If some of the early hand-wringing over online fundraising plays out as predicted, some digital consultants may have to do more with less next year. For those that find themselves in that predicament, advocacy practitioners have some advice.
Turn to “audience mapping,” says Erin Bergmeister, the newly installed head of digital marketing at public affair shop Narrative Strategies. It’s a way to help surround an “influencer” with advertising, offline and on, with the goal of them taking action.
Bergmeister, who trained in environmental policy before landing in digital marketing, said the approach Narrative is taking is a “full-scale, omni-channel approach,” pairing digital advertising with out-of-home advertising, along with media sponsorships and social media.
“For example, right now, we favor digital billboards, just because they are highly cost-effective, and can go up quickly,” said Bergmeister. “But it’s not something that we’re limiting ourselves to. Anytime we’re putting a campaign together, we want to avoid being too formulaic.”
How are they defining audience mapping? It’s essentially taking specific targets and IDing the key players within their larger sphere of influence.
“So if we were talking abouta senator that we are targeting to vote against a certain bill, it’s delivering ads to him, but it’s also delivering ads to his family members, to his close friends, to his colleagues, to his peers, to his donors,” she said.
“It carries this advantage of feeling that to this individual: Your campaign has a ton of reach, and a ton of dollars behind it, when in reality you’ve been able to efficiently ID the influencers surrounding them, and leverage your budget to create this very specific echo chamber around those individuals.”
To be clear, this isn’t the geo-targeting of old, and it has seen an evolution over the past few years.
“We are lucky to work with some really smart partners in collecting data that have just gotten really creative with how they go about IDing these different individuals and their larger social spheres,” said Bergmeister. “As precise as you can be with your message and your audience, that’s the key to success.”