Political Campaign Digital Marketing 2022 Guide
A Guide for Winners
Let’s discuss political campaign digital marketing, what are the benefits of doing digital marketing for your political campaigns, what is the right time for starting your political digital campaigns, and many other things.
On average, an American adult is spending at least 6 hours on the internet. If even after knowing that, you’re not reaching out to them where they are, you are not taking advantage of the power of digital marketing.
What Is Political Campaign Digital Marketing?
Political campaign digital marketing means using digital marketing to reach out to your voters to evoke the desired action. It is just like traditional marketing that you were doing in the past but only digital.
As I already mentioned earlier, Americans are spending a lot of their time not on malls, concerts, watching TV, listening to the radio but on the internet — reading online news, browsing their feeds on social media, consuming videos on YouTube, listening to podcasts or searching random things on Google.
When the landscape starts changing, we need to change our strategies according to that. Now, you need to go digital as your voters have gone. Political campaign digital marketing is what allows you to be where your voters are the most active.
What’s the Need for Political Campaign Digital Marketing?
Every industry depends on marketing to get the word out and to get the attention of their desired audience. The politics industry is no stranger to this as well. Just like healthcare, IT, technology, or any other, they also want to be heard, seen, and loved.
While other industries unite their audience around their products, political industry unite around similar values and causes. These values and causes are the products or services of the political industry. Understanding the concept of marketing for political campaigns becomes easier when we start replacing the word product with causes.
You want more people to know about your causes, more people to support your causes, more people to contribute to those causes — none of this will happen on a massive scale if your audience will not know about your existence.
The mantra of political campaign marketing is that you have to go to your audience because they are not going to come to you on their own.
If you have an Instagram page, people are not going to start following you on their own if they don’t even know about you. If they do know about you and start following you, they won’t engage with you. You have to unite them to the shared cause with the help of digital marketing.
Now, if they start engaging with you, they may not take the desired action like donating for the cause or voting for you. This will take another level of digital marketing.
The rule of marketing is to make sales unnecessary. In the case of politics, the rule of marketing is to build a loyal team of voters that will engage in desired actions even without a push.
Are Political Digital Marketing Campaigns Successful?
Let’s take a deep breath and think about Donald Trump for a moment. It was controversial. Let’s forget about that for a minute.
The point to remember from Donald Trump’s presidency was that it was highly effective. Nobody can argue. He won the election and became our president. This is enough to show the power of digital marketing in winning your supporters’ trust and their votes.
When Should You Start Running Political Digital Marketing Campaigns?
You can start running digital ads as early as you want. The earlier you start, the more time you’re going to get to build a strong relationship with your voters and build the trust needed to turn them into your voters.
Also, it significantly decreases the chances of your voters being wooed away by your competitors. Such issues arise when the relationship is not properly nurtured between the voters and the other party.
In case you have a very limited budget, it is highly advised that start your political digital marketing campaigns at least three months in advance. Most digital ad campaigns take at least 2–3 months of time to start showing effective results.
What are the Benefits of Digital Marketing for Political Campaigns?
Reaching voters through digital marketing and digital advertising has proven groundbreaking. More and more politicians, political parties, political organizations are now integrating digital strategies into their political campaigns.
You can Reach Voters Wherever They are
Online ads can be the most effective way to spread your message and reach more voters. You can now reach your target audience when they are traveling in a subway, or when they are shopping online, or when they are reading the news, or when they are googling something, or when they are checking their feed on Twitter or something else.
You can Target Ads More Precisely
It has become so easier and convenient now to reach your exact audience at a fraction of the cost of what you used to pay for traditional advertising.
You can target your audience not just on the basis of their location, age, gender but even on the basis of their interests and intent. For example, you can target your audience based on their political affiliation and interest in various causes.
Building data points for your segmenting your supporters has never been so easy. Not to mention, precise ad targeting brings the desired response as your supporters feel that you know and understand them.
You can Reach Your More of Your Supporter
There had never been a platform in the past as convenient and as simple as social media which would have given you such easy access to your voters.
Many will argue that TV was one such channel but I tend to disagree a little as televisions are comparatively expensive than mobile phones with access to the internet. Now, you have access to even those voters who were not able to afford TVs.
Right now, you can reach millions of voters through social media ads, display ads, and various other types of digital advertising. And the good news is that it is considerably cheaper than TV advertising.
You Can Get Conversational With Your Supporters
Digital technology has made it possible to have more interactive communication with your voters. You can engage them for various causes easily by sparking conversations that can spark action.
When you’re trying to make your audience take actions based on their shared beliefs, two-way conversations and interactions can define the success of your political digital campaigns.
How to Run Digital Political Campaigns?
At Bizadmark, we always focus on two important things that define the success of any digital campaigns — marketing research and digital strategy.
If any of those two are missing, your campaign won’t be as effective as it could have been. Unfortunately, a complete understanding of political lingo is not important because digital strategies are created by marketers and not by politicians.
If you’re starting your digital political campaign, here are a few points that can save you from making disastrous political campaigns’ mistakes.
1. Political Digital Campaigns Are B2C Digital Campaigns
Upon my interaction with many people from the politics industry, I realized how much complexity they like to attach to their campaigns. And only because of that, they are not able to use the full potential of digital marketing and get better results.
Here’s the mantra for winning in politics:
A political digital marketing campaign is a B2C campaign, if you aspire to win.
Just like when a B2C digital campaign is run, we lead our customers to take a particular action. Similarly, when we run a digital political campaign, we use digital strategies to make them take the expected action.
Now, this action can be either buying a product, subscribing to a service or it can also be supporting a cause, donating for a cause, or voting for a candidate. Digital marketing is not much influenced by what that action is going to be.
The purpose of digital marketing is to create a lot of brand awareness and to generate desire and interest among your audience that they feel like taking that desired action of making a purchase or voting a candidate.
Alas, we still continue to treat politics as a very different industry. Even after all the fancy political jargon, it’s still just another B2C industry.
Still, have any doubts about what I just said?
Then, you will be interested in knowing what led to the success of Trump’s political campaigns. He worked with a marketer who was not an expert in political lingo but was an expert in creating strategies for B2C digital marketing campaigns.
2. Targeting is the Key to Reach More Supporters
The more precise your targeting is going to be, the more effective your digital marketing campaigns for your cause are going to be.
You can target people based on so many factors. Segmentation and targeting just on the basis of demographics is just the tip of the iceberg.
You can target even on the basis of geography, past voting history, and various other data points.
More important than demographics targeting is psychographics targeting. “Lookalike targeting” on Facebook plays an important role in increasing the reach to the right candidates for a political campaign.
“Lookalike audience” is a group which shares similar interests as your current audience.”
A right political ad when shown to the right audience at the right time leads to an action.
What is that right ad? What is that right audience? Only a marketing strategist can tell. In the end, everything boils down to research and strategy.
3. Content is Going to Write Your Success
Content is way more important than you can think of in the field of politics.
You are trying to unite people and build an audience on the basis of causes and beliefs. Letting people know that you feel equally passionate about the same beliefs and causes as they are will make a content strategy that will generate a huge amount of data.
Political content can be in any format- text, audio, video, interactive, memes, or slogans. You will need all of those.
During the Trump campaign, over 100,000 pieces of content were created. You want to make the same impact, get ready to create more than that.
4. Social Media is Where Your Audience Lies
Social media is very powerful. Your voters may not share the same interest in going to a music festival, or visiting a mall, or watching TV, or listening to the radio, but one interest that almost all of them share is visiting social media channels.
In other words, you may not be able to reach your entire audience through billboard advertising, TV advertising, radio advertising but you can always reach them easily and efficiently through social media campaigns.
So, if you have not yet started using the power of social media for political campaigns, you are not hitting the nail where you should. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter allow you to use the power of data and creativity to reach your exact audience in the least expensive way possible.
Indeed, social media plays an important role in your voters’ lives. Interestingly, your audience is using these channels even to understand your party’s position and policies.
Unfortunately, social media has also become their platform to get their daily news. To make sure your audience is not getting influenced by fake news, it becomes even more crucial for a political party to start sharing even their side on these channels so their audience can make an informed decision.
As a final point, Republicans spent more on digital social campaigns than democrats in 2016. The result was that the Republicans won.
5. Email Marketing For Political Campaign
With email marketing, we will send out relevant and target emails to the target audiences, but at the same time, we will make sure we don’t annoy your audience with frequent emails.
We will send out whenever there is an upcoming tour or any other relevant event. Moreover, with emails, we will keep your potential voters informed and updated about the progress of the campaign.
6. Integrate All Your Digital Campaigns
All your digital campaigns need to present the same consistent and unified image. In other words, you need to focus on omnichannel marketing.
Omnichannel marketing is a cross-channel marketing which aims to provide seamless experience across a supporter’s journey through various digital channels.
You don’t want your Twitter campaign to present an image that doesn’t match the one you have built on your Facebook. In addition, when all the channels are not integrated with each other, it disrupts the experience a user is having with your political party.
A sudden disruption can cause confusion, a broken web experience, and most importantly, it can harm your supporter’s trust in you.
All your campaigns need to work together and build one consistent image.
7. Keep Analysing Your Data
Your data is your power, your competitive edge over your competitors, your bridge to your supporters.
Start running digital campaigns only when you’re prepared to read the data. Reading data doesn’t mean literally reading, it means being able to analyze it to find hidden insights and trends. If you think data is not your expertise, then get help from a digital marketing agency rather than ignoring it. Some things are not an option!
8. Storytelling For Connection
When you want to reach more people, you go for data; when you want to make an impact on those people, you go for storytelling.
The two need to work in perfect sync for a digital campaign to be effective.
Good storytelling will make your digital political campaign resonate with your supporters’ beliefs. However, effective storytelling will just make your supporters feel more and more detached from you.
Stories are built around a theme. For illustration “Make America Great” was a theme that was targeted during Trump’s presidency. Similarly, Obama’s “Yes We Can” also revolved around a theme of hope.
In short, stories are what connect one human to another. This is why we read stories to our kids. This is why we go and watch movies. Stories are way more impactful than we can even imagine.
You can forget numbers, even your audience can. However, they will always remember a good story you are going to tell.
Digital strategy for your political campaign is no longer an option, it’s a must. It’s a necessity. The reason why you should have an active digital strategy is as simple as all your supporters and voters are there. The more time you are going to start spending there, the more you will be able to engage with them, win their trust and lead to the right action.