AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerPlatform vs. Media Outlet

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Platform vs. Media Outlet

As I talk with many people about social media, there is an assumption that there is a huge audience waiting to be tapped. The truth is, there is no audience.Theater seats

A platform like GoFundMe or even Facebook is like an empty auditorium. You have to fill it. Otherwise you are suffering from reading too many fish stories about the large audiences on one platform or another. It forms an audience bias. Our bias is caused by traditional linear media. For example, TV’s job is to generate an audience with programming and then you purchase the audience. On a platform, there is no audience. Wait, you say. There are a gazillion people on Facebook. Yes, but none are on your site until you build an audience or boost a post. The truth is, the only audience is when you treat social media like linear advertising and buy a Facebook ad. Otherwise, you are talking to a very small universe.

This bias is most notable with GoFundMe pages. GoFundMe is a great platform. They help set up everything, but it has no built-in audience of people waiting to give you money. That audience must be generated through promotion — your promotional effort.

We’ve all heard of the big fish stories about a man in Atlanta who raised $1 million dollars to fix his restaurant or the family that raised $2 million to pay for medical bills. Those two stories were made famous by CBS News, not the GoFundMe site. Less than 40% of GoFundMe pages reach their goal, and many of the goals are small.

You must build your audience with great content, develop relationships with influencers (people with a lot of followers on the social media platform), connect with other organizations or get lucky with national promotion.

Otherwise, buy the time. If you build it, then the platform works.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.