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Going Digital: The Emergence of Digital Advocacy

Published on
January 16, 2018

Cisco predicts that by 2020, over 75% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video, and a quick scroll through any social media feed would substantiate that trend. As video grows to dominate the social sphere, it begs the question - why is this happening?

It’s about human nature and preferences and marketers learning to adapt to those preferences. More and more firms are taking advantage of the digital space as they have learned that visual content, and videos in particular, have a substantial positive effect on engagement. In fact, Brightcove reports that social video is shared 1200% more than text and images combined.

What is Digital Advocacy?

Advocacy focuses on identifying supporters for causes, engaging those supporters in a movement and mobilizing that movement to change public opinion and influence public policy. Digital advocacy, however, focuses on the same process in the digital space – using visual graphics and video to drive engagement.

Digital advocacy is effective because it generates greater public participation in campaigns compared to traditional advocacy tactics. “10 years ago, I would get a polling company to take a poll, then take it to the government with X number of people behind it. Now, we use sophisticated algorithms to target the people most likely to support a cause and actually activate them to have a direct impact on government,” said Brett James, Principal at Sussex Strategy Group. While public affairs firms go digital, public engagement is enhanced where “masses of people contact government online, through social media, and then the campaign takes on a new dynamic. Policymakers now hear it directly from their constituents,” James added.

The Use of Social Media       

The use of social media is key for executing a successful digital advocacy campaign. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all offer a wealth of information on your target audiences, and are believed to be best for telling stories. A study shows that approximately 500 million people are watching Facebook videos everyday, and 72% of marketers say they use Facebook the same or more than they did 12 months ago.

Facebook "will probably be all video in 5 years " - Nikola Mendelsohn, a VP at Facebook

Digital tools such as video can facilitate public engagement in a number of different ways. Mobilizing groups of like-minded people, contacting government officials, and generally raising money and awareness for initiatives are far less expensive, simpler, and easier to achieve online. Encouraging such actions are made easier with video and can be undertaken at anytime of day, so long as you have access to the internet. In fact, social media platforms are also adapting to the times as Facebook recently announced it's global government and politics team will be offering tools and services geared towards elections and campaigns.

The trend is clear – digital advocacy is the way of the future and there is no shortage of data available, people to reach and tools to use. Interested in learning how digital advocacy can help your organization's strategic objectives? If so, please get in touch with Canada’s leading digital advocacy firm, Sussex Adrenaline, for more information.

For more information contact:

Koroush Mirshahi - Junior Associate, kmirshahi@sussex-strategy.com, 416-961-6611 Ext. 119

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