We’ve all seen the videos of country singer Walker Hayes and his kids dancing to his songs on TikTok. During the pandemic, millions of people tuned to Lesley Jordan’s videos for some much-needed comic relief. And we’ve all seen the memes or videos of gaffes, falls, animals, or feats of nature that have captured our attention. To be certain, there are a lot of creative and talented people in this world who can turn something innocuous into something that goes viral.
But how do they do it? More to the point, how can you get your political social media ads to go viral to help boost your campaign?
Now before we get started there are a few things you should know. Today, we’re not talking about you posting pictures or videos of cute kitties with a funny caption attached. We’re talking about well-thought-out content, be it videos, photos, or written content that is going to get your campaign attention and have people wanting more.
Secondly, there are several ways to get your content to go viral. These are three must-haves for a successful social media campaign.
Know Your Audience and Where They Are
What moves your audience? What do they like? What do they not like? Why are they following you? Why are they interested in what you have to say? How do they relate to you or you to them? What can you say or do to move them to share your message or help your campaign? You have to know who your audience is and what they want from you if you want to have viral content.
To get your political social media campaign to go viral, you need to get your content in front of the most people who are likely to share it with you. Why do you think companies spend so much money on a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl?
People are no longer consuming their news like they once did. More and more people are getting their news from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. They are no longer waiting for the 6 o’clock news to come on to find out what is going on.
In 2014, Senator Rand Paul launched his Snapchat campaign. Why? Because that’s where the younger generation is. In an article by CNN, Senator Paul said, “If you want to get a message out, you have got to go where people are.” And while many, if not most, couldn’t vote for his campaign during that election cycle, they will be able to vote in future election cycles.
Additionally, according to CTIA.org, there are 468.9 million wireless devices in America and 97% of adults in America have a cellphone. That’s actually more wireless devices than there are people in the U.S. They note, “Wireless is increasingly the preferred way to access the internet. In 2020, wireless traffic topped 42 trillion MBs – a 208% increase since 2016.”
Clearly, people are using their cellphones and tablets more to access the internet, which means your content should be formatted so your followers can easily view and share your content.
Strategic and Engaging Content
This is one area where you will – or at least you should – spend the most time and as a candidate, will benefit you the most to employ a team to do the heavy lifting for you.
For your campaign ads to get attention and have a better shot of going viral, you’ll need to provide logic and reasoning to appease the analytical portion of your reader or viewer’s brain, but you’ll also need to tap into their emotional brain as well. This takes research, a well-crafted script, and art direction.
Remember Kim Klacik’s “Walk With Me” video? Her video garnered more than 10 million views in a week on social media alone. It showed stats (logic), it showed the ugly (emotional), it pointed out the problem (logic), and it offered a solution all in less than three minutes. More importantly, it helped her raise nearly $6.5 million dollars in a three-month period and went on to generate more than $8 million.
Everything in that video was well thought out. The script, saying what needed to be said while keeping the viewer’s attention on the video and keeping them from scrolling. The locations chosen had to help tell the story. The time of day had to be chosen when she could walk without distraction, yet provide the best lighting possible. And then there’s the post-production where graphics were added for dramatic effect and provided the script in case viewers had their sound off.
Now unless you’re running for Congress, which was the case for Ms. Klacik, you probably don’t have millions of dollars to spend on this sort of political ad. But you can apply the same techniques with the budget you have to achieve a similar effect. Again, this is best left to professionals so budget wisely.
Engage Your Followers
Does your content connect with your followers or voters? Does it make them feel like they are a part of something? Does your content trigger people to share your information? Do you ask them to comment on your posts?
People want to feel like they are a part of something; a sense of belonging. If you’re constantly talking at your followers, not only are you missing out on valuable information but you will begin to alienate yourself from them.
Engaging with your followers touches their emotional brain and brings home their need to belong to something bigger than themselves. It’s sort of like sitting around the dinner table with family. Everyone is welcome to share their opinions and even if not everyone agrees, we all still get along for the sake of the greater good.
In closing, you can go it alone and get your content to go viral. But you would spend valuable time, time you could spend raising campaign funding and/or meeting potential voters. We at Reach Voters have the experience and expertise to help your political social media ads go viral.