July 3, 2014

Digital Volunteer Marketing

Digital volunteer marketing can have two interpretations. One is the marketing of products, services and ideas by volunteers in the digital media. They are volunteers in the sense that they take up the activity on their own without any explicit call by the related organizations as digital media provides them an opportunity to do so. Some of them may earn some money out of it. But many are happy to be of service to the society and they are content with the comments and visits to their digital pages. They may spend significant amount of time in this activity. Elections in democracies are events in which digital volunteer marketers are coming forward in large numbers to support the parties they prefer and candidate they prefer. Recently in India (2014), the parties made special efforts to organize these volunteer marketers. They are quite active and vocal on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. There is a good amount of communication between the volunteers also as they are visible on the platform through various search facilities on the platform. Even the casual remarks of the persons become visible on the platform and volunteers can interact with the persons concerned.

Digital volunteer marketing is clearly evident in the case of digital media articles and videos as people are sharing interesting articles and videos.

Digital voluntary marketing can also be interpreted as the use of digital volunteer marketers by a firm. The firm can see this as a channel of marketing communication and organize them. London Olympics 2012 organizers provided a good source of information to digital marketing volunteers especially journalists. Videos and photos were provided to registered journalists for inclusion in their blogs, papers and magazines. Online marketers for goods can make use of this digital volunteer marketing channel. For example, Amazon can use the services of this channel to communicate its new offering say books to potential buyers. Digital marketing volunteers  may review the books and publish it in their blogs. Even now many are doing book reviews on their own. But when amazon recognizes them as a part of their marketing communications channel and provides them advance information regarding its book releases and provides some facilitating material, the volunteer marketers can provide greater benefit to the organization.

Digital Volunteers

Digital volunteers are already popular and Red Cross is using them in an exemplary way. There are case studies describing Red Cross's practices.

Came across an article wherein the issue of using digital alumni volunteers to support their institution is mentioned.

A blog post by a person showing his willingness to be a digital volunteer.

Research on Digital Volunteers

"Voluntweeters" - Self Organizing by Digital Volunteers in Times of Crisis
A research study on the volunteers activity during Haiti Crisis - 12 Jan 2010
Kate Starbird and Leysia Palen, University of Colarado at Boulder
2011 paper

Related Article

Word of Mouth Marketing

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