With each passing election cycle, candidates are expected to appear in more places whether via new online channels or offline events. The list of political tactics is constantly growing, and while this can benefit candidates, the diversification of channels creates added potential for “off message” communications.
Online, candidates are expected to maintain a presence across social media platforms, search engines, an official campaign website, video and display ads, and more.
Offline, candidates are expected to reach voters through political direct mail, tv and radio, community events, yard signs, and door knocking.
That’s a lot to manage. And, if candidates aren’t disciplined in their outreach practices, they can do more harm than good. As with all forms of marketing, consistency across multiple channels along with repeated impressions is the key to influencing an audience.
To mitigate the risks of inconsistent or confusing messaging, I recommend that candidates build a strong foundation that they can point voters to for a comprehensive look into their history, beliefs, priorities, and stances on key issues. Political campaign websites should serve as the foundation, because it’s the first place the majority of voters will go for information. A properly executed campaign website provides a bird’s-eye view into the candidate, campaign, and theme. And ultimately, this is an important step in shaping a voter’s fundamental perception.
The foundation that the campaign website forms will then bridge the gaps between the different messaging campaigns and different communication mediums used to further influence, persuade, and motivate voters to get out the vote (GOTV).
For example, a direct mail ad may reference a specific issue that can drive recipients to the web for more information. This can be useful in building an email list, online re-targeting efforts, and for fundraising purposes. The same is true for email blasts, social media ads, and search traffic — it should all direct voters to your website where you can capture data. No matter the tactic, a powerful website is imperative to the success of your campaign and marketing strategy.
A campaign with poor online and offline alignment will be far less likely to success, even with a large budget. Quite often, the difference between seasoned political candidates and challengers is the discipline to stay on course and be consistent. The best way to ensure on-brand messaging is to develop a professional campaign website and use it as a guide for all communications moving forward.
Successful campaigns influence and connect with voters, consistently.
About the author
Jace Holyoak is the founder of Poli-Site.com, the most affordable political campaign website builder on the market. With its intuitive drag and drop interface, Poli-Site gives users the ability to easily edit professional-grade templates with their information. Jace aims to continue developing solutions for candidates in the U.S. and across the globe.