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The Rise Of Campaign Groups & How Brands Can Use The Same Strategy To Succeed

Our current social, political and economic climate has created the perfect breeding ground for campaign groups to thrive. This includes the likes of Black Lives Matter, grassroots vegan groups and trans-positive movements, to name a few.

But what can brands learn from their success? Whether it's creating noise, encouraging change or shifting perceptions – Jellyfish Training’s social media trainer Kineta Kelsall shares her advice on how brands can follow suit.

  1. Stay true to who you are
The thing that often sets these campaign groups apart from brands is that they truly know who they are, and have a firm identity.

It can be tempting when you see challenger brands come into your space, to abandon who you are and try and emulate them – especially if they’re successfully disrupting the market. Yes, you need to keep up in terms of technology, etc., but remember to trust your heritage and what makes you different.

Greggs is a great example of this. They operate in a highly competitive space, where new artisan coffee shops and cafes are popping up constantly. But what’s great about Greggs is they know who they are – they create tasty sausage rolls which are fresh every morning, at an affordable price. Their identity hasn’t waived, despite the newcomers. 

The lesson? Stay true to who you are, and don’t be too quick to change.

  1. Build a community
Cultivating a community is key to the success of campaign groups. It’s all about bringing people together in a way that sometimes isn’t possible offline – whether that’s because people don’t know the group exists or they feel less comfortable talking about the subject matter in person.

Brands can learn a lot from this about how to create communities. Whether you use Facebook groups and forums or other tactics, the main aim here is to make your audience feel like they’re part of something, and that they’re not alone.

  1. Listen and respond
When you look at successful campaign groups, one common theme you’ll find is that they regularly ask people what they think about the subject matter. This is vital to understanding how your audience thinks and feels, because only then can you respond appropriately.

Ultimately, understanding cultural relevance is key to getting this right. Brands need to find their place within the market they operate in, and this starts with listening. When you can sense the tone and sentiment of a conversation, you can mirror this in your response. Social listening and audience intelligence tools can help here.

  1. Challenge your audience
What campaign groups do very well is they create a lot of noise, but not in an aggressive way. Instead, they challenge people – encouraging them to think for themselves and come to their own decision about the subject matter. It’s not about saying “you’re wrong” or “you should do this” – it’s about taking your audience on a journey and educating them along the way so that they can make up their own minds.

We’ve all seen the brands who aggressively sell at their audience, rather than think about what people want to hear, or what value they can add to the conversation. Instead, find a better way to communicate with your audience – whether that’s challenging, entertaining, educating, informing or inspiring them. Get this right, and you’ll generate intrigue, which will lead to meaningful engagement.

  1. Be authentic
Great campaigns work because they’re authentic. They’re not hiding behind filters or pretending to be something they’re not.

From a brand perspective, this type of transparency is vital – especially if you want to cut through a crowded space. Instead of pumping out messages about how great your product is or how affordable you are, think about how you’re communicating with your audience. There’s a huge amount of authenticity and power that comes from saying, “Actually, we’re not the cheapest brand out there, but this is what we’re great”.
This also means not being afraid to hold your hands up when things go wrong. Campaign groups know that being honest when things haven’t worked is key to building trust.

  1. Know when not to speak
Where brands often fall down is that they try and say too much – particularly in a space where they shouldn’t necessarily be doing so. For example, some businesses piggy-back off the success of LGBTQ movements because they feel like they can or should, rather than because they have something to contribute to the conversation.

Of course, every business should have a strategy in place for diversity, but that doesn’t mean you need to create a campaign for Pride every year, just because everyone else is.

If the synergy between your brand and the cause you’re trying to support doesn’t fully make sense to you, your audience will notice, too. At best, it will feel meaningless, but at worst, it could damage your reputation.

  1. Remember your tone of voice
Whether you’re a campaign group, brand or individual – having a clear, consistent tone of voice is vital when it comes to encouraging engagement.

This is something campaign groups do really well. They have one cause, know what action they need to take and then take it. This sense of purpose runs through all their communication – regardless of the channel.

Defining your brand identity and tone of voice will mean your audience can get to know you and what you stand for, which will improve their impression of and experience with you as a brand.

  1. Think about your delivery
Don’t forget to consider your in-platform tactics and execution. For example, there’s a reason campaign groups tend to favour video. With words – whether it’s a tweet or a Facebook post – the original meaning you wanted to get across might get lost, or misread. But if you have someone on-camera speaking, your audience will be more likely to understand the sentiment and message you’re trying to convey.

As always with your social campaigns, it’s important to think about the purpose of each platform and how it can help you achieve your objectives.

For example, Instagram is an engagement powerhouse, making it perfect for immersive and inspirational content. This is why campaign groups use it to normalise speech, create movements and build communities.

On the other hand, Twitter is a hotbed for the new and exciting. So it’s a great place to get closer to your audience by being reactive, supportive and connected.

Kineta Kelsall

A global Social Media Trainer passionate about the psychology behind online human interactions. Responsible for training businesses on paid and organic strategies across the big six platforms - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat. 

The Rise Of Campaign Groups & How Brands Can Use The Same Strategy To Succeed Reviewed by Mili Ponce on Thursday, March 26, 2020 Rating: 5

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