If you want to win an election, then you better get familiar with marketing. For potential candidates, the “political season” is really an all year, and sometimes multiple year, marketing campaign. If you want to win an election, you have to invest in advertising, and you have to get creative. In 2016 alone, candidates spent $6.5 billion in elections. That’s a staggering sum. You don’t have to break the bank to win an election. After all, Hillary outspent Trump by nearly 2 to 1 in a losing effort. But you do need to invest your money and energy into the right marketing channels to get the most return on your investment.
Here are six areas to invest in marketing to win an election.
Because first impressions are so important, successful candidates will quickly create a brand to represent themselves and their campaign. This often includes a logo and a slogan. Trump’s “make America great again” and Obama’s “hope and change” are two examples of slogans that backed their political brand in a winning effort. It’s important to create an image of yourself as a candidate that is bigger than your name. People want to stand behind a cause that a person believes in just as much as the person themselves. Turn yourself from a candidate into an ideal that voters want to agree with and support.
The political yard sign is nothing new. It is, however, a staple of any successful campaign. Creating a logo and slogan are one thing, getting them in front of people is another. Yard signs are an easy way for people to support you and tell others about you, without being salesy. When you are writing up your brochures and other printed materials, don’t just give basic information, but tell a story. This will help you sell the idea of voting for you without looking like you’re selling. It will also help people connect better with you.
This is such an important, and often overlooked aspect of a winning political campaign. There are plenty of do-it-yourself websites out there that can produce a decent looking website. However, these types of websites often lack in terms of search engine optimization. Since nearly every is online nearly every day, you need your website to work as a marketing tool. People need to find it easily, like on Google. They also need to see that it is professional. That means it looks good on every device, like mobile phones, not just on a desktop computer. It also needs to have a good-looking URL, like donaldtrump.com, not one of those free services that include their name in your domain name. Invest in a professionally built website for a winning campaign.
With a slew of new, younger voters every year, it’s an obvious fact that your campaign must be utilizing social media. And it’s not just the younger audience. Nearly everyone uses social media in some way, nowadays. It’s not enough to just have a Facebook page for your campaign. You should utilize many social media platforms, like Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat. You should also invest in some professional social media management. This will ensure you have consistent, professional-looking content posted regularly. An experienced social media manager can also run ads through Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to reach even more people with your message.
Even more effective than social media marketing is email marketing. Use the content you put on social media in email blasts out to your campaign followers. Put a simple email sign up form on your website so people can follow your campaign and get updates. It is cost-effective, as well. In fact, some services, like Mail Chimp, offer free email marketing up to a certain number of subscribers. Email works so well simply because it’s based on permission marketing. People sign up for your updates and it’s sent straight to their personal email. They are much more likely to open the email and read it than are to see other forms of marketing, like a post on Facebook, for instance.
If you want to really stand out in a political campaign, even smaller local campaigns, then you need to create high quality, professionally-produced videos. While video production can be more expensive than other forms of content, the return on investment is much better. On social media, for instance, video gets much higher engagement than other forms of content. You can also buy ad space and promote your video on popular websites, and you can take the traditional TV commercial route.
Running a campaign can be an exciting time. By marketing your campaign effectively, you can build momentum toward a victory.
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