In its heyday, going door to door and gathering signatures for petitions was a useful way to get information about your cause into the community and drum up support. But with the advent of the internet and social media, gathering signatures for petitions seemed suddenly old-fashioned and time consuming.
Let’s face it. Petitions are dead. There are better solutions for your grassroots campaign to get mobilized, get the word out and get a community of supporters built.
It’s time to go beyond the petition and engage your supporters like knocking on a door with a clipboard or forwarding an online petition link never could.
Get Online and Educate, Educate, Educate
One of the first things you need to do to mobilize your grassroots movement is to create and maintain a strong online presence. You cannot overestimate the importance of being online and engaging supporters through a website and a variety of social media platforms.
Creating a website is the perfect way to get information about your cause out to the masses. Face-to-face networking, handing out flyers and trying to give someone your well-rehearsed speech about the issue at hand is harder and harder to do in a world that is in a hurry and increasingly online instead of out and about.
Providing informational content on your online platforms is the ideal way to give supporters information in a way that is convenient for them. They don’t need to be anywhere specific to hear all about your cause and why it’s important. They can be anywhere and access the information you provide in easy-to-consume portions on their own time.
Tell a Story That’s Unique to Your Community
When building a grassroots campaign, one of the most important things you can do is build a sense of community. Supporters of your cause want to feel like a part of a community of like-minded people who share similar experiences. By building this community, you are uniting your supporters and mobilizing them to work together for real change.
One great way to build this community is by offering content on your website and social media accounts that is exclusive to your organization. For example, HubSpot allows users to restrict access to certain pages that can only be viewed by “members” to your organization. Granting membership status to serious supporters quickly establishes community and group identity.
With your exclusive content, you can inform them about the cause with overarching themes and information but also offer personalized, exclusive content. Show them how your cause looks in their own backyard. Tell them the story of their own city and neighbors who are affected by or could be affected by the issue.
Dove bath and body products are a good example of how storytelling can elevate a cause and engage while educating an audience. With their body positivity message, they’ve created the Dove Self-Esteem Project, a community of product users who share their personal stories of loving their body no matter its shape or size. The Self-Esteem Project builds community with personal stories and inspires others to love their own body and be more accepting of others at the same time.
Making the issue hit close to home with exclusive content will engage your audience and motivate them to take action.
Give Something, Get Something
It should come as no surprise that a little extrinsic motivation goes a long way in helping people to take action. One of the best incentives you can offer is a good old-fashioned giveaway of either the physical or virtual kind.
If you’re a true grassroots organization, chances are that your budget doesn’t necessarily support the plan of giving away big grand prizes. However, partnering with local businesses can help you with this. Giving the business a little advertising in exchange for a donation of goods or services can be mutually beneficial and lure people in to finding out more and joining your cause.
On the virtual front, you could offer free downloadable content with dual objectives. A well-written and attractively-designed downloadable file like an ebook or whitepaper can give your audience more insight and information about your topic. At the same time, in order to download the content, you might require them to give you their contact information so you can provide them further information down the road, thus increasing your conversion rates.
Social media is also a great channel to get attention and build your community of supporters. Offering a chance to win a prize in exchange for “liking” your post and sharing it with their friends and followers widens your net of potential supporters and gains more attention for your cause.
While getting supporters to sign a petition might be a good gateway to introduce someone to the goal your movement is working toward, it can be more difficult to gain traction and promote actual change beyond that signature.
Campaign Now can help you get your grassroots supporters mobilized and working together for a common good. We can help you look at your campaign and strategize the best ways to get your message out and be agents for real change. Get in touch with us through our website or by giving us a call at 512-582-3421.