How Content Marketing Can Amplify Political Candidates + Campaigns – What to Do + How to Do It
With only 28 days left until November 3rd, we’re in the homestretch for the 2020 Election. While some states have already kicked-off early voting and mail-in ballots, candidates know that this period of time is the most critical in terms of swaying undecided voters. This week we’re getting into why politicians should be pushing out a consistent content marketing strategy, how to start doing it, and some of the various topics they should be covering with their constituents.
Political campaigns are a “brand,” just like any other, and all candidates need to have a good understanding of their personal and professional brand during every component of the election cycle. Consistent + strategic content marketing is especially important not just before election day, but also after, in order to continue creating a brand around the candidate and what values/issues they plan to push during their tenure.
Why is a consistent content marketing so important before, during and after an election? Let’s first take a look at the numbers: According to a recent report from eMarketer + the Center for Responsible Politics, 2020 campaign spending will reach almost $11 billion dollars – yes you read that right! The presidential election alone has spent $77.8 million dollars to-date, with $42.1M from the Biden campaign and $35.7M from President Trump. Clearly there’s some serious coin being put behind campaigns, so it’s important to know where these major marketing spends are being allocated. How can candidates make content marketing work to their benefit?
One of the drawbacks of traditional advertising is understanding what messaging resonates most with a target audience. By employing content marketing strategies, candidates can actually utilize calls to action across each piece of content; tangibly measuring how many people are willing to “take the next step” by registering to vote, subscribing to a candidate’s email list, or making a donation. This can also positively impact future content creation strategies by relying on pure data – it’s all in the numbers! It’s important to note too that this first-party collection of email addresses is especially critical in light of increasing privacy restrictions like CCPA. By developing an owned list of contacts, candidates can also re-target their content across platforms to individuals they already know are interested in hearing what they have to say.
So, what can candidates do to stark embarking on their content marketing journey ASAP? As we covered in our previous post, campaign content can be created out of nearly anything — videos, slogans, campaign appearances, etc. It’s key to success to continue pushing out new content, and there’s many ways to amplify consistent content without spending days on content creation. Some assets that can be quickly created include:
- Statements from the candidate or verbiage that’s reflective of their messaging
- This type of content can easily be created based on previous statements from the candidate and can be put out in a written or visual image across channels.
- Positive user-generated content
- The easiest type of content to pull from – see what individuals are saying about the candidate on social media, and re-purpose positive pieces.
- Conversations in the community and dialogue during debates.
- Use public discourse and events to turn positioning into powerful pieces of content.
- Stances on current events
- The news cycle is rapidly changing every day, so use this to the candidate’s benefit and make strategic comments thru content to educate the public on their stances and beliefs.
- Videos from public appearances
- Video content is best consumed in small bites, so use long-form videos for multiple pieces of content and cut them into increments of ideally one minute or less.
- Testimonials from supporters
- The public relates most to comments and videos from fellow individuals, versus public figures, celebrities or influencers. Use the power of the people to record videos of community members showing support for the candidates and why they believe they are the best choice.
In terms of some of the “hot topics” candidates should be covering in their content marketing, 2020 Election is an especially unusual year. With COVID-19, racial injustice and the rapidly evolving news cycle engulfing the current conversation, candidates have a unique set of subject matters they can use content marketing to address:
- As the entire world has seen the devastation due to the pandemic over the last almost seven months, it’s a topic that all candidates should express their stance on. Everything from how they will implement specific policies into practice regarding COVID, their plans to help speed up the vaccination process, aid for the millions of individuals who have been left jobless or financially impacted by the disease, the subject matter is endless. Use this thought-starter to plan out a succession of content that covers all the bases, and makes constituents feel confident in the candidate’s abilities to tackle this epidemic.
- Mail-In Voting
- While mail-in voting has been around for years, it’s never been as much of a viable or necessary option for the nation, in response to social distancing and the time of quarantine. There’s a lot of confusion around how to go about voting by mail, where it can be done, timing, and making sure ballots are filled out properly and won’t be discarded.
- Black Lives Matter + Racial Injustice
- While candidates may “think” voters know their stance on this issue, it’s so powerful to see pieces of content that declare their positioning on this major issue. Content marketing is the perfect place to distribute messaging that leaves no room to the imagination on where they stand (remember – Black Lives MATTER!).
According to the Native Advertising Institute, 2/3 of consumers trust branded content more than traditional advertising (as reported by a Time Inc. study). It’s time for candidates to build a community rooted in trust, and not being afraid to amplify their voice. After all, that’s who voters want to support and hear from: the people who will be leading them into the future.
PS: Make sure you’re registered to vote!