You tried everything, and yet engagement is still plummeting. You shared killer quotes from well-loved figures; you published sparkling (and expensive) infographics showing jaw-dropping data; you posted cat memes, for crying out loud. Alas, nothing seems to be catching the attention of your potential supporters. Many things can be the cause of this, but one possible answer is that your images just got lost in the sea of visual content in the similar vein, i.e the popular ones.
..it doesn’t hurt to keep your visual content diverse, if possible beyond the usual suspects.
Some of the most popular shareable images are quotes, stats, infographics, comics, and memes. The reason for their popularity is no accident. They are effective and engaging. They are the fundamentals of shareable image. Your organization should definitely look into having them in your content arsenal. However, it doesn’t hurt to keep your visual content diverse, if possible beyond the usual suspects. Larger organizations with a well-planned communication strategy understand this very well.
Looking at some of the top non-profits on social media, I noticed that they churn out content to their large audience so frequently, so consistently. And one of the ways to avoid looking repetitive is by having a wide-range of content. Even within the category of shareable image, they strive to have varieties. As a result, their content not only keeps their audience engaged but also stands out from the flurry stream of likeness on the internet.
I spent some time studying their visual content and in this post I will share some fresh conceptual takes on shareable image that I had come across, focused on easier and simpler form of photography and text-on-image. Hopefully, it will give you some inspiration when your campaign runs into a wall and needs to switch things up. Read on and find something that you can actually implement today, to further carry the voice of your cause.
The stance, or the pledge, is an image that assumes the standpoint of its sharers. When you do it right, the stance is highly shareable, as whoever shares it want to let the world know where they stand in the issues related to your cause. Some of the non-profits I studied cleverly took the New Year window as an opportunity to post as part of the New Year resolution. That works too. One caveat though, you should be careful not to make the stance goes too far down the extreme scale. Yes you want your supporters to save electricity but an image that says “I will not use my air conditioner in the summer!” will get you nowhere, or even in trouble.
Online petition, among many other online platforms, has been quite popular with non-profits. The plea works as a spin-off, if you will, of an online petition. Now, I know that many still consider online petition as a form of slacktivism (we can talk about this in another blog post), but the plea is useful, if anything, to raise awareness. Visually, the plea is easily recognizable as it often features a copy started with “Dear (The power that be)…” The key to a successful plea image is not dissimilar to an online petition. Make sure you state a clear goal and if possible tag or mention the addressee’s social media account.
Between the battle and the struggle that your cause undergoes, a moment of triumph is always worth being celebrated. You can create an image that describes the accomplishment while also showing deep appreciation towards your supporters. This will forge a stronger bond between you and your followers. Show them that you are all in this together, ready to support the cause in the future. Alternatively, you can tap into conversation happening globally by observing any of the many international awareness days relevant to your cause.
Almost nothing show impact like a good before/after image. Granted, you couldn’t just spontaneously produce this kind of image. It depends heavily on the culture of documentation within your organization i.e. whether or not you are in possession of the trickier part of this image: the ‘before’ photos. But even if you couldn’t right now, it is certainly a good shareable image concept to keep in mind in the future.
Feeling inspired? Hopefully you can use any of the ideas above for your cause marketing. If you do, let me know, cause I’d be happy to hear about it!