How to Start a Standout Awareness Campaign

Digital Fundraising

Have you ever found yourself scrolling through the internet and noticing the same logo or hashtag everywhere? When you get that surround sound effect, you can’t help but want to learn more. You really can’t help it when you see that your friends and family are getting involved too. Readers, FOMO (fear of missing out) is real.
Many nonprofits, (especially health-related ones) have an awareness day, week, or month. This is a key time to generate activity on your site and across social channels. The goal is to increase awareness (duh) and to get more people to take action. This is the exact time when you want to surround your target audience with your name and mission, get them involved, and give their friends FOMO (which gets those people involved too). There have been some real standout campaigns in the past few years, such as Movember and the infamous Ice Bucket Challenge. So, how do you craft your own campaign? Below are the 5 key steps to planning a standout awareness campaign.

1. Define your audience

You could easily run a campaign that targets everyone on the planet, but what kind of return would that give you? The answer: lots of impressions, fewer conversions. Most nonprofits appeal to people with specific interests, passions, or personas. Targeting these users with tailored messaging and calls-to-action will get them to, well, act! You wouldn’t get your mom and your 5-year-old nephew the same birthday gift right? Right (I hope). Make sure your language matches the language of your audience, and the action is something that persona will actually want to do.

2. Use every angle

Surround your audience. Get to them from every possible angle. This means using your Ads Grant, running ads on Facebook and/or Instagram and/or Twitter and/or YouTube and/or Google Display Network, depending on where your audience spends their internet-time. Post on all social channels, and do not forget email! Your email audience is already loyal, so they are likely to be the first ones to take part in the campaign.

3. Optimize your awareness campaign landing page

Awareness Campaign Landing Page Ex

People who are new to your organization are going to need context for the awareness campaign. They are more likely to act if they understand the campaign and how their participation drives real impact. Plus adding more keywords there will help boost your Q score for any Google Ads you run. Be sure to make converting as easy and clear as possible: put any key buttons (for email signups, donations, social shares, etc.) prominently at the top of the page, have clear calls to action, keep forms short, and show the value of your organization. For an example of a great landing page, check out the donation page for our friends at NBPC.

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4. Make it easy

Awareness Campaign CTA

So now that the digital conversion is super easy and clear, make sure the IRL action is easy as well. People are busy, lazy, forgetful, and easily scared off by big asks. If I asked a crowd to all raise their left hand, they’d do so immediately. If I asked a crowd to all do all do push-ups, I’d face more hesitation and resistance. Make the action as easy as possible. Movember is so popular because what’s easier than not shaving for a month? Once you convert users that have taken these easy actions into loyal followers, they will be more likely to take the harder actions (like donating) in the future.

5. Empower your audience

Awareness Campaign Emotions

In “A Random Book About the Power of Anyone,” Talia Y. Leman offers tips about awareness campaign messaging, maintaining that one should grab an individual’s attention and ignite a strong emotion. For the “strong emotion,” we recommend keeping the message positive, showing how a simple action can drive amazing impact. Going negative certainly ignites emotion, but it also has a higher risk of upsetting people, allowing the comments section to get out of hand, and distracting from the purpose of the awareness campaign. Invigorate your audience by crafting a campaign that’s all about community, hope, and positive change.

Happy awareness month to your organization! Have a favorite awareness campaign? Share it with us by tweeting @WholeWhale.