“The First Digital Election” of 2012 definitely offered Americans a glimpse as to how influential real-time digital media could be, but very few of us were prepared for the dramatic 2016 presidential race that played out online, 24/7 365, over the past two years.
And while this rollercoaster winds down and America begins to find its equilibrium once again, it’s pretty safe to say that digital marketing will never be the same.
So what did we learn from 2016’s presidential election?
The social media marketing precedent.
An article by Entrepreneur found that Trump has more than 10 million Twitter followers, nearly 5 million Facebook friends, and over 2 million Instagram followers. In fact, the #trump tag has been used hundreds of thousands of times over the past 24 hours.
What social media marketing has offered to candidates is the ability to reach out to potential voters with a tailored message, rather than having to deliver a single pitch to a massive population of diverse individuals.
Facebook’s News Feed, for instance, is more likely to offer content to a user based on his or her previous likes, interests, and shares. Because preferences are highly affected by one’s political leanings, by extension, so is their news feed. This means users are more likely to find news about their presidential choice and thus be subtly influenced by constant reminders to vote for that individual.
Another interesting data point is Snapchat’s proliferation. Data from Public Opinion Strategies found that of U.S. smartphone owners between the ages of 18 to 34, more than 60% of them are using Snapchat. There’s also information that points to Snapchat reaching 41% of this same demographic on any given day.
An engaging Facebook post, or one enticing tweet with an attention grabbing hashtag, can now reach more people than a newspaper, radio, and television ad that could all potentially cost thousands of dollars. This is why it is exceedingly important to run an effective social media marketing campaign, as older methods just aren’t cutting it anymore. Not sure where to begin? Let the experts at Cobalt Digital Marketing get your business the publicity it needs to thrive.
[bctt tweet=”If you’re not doing #socialmedia, you’re not doing #marketing right.” username=”cobalt_digital”]
SEO is the winning candidate.
This election, Google was one of the hidden battlegrounds for candidates. Voters flocked in droves to find information about their candidates, and SEO became an important, albeit hushed, element in the race.
Effective campaigns utilized SEO in a number of ways that included developing their online reputation and creating meaningful content needed to inform potential voters about the candidate’s position on vital topics.
Successful SEO techniques included:
- Determining keywords related to issues that concerned the voting population.
- Creating content that addressed search topics.
- Developing an attractive website that was mobile friendly.
- Link building between positive articles and the candidates.
SEO search data was significant factor for candidates, as it allowed them the ability to measure interest, on a state-to-state basis, and helped them to draw useful conclusions regarding topics and opportunities they could explore in order to boost their favorability.
A state-by-state comparison of this data also provided campaigns an understanding of the vary sentiments amongst voters and thus whether or not to focus their attention on a given demographic or region (or what is known in business as Return on Investment).
At its basis, SEO helped the nominees to analyze and understand the voting population to a higher degree than seen before.
Also, by including an attractive website in their political campaigns, both candidates were able to include additional information such as endorsements, that could help to persuade voters that their “product” was better. It also provided a platform for the nominees to share their ideas and thoughts about particular news in real time, thus improving their online presence.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Trump trumped Hilary in SEO.
According to SEO analysis done by SEMRush and Moze, Trump was searched over 7 million times each month over the last 12 months, with his organic search traffic reaching 1.5 million searches.
Had an ineffective SEO strategy been in place, many uninformed voters may not have found the information needed to sway them towards voting.
Let’s talk about emails. (And no, not Hillary’s.)
Email marketing was critical in the 2016 presidential elections and all candidates implemented some sort of email strategy because of it’s cost-effectiveness, non-invasiveness, and ability to quickly reach the masses. Whereas television and radio ads are directed to a general population, emails offer a target audience the ability to opt in or out, meaning a potential “customer” only gets what they ask for.
Hillary Clinton averaged about 6 emails weekly, while Trump sent out approximately 3 per week. Importantly, email campaigns included very clear calls to action, whether to donate, attend a rally, register to vote, or a reminder to vote.
[bctt tweet=”Clinton sent avg 6 emails/wk and Trump sent avg 3/wk. #emailmarketing #election2016″ username=”cobalt_digital”]
Additionally, images are often utilized in email marketing campaigns as they add aesthetic value to the message and help to create brand recognition.
Running a well oiled marketing machine.
An intelligent marketing scheme starts with research. By mapping out demographics and supporters by state, as well as the percentage of active voters, your marketing ploy can create an awareness in a market that has yet to be touched.
By understanding which states support a prospective candidate, which states have the most potential support, which states show the least support, and which states have swing voters, a campaign can then begin targeting their message for the varying populations.
Aside from merely grabbing the attention of potential voters, it is the candidate’s (i.e. company’s) responsibility to turn that into action (i.e. sale). This is when the real fun starts – on the campaign trail.
Let Cobalt Digital Marketing be your campaign manager on the road to success.
The truth of the matter is that tech-savvy generations are coming of age and are the new consumers. Consider, for instance, that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg claimed that Facebook helped more than 2 million people register to vote, last month alone.
[bctt tweet=”#Facebook helped over 2mil people register to #vote. #election2016″ username=”cobalt_digital”]
This number is testimony to the power of social media marketing and digital marketing. Now, because of the internet and mobile devices, people are connected online in basically every corner of the world. Failing to reach out to these voters means your competition is doing so.
Don’t get left behind. Let Cobalt Digital Marketing help to maximize your online brand by building your website, developing content, driving traffic and optimizing your social media presence, all to ultimately generate sales.
With this year’s voter turnout set to break records, we think it’s safe to say digital marketing is worth your time.