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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Launching a Digital Advocacy Campaign

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Launching a Digital Advocacy Campaign

Digital advocacy efforts are vital for enabling nonprofit organizations to cut through the noise and win campaigns.

Without digital advocacy, it can be difficult to measure the success of your campaigns — or even know if you’re winning, at all. In fact, 94% of advocacy campaigners believe the opposing side is winning, and 86% believe they should embrace more impactful tactics.

It is time we step up our digital advocacy efforts.

Whether you’re a seasoned campaigner looking to go back to basics or are completely new to digital organizing and don’t know where to start — you’re in the right place.

Here, let’s explore five questions you’ll want to ask when starting a digital advocacy campaign.

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5 Questions to Ask for a Successful Digital Advocacy Campaign

1. What is your goal?

Before starting any digital campaign, it’s important to understand what you’re trying to achieve. 

Think about what you want to accomplish. Do you want to turn the tides on a policy decision currently on the table? Do you want to help de-stigmatize an issue in your community? Do you want to mobilize your supporters to publicly support your issue ahead of an upcoming election?

Marshall Ganz is a scholar at Harvard and activist who has studied powerful movements and what led to their success. Through his research he found a framework for setting goals.

Ganz determined that effective campaign goals should:

  • Be measurable and tangible to improve the lives of your supporters. You should be able to clearly measure the incremental progress towards the goal.
  • Focus resources strategically to achieve your goal. Consider what you have in your back pocket– can you put your organization’s skills and strengths to use to achieve a single outcome?
  • Build capacity for your organization internally. For example, when working towards this goal will you recruit and engage volunteers? Will you gain valuable experience or resources, exposure and clout that will help you with your next goal?
  • Use points of leverage where you can use your communities strengths and/or capitalize off of your opposition’s weakness
  • Focus on a single motivational issue that has a direct impact on your supporters’ lives.

2. What is your theory of change?

It is incredibly important to show your supporters that their actions can have an enormous impact.  

In our research report on Full Spectrum Engagement, we found that it’s essential to show how change is possible. Providing a blueprint for that path — and showing how you get from A to B — will help supporters understand the steps it takes to win, and they’ll directly see their role in that change. 

Google’s research into civic engagement attitudes shows that those who do not take action are held back in part because they didn’t believe their actions would have an impact. When people see how their small action plays into a larger strategic plan, they will be more likely to join.

Here is how the #StopAdani illustrated their theory of change:

#stopadani campaignThe giant #StopAdani campaign used this graphic to illustrate the theory of  change of their campaign to stop a new coal mine in Australia.

3. Who are your targets?

Now that you have a goal, ask yourself, who are the key decision-makers in charge of making your goal become a reality? Who do you need on your side to make it happen? A good exercise for narrowing in on decision-makers is called power mapping.

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To conduct power mapping, follow these steps:

  • Brainstorm: List all of the people involved in your campaign, including stakeholders, influencers, decision-makers, and constituents who are directly affected by the issue.
  • Power Map: Next, place them on a grid and map them based on how much power they have over your issue, and how sympathetic they are to your cause.
  • Pick a Target: Once everything is on the grid, you can see who might be the best person to target in your campaign. Remember — it doesn’t have to be the most powerful person. Depending on how long you have, you may go for a more sympathetic person first, or even do an assessment of the most powerful person’s network. You need to analyze the pathways and relationships that can get you access to these decision-makers, and how to put pressure on them through a larger network.

Here is an example of a power mapping brainstorm. The goal is in the pink sticky note, and all of the actors related to the goal are in yellow sticky notes and have been mapped:

power mappingA Screenshot of a power mapping board. The campaign goal is to eliminate proof of immigration status when enrolling in school so they process aligns with the statewide sanctuary policy. The vertical axis maps the level of influence/power each actor has over the decision related to the campaign. The horizontal axis maps the level of support each actor has for your campaign. Template inspired by Anita Tang’s work at The Commons 

To get more in depth instructions on power mapping please check out our Advocacy Targeting with Intention Manual to give you step-by-step instructions and great prompting questions for your brainstorming.

4. How will you reach your goal?

You have determined your goal and your theory of change … but how will you put this plan into action?

New/Mode provides a platform for supporters to reach decision-makers and for their voices to be heard. We offer multiple avenues and channels to reach decision-makers.

Reaching a CEO or a bank? Perhaps they would be more receptive to the public and a hashtag on Twitter calling them out.

Need to reach a local representative? They have staff dedicated to opening, reading, and responding to their constituents. New/Mode has built-in datasets that automatically match supporters with their elected officials so none of the manual work falls on your shoulders.

Check out the types of digital advocacy tools you can use to achieve your goals:

Tweet Storm

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Use Tweets to build a powerful public narrative, grow support, and make your campaign go viral.

Learn how the Regional Transportation Authority used the tweet storm to win funding for transit.

Letters to the Editor

Make the headlines! Encourage supporters to write letters to local publications and provide a platform for your collective story… decision-makers will be sure to notice!

Learn how organizations such as the Warren Democrats, Stand Up America, and New Hampshire Democratic Party have used this great tool.

Targeted Emails

Input multiple email subject lines and messages into the system to increase deliverability and open rates. Create conditional messages that are dependent on the decision-maker’s current vote or position. Give your supporters an appropriate script for the given situation.

Learn how Defund the Police campaigns all over North

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America used email actions to give their supporters a strong voice.

Personalized Calls

Call your local, state/provincial, and federal officials, and candidates and tell them what matters most.

Learn how BattleForTheNet used the call tool to advocate for open internet for all.

Petitions

Give your supporters something to believe in! Provide an easy way for them to take action and get in touch with local decision-makers.

Learn how Safe Passage used a combination of the petition, tweet and letter to the editor tool to reunite families.

5. What is your follow-up plan?

Campaigning is a long and dedicated effort. In your digital advocacy campaign you are developing and furthering a relationship with both your supporters and decision-makers. You must have a plan for both of these relationships.

How to Nurture your Relationships with Supporters

You will have a list of supporters who take part in your advocacy campaign and you will have an opportunity to deepen your relationship with them.

Using New/Mode in tandem with a customer relationship management software is really effective to keep track of and nurture relationships. Once an action-taker uses New/Mode, their contact information will sync to HubSpot. In HubSpot you can see who has taken an action, and how many actions they’ve taken.

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With this information you can start to follow-up with those people every couple of months and ask them to participate in an action they’re ready to take. For example, if someone starts with a low-barrier action such as a petition, you could ask them to do another simple action like sending an email to a representative or ask them to escalate their action and ask them to Tweet at their representative.

A helpful way to visualize this is a pyramid of engagement/ladder of engagement which is used by campaigners and organizers to define a series of tasks for supporters, usually escalating in difficulty or commitment required.

Different advocacy tools might be better depending on which level a supporter is at, as shown in this picture:

pyramid of engagementFor more tips on how to engage your supporter base, check out this Campaign Engagement Checklist, developed from decades of experience leading advocacy campaigns across the globe.

How to Nurture your Relationship with Decision-Makers

Once your supporters contact their decision-makers you need to be ready to follow-up with them, make your ask again, and/or hold them accountable. You should ask supporters to notify you of the response they get so you can keep track of how receptive the decision-maker is.

Depending on how responsive the decision-maker is you may want to ask them for a meeting and invite supporters along so you can make your asks and demands face-to-face. If they’re not responsive, perhaps it’s time to try another communications channel if they are not receptive to the first request.

If they are not responding to emails, would they be more attentive if they saw their name in thousands of tweets or in the newspaper? If you do receive a commitment from a decision-maker, make note of this and come up with a plan to check in and hold them accountable.

Time to Get Started

You are officially set up for success because you now have a goal in mind, a plan to get there, targets to reach, a way to reach them and a plan to follow up on your efforts.

Good luck, and happy campaigning.

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At New/Mode we are providing technology to help leading social good organizations cut through the noise and win campaigns. We provide digital advocacy software that is designed to turn engaged supporters into advocates that achieve tangible wins for our communities.

We support hundreds of cause-based organizations and so far have facilitated over 17,000 campaigns and 60 million civic messages to decision-makers with our software– we know what works and want to share the top five questions you should ask before launching your campaign to ensure you have a successful one.


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MARKETING

20 Best Tools To Help You Scale

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To grow and succeed in the digital marketplace and increase your team’s content marketing effectiveness, you must build a dependable tech stack that will allow you to grow without placing too much pressure on you or your team.

In this article, we’ll provide ways to boost the efficiency of content marketing strategies and a list of tools to aid you in achieving your objectives together with higher performance.

Strategies for scaling your content marketing efforts

Before we get into the technology you can use to improve your content marketing, let’s look at how you can get better results from developing a successful content team to help improve your performance.

Every team member will have a different job. They will use their respective skills to help the team reach its goals:

Managing editor

This is the person in charge of your content team. They ensure that all the material published is high quality and consistent with the brand’s messaging. Often, their responsibilities include hiring content writers and then collaborating with them to ensure everything is correct and on track.

SEO analyst

This team member is in charge of ensuring that your website meets SEO standards. They also select the best keywords for each article. SEO analysts help ensure that your material is indexed properly and written with search intent in mind.

Content writer

Most content marketing teams employ in-house writers, outsource the work to independent contractors, or a mixture of both. Because “content” is at the center of all content marketing operations, these individuals are essential for generating high-quality and research-driven material for your blog and other content assets.

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Outreach manager

This individual is in charge of sending your material to the appropriate forums on sites where your leads and influencers congregate and creating backlinks so that you receive the most value from each piece of content.

Top tools to grow content marketing and automate workflow

Inefficient workflows can result in delays in the creation of content as well as low-quality content because team members may struggle to work together and communicate effectively. Here are five tools that allow you to take control over the content creation process.

1. Google Docs

Google Docs is a free writing program that permits you to create, edit, and share documents online wherever you are. It is an excellent tool for collaboration and helps your team work together by giving them editing access. Features like “comments,” “suggestions,” and “mentions” let you add relevant information and people to your Docs.

2. GatherContent

GatherContent can be described as a central platform for content creation and collaboration that allows rapid and effective content production.

The tool offers a medium that lets your team edit and create content, monitor its progress, and publish it when it’s ready. Your team can also create structured content on a large scale in a split second.

3. Narrato

Narrato is a team management system that lets you streamline and control your content creation process, aiding cooperation. The tool has many useful features, including AI assistance, image search, content idea generators, and employee management options. You can organize content using boards, folders, and calendars.

4. Monday.com

It is an “everything you need” platform with collaboration campaign planning and content management tools. The fully customizable templates help your team collaborate, plan, and manage content production more efficiently.

5. Wordable

Wordable allows you to upload Google Docs drafts into WordPress in just minutes and in a designated format. The tool helps keep your documents clean, removing unnecessary spaces and line breaks as well as removing font and span tags.

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It also performs other functions such as generating tables automatically, simulating featured images, helping to choose alt text for images, etc.

The best tools for scaling the writing process and optimizing content

Your efforts to market your content depend on your writing skills or search engine optimization strategies. Here are tools that help you improve the writing process and SEO.

1. WriterAccess

WriterAccess is a platform that connects you with freelancers to create content and streamline your workflow. The Partner AI tools let you research trending topics, find new keywords, optimize content, and track SERPs.

2. Frase

Frase is a tool powered by AI that detects your audience’s questions and assists you in responding to them. It helps your team identify the questions your site visitors would like answered using Google Search. It also creates detailed briefs that allow you to modify your content to meet users’ preferences.

3. MarketMuse

This artificial intelligence-based keyword and content planner allows you to speed up the research process and identify what’s missing from your content compared to your competitors. The tool also helps with content optimization for Google search.

4. Clearscope.io

Clearscope.io makes it possible to discover potential keywords and determine terms you can integrate into your content to optimize it for search engines. The tool is also great for researching content and developing freelancer content briefs.

5. Writesonic

Through Writesonic’s artificial intelligence-powered Writer and Editor, you can write blog posts, articles, essays, e-books, and other types of content at the touch of an icon. Furthermore, you can use our editing tools powered by AI, such as paraphrasers, expanders, and shorteners, to enhance your content.

The most effective methods to increase the reach of content and establish collaborations

Content promotion is an excellent way to connect with the people you want to reach. The following tools will help you connect with your audience and establish collaborations.

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1. Evaboot.com

The most trusted place to find colleagues is LinkedIn. You can pull and search for emails in LinkedIn Sales Navigator with one click using Evaboot.

Evaboot can help you find suitable contacts by scouring the most extensive business network. It achieves this through an extremely effective filter that provides accurate and high-quality results that enable you to connect to skilled people who could help you reach your goals.

2. Respona.com

Respona.com is a link-building software that automates outreach, designs personalized email campaigns, locates emails of individuals you want to contact, and then sends customized pitches to these contacts. Using this tool, it is also possible to build automated sequences of emails you can use to mail personalized proposals to your email list.

3. Mailshake.com

Make your cold outreach fully automated with Mailshake to reach more potential customers and set up more meetings. Mailshake’s email tool utilizes AI and information from thousands of cold email campaigns to create constant, high-quality emails you can send to your leads.

Furthermore, you can use an integrated screen to contact prospects via phone or social media.

4. Hyperise

Hyperise lets you personalize images in your emails, Facebook messaging, chatbots, and LinkedIn. You can customize layers on existing images using Hyperise’s online editor and adjust them instantly on your website.

5. Icereach

Icereach can reach potential clients through LinkedIn by using intelligent automated sequences. The tool makes it easy to import leads and customize the outreach to a grander scale by adding distinct elements to create an original and customized message. The program will then create an automated drip program with automatic follow-ups.

The most practical tools to improve content distribution

Without an appropriate distribution system that allows you to reach your target audience and display your content quickly, all your efforts will go to the trash even after you’ve created some amazing content. Here are five tools that let you easily publish, share and promote your content.

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1. IFTTT

IFTTT is a program that lets you connect to, incorporate, and automate the use of your favorite applications. In integrating with more than 250 personal and business applications, IFTTT is one of the most effective ways to automate your content promotion efforts.

2. Moosend

With its easy-to-use interface, this newsletter tool not just assists you with the design of email drives but also helps you target your list of contacts with specialized content.

3. Planable

You can easily organize your social media posts, collaborate with other users, and plan it from anywhere with Planable. The tool also helps you streamline your social media publishing process by letting you schedule your posts.

4. Quuu

Quuu is software that can help you get top-quality suggestions according to your target audience’s interests. Quuu’s proprietary artificial intelligence algorithm will identify high-quality content and send it to your third-party scheduling tool. It is one of the best tools to automate your social media marketing!

5. Outbrain.com

Outbrain provides marketers with customized recommendations for the top magazines in the world to reach their targeted audience. Its proprietary algorithms help capture your audience’s attention and guide them into taking action.

Wrapping up

Content marketing is the best way to establish the credibility of your brand and expand your enterprise. The tools listed in this guide can be utilized to create a distribution plan, measure your marketing effectiveness, and even make your customers feel more involved, assisting you in improving your company’s performance.

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