Is your candidate running for the upcoming elections? If so, this Political Marketing article is exactly what you need to read.
Political campaigns cost tons of money but fortunately, the internet and other digital tools have made political marketing a lot less costly and a lot easier.
If you’ve organised political campaigns previously, you already know that research is the first and foremost step of political marketing.
However, I’ll be getting into a detailed guide on how to carry out political marketing from the start to the end because trends are changing by the minute and you need to be updated in order to carry out a successful political marketing campaign:
#1. Know your audience
If this is your first campaign, don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to target each citizen in your area.
After all, you’re trying to gain a maximum amount of votes from all eligible voters, right?
However, you need to focus your political marketing efforts on voters that can relate to your candidate, for example, a low-income group that has a particular issue like better health facilities and insurance.
If your candidate is fighting for issues like these, you need to concentrate the majority of your marketing efforts on this socio-economic class.
Your goal is to match the agenda of your candidate with that of your target audience.
If your campaign is at a larger scale, that means you’ll have to segment your target audience into different groups accordingly:
Geographical segmentation could be area, district, city or even state-wise whereas behavioural and psychographic segmentation is done based upon attitudes and values which is trickier, but if done right, it can be very successful in political marketing.
#2. Get to know your political rivals
You know the famous saying, ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer’.
Your marketing team should be up to date about your political rivals’ strategy at every passing second.
This is so that you can come up with a counter-strategy which is crucial in politics because time is of the essence.
Suppose your rival makes a mistake in one of their speeches by supporting something his/her supporters are against.
This gives your candidate a very narrow window of opportunity to draft up a speech and speak in favour of the issue so that those supporters are swayed towards your campaign.
Plus, keeping a tab on the number of followers your rivals have, their strategy and other factors related to their campaign will help you define how to beat them at their own game.
#3. Hire the right team
With digital marketing on the rise, you need to ensure that you hire IT and social media experts that will ensure a great online presence for your candidate.
A good landing page can determine how many leads you get, which is exactly what worked for former President Obama, as pointed out by Neil Patel:
Your graphic designers, photographers, social media team and all other workers should be skilled in their respective fields and organised in a way that the campaign runs smoothly because the last few weeks before the election will put your team under extreme pressure.
#4. Create the perfect logo
Just like a business entity, you need a logo to represent your political campaign and it has to be perfect because it represents your identity
You need to incorporate everything that you stand for in one symbol, but how do you do that?
Some political campaigns use their slogan as a logo because text helps them better express what they stand for.
However, if you’re going for a symbol, carefully select the right colours, fonts, images and text if necessary.
So for example, the colour yellow represents positivity and hope, which is why the Libertarian Party incorporated it into their logo:
The libertarian party has always been seen as a less conservative party that stands for freedom of expression and hope for America.
Similarly, if you’re condemning an issue or fighting for a grave matter, red is the perfect colour to display the seriousness of the situation:
The Socialist Party believes in equality of all ethnicities, something that has been fought for throughout the history of America as minorities continue to be discriminated against.
These nitty-gritty details are crucial because colour increases brand recognition by 80%!
But the colour isn’t the only important factor when designing the logo:
The Democratic Party’s symbol shows the nature of their flexibility and how they ‘kick back’ to the loopholes within the US justice system.
Notice how all logos incorporated blue into their logo because it represents the American flag; thus, conveying patriotism.
Check out this guide on choosing colours, fonts and graphics for your logo.
#5. Use social media to the fullest
As I said, the internet has made political campaigns a lot less costly.
You no longer have to go door to door passing around newsletter or launch expensive TVCs to create awareness about your political strategy.
However, you’ll still have to invest in a social media team that works round the clock to post live feeds, updates and responds to customer queries among other tasks.
(You can always get volunteers or interns to work for you if resources are low).
The first thing you need to do is start as early as possible.
The most important thing to do is share each and every event that your candidate attends and the issues that he/she works for:
According to a study by SproutSocial, 79% of consumers believe that politicians have a responsibility to be transparent on social media.
By taking your followers along with your candidate’s journey, you’ll create a certain level of trust which will sway them to cast a vote for your candidate.
Secondly, all this is possible only if you have a pre-planned strategy.
Your political campaign is like a business and you need to think about the long term in order to fulfil your ultimate goal of winning the election.
A plan will ensure that your team knows what to post and when to post it so you can save time by scheduling posts.
However, not everything goes to plan in a political campaign which is why you also need a contingency plan.
This is crucial because whenever a mistake occurs, your team will need to respond at the earliest and they will be able to respond correctly if given the right guidelines beforehand.
Lastly, you need to get creative.
Former President Obama set a great example by allowing social media’s top personalities to interview him; thus, diverting every millennial’s attention towards his campaign:
He also cleverly put himself on the same level as young adults who could relate to him and the causes that he was fighting for; hence, motivating them to vote for him.
#6. Collaborate with the right people
You can never win an election alone and getting the right people to advocate your campaign might just do the trick.
The former Secretary of State John Kerry collaborated with Urban Outfitters back in 2004 so that he could create ‘cool’ voting apparel. It worked and he continued to serve the country for his 5-year tenure.
To create your own merchandise, you’ll need to hire a graphic designer to create the perfect logo, slogans and catchphrases related to your campaign.
Former President Obama also collaborated with a number of trending brands at the time for millennials:
Both these examples show that every decision you make will make an impact on your voters so you need to align everything with the vision of your campaign and the likes of your target audience so that you ensure a victory in the election.
And it’s not just that.
You will need to monitor your candidate’s friendships, personal life and all other acquaintances.
Who they choose to be close to can affect how voters view them.
#7. Create a killer website
If people want to know about your candidate, they’ll look it up on Google and if your website doesn’t rank on top, you will be losing a lot of votes.
First, you need to hire a professional web designing team.
Not only should the appearance of your website be good but visitors should also be able to easily navigate through it:
Moreover, using high quality compressed images ensures that your page loading times are fast. Most importantly, your website should have a blog that is search engine optimised.
Hire content writers that post regularly about your candidate’s meetings, events, agenda, stance on political issues and everything else that voters need to know.
Check out my detailed guide on how to optimise your website and blog for search engines so that you have the complete technical knowledge and can monitor your web designers accordingly.
Lastly, make sure that your website is mobile-friendly (take this test to find out) because more than 50% of searches are conducted on mobile phones which means that if your website isn’t optimised for phones, most of your visitors will abandon it.
#8. Show people you care
You’ll notice how riled up citizens get when talking about political issues.
You need to take advantage of this and show them you care about their opinion.
The great news is, there’s a number of ways to do that:
- Targeted marketing
Use social media as a tool to target each segment individually.
With Facebook and Instagram, you can specify the demographics and psychographics of your target audience so that the ad is displayed towards those users:
Plus, if users allow apps to use their microphones you can use software that picks up on keywords that consumers use, so for example, if a citizen is having a heated discussion on one of the political issues that your candidate is fighting for, the software will automatically display an ad in their newsfeed; thus, strengthening their viewpoint.
- Meet people where they are
You’ll notice a lot of political candidates use tour buses to visit small towns and meet citizens there to gather support.
You need to create the impression that your candidate cares about the problems of voters and is committed to working towards them rather than taking part in the election for power.
By making the effort of meeting people where they are, citizens will believe that your candidate truly cares and is honest which goes a long way in voting.
Marketing for political campaigns is never easy but the trick is to focus on the little details and give the citizens what they want.
Technology has opened up so many doors for marketing as well as communication so using that to your advantage is crucial.
Lastly, you need to invest in your campaign in order to see results so make sure you’re not too stringy on the purse strings but also carry out measures that can save you time and resources because the key to success is creating the perfect balance.