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Let’s Get Digital: An Interview with Digital Engagement Specialist Sharon Bell

"It was a considerable lift by the entire organization to adapt to the pandemic..."

Sharon Bell, Digital Engagement Specialist, ZERO TO THREE

Editor’s Note: Sharon Bell joined ZERO TO THREE in March of this year as our first Digital Engagement Specialist. She agreed to answer a few questions about this exciting work.

1. What is an approach that you are excited about applying to your work?

The Digital Communications team continues to get more sophisticated with remarketing and it has been very exciting to see the hard work behind those strategies pay off. While some people may think of remarketing as a form of digital “stalking,” our team is using the data that we have on each individual to send them segmented and personalized messages. Our goal is to never be intrusive or bothersome, but instead to provide timely, relevant, and quality content to our audiences. For this year’s virtual Annual Conference, we’re using data based on website activity, ZERO TO THREE email lists, and social media custom audiences to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time in order to maximize attendance. Our goal is to let the entire community of early childhood professionals – from educators, to child welfare caseworkers, to IECMH specialists – know how this year’s conference helps them tackle pressing issues in their work, today.

2. What is an opportunity that has arisen recently for you? What potential do you see in it or why does it excite or interest you?

Most of my recent professional experience has involved strategic implementation of digital ads, particularly for social media channels. While ZERO TO THREE has done its fair share of advertising in past campaigns, with much of the key events for the organization moving to a virtual format this year, it means we are investing more in digital advertising than ever before. We saw great results from the State of Babies Yearbook: 2020 digital push, implemented a full-funnel campaign with comprehensive targeting to promote the virtual Strolling Thunder event on Twitter, and are currently underway with our largest campaign for the Annual Conference. This has opened the door for me to broaden my digital advertising knowledge beyond just social media, and work to optimize Google Search and Google Display ads as well. While we’re having to adjust the Annual Conference marketing in real time as we adapt to the virtual format, there is a lot of potential in the power digital advertising to drive registration. I’m excited to see how our ads continue to perform, and, when coupled with the website and email remarketing efforts, how our registration numbers continue to grow week over week.

3. Share something that recently encouraged or inspired you in your work?

The Advocacy team recently shared the transcript from Speaker of the House Pelosi’s Floor Speech in Support of Child Care Legislation that was made on July 29, 2020, calling attention to the personal stories Speaker Pelosi shared in her speech. Two of the three stories included were collected as part of the ZERO TO THREE story capture initiative started in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—a collaborative effort between the Marketing Communications and Policy & Advocacy teams. As I read the speech, I recalled seeing those stories as they were originally submitted months ago, along with so many others shared from people facing similar situations. It was a considerable lift by the entire organization to adapt to the pandemic, including the Communications team as we worked to develop relevant resources to help families and professionals, but seeing the stories included in the speech made the work seem even more meaningful.

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