The purchasing decisions we make in our everyday lives are mostly based on how a product is marketed. From an attractive commercial, to a nice slogan, to bright colours, to certain product attributes or recommendations, it’s all about selling.
In consideration of the above, why shouldn’t you also vote for your favourite candidate in an election based upon his or her marketing campaign? Setting aside the fact that a person will identify with the set of values and beliefs represented by a candidate or party, politicians need to ensure that their message is correctly conveyed to their target audience; this results in political marketing campaigns that are carefully crafted and detailed.
Political marketing is defined as a series of actions or steps taken by a political candidate to advertise him- or herself to potential voters. The main tools in doing so are well structured messages that are broadcast with the purpose of attracting public support.
Creating and setting up a political campaign does not differ much from a business marketing campaign; media are used to create a strong and usable database, while market research and statistics are used to identify targets and objectives.
Political campaigns nowadays
If, about ten years ago, candidates strongly based their campaigns on commercials broadcast on TV at key hours, nowadays, it’s all about key visuals and social media.
Based on multiple statistics, it has been proven that videos win over reading every time, both in terms of preferences and of time spent and In relation to creating reach and engagement. Basically, when reading some literature about a candidate, potential voters are required to be highly focused and to make an effort in order to fully understand his or her political agenda. In addition to this, when watching a video, people tend to build a connection and feel more emphatic; which translates into shares, comments and likes.
If we also take into account the fact that Facebook has over one billion, Twitter over 300 million and Snapchat over 100 million active users that post daily, we can draw the conclusion that social media are the place to be if you wish to be elected.
The main asset in building a political campaign on social media is the fact that a candidate has multiple possibilities for sharing videos, pictures, or personalized messages with supporters, which can strengthen the bond and increase his or her visibility across the Internet.
On the other hand, messages need to be built in ways that cover all aspects, as previous political campaigns from recent history have shown that they can backfire dramatically. See, for instance, Hilary Clinton’s Twitter post on student loan debts.
Bearing in mind that anyone can join any political discussion and have an audience of more than a thousand million voters, it is utterly important to be careful of both what one says and of how one says it. So, political campaigns have now moved straight on to social media in the hope of winning over the Internet and, consequently, the voters. Campaign ideas and thoughts are being spread and shared effortlessly and at a very fast pace; so what better way to raise awareness and trigger a call to action?