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JD Craigman Gives 6 Strategies For Preparing Candidates for a Successful Political Campaign

By JD Craigman

A prosperous political campaign demands attention and captivates the hearts of voters. This is effectively accomplished with two approaches. The first approach is of course, the candidate must be solid. Secondly, a strong marketing campaign to solidify the areas where the candidate is lacking and enhance the areas that are already fruitful.

Today’s political arena is consumed by a society that has been overhauled by technology and the demands of life’s responsibilities. These factors prevent or deter many voters from becoming informed or actively researching political platforms and their candidates.

Preparing the Candidate

Most voters formulate an opinion or preference of candidate based on the initial encounter. This encounter may be a television, radio, or social media ad. It may also occur during a political debate or other interactive forum. Whatever the circumstance may be, it’s that first encounter that needs to make the best impression.

Emerging a meticulous and influential marketing strategy is necessary to successfully market a candidate. The strategy should be one that includes a category of devices. It may require the candidate to introduce a change of heart or mind regarding evolving policies or emphasize their perspective on these issues. In other instances, a candidate may need a complete overhaul, including their attire.

After the personal makeover is complete, an effective marketing strategy should be executed to gain the attention of voters. Where are you with your marketing efforts? Are they aligned to get the attention of voters while highlighting the benefits of voting for your candidate?

Bold print and eye-catching font on campaign posters are great, but over the years they’ve all begin to look the same. Marketing helps voters make up their mind. It helps them decide who to trust and in turn, who to cast their vote for when they go to the poll. The effectiveness of your marketing matters at every phase.

Here are a few marketing strategy ideas to help capture the attention of the voters.

People Need to Know the Candidate

You have a limited amount of time to get your candidate’s name out there and let people know who they are. The moment they announce their candidacy, people become interested. They want to know more about them politically, professionally, and personally. An effective marketing strategy must make the most of the short period of time allowed to make the introduction. It’s during this phase that you must brand the candidate. Branding isn’t just a creative logo, it’s the image you want to leave embedded in a person’s mind each time they hear or see the candidate’s name.

This part of the process may require the acquisition of creative pros to develop effective branding concepts for the campaign. This should not be an in-house effort unless the team consists of experts with significant experience developing quality material for this specific task. The brand of the candidate is a direct reflection of them and what people should feel, think, or visualize when they encounter anything related to him or her. When creating the brand, think social media representation, physical representation and character representation. Voters are influenced by these factors in more ways than one, and the correct brand representation is extremely powerful.

Give Voters a Visual Presentation

The days of hiring speech writers and campaign managers to keep things politically correct are long gone. Voters are interested in what candidates have to say, but only if the story is personal and interesting. They want to understand why a candidate takes a certain position on particular policies. They’re interested in the benefits to be gained from his or her being elected. The candidate’s insight can be shared on flyers, brochures, or other media as bullet points but a story has to be told.

Voters want to feel that they’ve known the candidate forever. Present the candidate as an amicable person who is interested in developing solutions for the issues surrounding his or her initiative. Candidates should be prepared to approach and address problems and create operative solutions that people can relate to and understand. Keep the tone personal, professional and slightly political.

Quality Content is a Campaign Champion

Content can be underrated, but only if it’s improperly presented. A strong campaign is supported by quality content. This is important in website presentations, blog posts, social media posts and images, and any other platform where words are utilized to describe or represent the candidate and his campaign. These strategies when implemented correctly will increase and improve the flow of traffic and engagement to websites and other platforms.

This marketing outlet will be one that imposes on the budget, but it’s an investment that a candidate cannot skimp on. All campaign photos, social media posts and images, info-graphics, and video clips are subject to internet posting and sharing and should be high quality.

Establish an Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing is an important tool for getting the candidate’s name, message, and views in front of the voters. This is a budget-friendly approach that also has a few no-cost options available. The quality of email marketing relies greatly on the content of the actual email.

Having a form on the website that allows visitors to sign-up with their email information seems basic but it is incredibly effective. This data capture creates an email list for news blasts managed by the media team. There are a few important things to consider to help decrease the chance that your emails will be marked as spam or deleted upon receipt.

Enlisting the services of a professional email marketer to write emails will ensure content is not generic and speaks to the targeted audience. They can create emails that are aligned with the brand of the candidate and populate efficiently in browsers of both mobile and computer devices. Professional email agents or firms are efficient in drafting emails that market candidates efficiently.

Authentic Website Design

Websites are a major part of any campaign, but the numerous design approaches make it easy to make a bad design choice. There is much more to the site than just being able to launch it and give visitors something to read when they visit. A campaign website must first be engaging, or visitors will leave the site immediately. The first place a person usually goes to learn more about a candidate is the World Wide Web and as soon as they launch a search, your website will surface.

The site should align with the brand of the candidate and provide enough information to pique the interest of the voters, be compatible with mobile devices and capable of handling heavy traffic.

Socialize On Social Media

Social media can be the biggest platform that a candidate has during the campaign. It is a proven way to reach the masses effectively. This is only an advantage if used properly. Researching the target audience to determine which social media platforms will maximize the return on your efforts. Researching and discovering the patterns and conducts of the audience will allow you to create an impactful social media strategy.

Effective campaign marketing strategies should be developed prior to the launch of a campaign. It plays a crucial role in the initial announcement for candidacy, campaign efforts, and the final acceptance speech. 

Always remember a candidate is only as smart and trustworthy as his marketing strategy and the team behind it.

This column was written by JD Craigman — a Hy-Lo News Contributor. JD is political digital marketing strategist and he is the owner of Intravate Consultants.

Hy-Lo News allows and encourages South Florida community members, thought leaders, social commentators, experts, etc., to submit commentary that expresses their opinion and share their point of view. To submit your writing click here.

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