The Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Community Engaged During the Pandemic
By: Katherine Warren
The pandemic, in recent times, has enlarged the minds of tons of people to see how they could do things differently. Before now, a lot of us have relied on being somewhere in person in order to spread important messages relating to work or business.
With the way things have evolved over the past twelve months, going by the same approach will no longer be as helpful as it was. It is necessary that new strategies are developed and embraced sooner to bridge the gap created
We have outlined in this article five of the ways to engage your community during the pandemic.
- Digital Ads Online
There’s never been a time in history when there have been so many people having access to the internet, and over ten times of that have been added to the number since the pandemic. More persons have been encouraged to join the online/internet community since more time is spent at home.
People are finding more things to do online, digitally spending a lot of time attending meetings over the internet instead of converging physically at a venue. There is even a lot of grant funding available for this that has not been fully utilized.
Digital ads can be used to reach more folks who are online and create awareness and engagements.
What are Digital Ads? Simply put, digital ads are those advertisements you would see pop up on websites when you’re probably looking at the weather or shopping online for shoes. These ads also show up on your phone while using your mobile applications. For instance, if you’re playing solitaire or making use of your flashlight, those ads are likely to pop up there too.
A Highlight of Digital Ads
One great thing about digital ads is that they drive more traffic to a website than almost any other marketing tactic used to create engagement and awareness. They can also be made very targeted based on your grant funding.
How does it work? Basically, the ads direct lots of people to your website, where it’s believed that you have a page full of information or additional resources for people to find what they need quickly. For these people to get the help that they need, you would have to get them to your website first, and that’s what the digital ads would do for you.
So, according to your grant funding, you can target the category of people you want to reach. Ask yourself questions like, what are the ages of people needed to be reached? Which counties are needful? What ethnicities, genders, areas of interest, or income? All these people can be targeted through the use of digital ads.
Another highlight of digital ads is that videos can also be used. It is for sure that many persons have in one way or another gone to video to educate people. Whether it’s a webinar or just a short testimonial video, whatever it may be, a short piece of that video can be used for your digital ad with a great call to action to your website, where people can find what they need to get the necessary help.
- Search Engine Marketing
In today’s climate, when people are in need of some information, especially in times of urgency, or when there’s no one to ask at the time, they usually turn to the internet and search for help.
For most people, Google has become a key step that helps them in trying to find the needed information. And with proper education, they can learn to take more advantage of it.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
Search engine marketing is a tool that allows for the purchase of search terms that people usually search for. These search terms can be targeted to suit the categories of people you need to see them.
Asking yourself questions that pertain to your target is necessary to get the best out of it. You may want to get clear on the age range of the people or the geographical scope of the area you intend to target. This will help to narrow the search to only those who need to see it.
So, it’s basically about getting your website to show up when people type in your search term. Although, this doesn’t go without a price. You would have to pay to get this done.
For instance, someone is looking for help with binge drinking, and that’s a service you provide, you can buy a search term, binge drinking so that when they search for that information, your website comes up as a resource.
- Social Media
In these times, it’s a fact that everyone is on social media. For at least, the most people. Social media is a great place to not only educate and create awareness for your community but also to create more out of that community that you may be lacking with the less in-person connection.
What social media can help you do
- Help to boost social media posts
- Create social media ads that allow your information to get to a lot more people.
- Promote a website by posting about it on social media or employing paid promotion
- A great place to create needful connections
Again, all those categories of age, location, etc, that help direct your target are considered as well under social media.
Different social media platforms can be used to engage your community. Your Facebook page can be used to engage your community on a one-on-one basis. You can also consider groups on social media, like Facebook groups, where people can hold a conversation with one another.
For example, if you provide help or resources for parents, you could consider creating a Facebook group that allows people to engage in conversations and discussions about what’s worked for them and what hasn’t in a community-focused way.
- Streaming Audio Ads
A lot of people have a PSA (Public Service Announcement) or a radio advertisement running. It would be necessary to consider running them also on streaming audio services such as Spotify, Pandora, and even your favorite podcasts that people listen to.
The use of these services has increased exponentially since the pandemic, and taking advantage of them to share your message will drive more people to your website for more resources and information.
Always remember to add a well-grafted call to action to encourage or direct your audience.
- Streaming Video Ads
In engaging your community, you may have a video that is used for education purposes. A shorter version of this video can be gotten and used on any on-demand services that have advertising. The smaller version of the video may be put on Hulu or used as a pre-roll-on YouTube video offline.
In this time of a pandemic, when many struggle with getting their service across to needful users, it is of relevance to engage an approach that targets those who need your service the most. Many grants are available for this, and making the most of the grants is something to be encouraged. This article has covered ways for keeping your community engaged during the pandemic, and a close look at the five mentioned here tells that engaging your community starts from where you are.