Written by Jim Hennessey

Who’s your audience? It’s an important question for any peer to peer event. Your participants drive your organization’s fundraising, foster your cause, and are your foundation for future efforts.

Last week, I had the chance to share on this topic at the P2P Forum in Orlando in the presentation “Finding (and reaching) your event audience in a digital age.

The presentation focused on creating an audience-centered digital strategy that isn’t overwhelming or complicated, and meets the needs of most organizations. The four cornerstones of the process are: Audience, Channels, Connection and Response.

Here are some key takeaways from each cornerstone.

  • Audience: Create 3-4 participant profiles based on the types of people you already attract to your event/organization and 1-2 profiles of those you want to target. A participant profile contains the person’s background, career, values, goals, relation to the cause, and other “life” details that influence their decisions.
  • Channels: Simply put, match each of your target audiences to the digital platforms that are most used by each of these groups. That in turn will give you clear direction on the types of content to create to best engage the audience.
  • Connection: There’s no need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to creating engaging content. Find out what your audience wants and creatively provide it for them. People share what’s good, follow what’s regular, and respond to what’s appropriate. Think quality, consistency, and customization and you can’t go wrong.
  • Response: Identify the top three goals for your digital campaign. This will guide your strategy and allow you to measure success. You will know which numbers to look for. And once you have numbers, you’ll know what’s working and what’s not—you’ll have insights you can actually act on.

The best part of this digital strategy is that it is scalable for any type of organization. If this type of strategy is new, focus on the basics of each cornerstone and build from there. If your organization is further along with this type of strategy, then dig deeper. Find out how to be even more targeted in your audience identification and messaging.

If you would like further information on the Participant Profiles, I wrote a piece about that process last year on the Event 360 blog. Check it out for further information.

Jim Hennessey (LinkedInTwitter), is the Director, Consumer Marketing at Event 360. He leads the marketing and social media strategy for MuckFest® MS and works with other organizations with digital marketing programs to support their peer to peer events and fundraising. Jim lives in Chicago.

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