We are in the midst of the most heated and highly contested political season in recent history. We all see the yard signs, billboards, television & radio promotions, and printed promotional material coming into our lives more each day as we get closer to the primary election season. The one question that continues to cross our minds is this age of being able to know everything about everyone is what do these candidates truly stand for? Have they waivered over the years? Why are they doing what they are doing? In this article we will delve into this very question and see ways candidates can keep us voters informed.
As an advertising and web design firm in Northwest Indiana we take note of each yard sign, billboard, printed promotional piece, and what we hear on television or the radio. During our travels we see and hear these messages and when we go home find the information waiting for us in our mailbox. We read the materials presented to us and make certain pre-made judgement calls based on our own unique past. The information we are presented in printed forms is quick and dirty with many questions waiting to be answered. With a mailer or a short pamphlet these are truly very biased judgement calls the candidates want us to make in favor of their campaign. We know this is biased toward them and against the other candidates. We understand this as we are human just like the candidate running and they are putting their best foot forward so that we vote for them. What can these candidates do to not only present their image positively to as many people as possible while also answering as many questions we have?
The Internet of course
Being on the internet can be both beneficial and detrimental to a candidate. First, all of their information is in the open and available to everyone; including their opposition. The second is that any bad press will also be freely available for people to see. When it comes to the internet there will be two major sources for information. You have social media and your own website.
Social media is a great place for traction, a large audience, immediate updates about happenings you are doing or recently have done. This information is short, sweet, and very much to the point. The information presented does last forever but after a short period of time is quickly buried by the rest of the information flowing to your voting audience. Running a successful social media campaign should be part of any successful political campaign.
Running a political campaign on social media is not like that of a personal or even a business account. You are not promoting a business but an actual sole individual. This individual, a candidate, is running for the voters to do better than everyone of their predecessors. This is a tough task for any team and even harder for a single person. A candidate needs a campaign that is trumpeting their message and speaking positively, promoting themselves without ego, and being truthful in everything they say.
Your website is yours, is branded for you, and is your official voice for what the candidate stands for. A candidate's website should define everything you stand for. This is also something you have 100% control over without fear that the wrong message will be given to voters as it's your message that you are providing.
A political website is not something that should just be created during the political timeframe you are running for. This is also true about your social media site. They both need to be used hand-in-hand to show everything that you stand for as a candidate for the people. Having a political website is one of the lowest marketing costs to get your message out to the largest audience. A properly built website should far outlast that of a single election season. A website should showcase everything you've stood for, what you've promised, as well as what you've delivered. Voters look to see how you've changed your stance on everything from road repairs, to school, to jobs, and to family. By keeping and maintaining an official source of information about yourself as a candidate. You are keeping your voting audience informed as to who you are and what you stand for during the current election season as well as the past.
A website allows you to brand yourself and keep the public aware of who you are. Part of branding is having people remember you in a positive manner long after you've talked to them. If you show up and say "I'm here" during election time and then hide in the corner the rest of the time it will be hard for people to know who you are as a person.
Other ways to keep in touch
We've covered the two main ways that people stay in touch with their target audience. Other ways we've seen so far during the currently election process are many.
- Radio, Television & YouTube – We grouped these together as there are types of media are all visual (yes radio is a visual medium as well). You have commercials which last 15-60 seconds that we hear in-between our favorite talk shows or music we are listening to. The other is for actual shows the candidate is on where you can talk about what you stand for during the on air interview.
- Newspaper – Truly one of oldest mediums that can be used to get your positive message out. Your audience is limited when it comes to the print version. Many though are also on the Internet promoting each article they write. This is a great way of getting your positive word out to many people that vote.
- Email Marketing – When you go onto many political sites you will see the very first question often asked for is your location and email address even before you get their basic information. This way the candidates can target voters with their message. Throughout the election season, and future election cycles, candidates will be able to inform you of events that are happening near you.
- Text Marketing – Like email marketing text marketing is becoming even more prevalent as we continue to embrace digital medium as a source of information. The reason is that with text people read then 98% of the time within five minutes of being received. This is a much higher read rate then email marketing ever could hope for and can get people to react positively more quickly. Text marketing is a great way to inform people to vote (for you) on election day, of events happening nearby, and a way of another "touch" to keep your brand message in front of would-be voters.
- Door-to-Door – I know for us this is our least favorite and it's definitely not electronic but is a way people use to get the message out without having to pay postage and add a more personalized touch to a campaign. This personal touch can lead to a very positive image of the candidate even if the person talking isn't the candidate themselves. People remember stories and stories can lead to votes. In many cases these door-to-door visits are from people you've seen around in your local community.
- Phone Calls – Telemarketing is big business. With "do not call lists" being around this is less prevalent but still actively used. Whether the call is an automated phone call reminding you to vote, a quick message on a stance a candidate has, or even a poll to see what matters to you. Phone calls are an important part of the campaign to get your message out and find out what voters are looking for.
Part of any successful election campaign is showing what you stand for in a positive manner on as many mediums possible to reach the largest audience possible. Campaigning early as well as often is also crucial to any political campaign whether you are from Northwest Indiana, running for state government, or pushing for a national election. An election campaign takes on many forms and if one is truly serious of being a long term contender serving the voters they need to have their voice and their stance heard often.
If you are interested in advertising, a website, email marketing, or text marketing JM2 Webdesginers from Valparaiso (Valpo) Indiana is here to assist you. We have solutions specifically designed for candidates and helping them get their information out positively and timely. To learn more you can reach us through our online form here, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at 855-456-2669.