5 Tips to becoming an effective political marketer?
Becoming a political marketer isn’t simple, but it’s far from impossible. Bridging the gap between marketing and politics requires a deep knowledge of political systems and the marketing savvy to achieve your goals using the mainstream media.
1. Develop a Narrative
The most important aspect of any political campaign is the narrative. The narrative is the story behind a candidate – their history, their beliefs, their personality and all of the traits and characteristics that make them worth voting for.
In the 2008 Presidential Election, two narratives competed against each other in the public arena. John McCain’s narrative was that of a proud war veteran made serious sacrifices for his country. Barack Obama’s narrative, on the other hand, was that of a political outsider whose fresh approach and focus on creating real change would transform politics. Each of the candidates’ narratives shaped every other aspect of their political marketing.
2. Market Heavily on Social Media
Social media is one of the most effective platforms for raising awareness of political issues, encouraging people to vote, and promoting political candidates. Since social media is primarily used by young people, it’s a great platform for energizing a voter demographic that’s typically uninterested in mainstream politics.
One of the most effective ways to generate support for a particular candidate using social media is to building a Facebook Page for the party or candidate. This allows a political marketer to reach thousands – or, in the case of a large party – millions of potential voters using status updates, messages and event invitations.
Facebook and Twitter users love to share funny images, interesting videos and other content that relates to hot political issues. By creating viral videos and pictures, you can raise awareness of your candidate – or a hot political issue – organically. Engineering virality is difficult, and trying too hard to make a video or image go viral can often have the opposite of the intended effect. The best viral videos look natural – they’re neither overly positive or overly negative about their subject matter.
3. Include a Negative Campaigning Strategy
Winning an election requires your candidate getting more votes than their closest competitor. There are two ways to achieve this: bring attention to the good things your candidate will do, and bring attention to the bad things their competitor will do.
Negative campaigning is a form of political marketing that focuses on convincing voters not to vote for your candidate’s competitor. The most well known form of negative campaign is the attack advertisement – ads that talk about a candidate’s record of dodgy dealings, their questionable history or their political failures. While negative campaigning might seem dirty and unsportsmanlike, it has a wide range of benefits. Since negative campaign is targeted towards those likely to vote for your competitor, it can sway these voters into changing their mind and shifting over to your candidate’s side.
4. Market Through Direct Mail
Although social media and television are the best platforms for connecting with the younger generation of voters, many people still respond very well to old-fashioned direct mail marketing.
Brochures, leaflets, short form manifestos and other direct mail documents are all excellent tools for persuading people in a particular geographical area to vote for a certain candidate, party or policy.
Since direct mail is geographically targeted, it’s an extremely powerful marketing tactic for energizing a voter base prior to a local mayoral or council election. With the right amount of leaflets, yard signs and public rallies, towns and boroughs can swing election results and give your party or candidate a significant advantage.
5. Create Media and public relations
Old media platforms such as television and radio attract massive audiences, making them valuable tools in any political marketing platform. Being able to organize radio and TV appearances is one of the most important tasks of any political marketer.
Connecting with media insiders might seem difficult, but it’s surprisingly easy once you start thinking of media companies as groups of individuals instead of monolithic entities. With the right pitch, the right person, and the right strategy, you can easily earn massive amounts of publicity for your policy, party or candidate.
One way to connect is to create media events that involve your candidate and invite media to come and cover. Events like these create large amounts of free buzz for your candidate.
Press releases can be a powerful tool. Make sure that your candidate’s every announcement, policy plan and campaign stop are crafted into an easy to publish press release to relevant every media house.
Taken in part from the Udemy blog post “5 Political Marketing Tactics That Really Work”. To read more go here