By: Erin Hudson
When developing a campaign, there are pieces of collateral or content hubs to consider that can help stakeholders easily find and consume your message. While a microsite might look slick and a well-designed brochure may seem like great ideas, they may not always make sense to deliver the desired results.
WHEN DOES DIGITAL MAKE SENSE?
The beauty of digital platforms and tools is that they are becoming easier to use and implement. However, in our always-on environment, it can be difficult to cut through the noise of an already saturated digital landscape. From social media to microsites, there are several effective tactics you can use to spread your message. But, in the interest of being strategic and efficient, it isn’t always necessary to leverage all the tools in your toolkit for every campaign.
If you’re planning an event or a campaign and the goals do not include drumming up support for a cause, raising awareness for a new entity, or facilitating a call to action like selling event tickets - you may not need to build a microsite. Should you utilize existing websites to help spread the message and promote your campaign? Absolutely. But developing and devoting an entire microsite to the campaign is not a good use of the tool or the resources required to build it.
A long-term campaign or launch of a net-new organization can and should utilize a microsite. This microsite would serve as the central hub all other tools and tactics would point to and will house all the necessary information and resources for your stakeholders. Keeping everything organized in one, central location makes it easier for your audience to consume and act on your message.
In addition, if a part of your strategy is to gather stakeholder feedback, leveraging your microsite to promote an online survey can help gather more feedback than in-person or mailer tactics. Why? We call this a low “barrier of entry.” The less a stakeholder has to do to perform a task (e.g. fill out a survey from their smartphone instead of filling out and mailing back a postcard) the more likely they are to participate.
If your organization has established social channels, you should absolutely use them to promote your event or campaign. Your social presence serves as a direct channel to a portion of your audience. If you’re needing a large portion or your audience, beyond those that follow your channel, to receive your message, you should work a social promotion ad spend into your campaign budget.
When it comes to launching brand new social accounts, unless you’re building a brand new organization or brand, I do not recommend creating a specific social channel for a specific campaign (the exception for this would be if someone were to run for office). Either way, properly launching and leveraging social media channels is labor-intensive and time-consuming to build an appropriate audience, so plan your resources accordingly.
COLLATERAL – TO PRINT OR NOT TO PRINT
Pick up your phone right now – how many browser tabs do you have open? I couldn’t even tell you how many websites I have opened on the browser on my iPhone thinking I would get back to it later, only to have it get buried and forgotten. While there are numerous benefits to going digital, sometimes certain audiences or situations require a tangible take away to help elevate your message.
At your event or another in-person meeting, providing your stakeholder with a physical piece of collateral can be useful. Should it house every single piece of information about your organization and/or campaign? No. Too much text can be very overwhelming. What is should do is:
- Be visually appealing – catch their eye and leave an impression
- Easy to read – using bullet points to highlight the more important pieces of information you want to share
- Provide a simple and easy call to action like “visit our website” or “sign up to receive updates”
These pieces of collateral are to quickly inform and serve as a “diving board” for your stakeholder to jump into the rest of your content about your organization or campaign via your website.
Every campaign is different – there will never be a “one size fits all” approach to every campaign you put out there. Know what tools you have at your disposal and create a custom set of tactics that will give the best opportunities for you to share your message with your audience.