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Get Better Engagement for Your Issue Campaign Through Smart Branding

Joey Tackett

Managing Director, Branding, Forum One

Elisabeth Bradley

Director of Digital Strategy, Forum One

Is your issue campaign checking all the right boxes, but you’re still not seeing the impact that you need? 

Sure, you have very specific calls to action and you know the people you need to reach. Executing with those things alone will likely produce a spotty and possibly generic experience. Great issues campaign dig deep to really tip the scale by engaging people who are on the fence about your issues and strive to achieve short-term and long-term engagement objectives. You can do all of these things without investing more resources by focusing on building a smart campaign brand. 

Here are a few best practices from successful campaigns that make the difference between an average campaign and one that authentically engages people to get results. These small or medium tweaks can make an impact right away, and over time you will start to see a big impact. 

Think about your narrative holistically

Your organization is building a brand right now. Your issue campaign fits into your organization’s brand story by telling a niche part of your larger story. Issue campaigns give you a chance to zoom in and build out a niche part of your story, which builds depth with your audiences and attracts new people that may be really into this niche story. 

Great issue campaign brands get one thing right: they make sure people know how this issue fits into their larger brand story. Connect the campaign directly to your organization’s mission. 

As you think about your brand narrative, ask yourself about your issue campaign brand to identify some of the key messages and themes that must be communicated to reach people:

  1. How does this campaign story fit within our organization’s brand story?
  2. Why are we focusing on this issue with a campaign?
  3. How does this issue impact our audience’s daily lives? 
  4. Why should our audiences care?

Use every touchpoint and channel to intentionally build a strong brand story. A strong messaging framework and content narrative will engage potential supporters much more effectively than a campaign that feels fragmented or haphazard. 

Focus on your audiences

In a recent survey conducted by leading brand researchers, 56% of people think organizations spend too much time forcing them to listen to their messages rather than finding ways to earn their attention (source: Edelman).

  • What types of content are your audiences consuming most? 
  • What about your work are they most interested in? 

If you’re going to break through the noise, it’s essential that you’re engaging with your target audiences authentically and directly. 

Here are a few easy ways to learn about your audience:

  • Pick a handful of your top advocates or comparator organizations and dig into their social media presence. Explore what they are following, what they comment on, and other information. 
  • Review analytics for previous or current campaigns to see what messages or types of content performed the best, and look for gaps that you can fill with the current campaign. 
  • Invest in social listening tools to following online conversations on the issues that you’re trying to impact, and refine your campaign to reach the most influential voices in those conversations.  
  • Interview or survey your audience to learn more about how the campaign is being received. This doesn’t have to be in-depth research to get value, especially if you did good audience research at the beginning of the campaign. A quick twitter poll or 5 individual interviews can yield great insights. 

 

 

Looking to embark on a new campaign? Let’s talk!

The Forum One STUDIO team works with mission-driven organizations to align their branding with their campaign goals. We’d love to explore ways in which you can strengthen your branding to support your campaigns.

Written By

Joey Tackett

Managing Director, Branding, Forum One

Elisabeth Bradley

Director of Digital Strategy, Forum One