Online Messaging for Prospective Voters
Clear and specific messaging is important in communicating with target audiences. Don’t forget this cardinal rule whether you’re a vendor selling a product or a candidate reaching out to prospective voters. Unless you convey a straightforward and persuasive message, it could be difficult to capture the attention of your targeted online population segments.
Digital Messaging for Political Campaigns
Nowadays, political campaigns (especially for presidential candidates) require effective targeting strategies. Therefore, campaign strategists must identify factors like political receptiveness and policy views of the American electorate to determine voters whom they should seek out and messages to highlight in their literature. However, there’s a catch in crafting the appropriate message since the above-mentioned logic can result in two outcomes. One is some people receive political messages on certain issues, wherein their position supports the messaging candidate. The other is the recipients get messages wherein their position does not align with the messaging candidate.
Coin the Right Message!
So how does one create this type of message?
Where do you begin and how does messaging change within the period of the election campaign?
How do you formulate simple and easy to understand communication?
The answer is to think of a ‘positioning statement’ and ‘one simple message’.
The positioning statement refers to the foundation for all other political messages and communications.
This announces who the candidate is and the value that he or she can offer to voters.
With this kind of declaration, it becomes easier to describe the candidate’s program or platform and convey the same to the public.
Targeted Messaging versus Blanket Advertising
Traditional political campaigns include ‘blanket advertising’ which use ‘high-exposure’ marketing or advertising without considering geography or geopolitics, demographics (statistics), or controlling costs. Other forms of advertising are not so blanket because marketers, or campaigners for that matter, try to reduce costs by identifying target locations on which to focus their campaign budgets.
Politicians save on time and resources by concentrating more on precise messaging and targeting population segments like the youth, low-income families, workers, or any other sector. It won’t be necessary to utilize different mediums as developments in technology have rationalized and simplified the entire process. This gives candidates more alternatives in reaching out to larger communities and groups of people with less physical effort.
Stretching Resources during Political Campaigns
Foregoing or reducing dependence on blanket advertising and other conventional methods of advertising is an effective way of cost-cutting in a political campaign. At the same time, the desired outcomes or goals are not compromised. Cutting back on advertising expenditures would mean opting for digital advertising which is typically the most economical paid media platform.
Another cost-effective option is the use of so-called ‘self-serve’ platforms which allow running of political advertisements minus upfront fees. In its place, the campaign staff can create accounts before uploading and serving ads directly on the network. The most common self-serving online platforms are social media websites:
- Google Ads
Facebook, as well as Instagram pages, are good outlets to start running political advertisements. Ads can be placed using the Business Manager Ad Platform which providers better access in targeting preferences. It is also possible to generate reports of delivery providing demographic information such as age and gender of audiences. Such information is useful if the candidate wants to determine the type of recipient their ads are reaching.
Write a Compelling Message
What does it take to write a convincing message?
Those who are tasked to write messages for the campaign of candidates need a firm understanding of the overall campaign message being conveyed to voters, supporters, volunteers, and contributors. The key is to develop appealing, winning, and concise messages. These should be brief but with immense value. Topics would depend on the candidates and their respective programs.
In political messaging, the three components are:
- Presenting a clear platform for change and the reasons why change is needed.
- Creating a vision or goal of a brighter future for the community, sector or voters.
- Formulation of a doable and practical Call to Action or CTA.
SMS in Election Campaigning
SMS or text messaging is also a practical mode of getting clear-cut messages across to voters. This
strategy is ideal for the following information:
- Election-connected reminders – These include the day, time and place for voting along with registration information. This is a realistic way of encouraging voters to perform their civic responsibility of voting.
- Reaching out to younger voters – Among the younger SMS market are individuals between 18 and 29 years old who are zealous technology advocates. It is vital for campaigners to use all kinds of weapons in their arsenal to reach this crucial demographic.
- Get immediate response – It is not only essential to transmit messages to voters right away. There is also a need to elicit prompt response for the candidate to make adjustments during the campaign period.
- Significant slogans – Text messaging seems the perfect way of delivering meaningful campaign catchphrases and sayings to target population segments. It is also possible to integrate these slogans into messaging to help the electorate understand that the candidate is serious in carrying out the much-needed reforms or changes.
- Solicitations – SMS can be effective in asking for and collecting pledges or donations. It can be part of following up commitments made by supporters and donors. In other words, SMS is simple, cheap and is a more direct means of reaching many people within seconds specifically for urgent information or inquiries.
Guide for Political Parties and Candidates
Regardless of their resources, candidates, political parties and strategists must realize the need for practicality, decisiveness and swiftness during election campaigns. This applies to political messaging and the choice of advertising platforms. It would be the best option for politicians to employ tools and techniques that cost less but still attain the best results.