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Have you ever wondered what your movement can learn from a children's playground? Probably not. Surprisingly, a playground is home to a piece of play equipment that represents movements like nothing else: the carousel. When you watch children setting it in motion with difficulty and compare it to the ease, which they keep it running with and then accelerate, the following conclusion seems just logical: Never let the flywheel stop.
The same applies to campaigns and movements: Anyone who has started a movement with great dedication and commitment should try to maintain this momentum. Because at this point, many make a common mistake - they let the contacts fall asleep after the first success or pause their communication, because it is not needed for a few years.
The consequence? Time flies and a new occasion is just around the corner that is worth standing up for - but you have to start the motion all over again. You and your movement have been forgotten by the supporters that you once so painstakingly had collected, due to the long radio silence. Rebuilding awareness and support costs time, energy, money and, in the worst case, the campaign’s success.
Imagine that as soon as an occasion arises, you can reach all your supporters and mobilize them for your common cause. Sounds too good to be true? It is possible and very successful!
We have put together 5 simple tips for you to keep your community active and engaged. So you start from pole position at the next opportunity! Are you ready?
Who only talks about content non-stop, appears dry and boring? Not if the content is actually relevant to those it is communicated to. Particularly high relevance arises when topics affect us or our immediate environment. There are plenty of them, especially at the regional level.
Talking about it and taking a position can help you position yourself and make yourself known. However, if you manage not only to address people, but also to involve them, you can create a powerful lever.
The potential is huge if you are the one who offers people and their concerns a platform.
To properly address such issues, a simple petition mechanic is the best option. To do this, you create an online petition, which can be pushed by email and on your social media. This way you can reach supporters even if you are not physically there!
Some topics spread like wildfire, others never make it beyond those directly affected, but it is up to you to take up such topics regularly and use them to your advantage.
It is great to show your community
However, it has further benefits for you, because you
To make sure that a topic is sufficiently relevant, put yourself in the position of the addressees and go through the following questionnaire:
Why is that important right now? (Temporal relevance)
Why should the topic be relevant? (Thematic relevance)
Why does it concern me? (Personal relevance)
Choose topics according to these aspects and let the answers influence your speech, so it is more likely your audience will identify with it, and thus with you.
Events for and with the community are indispensable when it comes to direct contact with your supporters! They bear many advantages:
They are a great way to generate communication opportunities when there aren't any others.
If organizing an offline event is just next to impossible for you, don't worry, there are alternatives. In addition to the on-site events, which are becoming rarer, there are now numerous possibilities for digital events. This opens up completely new ways to easily involve people in your work.
You can use tools such as Livestorm, Google Meet, Zoom or Skype through which participants can engage live. Facebook or Instagram Lives are also good options. Of course, you can also use Facebook and Instagram or a form on your website to collect questions in advance.
Do you need inspiration for online events? Here are a few ideas for you:
As a little extra, you could send participants of small or exclusive events a small gift in advance, such as a welcome drink.
For the manageable number of offline events, it is all the more important that you use them digitally for your campaign.
Social media: Use pictures, videos, quotes, anecdotes, etc. for Facebook, Instagram & Co.
Email: Send emails before the event to keep it present and increase anticipation. Immediately after the event you send another one as a thank you for participating and with impressions of the day / evening.
Website: You can make images of the event available for download on a website so that attendees can share them on their own channels.
As already mentioned in point 1, communication opportunities are essential for good communication - who would have thought?
Staying in constant touch with supporters can be a chore, because you probably don't have exciting news to share with your community every week. But a constant exchange is important in order to have active support and to generate a mobilization force. After all, a seed has to find fertile soil in order to thrive. Communication events are the best way to keep the floor from drying out. Such occasions could include a public holiday, school start, New Year, halftime, state parliament sessions, International Cat Day (you see, there are no limits). Take every opportunity to show presence with your supporters and keep the soil soft - then sowing will be a lot easier when the time comes.
Many people hardly use smaller occasions or do not use them to their full potential - so you have the opportunity to stand out positively with your communication and to involve your supporters!
This tip’s big advantage is that these occasions are known months in advance and you therefore have enough time to think about a creative way of communicating. Also, try to always associate it with a cause or demand.
In addition to sending out emails on such occasions, CamBuildr also enables you to create social media content that can be directly uploaded and advertised. This way you have used all digital channels effectively.
Another important tip, which should keep the unsubscriptions from email communication low and the involvement high, is the so-called ‘onboarding’. As the name suggests, the aim is to get your new contacts on board immediately after they have registered: with information about you, your cause and your campaign. This gives you a compact but complete impression of the movement. This is so important due to the fact that it lowers the hurdle for your contacts to actively support you.
Because who would you rather support: Someone who has said one clever thing yo agree with, but who you don't know much about otherwise, OR someone whose goals, values and team you have already gotten to know?
With CamBuildr you can create automated emails (so-called “Triggered Emails”) that take on this task. For example, you can create three emails that are being sent at certain times after the contact has entered the database and which introduce you and your campaign.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and even TikTok (for those who are really up to date) are ideal platforms to give your community insights into your everyday life, your tasks and your projects.
Unfortunately, just posting is no longer enough these days, because the organic (i.e. unpaid) reach is now quite low on most platforms. This is why it is important for you to boost representative and relevant content in order to ensure that it is seen by your supporters and by all those who correspond to your target audience.
You can put together your target groups individually. There are characteristics such as place of residence, age, gender and, above all, interests to choose from.
You can also choose which goals you want to pursue with the post: Depending on whether you want to reach as many people as possible, or you want to have a particularly high number of visits to your website, the platforms display your posts at different frequencies. For a sign up on the website it usually takes several exposures to the same person.
Please note, however, that pricing is based on an auction process: the more people and organizations want to serve the same target groups with paid content at the same time, the more expensive the price for clicks, page views, etc becomes.
For example, empirical values show that the costs per person reached are 100% to 200% higher in election campaign times than in non-election campaign times. Therefore, choose the application times wisely.
However, when creating and promoting your content, don't forget that page likes, followers and interactions in the form of likes and comments are great, but are considered a ‘soft currency’. Contacts are the ‘hard currency’ for movements and therefore you need to make sure that your social media contacts become email contacts. In order to achieve this, you have to create enough hands-on activities (see tips 1 and 2).
Probably the most important tip that turns a database full of contacts into a community: Involvement! Because communication is great, but simply ‘keeping supporters up to date’ is not enough to be successful. It is essential that you activate your contacts by constantly asking for little things.
Therefore, any type of communication you emanate should include a call-to-action. This can be something simple, like taking part in a vote directly in an email with just one click, or something more high-threshold, like asking to share a picture on social media.
If you actually always include a call-to-action, you not only keep your community active, but also get to know them better! Because every interaction can be registered and saved by softwares such as CamBuildr and helps you in your further communication to address your supporters more specifically and also to filter out who the most active contacts are.
In our Campaign Core Loop, we have summarized how you can make your digital communication appealing and engaging.
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