Creating Effective Content - Voto Latino #VLPowerSummit Sacramento

Voto Latino's Power Summits are one of my favorite events of the year. This Sacramento edition was my 6th one as a speaker, and I was given the full 90 minute "Stealing the Spotlight" session all to myself. The focus was on effective content creation, how technology impacts it, how to combat a crowded 24-news cycle, and the ways media affects behavior.

In total we had a 45 minute discussion with a 20 minute activity and a 5 min share-out.  

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Technology basically helps storytellers and organizers do more of everything. Content is more coordinated, strategic, automated, trackable. Relationships are easier to start, nurture, leverage. Movements can reach wider audiences and more often, and infrastructures can scale and adjust faster.

I noted some of my favorite tools to use for content creation and digital strategy:

- Piktochart for infographics (https://piktochart.com)

- If This Then That for automation (https://ifttt.com/recipes)

- Tableau for data visualization (http://www.tableau.com)

- Trello for project management (https://trello.com)

- Click to Tweet for easy twitter sharing (https://clicktotweet.com)

One key benefit that technology offers to content creators is the ability to build and maintain a deep understanding of their ideal supporters. Content creators can now now build up profiles that help them speak to their audiences about issues that matter and through active channels. We can also accumulate all kinds of insights about our supporters, from what Facebook posts they "Liked" to which events they've attended and how much they've donated in the last year. 

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Effective content is the pathway to building relationships, and ideally combines visuals and words to tell stories. Some things to keep in mind are:

- Are you sharing a fact or an opinion? 

- Is the content coming from a private citizen or an organization?

- Is the topic of discussion timely and relevant?

As things align, momentum builds up around a conversation and better positions a community for action.  

Some specific tips to build effective content:

- Research and identify strategic hashtags

- Use trackable links for your campaigns (http://bit.ly/) 

- Make it a point to create some content that never expires and is always relevant (i.e "Evergreen content")

- Include clear and thoughtful Calls to Action / Asks strategically through your content

- In visuals, highlight faces, emotion, smiles

- Aim to inform and educate

- Be on the look out for moments of joy and personal growth - grab quick videos or testimonials 

Here is why content truly matters: It builds relationships. And as relationships grow people can show support different ways.

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In thinking about how your community can support your organization's efforts - consider all the unique ways they can show love in relation to the level of commitment they require and how easy or time consuming they are to do. 

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To close things off we did a short activity where the room split into two groups, one with a campaign on voter engagement and the other on building support to stop the school to prison pipeline. Each team was asked to create profiles for 3 types of supporters, to identify three ally organizations, and to come up with three asks the organization can make. Each team had a representative share out after. 

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