Whether you’re a local alderman or the President of the United States, every politician needs to have a solid digital marketing strategy. As more and more Americans – including your constituents – spend more and more of their time online, it’s important to keep up.
For many voters and constituents, your online face is the first one they’ll see; it’s important to give your community an online presentation that demonstrates just how knowledgeable, engaged, and experienced you truly are.
"Now, more than ever, every elected official and candidate needs a professional digital presence to stay connected to voters." - Kelly Dietrich, GetElected.com
Your updates, your achievements, your photo opps: In 2016, all of these need to live online and be easily accessible to the curious citizens in your community. Here’s what politicians need to know about digital marketing:
Be Engaging, Get Conversions
In digital marketing, we focus on two different types of posts: engagement posts, which offer interesting information or anecdotes, and conversion posts, which include a call-to-action to get users involved.
In political communications, it’s important to keep a fairly even split between engagement and conversion posts: Having a solid base of compelling engagement posts will make your users more likely to want to sign up for your lists or contribute to your efforts, after all.
With that said, fundraising, signatures, and connection are the lifeblood of any political campaign. It’s hard to get the ball rolling on an important political movement without the support of your community.
For some examples of how to improve your calls to action, check out our ideas for how to increase conversions by optimizing your landing page. Email marketing is also a powerful, effective way to regularly reach out to your constituents with engagement and conversion-focused content.
We also encourage you to look into the powerful digital tools that many politicians are already using, including the fundraising tool ActBlue, advocacy communication tool Salsa, and all-in-one platform tool NGP Van.
Keep an Active Political Blog
At Geek, we’ve always maintained that creating quality content is one of the most effective tools in your digital marketing arsenal.
Besides creating engaging posts that can help bolster your email marketing and social sharing efforts, having a regularly updating blog can dramatically improve your SEO, driving up your organic traffic numbers (the number of users who come to your site through Google or other search engines).
In this day and age, most members of your community aren’t turning to press releases or newspaper editorials to find out about your views; instead, they’re searching online. Maintaining an active, well-written blog is a great way to develop your political voice and messaging, demonstrate your expertise, and build up trust with your constituents.
Whether it’s for news, entertainment, or keeping in touch, social media is more important in our daily lives than ever before, and your marketing strategy needs to reflect this.
Be active and engaged on various social media platforms, particularly Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Share your news updates and blog content regularly and look into powerful platforms like Facebook Ads.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to cut through PR speak and really connect as a person using social media. Get creative! Share behind the scenes photos of you and your team using Instagram or create quick, fun posts with Vine or List App.
Even more conventional social platforms can be used for less-structured sharing: President Obama’s personal account sometimes hosts Twitter chats and question and answer sessions. Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer uses his active Twitter feed to wish happy birthday to members of the House.
Feel free to experiment and find what feels right with your voice. There’s no wrong way to use social media, as long as you’re being genuine and connecting with your community on their level.
Be Mobile Friendly
We’re all spending more time online and on social media, and more of that time is being spent on mobile devices than ever before. 80% of Internet users own and use a smartphone, and 90% of web users will switch between multiple devices (including phones, tablets, smartwatches, and desktops) to accomplish their online goals.
What does this mean for politicians? There’s a good chance many of the people you’re trying to reach are going to find you on their mobile devices. Make sure your site is clean, accessible, and easy to use on mobile. It could mean the difference between an engaged constituent and a missed opportunity!
The political world is fast-paced and ever-changing; your digital marketing needs to be able to keep up.
Fortunately, there are all sorts of effective time management and digital planning tools that can help your marketing efforts one step ahead of the whirlwind. For social media, we recommend Buffer, which allows you to queue up posts across multiple social platforms at once.
We’re also fans of Asana, a powerful online scheduling tool that will help you keep track of all of the ins and outs of your digital marketing strategy, from writing and posting blog content to organizing team meetings to keeping track of payroll.
Sound time consuming? Looking for a little help getting your multi-faceted digital marketing campaign off the ground? Geek is here to help!
We specialize in producing dynamic content marketing strategies that meet the evolving needs of our political clients. Drop us a line or sign up for our newsletter when you're ready to begin the process.