The Political Landscape Is Changing, Along With Consumer Behavior
A Few Politicians Have Figured This Out
While Others Didn’t Change
Today’s Political Marketing & Branding
Before the 2016 election, historical practice and conventional wisdom told us:
- candidates should appear ‘presidential’
- candidates must be politically experienced and qualified to run for office
- candidates must avoid controversial and politically incorrect positions
Changes in Political Marketing
- Traditional media still works, but you have more options and avenues to reach your market efficiently and effectively
- The authority that came with TV advertising has diminished over the years
- 43% of millennials do not have a cable TV subscription
- Nearly half of television viewers did not bother to watch campaign commercials
- Only 32% of Americans have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in media
- Your online presence should be you as a media outlet, not a politician’s fan page
The message isn’t to replace traditional tactics. It’s to enhance and align with consumer behavior. You reach a large audience with mass media, but a full audience by incorporating digital.
- Be a real human.
- You don’t need to be a politician.
- You need to make it easy to communicate back and forth. Be reachable. Be in touch with technological trends.
- Republicans are viewed as having a single criteria for support: who will win?
- Democrats are viewed as having a lack of clear direction and “who’s next”.
47% of Americans Get Their News Through FacebookYou Can Always Be In This News Publication If You Know *How* To Always Be There
Tapping Into Big Data
Facebook leverages several Big Data sources to provide incredible depth and breadth of insight that we can use to target audiences online.
Micro-Targeting Voter Audiences
Online platforms, like Facebook, allow viewers to instantly and easily click to give feedback, whether through a comment or a “Like”.
These online platforms also allow you to establish:
- name recognition,
- familiarity with positions, and
- an ever-growing supporter list.
By using digital, and particularly Facebook, you can quickly:
- Test dozens of variations on advertisements and messages
- Receive immediate feedback on what worked and what didn’t
With a “lean marketing” approach, you quickly test advertising elements across hundreds of variants related to the audience characteristics, the message, the imagery, and audience demographics
- Be as specific as honing in on color use, headlines, captions, and photos. Or, release a specific message to a location as small as a one mile radius
Reach Potential of Digital vs. Traditional
Those who capture and keep attention succeed. This is not exclusive to politics. It is true across any industry. This is how Donald Trump was successful in his election.
“Love him or hate him, we all know about Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. We hear about and see it every day. In fact, it’s one of the most relevant and frequently mentioned topics on media, period.“
AJ Agrawal, Forbes
Another point of differentiation with digital that empowers campaigns?
Messaging comes across as personal outreach, rather than a broadcast message. That introduces elements of connection and personalization.
$10,000 spent on video advertising via Facebook can yield 200,000 views. The realistic range may be 100,000 to 1,000,000 depending on the video and targeting criteria.
And we can determine how much of the video was watched (whether 3-seconds, 25%, 50%, 95%, and so on).
This is real eyes on your video. No sharing eyeballs with cellphones, laptops, people, pets, and other interruptions that come with television advertising.
Amplify Personal Outreach Efforts
Networking, engaging hands-on with the community, speaking, and making appearances is part of the professional politician’s career.
This is something that often takes away from downtime, family time, and free time. So, for every minute invested, it should provide returns many times over.
Using Digital, you can amplify every event and engagement by distributing and promoting that instance with a segment of your target audience, whether dedicated fans, party followers, or swing voters.
Photos and videos both receive tremendous exposure and help to put your face and personality in front of voters. Social media is simply the channel that you can best get this in front of them, consistently and reliably, without having to rely on full-scale traditional media campaigns.
Consider moving activities online…
Fundraising, online rallies, and supporter outreach can all be done online and through your website, email, and social media.
There are enough voters out there that both traditional in-person appearances and online use is required to run a highly successful campaign.
Part of the reason Trump won his election was that he was consistently in the news, getting in front of people.
While this earned media is important to getting free airtime, you can also stay in front of people who visited your website before consistently.
Being omnipresent provides you with a celebrity effect, and it can be as simple as paying for “retargeting” or “remarketing” to be placed in front of individuals who have engaged with you previously online.
Ever shop for something online, decide not to buy, but then see that product presented to you online later that day, week, or month?
That is retargeting at work. And it does work.
Core People You Need On Your Digital Team
Your Digital Team Should Fulfill These Skillsets:
- Digital Strategist
- Social Media Marketer
- Social Media Advertiser
- Website Developers
- Video Advertiser
- Email Marketer
You may be able to find individuals who can cover more than one area, but typically, there is a limit to how many skills one person can competently cover due to the vast and frequent changes.
The Digital Ecosystem