This year’s presidential campaign – which took place on the ground, on the airwaves, and online – highlights effective marketing strategies that can be taken from the election and applied to your business.
Your business’s marketing strategy, much like an election campaign, will benefit the most from targeted engagement, hands-on effort, and positive activation of your customer constituency.
Targeting Social Media
The commonly held belief is that social media was the most important element of the 2008 election season, whereas this year its affect was more attenuated. Both presidential campaigns utilized the social networks in a more nuanced and sophisticated fashion.
- Know your audience: Different demographics utilize different social platforms in various ways, and this was expressed in the different ways each platform reacted to the election process. An article by Pew Research found that Twitter users were more likely to be negative about the campaigns.
- Provide deeper content: Your content should resonate with the demographic of your audience, as well as provide more thorough information about your company than can be expressed in an ad or a tweet. It is this more profound content that will convince your “swing voters” to invest in your brand.
- Invest in the “human touch”: This election was all about reaching out to followers in a personal, engaging way. When using social media, it’s important to make your posts part of a conversation and not a one-sided speech. Read and reply to comments from your followers and be engaged with the community.
Real World Effort
The use of social media was important in this election, but it wasn’t the clinching factor for either campaign. Traditional media and the “human touch” played a determining role in how well the candidates sought out and kept “customers.”
Social media may be less expensive and more efficient, but reaching out directly to potential customers is still the most effective way to get them involved with your business.
- Reaching out and talking to people can have a significant impact on your results. In the traditionally Republican state of Virginia, Obama’s campaign involved 60-plus offices and 20,000 volunteers. The Saturday before the election, these volunteers made 560,000 phone calls and knocked on 580,000 doors; Obama won the state by two percentage points.
- Real life interaction with potential customers is the best way to build and grow your business. Call them on the phone, go to networking events, ask them to lunch, and ask them in person to vote for you by becoming a customer of your business.
Tone Is Important
Tone, personality, and likeability go a long way towards attracting and keeping customers. The way that you engage your audience both online and off has important consequences for your marketing strategy.
- Using positive and up-lifting language makes your customers feel better for having listened. This assertion is backed up by a recent survey which found that the most popular posts on social media outlets were those that carried a positive message. Both presidential candidates lost points when they utilized negative language or attack ads.
- Personality and likeability matters. Engage your audience in a way that puts your business in the best possible light, while still highlighting its unique personality. However, beware of going overboard. President Obama’s singing made him likeable – but no one was impressed by John Kerry’s motorcycle schtick on late-night TV during the 2004 race.
The election is over, but there are still ways that you can learn from the way the candidates approached their undecided voters and apply those techniques to your potential customers. Remember to utilize social media to your best advantage, but don’t forget the importance of walking outside and asking people to vote for your business and become customers.