In today’s confused, conflicted and ever-complicated world, the political landscape is littered with pre-existing landmines, as well as endless opportunities for self-sabotage. The danger of traversing such territory cannot (and should not) be minimized to anyone with political aspirations, making it crucial to have a prudent, effective and well-executed strategy.
While experienced campaign managers and political pundits make for the best advisors to an aspiring candidate, neither may be equipped to handle the rigorous digital marketing needs of a campaign. Now you might be asking yourself, “Digital Marketing?” but the simple truth is this: as a candidate for office, in any level, both you and your platform are little more than a product. And for that product to be consumed, your target audience must be aware of its existence and find it presented in the most appealing and engaging way possible. And in today’s 24/7 world of constant connectivity, they must be able to access (and consume) your product on their own time, and their own terms…with the demand that it be responsive, in real time.
While your advisors might be able to recite statistics on voter registration and legislative polling, the simple fact is this: just as you trust them to do what they do best, today’s campaigns require a skilled and trustworthy digital marketing partner, in order to be truly effective. Such a partner should provide a reliable source of multi-platform marketing, SEO, reputation management and understand the nuanced approach of reaching constituents of all-ages and applicable demographics.
With all of those considerations in mind, it’s arguably little surprise that political ad spending now exceeds $11.5 billion in the U.S. alone. So, how much is each vote costing you? And are you maximizing your spend with the best-thought-out strategy possible?
Straddling Voter Gen-Gap
With Generation Z having taken its first steps into voting service, a successful candidate must now appeal to the sensibilities of five separate generations, each with their own unique demands and expectations.
Generation Z, Millennials, Gen-X, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists are defined by more than just differences in the core values which inform their voting. Perhaps the most significant difference comes in the variety of platforms a candidate must use in order to reach each respective group.
Granted there are certainly overlaps, especially with older generations’ growing comfort with technology. But the growing prevalence of smartphone use and increase of social media activity, across all age groups doesn’t necessarily align all voters with the same resources.
Born after 1999, Gen-Zers represent (not only) the youngest of registered voters but encompass the newest wave of voters to follow in the coming years. A product of a technology-driven society, this generation demands immediate results and constant accessibility but is burdened with a tendency to make snap judgments. This emphasizes the importance of both brevity and clarity, as well as making impactful contact using the right platform.
More likely to give up on a poor-performing or slow-loading website. While they retain an appreciation for aesthetics, load speed, functionality, and navigability of a site are of higher importance.
With nearly 4/5 of Generation Z’ers (between the ages of 13-18) in possession of a smartphone, their connection to technology becomes clear. With this mind, the importance of responsive, mobile-friendly websites becomes clear (as if it wasn’t already, right?)
More likely to seek out video content, via YouTube or Streaming Services. If you’re relying upon traditional (read “soon-to-be outdated”) marketing platforms such as Network Television or Print Ads, you will miss this audience completely.
Instagram and Snapchat are the leading Social Media platforms of choice (at least until something new comes out). Utilizing Facebook or Twitter to reach ‘Generation Z’ will prove less effective.
And speaking of outdated platforms, would you be surprised to learn that email is considered exactly that? While it will still be actively employed in a professional sense, Generation Z’ers are approximately 3x more likely to open content sent in a Chat / Direct Message format, than in an email. While this may prove more difficult for solicitations, this is where high-quality, shareable content gains value.
Born between 1983 and 1998, the oft-criticized Millennial generation was the first to exceed the scale of the Baby Boomers, becoming the single largest group. With an ever-increasing influence and superior buying power, they are deserving of every candidate’s attention. H
In a study performed by Microsoft, it was determined that the average attention span had fallen from 12 seconds to 8 seconds between the years 2000-2015. This, combined with over 3/4 of millennials claiming that they default to their smartphone when nothing else is engaging their interest, reinforces the importance of brevity and clarity (as stated above).
In terms of Social Media, millennials utilize Facebook but also frequent Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter with equal frequency having helped to solidify each one as a viable platform. That said, millennials aged 25-35 favor the former while those aged 19-24 favor the latter.
Between personal and professional use, millennial spend about 6 hours a day perusing emails. While the majority claim they preferred fewer emails, about 1/3 clarify their position by stating that they’d prefer less redundancy and more value in their email traffic. That said, abandon Spam tactics and look to tailored content, when utilizing email to reach this segment.
And remember, countless studies have established that nearly 80% of Millennials value experience over a material possession. That said, your strongest endorsement might come in communicating the promise of a change under your administration.
Generation X, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists
Voters born 1982 and earlier, are best reached through a blended approach, consisting of the above as well as traditional marketing platforms. From Print Ads to Network Television, Streaming to Social Media. Reaching THIS the largest combined segment requires the most effort for the best payoff. Are you ready?
Are You Using the Correct Marketing Strategy?
Today’s political campaigns exist on multiple planes, running concurrently to yield maximum voter conversion. If your current strategy doesn’t incorporate Digital Marketing, SEO, Reputation Management and Social Media, you might be setting yourself up for failure.
To ensure that your campaign is reaching as many voters as possible, contact a skilled Digital Marketing team today.