Marketing is a rapidly evolving field and this can be seen especially with political marketing. Budgets get bigger each year, and campaigns become more and more adept at reaching their target audience. How exactly does this play out though, and how will political marketing continue to change? Here are five key points that’ll give you the edge.
Just as businesses have recognized the importance of online marketing, so too have political campaigns. In 2016, online ad spend topped $1 billion, up from $22 million in 2008, and in 2020, it’s likely it increased again.
The reason for this is simple: you need to reach people where they “hang out” and in modern times, that place is online. Online ad platforms give people a direct link to voters, and on top of this, they allow campaigns to be extremely targeted with their approach.
While campaign budgets might seem endless, there’s an acute need for advertisers to see a return on investment, and one of the ways to do this is by being extremely targeted. Advertising platforms such as Facebook have a huge amount of information about their users, and this enables advertisers to reach specific people with a specific message.
If you’re running a Republican advertising campaign, then there’s virtually no point spending your dollars on a die-in-the-wool Democrat whose mind isn’t going to be changed. Instead, you want to focus on people who are undecided and making sure your own supporters get out to the polls. Advertisers are able to do this more and more efficiently, and a lot of it is thanks to online marketing.
Not Just Online
It’s not just online where political parties are able to reach a highly target audience. The way we communicate changes with time and the mediums advertisers use to reach us reflects this. One such medium is political SMS messaging software, which has become a popular way for parties to get their message in front of voters. Different mediums such as these are not only effective at getting people out to vote, but they’re also great tools for campaign fundraising.
You Don’t Need a Huge Budget
In the grand scheme of things, campaign spending is only growing, but to run political ads, you don’t actually need a big budget. Social media platforms have opened up advertising a lot, and today, there are low barriers to creating your own political ads. There are regulations that need to be met, but individuals can set up ads at very low cost and reach a large audience with their message.
The fact that there aren’t many barriers to creating political ads means there are a lot of different entities that can get involved in advertising. Of course, this plays out in both positive and negative ways, but it does represent a big change in the way political marketing is conducted. Easy entry means a lot more potential players, and this is something regulators must be aware of.