Do’s and Don’ts: A Content Marketer’s Guide to Advocacy

July 20, 2017
Chandler Watts, Proposal and Marketing Writer

Do you groan as soon as you see a marketing email come into your inbox?

These emails, ads, and social content are constantly splattered across your life – any hour of any day – and the common reaction is one of eye rolls and grumbles.

“Not another one!”

“Just another email trying to sell me something – delete.” 

“Why do I need 13 emails from a clothing company that I bought one shirt from three years ago?”

It’s these tactics that can easily make people skeptical and assume marketing automatically equates to pushy sales tactics – strategies that do not build up a strong customer base.

However, marketing is an ever-changing industry built on the needs of the customer. Consumers are changing how and why they choose what products they invest in and what businesses to interact with, and marketing professionals must adjust to address those fluctuations. Now, 50% of Americans over 18 years old spend more than an hour on social media every day, and a third of these users report engaging with their favorite brands by reading and sharing their posts. That’s why deciding what content you put in front of the consumer is imperative to building out strong campaigns that attract –and not scare away – potential clients.

But advocacy isn’t about selling t-shirts. How does content marketing relate to advocacy?

The same changes facing marketing campaigns can be said about your advocacy campaigns. You don’t want a grumble and groan when your communications reach your audiences’ inboxes. You want to motivate them to learn about your issues and your organization’s goals, and get involved in your campaign in a genuine way. Content marketing – the approach of creating and distributing appropriate and substantial content to draw in your audiences – can provide pivotal tips for approaching your audiences with authenticity and effectiveness. Some of these tips include:

Do: Scale your content based on platform and audience.

Content varies greatly. From thought leadership pieces to tweets to infographics – content can be visual and verbal. It all depends on your audiences and your platform. Is your audience made up of those who are not tied to a desk? You need visual-heavy content that immediately connects with the audience as they check their phone. Do you have a group of engaged advocates that have the potential to act as champions? These advocates are looking for the meat, and you need to have longer-form thought leadership readily available for those who want to immerse themselves in the information.

Don’t: Regurgitate the same message.

No person wants to receive an email, see a Facebook post, scroll past a tweet, and stumble on an ad that all say the exact same thing within a week’s time – especially if they aren’t connecting with the message in the first place. Each communications medium has its own niche in how audiences prefer to engage and message needs to match the platform. If you plan to execute an outreach campaign over several weeks, make sure your content is dynamic and varied for maximum engagement.

Do: Be consistent (but flexible) to ensure longevity.

Content marketing relies heavily on just being able to get in front of your audience. The same goes for advocacy. Being consistent in your efforts – whether it be a monthly blog post or a biweekly newsletter – is imperative not only in finding advocates but in keeping them as well. When advocates can expect a reliable set of valuable communications from your program, they’ll be more likely to stay and remain engaged. But, be sure to keep your audiences on their toes by throwing in fresh new content and value-added insights to ensure your outreach doesn’t come across as monotonous or anticipated.

Don’t: Forget to connect on a personal level.

It’s rather common for individuals to show a certain amount of distrust around brands, corporations, and businesses in general. Because of this natural inclination, it’s imperative to leverage the ‘power of the people’ to better relate with audiences. By creating a more personal identity, you develop stronger individual connections and build up your reputation with your audiences as a credible source. Segmenting your audience and building content that speaks directly to those specific sectors will also enhance your relationships on a deeper level.

So, next time you feel particularly moved by a marketing email or share your favorite brand’s Facebook post with your social network, remember that, if done correctly, the power of marketing tactics can be harnessed for your advocacy campaigns.


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