Before there was the internet, the standard forms of larger scale media campaigning for public office were television, newspapers, periodicals, mass mailings, and radio. With internet development came online marketing for politicians, and that changed the playing field for political candidates. Online marketing for politicians made it possible for even the most unlikely candidates to have a shot in the race.
Thanks to social media, want-to-be politicians can skip the traditional press conferences and fundraisers, and opt to use social media as a campaign tool instead. Consider the following information and how it relates to online marketing for politicians:
1. One of the fastest growing groups of Twitter users is that consisting of adults 55 years of age and older.
2. In the 2008 presidential campaign, 44% of Obama voters actively used social media networking sites, as opposed to only 29% of McCain supporters.
3. In 2010, a research report indicated that both Democrats and Republicans utilized social media as a tool for gathering and/or sharing information related to politics at approximately the same rate.
4. A report published by SocialVibe reflected that 94% of social media networking users that were of voting age would watch a political message all the way through. In addition, almost 40% would share that message with between 100-130 friends online.
Anyone, regardless of party affiliation or age can easily upstart their own political campaign to reach out to potential voters. While high budget candidates have more monetary resources to invest in their online campaign strategies, such as fancy Flash animations or usability testing, it doesn't mean the lower budget candidate can't grab the audience's attention with credible and creative messaging.
The tools needed for Online marketing for politicians aren't available only to a privileged select few, either. The tools are there for anyone to use:
* SMS (short message service) - web, phone, and mobile communication
* Active participation on FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
* Email marketing
* YouTube video campaigning
* A website
Another consideration is that most of these tools are either totally free or very low cost to use or implement. What's more is the voting public actually enjoys social media participation, so this type of online marketing for politicians is engaging for the target audience.
Even if a first trial run election is lost, the time and money invested is not wasted. A candidate has already taken initial steps to get noticed and get their name out there, so he/she will only be more prepared for the next time around.
Have you noticed political ads online? On Facebook? Your local news website?
About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $1.4 million in annual marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a free consultation.
Interested in exploring the debate further? Check out this article from http://mashable.com/2012/02/24/startup-candidate/