understand what it is and how it works – WAU
Political marketing must be used responsibly and thoughtfully to educate voters and bring them closer to political life. Understand!
You may not know this marketing concept yet, but you will certainly hear a lot about political marketing in the years to come.
With the advancement of technology, the discovery of new techniques and the popularization of the Internet, political advertising is no longer the distribution of saints and commercials on TV and starts to gain a strategic format.
There is a lot of new things happening in the area and the results could impact our lives in the coming years.
Are you interested and want to know more about the subject? Then keep reading!
What is political marketing and why is it important?
Do you still remember who voted in the last elections for deputy, governor, councilor or mayor? Do you follow daily what your representatives have done on your behalf?
If you are not aware of the actions of the candidates you have chosen, you may not care too much.
But the blame can also be on the other side: your candidate may not be able to do political marketing.
In a nutshell, political marketing is a set of advertising techniques to keep a politician connected to his constituency.
The idea is to allow, through its strategies, that a specific politician can communicate with the electorate that elected him and also win more voters in the next elections.
Without good political marketing actions, there is no efficient communication between politicians and voters. As a result, the population is not aware of the proposals and intentions of the many candidates and finds it difficult to verify the work done after the election.
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What are the main strategies of political marketing?
1. Develop a political brand
One of the most important things for a politician is the creation of his brand.
Some of them want to be recognized by the electorate as a representative of health, education or animals. Meanwhile, others want to be seen as connoisseurs of the economy or representatives of a minority and disadvantaged part of the population.
Whatever the brand desired by the politician, marketing can help you build it in the perception of your constituency.
To do this, political marketers need to apply branding tactics, which are similar to those used by companies like Nike, Apple or Coca-Cola, for example.
If you want to learn more about using Branding in your marketing strategy, you can check out our special article on the topic or our definitive guide on the subject.
2. Build a community
A politician needs the electorate at his side if he wants to have the necessary political strength to carry out his projects, whether as a member of the Legislature or the Executive.
For that very reason, he needs to bring people together and create a feeling of communion between them.
If in the past the only way to do this was through activism and political activism, today it is possible to achieve the same result in other ways.
With the popularization of social networks, one of the most used tools for political marketing is the creation of groups. Media such as Facebook and WhatsApp allow multiple users to get together to debate and talk about topics of interest to them.
A smart strategy is to gather, little by little, voters aligned with the movement of a politician to cultivate a community around this mandate. Thus, it is guaranteed that a portion of the population will be more engaged in the political performance advocated by that public representative.
3. Invest in content
Content marketing strategies can be leveraged by politicians and bring many benefits.
Using the production of quality material, either through the writing of articles or opinionated texts on a topic or with different videos, a politician can achieve 3 major goals in his strategy.
The first is the education of your constituency. With quality material being published, the politician can explain to the society that elected him the importance of certain projects or why to vote against or in favor of something in the Chamber.
The second is the spreading your image and increasing your reach. Good content tends to be shareable on social networks, presenting the politician and his proposals to more people.
The third major objective achieved is the driving voters to the community created around that mandate. A good material can “convert” the person into a “lead” by leading them to the group on WhatsApp or Facebook.
4. Be present on social networks
A politician who does not have a presence on social networks is not only negligent with his marketing, but also with communication with the population that elected him.
We are in London more than 100 million social network users, be it Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram or any other. Almost half of our population is connected to the Internet through these platforms.
This means that, in order to communicate properly with the population, a mandate cannot ignore social networks.
As you can see in this article, several good political marketing strategies are directly linked to social media, such as creating a community or producing content for voters.
So it is very important to be aware of this issue. If you want to learn about social media marketing, check out our complete ebook on the subject!
What are good examples of using political marketing?
Ready to see in practice how some of these strategies work? Check below 3 success stories where political marketing made the difference.
Barack Obama and Town Hall via Twitter
In the USA and other countries (such as Japan or Australia), it is common to hold so-called Town Halls, or local meetings for policy discussions.
At these meetings, a political representative (usually a member of Congress or the Senate) travels to the region he represents to sit and talk to voters in that city about political projects or listen to suggestions.
In July 2011, with almost 3 years in office, then President Barack Obama decided to use social networks to get closer to the population.
A Twitter event was set up to simulate a normal Town Hall, like the ones that happen frequently. Anyone using the hashtag #AskObama could ask questions directly to the president, who would respond on video during live streaming.
There were more than 169 thousand questions, with a special focus on employment (23% of questions), public budget (18%) and taxes (18%). In addition, the president and the population became closer in establishing this direct line of dialogue.
Bernie Sanders and the content revolution
If you followed the 2016 American presidential election, you must have noticed an unlikely revolution: that of Bernie Sanders.
A Vermont state senator and Democratic affiliate, Sanders faced a bleak scenario: he had less than 3 percent of the party’s primary voting intentions, unsupported by everyone and facing everyone’s favorite, Hillary Clinton.
Without money or support, Bernie turned the tide by devising a strategy for each problem. To address the lack of funding, the senator’s team devised an online fundraising tactic, going after each party voter with a personalized message.
The result of this campaign driven by data analysis work was incredible: $ 218 million dollars raised with small donors, generating an average of $ 27 dollars per donation.
The issue of popularity was resolved through the production of content. The team took cameras, sat down with the senator and started recording his proposals and projects. 550 videos were made exclusively for the campaign, which generated more than 42 million views on Facebook alone.
The result? His 3% vote turned 43% and he almost won the primaries to be the party’s candidate. Bernie’s impact was so great that, even though he was not chosen to run for the election, he still received 111,000 votes in the Clinton-Trump dispute.
Donald Trump and Big Data victory
In early 2016, businessman Donald Trump was treated as a “braggart” in the fight for the US presidency. At the end of the same year, he was elected the 45th leader in the nation. How did this happen?
One of the most convincing responses is the use of Big Data. Donald Trump hired Cambridge Analytica to advise him during his presidential campaign, which was responsible for part of the UK Brexit campaign.
With a massive amount of data and the use of a model developed by its experts, Cambridge was able to guide the Trump campaign in two directions.
The first was by sending messages aimed at winning the votes of Republicans and undecided for the country. The company was able to target ads on the networks based on people’s personalities and thereby increase the propagation of the candidate’s message as much as possible.
The other strategy was to try to decrease the number of voters for the opponent, Hillary Clinton. Since voting in the U.S. is not mandatory but voluntary, Donald Trump’s team tried to keep certain groups unmotivated to vote for the Democratic candidate.
The strategy included more than 175,000 tests with different ad variations, from font size to image color, to find the best possible message to reach people.
As you can see, one of the keywords of political marketing is engagement, whether during elections or afterwards. If you want to find out how to increase audience participation with your brand, click here and read our article on the topic!