Online Marketing: The Single Reason Why Conservatives Don’t Win More Elections!

With how good the business world is at online marketing, it has always been fascinating to me how terrible the political world is it online marketing. They pretend to be effective at it of course. Just follow your State Senator on Twitter and you’ll see what I mean. Lots of Tweets but no substance. This discrepancy between these two worlds and how they do and do not use organic online marketing is my inspiration for writing this post. Many of you who know me know how passionate I am about politics, so I thought I would share these observations with you.

What if the political world used Online Marketing as effectively as the business world does? Just imagine how much more effective one could be politically if social media, content marketing and SEO were used effectively! The possibilities are endless! Especially considering the fact that inside Politics are topics that people are deeply passionate and emotional about. But yet here we are in 2014, and political campaigns still can’t get it right.

Now, don’t let the title of this blog post fool you. I’m not in any way claiming that Liberals (or the political left in general) have online marketing figured out and that Conservatives are the only dumb ones who haven’t. But as a Constitutional Conservative myself, I believe “the right” abides by constitutional principles that COULD gain much more popularity if online marketing were being done correctly and with greater effort.

So without getting too political, let’s just look at the specific strategies these political campaigns are failing at:

Poor YouTube Strategy

Do politicians and their campaigns have a presence on YouTube? Of course they do. But it’s how they are going about it that makes it so pathetic. Political campaign videos on YouTube are dry, boring, and quite frankly lack enough information and substance. They also aren’t very personable which is a huge problem when you consider the fact that YouTube is a social media platform. Too many formal interviews and campaign speeches.

Poor Facebook & Twitter Strategy

This has much to do with the fact that many of these political campaigns lack a real solid content marketing strategy. Follow any politician running for office on Twitter and Facebook and you’ll most likely receive updates all day every day. But of what? Oh you’ll get tweets alright! Tweets making false promises, tweets slandering the opposition, and other generic statements that lack substance of any kind. Political campaigns could do a much better job communicating through Facebook and Twitter what politicians actually believe in and the principles they actually stand for.

No Instagram Strategy

How in the world are Political campaigns not more active on Instagram? I thought Politicians were known for the “selfie.” Seriously there is so much more opportunity here than many people realize. During campaigns there are pictures being taken all the time! Surely these pictures could be uploaded to Instagram along with some sort of political message.

No Podcasting Strategy

There’s this great book called Reagan, In His Own Hand (great read, I highly recommend it). It covers all the radio transcripts that Ronald Reagan wrote between 1975 to 1979. It was during those years that Reagan ran for President twice, losing the first time before finally winning in 1980. During these years he would write down radio transcripts and then do a quick 5-10 minute radio broadcast on air, discussing his opinions and beliefs on various political topics. What Reagan and his campaign didn’t realize is that they were essentially the first Political Podcasters! These radio blasts ended up having a major impact on the overall Reagan “grass roots” movement which eventually won him the election.

Why isn’t this being done today? Today we have a technology that Ronald Reagan didn’t have! Services like SoundCloud.

Poor Online Ad Strategy

I am convinced that political ad campaigns are not targeted enough online. Maybe they are in traditional media, but everything you see online is weak at best and lacks direction. With Google and Bing PPC, along with Facebook, you can have highly targeted GEO campaigns at fractions of the cost of traditional media. So why aren’t political campaigns doing better at it? Beats me. My theory; because political campaigns are typically spending someone else’s money and so they simply are okay with the status quo. Businesses spend their own money in PPC, and are thus forced to make it work and make it profitable!

No Google Surveys Strategy

Think of how powerful Google Surveys could be for a political campaign? Rather than relying on a 3rd party research firm, a political campaign could run it’s own surveys and gather it’s own information. And at fractions of the cost of any other survey provider! To this day in all my research, I haven’t seen one political study published from any campaign that leveraged Google Surveys. Huge opportunity here!

No Effort At All on Gplus, Tumblr, Stumbleupon and Pinterest

Because you’re intelligent and you know what’s going on in the marketing world you understand why these other networks are so important to an online marketing campaign. So I don’t need to explain to you why an online marketing campaign that doesn’t involve Gplus, Tumblr, Stumbleupon or Pinterest is doomed to fail. Especially when we are talking about politics which is a topic that crosses all social media spectrum’s.

In closing:

I’m not convinced that politicians do a good job at broadcasting their ideas and solutions through content on the web. I think they are terrible at communicating to the people what they truly believe in and stand for. And these weaknesses bleed over into their online marketing efforts.

If conservatives want to win more elections… they need to do better at the things I’ve outlined above. Immigration reform will not win conservatives more elections. Online marketing will!

Free market capitalist. Champion of small government. Fascinated by free market principles that are solutions to big problems. In my professional life, I am the VP of Marketing at Skyrocket Media.  Visit Chase's website

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