The sweet spot of digital influence

Striking the right balance among the many ways you can reach, engage with, and influence Washington can be difficult. Without perfect information on how policymakers consume media, knowing where to invest your government affairs or advocacy team’s time, energy, and resources can feel like a guessing game.

Through diligent hypothesis testing and analytics, you can be more deliberate about how and when you deliver information to each of your audiences. But this approach takes time. And, if you’re looking for a way to make an impact on a particular piece of legislation or influence an industry regulation, time may be of the essence.

One of the resources that has helped many of our members make timely decisions about where to focus their efforts has been our Washington in the Information Age research. The 2016 data show that there’s a sweet spot between high consumption and high influence:

Data-driven formats, like research reports and infographics, had high rates of consumption and were among the formats reported by Washington insiders to be influential on their opinions or decisions.

Since research reports can be lengthy and sometimes a bit dry, infographics might be a medium worth your time and effort. Hubspot, a leading marketing software company, offers some tips for turning your data and talking points into infographics; they even provide helpful templates. You can also employ free or low-cost infographic-making platforms, like Canva and Venngage.

Infographics can be created much more quickly than a research report or white paper, and they convey insight through visuals more than through text. Quicker creation means you can get your message out in less time. Visual insights make the consumption of your message easier, creating more opportunity for you to connect with and influence the thinking of your target audience.

To help you see just how useful an infographic can be, we’ve created one that highlights some of the data from our 2016 Washington in the Information Age survey. It shows the percentage of Washington Insiders that turn to research reports and white papers for their information; the percentage of Insiders who report being influenced by infographics and mobile video; and which social media platforms Insiders use most . You can view and download the infographic here.

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