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Administrative Staff Reports

February 29, 2020

Overview

Communications efforts in the month of February focused largely on continued efforts to update print materials and physical signage to bring them in compliance with the new Volunteer Maine brand. As of the end of the month, remaining items include stand-up banners/large signage, the National Service directory, annual report and the "Serve in Maine" AmeriCorps brochure.

Promotional efforts focused on distributing information on professional development grants, the Certificate for Managers of Volunteers online course and the Maine Volunteer Rolls of Honor. A rotation of social media posts throughout the month and two email blasts, along with a press release on Rolls of Honor, are among the avenues used to spread the word.

Outreach, networking and professional development: The Communications Officer attended a tabling session at Southern Maine Community College on Feb. 14 to inform students about AmeriCorps opportunities. A representative from Maine Conservation Corps also joined on the trip. Four students provided contact information in the two hours present. The Communications Officer also attended Frank Gathering in  Gainesville, Fla. on Feb. 4 - Feb. 7. The conference theme was how to utilize emotion in storytelling, a common tactic used by nonprofits.

MaineServiceCommission.Gov Website

Overview: Search impressions are down from the previous month by roughly 3,800 while actual clicks to the site via Google search were up by 6 from January. This month, "AmeriCorps Maine" was the most utilized search term by visitors from Google for the third month in a row. Once more, Maine Commission for Community Service outranked Volunteer Maine in search results. Currently, VolunteerMaine.Org is ranked higher in search engines than the business site, which could help to explain that figure. In order to provide a more accurate picutre, the .Org site has been hooked up to Google Analytics. As it takes some time for stats to populate, more detailed information will be provided in the March report.

Traffic:

  • Views: 4,543
  • Unique views: 4,011
  • Bounce rate: 64.14

Search results:

  • Clicks to site: 342
  • Impressions: 29k

Frequent search terms:

  • "americorps maine" 61 clicks
  • "maine commission for community service" 27 clicks
  • "maine americorps" 8 clicks
  • "volunteer maine" 2 clicks

Device breakdown:

  • Desktop: 75.14%
  • Mobile: 23.00%
  • Tablet: 1.86%

VolunteerMaine.Org Website

Traffic:

  • Views: 4,543
  • Unique views: 4,011
  • Bounce rate: 64.14

Search results - please note:

VolunteerMaine.Org search numbers will soon be available. The website has been connected to the same analytics service as MaineServiceCommission.Gov, Google Search Console. Data will be included in monthly reports, once available.

Social media engagement

Overview: The statistics in this category speak to organic posting, or posts that were not infused with advertising dollars. Growth is slow, but there was a slight uptick in numbers this month, especially on Facebook and Twitter, due to post frequency. As efforts continue to increase regular posting frequency, the hope is that numbers will continue to tick upward. Our LinkedIn audience is very small, and one way to increase that is to encourage those involved with the Commission to share updates with their network.

Facebook:

  • New fans: 27
  • Post likes: 92
  • Post comments: 10
  • Post shares: 28
  • Video views: 222
  • Link clicks: 132
  • Page reach: Average of 138 people per/post

Twitter:

  • New followers: 7
  • Retweets: 20
  • Likes: 62
  • Replies: 3
  • Link clicks: 22
  • Engagement rate: 0.9%
  • Impressions: 14.1K

LinkedIn

  • New followers: 1
  • Likes: 9
  • Comments: 0
  • Shares: 3

Additional advertising initiatives

Update: Maine Principals' Association Print Program AmeriCorps/AmeriCorps NCCC Advertisement

Goal: The goal of the campaign is to create awareness among graduating seniors or their family members about AmeriCorps service opportunities in the State of Maine as well as "gap year" opportunities with the AmeriCorps NCCC program. The print ad included a QR code which allows those interested to scan the code with their smartphone and be taken directly to an info page on the Volunteer Maine business site. Between events in football, cheerleading and basketball, the ad will be printed in 8,750 programs, according to the MPA's advertising partner Alliance Sports Marketing.

Numbers: In total, there was only one recorded QR scan during the MPA High School Basketball Tournament. There were only two reported QR code scans since the MPA Football tournament in November. Upon initial review, it seems that this method of advertising may not be the best avenue for our efforts. A review of creative will take place to see if the design could have played a factor.

Email marketing

Overall: 

  • Open rate: 18%
  • Click-through: 70
  • Click-through rate: 9%

Campaign: Volunteer Fare February

  • Open rate: 19%
  • Click-through: 47
  • Click-through rate: 12%

Last call for CMV 101 course, professional development grant:

  • Open rate: 16%
  • Click-through: 23
  • Click-through rate: 7%

Glossary of terms:

  • Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. This helps us determine how many engaged/interested visitors visit the site in a given period.
  • Clicks to site/link clicks: The physical action of clicking a link. This helps us measure the effectiveness of our messaging and ability to create calls to action.
  • Click-through number: The number of unique individuals who clicked a link inside of an email. This helps us measure the effectiveness of our calls to action.
  • Click-through rate: This is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement. This helps us measure the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of email campaigns. For 2020, the average open rate is 2.6%, according to digital marketing platform Campaign Monitor.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC): CPC refers to the actual price you pay for each click in your pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns. This helps us measure ROI on advertising, gain a better understanding of our target audiences, and the effectiveness of our messaging.
  • Engagement rate: A metric that measures the level of engagement that a piece of created content is receiving from an audience. This helps us determine how many individuals interact with the content, and gain a better understanding of our target audiences. Industry standards state the following: (courtesy of Scrunch.com)
    • Less than 1% = low engagement rate
    • Between 1% and 3.5% = average/good engagement rate
    • Between 3.5% and 6% = high engagement rate
    • Above 6% = very high engagement rate
  • Frequent search terms: The most utilized search terms that individuals use on Google to access the website. This gives us a better idea of how people get to our website and what topics matter most to them.
  • Impressions: When an advertisement or any other form of digital media appears on a user's screen. This is not an action-based statistic, but gives us an idea of how many users potentially saw the piece of content. This metric helps us track brand awareness efforts.
  • New fans/followers: The number of new individuals that choose to follow a social media profile, such as Facebook and Twitter. This helps us measure brand awareness and the effectiveness of our messaging.
  • Open rate: This is an indication of how many people "view" or "open" the email. This helps us measure the effectiveness of our messaging and email content. For 2020, the average open rate is 17.8%, according to Campaign Monitor.
  • Reach: The total number of different people or households exposed, at least once, to a given piece of content or webpage during a given period. Much like impression, this is a number that informs us how many people have been exposed to the piece of content. This metric helps us track brand awareness efforts and the effectiveness of our content.
  • Post comments/replies: The number of individuals who take action by commenting or replying on a piece of content. This helps us measure the strength of our content and get a better idea of the number of followers who are engaged/interested in our message.
  • Post likes: The number of individuals who take action by liking or reacting to a post. This helps us measure the strength of our content and the effectiveness of our messaging.
  • Post shares/retweets: The number of individuals who take action by sharing a post with their personal network. This helps us measure the strength of our content and get a better idea of the number of followers who are engaged/interested in our message.
  • Unique views: How many different people visited a given webpage. Slightly different than views, this helps us track the number of individual users (or sessions) that visited the website/webpage in a given period.
  • Video views: The number of individuals who viewed one of our videos. When talking about Facebook, the statistic is based on three-second views, which gives us an idea of how successful we are at capturing a user's attention. This stat also helps us measure the strength of the video both from a production and messaging standpoint.
  • Views: How many times a given webpage has been visited. This helps us track the effectiveness of our search visibility and the impact of our content.