All successful campaigns use some form of digital marketing. Now while television still dominates political advertising, many, if not all, are running the same video ads on television and their social media platforms.
Why should you strongly consider ramping up your digital marketing budget as part of your political strategy?
According to a report by Open Secrets, $14 billion was spent during the 2020 elections, with more than $1 billion of it going to digital advertising for political campaigns. And for the first time, according to Axios, spending on digital political advertising slightly surpassed cable. Moreover, while spending on broadcast television leads the way, the 2020 election showed a decline in spending in that medium.
So why increase your budget for video marketing? Because producing and posting videos are cost-effective, you’re able to capitalize on micro-moments and turn your video out much quicker, videos are more personable, and your reach is far greater with video.
When it comes to reach, digital video is the way. In her article written in 2016, Kate Standford noted, “Since April 2015, people have watched more than 110 million hours of candidate – and issues – related content on YouTube. That’s 100X the amount of time it would take to watch all content ever aired on CNN, C-Span, MSNBC, and Fox News combined.”
So what types of video content should you consider?
One of the best political campaign strategies is to introduce yourself or your ideas with video. Whether it’s a multi-camera, slick, high-end video, or a slightly lower-budgeted production, having a quality introduction video will help viewers – potential backers and voters – get to know you better.
One of the most impactful introduction videos in the recent electon was Kim Klacik’s “Black Lives Don’t Matter to Democrats” campaign video ad that went viral and allegedly had more than 10 million views on social media. Now while Klacik lost the election, her video garnered attention, and soon other candidates were seen producing similar videos. The “walk and talk” videos became a popular video style.
It’s no secret that people are naturally suspicious when it comes to politicians. The average approval rating for Congress over the past year is less than 30%.
Your digital marketing strategy should include telling your audience your story; who the person is behind the suit.
What’s your background? What are your hobbies? What motivates you? What annoys you? What do you love about your country, state, city? People want to endorse, support, and vote for someone they can relate to, so in these videos, make yourself relatable. Give them a reason to support and endorse you.
And don’t be afraid to let people see you sweat or get a little dirty. As noted, “Authenticity is the real currency of this new era.”
Now these don’t have to be high-end productions. Often having someone film you with a smartphone at an event reveals a lot more of one’s character and generosity than does one where a video production team is following you. Capturing those micro-moments you or your campaign experience with a smartphone and uploading it within moments often tells more of a story than you standing in front of a room full of people.
Again, part of your political campaign strategy should be to offer a series of ongoing “story” videos to keep your audience engaged.
Speaking of your audience engagement, people want to feel included, like part of a team. Your videos need to make them feel as they are a part of your team or at least make them feel as though they are valued.
The easiest way to achieve this is with your political campaign’s social media platforms. Simply asking, “what are your thoughts?” at the end of your video will make people feel invited. Caution, though, this can work against you if you don’t work on your follow-through, and it will invite your opponent’s supporters to attack you.
Another form of content you want as part of your digital advertising for your political campaign is getting honest testimonials. Again, people want to feel included. If you get “regular, everyday” people to speak up about you and your character, the more likely people will want to join in. Caution again, if your “testimonials” seem too staged or too manufactured, you run the risk of being seen as just as phony as your “testimonials.”
Somewhere it is written or suggested that your digital marketing and digital advertising strategy should follow the 80/20 Rule. That is, for every ten videos your post, two of them should be a call to action. Now whether it’s 60/40, 70/30, or 80/20 will depend on the time remaining until the election and how dire your situation is.
People are so turned off by car salespersons or insurance salespersons because they are always selling. One feels as though they are being accosted simply because they wanted to look at cars.
People do not want to be pressured into making a decision. Your digital marketing strategy should respect this. When it comes to your video strategy, posting videos of you running on the beach or hiking a trail and simply suggesting to your audience, they get out and enjoy some fresh air, some sunshine, and take a moment to appreciate the blessings given to you with absolutely NO mention of your campaign are nuggets of GOLD. Not every video should be a “sales pitch.” You’ll have plenty of time and more videos to convince them to support you.
At Reach Voters, we are a full-stacked in-house team of professionals with a proven track record of political victories. We have worked with political campaigns and have vast experience in digital marketing and digital advertising for political campaigns. We invite you to give us a call, and let’s see if we’re a fit to help you with your political campaign strategies.