you want your work and business to impact the world, you need to be able to connect your business with others who can benefit from your brand. One of the greatest challenges is where to start, especially with so much information available online and viewed through different digital channels. Don’t worry; in this post, we will give you ideas on how you can give back and even take advantage of all the digital information out there.

Here are four great ways a business can give back and use online and digital experiences to help.

1. Unite with Your Partners

Reach out to your community of partners and join forces. The first step would be to collaborate on the charities that mean the most to your business and your partners. Once decided on the foundation, you will be able to narrow down how to give back. For many, your partners might not be local, but with the growing trend to help through digital channels, this should not be an issue.

One way to get started is to give part of every sale to a nonprofit. You can set a time limit on this offering or continue it over the long run. One company that continues to give proceeds of product sales is TOMS, and they have now extended their reach to partner with 100 companies.

They take advantage of sharing the digital experience on social media and redirect visitors back to their site (shown in the image below)

Helping to spread the word expands their impact and encourages others to help, either through partnerships or simply by buying their products.

2. Sponsor an Event

The exposure you get from working with charitable foundations is often tough to measure but worth the expense. One company related to the outdoor fitness industry realized enormous success by sponsoring a large bike race with over 7,000 participants. They used the race, which was attended by their target audience, to offer discounts, engage with the participants, and align their brand with a great experience and cause. Now, this well-known company can be seen sponsoring or taking part in hundreds of events across the country.

Also, the company is smart about using social media, mobile apps, and online videos to help get the word out about sponsored events, which lead back to the brand identity and product they are selling.

3. Offer Your Skills

As an expert in your industry, you have an area of expertise that’s of value to others. Consider teaching classes in your area of expertise that could be of value to those who are have been out of the workforce or looking to advance in their field.

With the right technology, you can stream or record sessions and share through different platform solutions. Or, you could use a webcam and conduct your training live, which gives the added benefit of interacting with others.

4. Encourage Employee Volunteerism

A great way to boost the culture of your enterprise and make a difference is to start with the employees. Many businesses are encouraging employees to volunteer by offering paid time off.

Employees can give back in several ways, and some, they may not even know about. With digital experiences advancing, you can now become a digital volunteer.

The organizations that are thriving as volunteering declines are the ones who are using digital volunteers and who make it simple to find their volunteer openings online.

Here are a few successful service organizations that will make it easy for you to volunteer:

  • The United Nations — Allows you to choose from several volunteer opportunities available through the United Nations based on either your skills, experience, a development topic, health, or even a specific geographic location. Check out the openings here for more information on how to help.

  • American Red Cross — The Red Cross offers training for individuals interested in assisting their social engagement team. Individuals can communicate with people on social media and other online tools during times of disaster. Volunteers help people obtain the information they are looking for, help direct people to where they can get help if it’s needed, and comfort the distressed on behalf of the Red Cross. If you are interested in providing help digitally using social media, this may be a good volunteer opportunity for you

  • All For Good — The All For Good database makes it easy to search by your local area and state for virtual opportunities. What sticks out the most regarding the All For Good database is the variety of positions highlighted by both leading nonprofits and local grassroots organizations, giving all positions equal visibility. Search here for the current virtual volunteer opportunities with All For Good and see if one could be a fit for you.

How do you find digital or virtual volunteer opportunities in your community? And has your enterprise taken advantage of new digital channels and volunteer openings? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[Webinar Recap] How To Build a Microsite in 30 Minutes – No Coding Required

Missed our webinar? Don’t sweat it. View the recording of our presentation and find out how you can build a microsite that will be easy to set up and engage your site visitors.

Marketers recognize the value of focusing on specific campaign goals. A microsite is one way to do this effectively. For many companies, finding the right platform to set up easily, engage, and update without the help of the IT department can present a challenge.

This webinar gives you precise step-by-step instructions on how to create a microsite and where to start. You can watch the full recording below — we also included a link to a non-audio version of the presentation on SlideShare. And, as a result of this popular webinar, we had questions come in, and we have answered them below. Enjoy!

Watch The Full Webinar:

Microsite-30-webinar-crafter-cms

Video: How to Build a Microsite in 30 Minutes – No Coding Required

Check Out On SlideShare Here:

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How to Build a Microsite in 30 Minutes – No Coding Required from Craftersoftware.com

Questions that came in after the webinar:

1.  Can a microsite help to boost SEO?

Yes, employing a microsite will boost your brand’s overall SEO ranking and will allow new site visitors to find your business online. Visitors, who are unfamiliar with your enterprise, may discover the microsite through organic search, referral links, and social media. Including a logo and linking back to the parent website invites visitors to learn more.

2.  What types of content are supported (video, .pdf, audio files, XML and binary downloads)

Crafter CMS supports all types of content and can be integrated with any media player.

3.  Does Crafter CMS offer language translation for a microsite? What languages are supported?

Yes, the Crafter CMS platform supports language translation and workflow. Crafter CMS integrates seamlessly with most translation platforms and supports all languages worldwide.

4.  As a marketer, what are the biggest benefits of implementing a Crafter CMS microsite?

Since microsites can be deployed swiftly and cost-effectively, they represent a way to test multiple campaigns. The marketer can use targeted, personalized content and then use analytics to measure market engagement. Also, microsites can offer marketing teams the freedom to experiment without the restrictions that may exist on the primary website. By giving the marketing team this freedom to quickly run multiple campaigns, the enterprise may uncover new best practices and generate more sales opportunities, allowing your company to compete with other brands for the attention of site visitors.

More questions, comments or concerns? Let us know in the comments section.

Like more information about the webinar or Crafter CMS? Email us at info@craftersoftware.com.

 

3 Examples of Engaging Digital Experiences (and What They Can Teach Us)

What if I told you that your company could meaningfully engage more customers and grow your brand by offering more compelling digital experiences? Countless companies go through the motions of creating a digital user experience that never connects with individuals. Even big-budget, mainstream brands often stumble — no matter how many experts they use or how many different strategies they implement.

Consider this:

Building a seamless user experience can be simple!

Just let that sink in for a minute.

As you’re about to discover, technology and the ability to solve customers’ problems are far greater than any ineffective expert or strategy. Your company can connect with site visitors today by creating a helpful user experience. The best part is, once you learn how these companies understand their customer needs by examining real-world examples, you’ll be motivated to start.

Here are inspiring examples of brands that have created thriving interactive environments in the digital world.

1) Papa John’s Online Ordering App

The cutthroat U.S. restaurant industry is aggressive about technology because restaurants need to be competitive. Papa John’s understands that people rely more on their devices to buy food and they need to make it simple for customers to order and pay for their food.

So, how is a Papa John’s competing against well-known brands like Dominos?

One prime example of this is Papa John’s implementing an app on Apple TV. A pizza industry first!

The company noticed new ordering opportunities were happening all the time, especially with people streaming movies and binge-watching TV shows. Taking advantage of this opening, Papa John’s created an easy-to-use app. Now you don’t even need to reach for your phone; you can navigate to the app on your TV and create your next pizza order.

Why is the app so convenient?

It all comes down to the right location and features. Not only does the app allow consumers to customize all orders as well as storing past orders, payment, and delivery information, but it meets the customers where they are and the devices they are using, limiting the possibility of another choice coming into play by picking up another device.

papa-johns-apple-tvSource: brandchannel

60% of Papa John’s orders are made through digital channels, from desktops, mobile, to native apps. Digital ordering is one of the biggest battlegrounds in the pizza industry, and Papa John’s is staying ahead of the competition by finding new ways to connect with customers on preferred devices and creating an easy user experience.

What can you learn?

The most significant takeaway is looking at where your customers are located. Are they in an office setting? Do they love the outdoors or maybe prefer their homes? Think of original ways to create a digital experience related to that environment. Then, take it a step further – examine hobbies, professions and other interests related to your company. Have the goal of creating personas to help you better target your message to that audience, and you will see more engagement with your offerings.

2) PGA Tour Mobile App

The effort to use technology to bring fans closer to live events is vital to engage fans – and stakeholders are taking notice. The PGA Tour is looking at the new ways fans are consuming sports, mainly with live golf events – they aim to present an immersive fan experience across all platforms.

So how is this possible?

There are several strategies the PGA Tour uses to engage fans across multiple platforms – including live coverage, 3D radar tracking, on-course content, social media streaming, and 360-degree videos. The efficient way fans receive golf highlights is through this popular mobile app.

Why people love it?

Foremost, individuals like the functionality of the digital experience app. You can navigate to get news and live updates during a tournament, and receive up-to-date stats in real time. Plus, the app has a clean interface, which helps with the overall experience.

pga-courseSource: App store


Here’s what this app teaches you.

It’s important to be accessible to your customers by delivering real-time content through different devices. If you don’t, they will find another digital destination that can meet their needs, and mobile usage is only expected to increase. Once customers receive the content, it needs to be useful and appealing. Achieve this by having the right technology in place with the ability to create useful information and an engaging user experience.

3) AppNexus Website Experience

AppNexus is a powerhouse of a company you might not know about; it is a big ad technology company slated to be a potential challenger to Google and Facebook in online advertising. That said, it has to compel site visitors to connect and learn more about them and its technology solutions.

Here’s how it works.

Have you ever visited a website and thought, “What do they do?” or “This content doesn’t relate to me.” If you’re nodding your head yes, then you are not alone. AppNexus solves this issue right away, on the homepage and in the main header.

Let’s look together. Notice Image 1 at the top provides a company description and includes a call to action.

Image 1

Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 10.18.33 AM.png

Source: AppNexus

Next, it talks about video technology and has two call-to-action buttons. It’s brilliant in its simplicity because it has a clear message and targets primary consumers. The same can be said for the example demonstrated in Image 2, but with a different product promotion.

Image 2

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The fourth rotating image (seen in Image 3) describes how to add value to an offered solution and a place to navigate to learn more. This carries over to the next image, before sliding back to the first image.

Image 3

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The AppNexus website creates an interactive and engaging digital experience in less than 30 seconds flat! With a well-thought-out plan on content, AppNexus was able to carry out a responsive and clear theme. The straightforward calls to action help to guide site visitors. Even if you’re not a prospective client, you understand the company, its offerings, and how to access relevant information.

The end result is a company that can sustain and gain new clients like Wayfair, Fox News, ESPN, and Bloomberg, by providing competitive solutions and designing a digital user experience that addresses the needs of each company’s clients.

How can you improve from this example?

When it comes to your website, are you telling customers what you’re offering and who you are (in 30 seconds or less)? If the answer is no, here is how you can fix it. Examine your message and let others that are not in the industry do the same and give feedback. It can help by taking a step back, getting advice, and taking action. I once had a painting instructor say, “Stop painting and walk across the room and look at the piece, then come back to it.” It’s perfect advice because just like in art, in business, we can be so involved it’s hard to see from a fresh perspective – such as that of a site visitor.

Outside of the companies and digital experiences shared, what other ideas you might have that produce appealing user experiences? Leave a comment below to let us know and help someone else develop a more meaningful user experience.

Curious about the how the right technology could help you create innovative user experiences? Contact info@craftersoftware.com and learn more about Crafter CMS.