When It Comes to Building an Advocate Community, Don’t Ignore the Outliers

June 6, 2016
Chandler Watts, Proposal and Marketing Writer

As we progress deeper into a politically charged election year, attracting a diverse community of supportive voices can enhance your influence and reach within the political field.

Smart audience identification and targeting will help you move beyond speaking to those who already support your cause—and who are expected to support it. Certain outlier audiences could carry momentous impact for your efforts, if you know how and where to find them. These outliers are individuals whom you may not immediately think of as prospective advocates, but who actually align with your objectives when you really understand how your issues affect them.

So how do you identify these groups if they aren’t part of your core audience? To start, taking a deeper dive into your core audience data can offer clues to identify the non-traditional allies you need to amplify your messages in new ways. By examining this data for shared values, you have the ability to detect additional allies who align with your message. By integrating demographic, psychographic, and geographic insights into your targeting methodology, you have the ability to develop models of the most productive targets among these outlier audiences. For example, you might not expect that there is a strong correlation between Do-It-Yourself enthusiasts and those who support domestic energy production.

When you start focusing on what advocates value, you can quickly recognize that outlier audiences span a range of demographic subsets. One community that is widely gaining more attention as a non-traditional audience on a wide range of business and political issues is America’s Spanish-speaking demographic. The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest data-set indicates that the Spanish-speaking community comprises roughly 17% of the total American population, meaning Spanish speakers could be one of the largest subsets of advocates for an organization’s cause, if reached effectively.

From here, it is important to understand that not all people are active on the same channels, and reaching them where they are most active—whether through social media, traditional website traffic, via email, or even through offline means such as informational mailers or out-of-home advertising—can be a game-changer for your campaign.

When looking at engagement strategies, understanding the benefits of available tools like apps, SMS, and emails will change content delivery, frequency and timing of communications. Why is this important? Because even if you’ve determined who your audiences are, you may be missing entire networks of advocates who best respond to messaging platforms that are going under- or unused in your campaign. By studying quantitative behavioral and demographic data, you have the potential to gain deeper insights into who your audience actually is, what they care about, and how to reach them authentically.

Like all unique audiences, identifying the most effective engagement methods requires strategy, as traditional outreach messages and methods may fall short. Addressing Spanish-speaking audiences, for example, requires more than just translating your English-language messages into Spanish. You must foster a relatable connection to your audience, speaking to their culture and values as much as to their language. Spanish dialects from across the globe—from Spain to Cuba to Central and South America—vary greatly, each containing countless idioms that need to be accounted for. The same is true of cultural outlooks and values. The most effective campaigns take all of these aspects into account when developing engagement messaging and delivery methods.

By finding these audiences through data insights, your program can open untapped advocate reserves and identify the most effective ways for bringing these new advocates into the fold organically, assuring them a positive experience when they join your advocate community. These outliers could be the game changers your advocacy program needs to have a meaningful impact.


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