Running for Office? Check Out These Proven Political Marketing Campaign Tips
A basic freedom too many don’t exercise is voting. There are any number of reasons why, but we won’t get into that today. Instead, the focus will be on how to connect with potential voters and inspire them to cast their ballot on election day.
1. Every Great Political Campaign Starts with a Plan
The race to election day is real, it’s unrelenting and can be equal measures rewarding and crushing. It’s a marathon and data has the ability to improve performance. Think of data as a personal trainer. Listen to it and you’ll see results.
As with anything the first thing you need to ask yourself is what you want to achieve. From there strategies that algin with them will be defined. When defining objectives its worth considering initiatives, goals and KPI’s.
- Initiatives — the purpose of campaigning
- End goals — achievements
- KPIs — benchmarks to hit
With objectives as your beacon, chart your course and this starts with knowing more about where your audience is most active. Knowing this will inform the political advertising strategies you plan to implement.
2. Microtargeting in Politics—Lay the Groundwork
Aside from defining objectives, other foundations to consider include:
- Do you have the data and insights to know the issues and concerns of the potential voters being targeted?
- Are you ready to tailor messaging by platform and align it to the user as best you can?
- Is your website current?
- Is your campaign on brand with you and your values?
- Have you given thought to how long campaign messaging will run?
- Do you have an internal communication plan in place, so messaging and branding is consistent?—benchmarks to hit
3. Use the Right Tools for Political Marketing
Now it's time to start thinking about how to put those plans into action. You'll need tactics and tools to help your political marketing campaign get you in front of the right voters and relate to their specific needs. Below are a few proven tactics.
Microtargeting for Politics: Build a First-Party Database
If there’s a mantra to be embraced when formulating the messaging of your campaign, it’s know your target audience. This is stressed so often because without that insight, everything done is a waste of time and money. Through micro-targeting you can get real insights into the actions/attributes of people who have a proclivity to being interested in what your candidate has to offer.
OTT Marketing: Hypertarget
Over-the-top (OTT) is not an area of marketing to be underestimated in a political campaign’s marketing strategy. Not only does it have the capability to hyper-target the exact audience you need to reach, but it is also one of the most popular forms of consuming content today (and still growing!).
4. Track, Measure, Optimize: Measure the MetricsThe only way to ensure the success of your political marketing campaign strategy is to track and measure in real-time, so you can adjust when necessary and build off success. To do this efficiently, keep these five steps in mind to gauge the impact of your political campaign:
1. Develop appropriate KPIs
2. Make everything measurable
3. Track your efforts
4. Avoid outdated systems
5. Don't rely only on your instincts!
When it comes down to it, measuring is a necessary element in running effective election campaign strategies. To get the best results, you need to:
- Track how your efforts are playing out, and
- Assess what isn't working
What metrics you will measure will depend on the objectives of your campaign. For instance, if you want to increase awareness, you may track social media engagement or use tools like surveys. Email open and click-through rates are another excellent way to track how well you're reaching voters on that digital platform.
5. Be Nimble: Reasses and PivotTo ensure that your political marketing campaign is optimized to its full potential, be prepared to make the necessary changes if the time comes and adapt to new strategies. This will require frequent assessment:
- Are you gaining traction?
- Are your CTAs working?
- Are you reaching the right audience?
- Are there any places where money can be saved?
- To maximize your digital marketing budget, review your business goals, use the proper marketing channels, incorporate content marketing, and utilize your existing supporters to encourage more voters.
Your marketing will require pivoting to a new direction if efforts aren't working, which means some trial and error may be necessary. However, with the capabilities of digital marketing today, it is much easier to track and make changes right away if you notice strategies aren't working like they were intended.
In politics, as in most advertising campaigns, authenticity matters. Be true, to your brand, your values and be consistent in saying what you mean. Do this and trust will be earned and with that a dialogue formed with constituents.
About the Author
@Janine Pollack, MNI Integrated Marketing Director and self-appointed Storyteller in Chief, leads the brands commitment to generating content that informs and inspires. Prior to MNI, Janine worked with Fortune 500 companies and world-renowned education institutions on numerous research and white papers, podcasts and thought-leadership and education campaigns.