Think Outside the Box: How to Reach a Younger Generation
By Ryan Kopperud, Content Editor – GovDelivery
Status quo methods of digital outreach often result in status quo audience growth results. Engaging a new and different audience requires innovative tactics, taking chances, and having some fun.
At GovDelivery, we offer a wide variety of solutions that help organizations expand their reach to all kinds of audiences. From cross promoting content through the GovDelivery Network, to using social media posting and sharing options, organizations are consistently extending their reach with GovDelivery. Catering to trends and adopting creative outreach methods often yield great returns on investment.
Many organizations have already begun enacting effective methods of creative outreach, especially in an effort to reach younger generations. Here are a few great examples of those who have found success in reaching youth audiences in our modern digital world.
The President Has a Sense of Humor
In an effort to promote Healthcare.gov, and the coming deadline to sign up for health insurance, President Obama recently made an appearance on the popular FunnyOrDie.com sketch comedy show “Between Two Ferns,” hosted by comedian and actor Zach Galifianakis.
If you’re connected to the Internet in any capacity, you probably saw the video itself, or at least mention of it. The unexpected appearance of President Obama was enough to draw attention, but the candor, comedy, and self-deprecation shown by both parties sent the sketch into full-blown viral video status. While the White House has already done an outstanding job reaching digital audiences through email, text messaging and social media, a White House Spokeswoman revealed that FunnyOrDie.com became the number one source of referrals to Healthcare.gov the week of the video’s release. To date, the video has now been viewed over 20 million times.
Most organizations don’t have access to websites as popular as FunnyOrDie.com, but sites like YouTube and Vimeo allow organizations to broadcast their own video content, which can be promoted through direct (email and text messaging) and indirect (social media) channels. The lesson remains: creatively marketing your message and going to where your audience already is, can have a huge impact on your reach. As proven by this video, a little comedy and a new spin can go a long ways.
The CDC and the Zombie Apocalypse
Zombies have always been a pop culture staple, from comic books to horror films, but with new television shows like “The Walking Dead,” the trend has made a recent resurgence.
Taking advantage of the fad, and appealing to a younger generation, the Center for Disease Control began a campaign to address public health and emergency preparedness based on a fictional zombie apocalypse. With zombie-themed posters, a website, a blog, and a graphic novel, the CDC committed to finding a fun and unique way to appeal to a certain audience, while still putting out the same valuable content they needed to.
Distributing health and preparedness tips through the vehicle of zombies allowed youth to have fun with learning, while making the information easier to digest for a younger generation. Needless to say, the campaign was a huge hit, and the CDC’s zombie content has gotten thousands of shares and comments since being released. Feel free to have fun with your content, especially when your goal is to educate your audience with tips and tricks.
Play and Learn with ChooseMyPlate.gov
Promoting healthy diets and exercise to kids can be a difficult task. In an effort to engage youth and promote their organization’s mission, ChooseMyPlate.gov (a subdivision of the USDA), created a section of their website fully dedicated to the education and entertainment of kids.
With unique content including games, videos, songs, and printable activity sheets, ChooseMyPlate.gov created a safe space for kids to learn and spend time ingesting beneficial information, while better serving the organization’s mission.
As evidenced by the above organizations, having a sense of humor, using creative marketing strategies, and catering to a younger generation, can have a huge impact on an organization’s digital outreach.
Going where the people are, not taking things too seriously, and playing off of trends, can have a great return on investment when done properly. If your organization is looking for a way to rejuvenate your content and expand your reach to a new and younger audience, consider taking a new approach, having fun, and spending some time outside the box.