January 05, 2022
The way voters receive and engage with messages from political figures has completely changed over the last decade. We now live in a digital world. A world where the average person spends almost nine hours a day engaging with digital content. If you want to meet voters where they are, then you need to be online.
Focus On Live Video
One of the best ways to reach and engage with voters online is through live video. People are constantly bombarded with information, so live video offers a unique opportunity for candidates to connect with voters in an authentic way. It’s rare that your constituents could be this up close and personal with you. Running a successful social media account for your political campaign is all about making it personal. Most of us just want to feel a connection with other people, not an entity. Live videos are also great for building trust and credibility with voters. If you are someone who feels comfortable in front of a camera, then live video is perfect for digital political marketing.
On the other hand, if you are far from comfortable in front of a live audience, use stories to your benefit. Facebook and Instagram have the stories feature where you can post videos (or text, photos, etc.) that are available to be viewed for 24 hours. You can record, and record again, as many times as you would like before sharing. The chances of you saying something you might regret are much lower here than via live stream. You can also save these stories permanently to your page if desired.
Use Social Media Platforms Wisely
Not all social media platforms are created equally when it comes to marketing political candidates. Some platforms, like Facebook, offer more opportunities for providing information to voters than others. You can create posts that are longer and include links to websites or donation pages. Facebook is a great place to focus your social media efforts but keep in mind, you can’t just create an account and start posting as you please. You must set up your political page, get verified through the mail, and create a disclaimer if you want to use your account to promote your campaign. You can find more information in this guide we created with tips for setting up your Facebook page.
Platforms like Twitter are great for quick thoughts and easily answering questions. Tweets have to be kept under 280 characters, and typically don’t need a photo or video attached to get noticed, so they require minimal effort. Just don’t tweet so fast that you make a costly mistake with a typo or false information!
Facebook, Twitter, and Google all provide ways that political campaigns can verify their accounts. Not only does this assure visitors to the page that it’s an official account but also allows you to purchase advertising on Facebook or YouTube. Keep in mind you can have an account on any social media platform, but you cannot run ads on all of them. Some social media sites strictly prohibit political advertising.
Be sure to add links to your other social media platforms and the website for your campaign. Add important contact information such as a phone number, email address, or any other details that may help people get in touch with you. Don’t have a website? We can set you up with a web page/landing page to serve as a trusted, centralized location for all of your information.
Create Engaging Content
If your digital marketing efforts are not engaging voters, then they will be useless. Your digital content must inspire people to take action in order for it to work. The best digital content tells a story and gets the audience emotionally invested so that they will want to share the post with their friends and family. You can do this by tackling issues head-on instead of shying away from them all together as many politicians have done in years past. For example, if you're talking about an important issue such as education or healthcare reform, don't dance around these topics without saying what you mean. Voters need substance when deciding whom they would like to elect.
Create polls, ask for opinions, and ask for questions. Don’t spend all of your time talking at the voters. Talk with and to the voters. Once you find out what they want to know, you can create content that is meaningful and appreciated. This is also a great opportunity to utilize Facebook and Instagram stories.
Know Your Audience
Knowing the range of ages for users on each social media platform can help you tailor your posts to that specific demographic. The topics you post about, or the way you create content around them, will vary from platform to platform. What you post on Facebook may not apply at all when it comes to TikTok, or Snapchat. Don't forget about the young voters. They can make a difference, too! They are also most likely to be found online. If you want to engage young, digital voters, then it's important that you create content on social media platforms specifically designed for them.
During the last couple of years, amidst the pandemic, people have become more internet savvy than ever. People of all ages now feel more comfortable with their digital devices and you need to use this to your advantage. You can set up donation pages on websites or even use software like Raise the Money to embed on social media platforms to solicit donations from voters.
Digitalize your direct mail marketing pieces by adding a QR code that links to your donation site. Now when someone grabs your campaign postcard out of their mailbox, they can scan the QR code and donate within seconds. Add a compelling call to action to seal the deal!
The Right Message to the Right Voters
In short, digital marketing is the driving force for any political candidate in today's world. If you're not using these methods to get your message to voters, then you're missing out on a massive opportunity. Place your focus on live video and generating authentic, engaging content if you want to be a savvy social media user.
Do you have any questions about digital marketing or social media and how it can help your political campaign? Here at Bluegrass, we have a team of experts ready to assist you. Fill out the form on our political marketing page and we will contact you soon.