Nearly every American today is consuming content on a mobile device, making digital one of the most effective ways to get your message to the right audiences at the right time. From creating a national voice for individuals and families sharing the impact of clinical trials to building a statewide coalition fighting for patient access issues, digital plays a significant role in any group's effort to build successful, long-lasting coalitions.
The following is our framework for leveraging the power of digital to build, grow and sustain your coalition.
Build experiences that inspire your supporters and engage them to evangelize and mobilize on your behalf.
Building a coalition starts with understanding who your audience is and how to effectively reach them. The audiences you’re trying to reach may not even be aware of your issue or initiative. Digital provides a great opportunity to understand when and where your target audience is consuming media and leverage those platforms to educate and engage them. Rather than assume you know where to engage your audience, digital tools like Kantar and eMarketer provide the data to help you identify the most effective channels for your audiences. From partnerships to earned media, reaching your audiences offline is still a critical aspect of building authentic relationships and credibility for your coalition.
Your digital engagement should align with these efforts and leverage them to drive the frequency that your audience sees your message and is encouraged to take action. Native advertising is a great digital vehicle for building engagement with your audience. Try pushing out content about your initiative to points where they’re consuming it on a similar topic. That content should be designed to drive potential supporters to a sign-up or landing page.
Grow your coalition by using social media to reach new audiences.
Once you’ve built a solid foundation for your coalition, you’ll want to continue to grow it with supporters who will be loyal and stay engaged. Digital provides the opportunity to hone in on the audiences most likely to consume your content. For example, Facebook’s prospecting tool allows you to use your email database (or Facebook following) to build prospect pools. Creating content that will resonate with these audiences and get them talking will help you fuel your coalition growth.
A good general rule of thumb is to author 50-to-70 percent of your content, and engaging in sourcing, commenting and sharing for the remainder of your content. LinkedIn Groups are another key tool, as you can find and join groups with similar interests to prospect additional members. Each minute, there are more than 200 conversations happening within LinkedIn Groups, providing a great opportunity to focus on those that are relevant to your coalition and issues.
Sustain your coalition and its momentum by listening to existing conversations and finding ways to make your voice a part of them.
It’s important to sustain the relationships and momentum that you’ve built so you are ready to quickly activate on the next issue. Digital platforms offer a cost- and time-effective means to provide your members with ongoing news, information, and opportunities to get involved to keep them engaged. Twitter is a great example. With some 335 million average monthly active users, Twitter gives you the mouthpiece to amplify your coalition and what it stands for.
Amplify issue briefings, legislative committee meetings, and other coalition events you participate in or attend by live tweeting updates and key learnings. Finally, utilize social listening tools like Sysomos or Facebook/Instagram to keep a pulse of the conversations happening in your region/market or issue landscape. Not only will this help you monitor the conversation and tone surrounding your coalition and issues, it will also guide you in creating content that is authentic and engaging.
Karen Moore is the founder and CEO of Moore, an integrated marketing agency.