It is a well-known fact that digital marketing played a major role in Barack Obama’s win during the 2012 presidential elections. Obama’s team utilized various digital marketing platforms to ensure his win. Various studies suggest that Obama’s campaign videos received more than 14.5 Million hits on YouTube, and each of his Twitter post was re-tweeted at least 400 times.
Due to the digital media influence on Obama’s successful campaign, it has become clear that digital marketing will play even a bigger role in the 2016 US Presidential Election. If you are a regular digital media user, you might have already read Tweets, watched YouTube Videos, and saw Facebook posts of the two strong contenders- Hillary Clinton (Democratic Nominee), and Donald Trump (Republican Nominee), battling for the position of 45th President of the United States of America. Let’s see how both candidates are using various digital marketing strategies to their benefit, and the digital marketing impact on the current election. Also, we will analyze how the presidential candidates are trying to win the presidential battle with their digital marking strategies.
Note: Before proceeding with our conclusions, let us make it clear that we are not taking sides or showing support to any particular candidate. All the conclusions mentioned in this post are based on observations made by our digital marketing experts.
Breakdown of Digital Marketing Strategies Used by Candidates in US Presidential Election 2016
While presidential elections are held every four years, the 2016 candidates have gotten a good start on the campaigns, and are trying their best to send their message to as many voters as they can. Today, they are using the mix of traditional and digital marketing strategies to influence their prospective voters. Here is a look at some digital marketing strategies that these candidates have been using to place their bid for the Oval Office in November 2016.
- Websites: Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump have kicked off their respective campaigns by refreshing their individual websites. Both websites have several common features such as candidate information, their stances, donations, volunteering etc.
- Social Media Platforms: Hillary and Donald both are pooling their efforts, and time to build powerful social media campaigns. Although Donald Trump is the Twitter Master, Hillary is using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to convince voters she is Just Like You. Hillary has utilized LinkedIn to post her campaign pictures, and regularly contributes to LinkedIn Plus. Her posts are shared over a thousand times, and she has already built her image as a candidate committed to social, and professional issues. Take a Look at the 2016 Presidential Candidates and their Social Media Marketing Strategies.
- Email Marketing: This technique allows political campaigners to target their voters efficiently, and at lower costs. Email campaigns have become a foundation for presidential bids since January 2016. Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, and most other candidates in the race have been emailing their voters as friends (this term gained popularity during Obama’s campaign). So far, Hillary Clinton has executed a strong email marketing campaign, which is quite different from the other candidates. She has had a lot of success with it too. In a survey conducted by a multi-service email provider, 800 emails were sent out to the public. Out of this 46% subscribed to Clinton’s campaign, while 59% personally donated to the campaign. Her strategy is to focus on relevant topics and target specific communities such as African-Americans, Latinos, women, millennials, etc.
- Content Marketing: Bernard Bernie Sanders, the longest serving independent candidate in the history of the US congress is also running for the post. He is often credited as the content marketing king of the 2016 presidential election. His campaign religiously follows the methodology of good content marketing:
- Clarity of Information
- Special content
- Conversational language
Bernie’s team takes content marketing a step ahead by including news items on his policies, and adding the most relevant information through a single feed on his website Democracy Daily.
Understanding the Impact of Digital Marketing on 2016 US Presidential Elections
Today, most American voters use smartphones or tablets to read news, or gather information on their favorite candidate. Due to the increased use of smart devices, and digital technologies, here are four ways digital marketing is all set to impact 2016 US presidential elections.
- Getting to Know a Candidate on Personal Level: Today, various digital marketing platforms enable readers to know all candidates personally. There is a lot of information regarding the candidate right from their childhood years to their most recent political stance. This will help any politically inclined or non-inclined person to strike a rapport with candidates at a personal level, and make the right voting decision.
- Higher Voter Turnouts: Presidential candidates are using various social media strategies and tactics to create value for their campaign. They are inspiring people to donate, volunteer, and participate in rallies. This is definitely going to engage the youth, and inspire them to vote their favorite candidates.
- Ability to Make Personal Connections with a Voter: Digital marketing has helped presidential candidates connect with their voters through personalized, and creative messages. Political marketing agencies siding with Hillary as well as Trump are using advanced analytical tools to gather voter information. They are utilizing each user’s browser history, tax records, or other online information to send personalized messages.
- Ability to Make Good Use of Intelligible Information: Well-designed digital marketing strategies will help strategy makers in each candidate’s team to collect valuable information about their potential voters. They can make best use of this data to create huge impact on the campaign. When combined with personalization, the intelligible information will help candidates strengthen their digital campaigns.
Apart from the above mentioned strategies, there are several other ways digital marketing will create an impact on the 2016 presidential election.
Who Is Winning the Digital Marketing Battle?
To answer this question, we are comparing the following points:
- Design: Hillary’s website looks clean, simple, and understandable, when compared to Trump’s website.
- Conversion Strategy: Hillary’s website gives two call for action buttons – “Donate Now” and Join Us. Both are highlighted effectively, and they clearly indicate the conversion goals, and purpose of the website. In Trump’s website CTA (Click to Action) buttons are presented in dark, and muted colors, and fail to evoke a desirable response.
- Campaign Slogans: Hillary Clinton tried to influence voters with “This starts with you” This catchphrase exclusively focuses on common people, and tries to make them believe that Hillary is one of them.
Donald Trump tries to wow voters with a strong tagline “Make America Great Again”. This catchphrase points at the current economic and political situation in America, and assures a voter that things are going to be fine again.
“Make America Great Again”
Trump’s slogan seems to have more effect on voters, however, his other digital marketing strategies lack strength.
At this point, it is very difficult to predict, which candidate is winning the digital marketing war because both their sides are ready to refine their strategies for a better outreach. We will only know the results when the Election Day arrives.