Once characterized by stump speeches, fundraisers and in-person interactions, political campaigning has changed a lot over the past decade. Although the aforementioned elements still play an important role, there’s no denying that the Internet represents the future of politics. From social media outlets to video sharing sites, successful candidates have learned to use the Worldwide Web to their full advantage. Any campaign that wishes to thrive in the digital age can benefit from taking the following measures.
Appear on Well-Known Podcasts and Online Programs
Making guest appearances on popular podcasts and online programs is sure to get your campaign noticed by the all-important 18-49 demographic. As the audience for televised newscasts and polarizing cable news programs grows older, younger voters have turned to online media for their current events. Even President Obama has famously appeared on several prominent podcasts and web series, most notably “WTF with Marc Maron.” Of course, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t appear on traditional television. Rather, you should do so in conjunction with podcasts and web series. Digital mediums generally don’t have the suffocating time constraints that plague cable news, nor do they restrict what you’re able to talk about. Additionally, they’re not as beholden to sponsors and tend to be less agenda-driven than their corporately-owned counterparts.
Maintain a Consistent Presence on Social Media
According to Adweek’s Kimberly Morrison, social media has changed the very nature of political campaigns. Not only is social media a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, it’s also a highly effective campaign marketing tool. Each time one of your posts receives a “share” on Facebook or is retweeted on Twitter, you stand to reach hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of prospective supporters. Needless to say, a social media-based celebrity endorsement can dramatically ratchet up your follower count. For maximum effect, actively encourage your followers to share and retweet your posts. You should also post a fair number of updates – but not so many that it becomes an annoyance to your followers. Posting more than three updates per hour is liable to result in mass unfollows or cause certain supporters to mute your updates.
Utilize Video Sharing Sites
These days, a lot of smaller-scale campaigns are abandoning TV ads in favor of video sharing sites. Buying ad time on television outlets, even locally-owned ones, can be awfully pricey – particularly for campaigns that have had trouble raising funds.
Conversely, creating an account on a video sharing site and posting new vids whenever the mood strikes won’t cost you a thing. Your campaign has nothing to lose and much to gain by registering for accounts with YouTube, Blip, Vimeo and DailyMotion. Keep in mind, however, that purchasing official ad spots on these sites will cost money, but creating an account puts you under no obligation to do this.
As NPR reports, digital marketing now plays a decisive role in elections of all types. Even politicians whose careers started decades before the digital age have come to embrace new technology. With all the convenient resources that are readily available on the Web, getting your message across to voters is now easier than ever.