How to foster advocates and loyalists?

Generally, people are more inclined to engage with brands that are truly invested in improving social issues. They establish a meaningful connection when the brand’s voice provokes a conversation, signals ethical standards or involves their audience into cause activism. According to 2017 Edelman Earned Brand Study: ” Fifty-seven percent of consumers around the world will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue”. This means that a brand can prompt haters or possibly harness advocates by manifesting a point of view, taking a political stand or starting a dialogue.

For that reason, tapping into the subconscious of the belief-driven audience fosters loyalists.  On that account, how to connect in a meaningful way?  By creating:

  • Personal and relatable contents
  • Provoking a conversation
  • Activating sustainable solutions
  • Engaging your audience in shaping the social movement

Remarkably, each and every referenced approach that offers “empathy”, will be rewarded by consumers.

“People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Be mindful and remember that Homo Sapiens appreciate being understood. For that matter, recognize the hurt, the desire, the need or the joy. Get to know your audience, send the message that “you get them” and initiate a memorable bonding. Your platform as an individual, profit or non-profit entity is not solely about growing your brand but how to make a difference.

Consider the shaping elements of good storytelling as a starting point:

  • What: is the topic, what has happened or will happen: be clear, focused and unveiled the matter. Be attentive, the spotlight should be on the issue not on your brand but your shared values.
  • Who: has been affected
  • Why: are you taking a stand: acknowledge the importance of the topic and the impact. Avoid mixed messages. Ask open-ended questions.
  • How: can you as a brand and belief-driven audience feed the beast, get involved and have an impact. How to convey your message: contextually or visually based?
  • When: the development speed of news, an issue or a talking point is critical in your communication
  • Where: does your audience absorb information?

The underlying emotion of empathy rooted in your brand’s voice and taking a position in life, strengthen your authority.  Individuals with great personal branding such as Tony Robbins interact with their audience with stirring personal stories and the ability to understand their feelings. Brands such as Procter & Gamble, UNICEF tackling social issues or J. Crew blog post “How to get (and dress for) the job you want” are all about making life better for others.

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 3.04.41 PM

Procter & Gamble’s thought-provoking ad called “The Talk” acknowledges biases and the challenges that black community experience as parents.

Or “thank you Mom, Winter Olympics 2018” video:

Unicef’s campaign, “It’s on all of us to stand up and speak out to #ENDviolence against children. Recognize it. Report it”, deeply disturbs and propels you to act upon.

Five tips: For an Effective Awareness Campaign

How to run an effective awareness campaign? Regardless of the industry, your message whether rewarding or penalizing is to motivate your audience. The overarching goal of your communication strategy from achieving a social mission to other ends of the spectrum increasing investor’s wealth depends on your narrative.

From Prehistoric caveman to present day, we all need to connect, entertain or educate through storytelling. True, the means to disseminate stories have evolved and we have many options to connect with our audience, thanks to technology advances. However, the essential element of your story is to bind your vision to the expectations, emotions or aspirations of your listeners.

Here are 5 tactics to incorporate into your storytelling initiatives:

  • Clearly define the problem, the resolution and recognize the style suitable to unify the audience’s mind.  Whether you are gushing hope or change, meaningful and authoritative communication will mobilize support.
  • Convey your story in a non-linear way to prevent passive consumption. By creating  a coordinated multi-media narrative, you nudge your audience to share enthusiastically. Tying up your content across multiple platforms reinforces your message and the story takes a life of its own.
  • Repetition is effective because that it sways attitudes and fuels engagement. Delivering key messages in different context and multiple times, granted, will be received, will become familiar and gain traction.
  • Show people the roadmap or specify a timeline whether to prompt a one time action or spur a change in sentiment/preference.
  • Create a conceivable image and allow the audience to experience and exceed their expectations instead of introducing a Utopia leading to disappointment.
  • The manner you communicate your story is of the utmost importance. Creating a powerful narrative by producing a video, use of imagery combined with music amplifies key messages, persuades and makes it memorable to your consumers.