In the realm of bridge-building organizations committed to fostering positive social change, adopting innovative communication strategies is pivotal and, from my 3-year experience, is considerably lacking.
I hear time and time again that 'the messenger' is the most important element for impact. Yet, organization after organization fails to secure the appropriate budgets and an impactful strategy in order to play in the digital influence space.
Often, this space is overlooked in favor of where the 'real power' lies, and I understand this strategy, this focus on ROI. But now, more than ever, I'd say, the pragmatists and solutionaries need to be present in the modern town square and not just in the decision-making rooms.
The truth is: The bridge-builders you're looking for are out there, and we can uplift them. By supporting these bridge-builders, we show the silenced problem-solvers that there is a space for them, still, in this world, and that they are actually plentiful, potentially even the majority.
Here are some reasons why I think 'influencer marketing' should be leveraged in the bridge-building movement:
1. Expanding Bridges of Awareness:
Bridge-building organizations often navigate complex issues that require widespread awareness. Influencers, with their engaged and diverse followership, offer a strategic channel to extend the reach of these organizations. By aligning with influencers who share a passion for social change, bridge-building organizations can bridge gaps in awareness, reaching audiences that may not be accessible through traditional communication channels.
2. Credibility as a Building Block:
Trust is the cornerstone of effective bridge-building, and influencers play a crucial role in fortifying credibility. When influencers authentically champion the cause of a bridge-building organization, their endorsement resonates with authenticity. This credibility is invaluable for organizations seeking to establish trust with partners, stakeholders, and the communities they aim to serve. For me, this doesn't necessarily entail going after the biggest celebrity; In fact, that strategy can be detrimental to your goal. Instead, Just Juniper Media focuses on pairing organizations with the right messengers and community leaders who can impact real-world positive change.
3. Transformative Education Through Influencers:
Influencers possess a unique ability to simplify complex issues and make them relatable to diverse audiences. For bridge-building organizations, collaboration with influencers can translate intricate initiatives into compelling narratives. By leveraging the storytelling power of influencers, these organizations can educate their audiences about the challenges they address and the positive impact of their initiatives, fostering a deeper understanding of social issues.
4. Fostering a Networked Community:
Building bridges implies connecting communities, and influencers excel at creating engaged and supportive online communities. Bridge-building organizations can strategically partner with influencers whose values align with their mission, inspiring a sense of community and shared purpose among their followers. This collaborative effort can mobilize audiences to actively participate in initiatives, contributing to the organization's overall goals.
5. Measuring Impact and Return on Social Investment:
For bridge-building organizations and their donors, I know this is important. Understanding the impact of their efforts is crucial. Influencer marketing provides a measurable framework for assessing campaign success through metrics such as engagement rates, social reach, and collaborative initiatives. This data-driven approach empowers organizations to refine their strategies, ensuring that their investment in influencer collaborations aligns with their overarching mission. While many organizations seem to limit their budgets in this area, I urge that donors and organizations see the value in growing a network of influencers to give voice to the bridge-building movement in the modern, digital town square.
6. Fighting Against State-Sponsored Accounts
Groupthink is real. State-sponsored accounts, trolls and bots are real. In my 10+ years of social media marketing experience, always with a lean in politics and social change, I have witnessed the fake accounts, the trolls, and the bots in the comments firsthand. As a professional working on these platforms and focusing on the reality of these engagements, this 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' part of my work has made it easy for me to catch fake accounts and malicious engagements. But what about the average person? Or the child who has no context to the information they are receiving and is still just developing their world view? This perception of support is dangerous and one that needs to be addressed. Building an effective presence for the bridge-building movement is a start though.
When it comes to genuinely realizing real-world impact in the bridge-building space and leveraging philanthropic funds dedicated to bridge-building strategically, I believe that the most important ingredient currently missing in this movement is strong influencer engagement. This work will require organizations to carve out a budget to prioritize this work, but once it is realized, I believe that the movement will begin to take up some seriously influential space in the mainstream.
Budgets need to be secured to find and engage influencers and to pay them in a manner that fosters a community dedicated to building a better world rather than a completely pay-to-play relationship. It's a delicate balance that must be finessed, like all work in the bridge-building space or any work with impact.
If you're curious about learning more about influencer marketing and how it can be leveraged to make an impact throughout the bridge-building movement, please contact us today.