When a retailer is developing its marketing strategy, the team might turn to a blog, where interesting stories about the products sold there are housed. A destination wants to engage an audience by describing the attractions, experiences or unique sights offered there, so it uses a hosted podcast to share these regular stories with subscribers and new listeners. An auto dealer wants to remain connected with their loyal customers and remind them that safety and preventative maintenance go hand-in-hand, so they use email to identify key service dates with their audience. Not one of them began their strategy asking for a form fill, a phone call or a purchase. Why not?

Because your audience should be informed, educated or entertained by your brand first.

GIVE

Content that gives only benefits the consumer. It’s meant to entertain or educate, making the consumer better or happier, while steering your brand narrative. Use your organic feed to GIVE to your audience. Boost your post to increase visibility.

ASK

If it has a call-to-action, you are asking your consumer to do something in response to your post. Your ask content belongs in ads, and is targeted to your audience and those like them.

GIVE + ASK

Drive revenue while providing a consumer benefit with this combined post type. It could appear organically or in paid media, depending on the tone and appeal of the content.

Fifty-two percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. Eighty percent of consumers say they are more likely to do business with a company that personalizes their experience. All of this to say that the scales must tip to the “give” side of the campaign, rather than leaping straight to the “ask.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN TODAY’S POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT?

Consumers are savvy. Voters even more so. They want to know about the issue as much as they want to know where the candidate stands on that concern. They need to understand the mission of the issues-based organization and what impact that consortium has had on the topic, before aligning with the cause themselves. That means communicating with your audience surrounding the topic before asking them to support, donate, lend their name, or advocate for what matters to your organization. Here are a few examples of how to do this well.