As a professional advocate, you’re motivated by a deeper mission to not just advance your cause, but promote it to a broader audience. You know your organization’s website could be a more powerful communication tool for driving mission awareness. But how can you convey your passion to your audience in a way that inspires action?
In this guide, we’ll explore tips for creating better content on your advocacy website that drives engagement and greater involvement.
Keep in mind that the best advocacy and nonprofit websites position supporters at the center of their content. Supporters are the heart and soul of your advocacy campaigns, so consider ways to make them the heroes of your content as you implement the following best practices.
1. Get to know your audience.
As mentioned above, your audience is the driving force behind your advocacy initiatives. Therefore, your content should speak to their needs and interests.
Develop tailored content by researching your audience to understand their:
- Background knowledge about your cause
- Past involvement with your organization
With this information, you can develop audience personas. Kanopi defines a persona as a “representation of your ideal customer based on qualitative and quantitative data and market research.” For example, you could group audiences based on their generation or the reason they got involved with your cause. Then, develop tailored content that speaks to each audience’s unique needs and interests.
You should ideally use twice as many “you” words as you do “we” or “I.” This keeps the focus on your audience and the pivotal role they play in driving your mission forward.
2. Share resources.
The crux of most advocacy work is education. When your audience has the tools and resources they need to accurately speak about your cause, you can more effectively attract new supporters to your organization.
Ensure your content empowers visitors through education by spotlighting the following resources:
- Educational information about your cause, including pamphlets, eBooks, and advocacy checklists
- Your organization’s resources and services
- Community resources, such as helplines or food banks
- Healthcare resources (if applicable to your mission), such as patient checklists, health and safety best practices, and fitness and nutrition tips
Alongside spotlighting these resources in blog posts or informational pages, consider offering online training opportunities for new advocates. Offer digital courses, videos, packets, and other training materials that are accessible to those who are just starting to get into advocacy work.
3. Highlight compelling stories.
Storytelling brings your mission to life and makes your website content more engaging, as readers can follow a narrative thread through a clear beginning, middle, and end.
Add compelling stories to your web and blog content by taking these steps:
- Share personal narratives, with direct quotes from those affected by the cause.
- Provide compelling multimedia elements, including photos, audio, and video
- Showcase the impact of support on your efforts, such as how donations, volunteer efforts, and grassroots advocacy events help your organization fulfill its mission more effectively.
For example, The Climate Reality Project is an advocacy organization and nonprofit dedicated to mitigating the negative effects of climate change. Their blog contains multiple compelling stories backed by research to make the issue feel more urgent for their audience.
Check out this recent story from their blog about a bus tour planned by environmental justice advocates to bring awareness to and develop solutions for environmental issues in Louisiana.
Alt text: This screenshot shows the title of a recent post from The Climate Reality Project’s blog — “Still Alive and Ready to Thrive in Death Alley.”
4. Provide actionable ways to get involved.
Your content shouldn’t just inspire and inform — it should also empower website visitors to take action for your cause. Provide multiple ways for supporters to get involved with your mission whether that be:
- Emailing or calling representatives
- Signing a petition
- Registering for an upcoming advocacy event
- Planning and hosting their own advocacy event
- Signing up to volunteer
- Sharing resources on social media or email
- Donating to support your fundraising efforts, such as your annual fund or seasonal campaigns
Share links to these activities throughout your blog posts, website homepage, and other prominent locations. Also, consider incorporating them into email newsletters and social media posts to reach audience members through multiple touch points.
5. Foster community.
Generating camaraderie among your supporters helps foster a tighter-knit community. Throughout your online content, offer opportunities for supporters to engage more deeply with your mission and one another. For example, you can:
- Encourage supporters to engage with each other or share their thoughts in the comments sections of your blog posts. Have staff members interact with comments as well to offer greater insight into your work and your organization’s current priorities.
- Create polls and surveys. If your website is built on a powerful CMS like Drupal or WordPress, you can easily incorporate interactive elements that give supporters the chance to share their thoughts and provide feedback on your activities.
- Spotlight exclusive groups to join. This could include your organization’s regional chapters or your Facebook group for highly engaged advocates. Highlight events offered by these groups, such as webinars or training sessions.
Creating a sense of community and belonging will make your content more welcoming and help foster a more passionate, engaged supporter network.
Your advocacy website is one of your most influential tools for sharing your mission with the world. With these tips, you can ensure that your content drives greater engagement and involvement with your essential mission.