GOTV: DIY Digital for a Small Campaign

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Election season is rapidly approaching, and it’s time to rally support and encourage your constituents to get out the vote. Our lives revolve around technology and social media, so what better way to reach out to voters and gain support? Hiring a digital team can help maximize your campaign, but not every candidate has the budget to hire a full team of strategists. We have a few tips for those of you who are running a small-scale campaign and lack the technology or resources to hire a digital marketing firm.

1. Provide a polling place locator.

Constituents can’t vote for your candidate if they don’t know when and where to vote. It is key to give your voters direction by providing the information necessary to vote, including: polling locations, registration information, and early ballots. serves as a central location for voters to find all of that important information. It offers five advanced capabilities: a “Commit to Vote” petition, voter registration, absentee by mail, early vote polling location lookup, and election day polling location lookup. If your campaign has leftover funds, we recommend investing in ads to direct your constituents to this site.

2. Invest in digital ads.

The most efficient way to spread your message is to present the information to your targeted audience. It sounds easy enough, but you might need some help from an ad platform or two. Although marketing’s Rule of Seven may be old, it is still very useful. According to this principle, a person must see or hear your message seven times before taking action. Although Google’s ad service is not free, using these platforms to micro-target your audience is a crucial part of digital marketing. Microtargeting helps to eliminate wasted ad dollars, effectively paying for itself. Google outlines the simple steps involved in completing this process. They provide a few options when purchasing ad space: search, display, and video.

For a small campaign without a video team, we recommend sticking to search and display ads. Google Search Ads will appear next to the search results when someone is looking for something similar to what you are promoting. An additional advantage of this platform is that you only pay when people engage with your ad. Google AdWords display ads have the capability to show up on over two million websites and 650,000 apps. This broad display ability will allow your targeted audience to view your content across the websites they visit daily.

3. Use social media and email to drive supporters.

You want your message to be one of the first things voters see when they check their social media accounts. Social media is free to use, and whether your campaign or candidate has built up a strong following or not, you can utilize these platforms to talk to people. Use social for constituents to get to know the candidate and the issues he or she stands for, provide them with information about voting, and directly ask them to vote. Also, use email alongside these platforms to get your voters to register, make sure to include deadlines and instructions on how to do it.

4. Post videos.

Video content is much more likely to get interactions than any other form of media. When a video starts playing automatically, people are more likely to keep watching because it engages all of their senses, and holds their attention to the end, thus they will likely finish it. Keep in mind that your viewers will most likely keep the volume off, so it’s critical to include subtitles. You don’t need to hire a first-class video team to win your campaign, as long as you have a smartphone. With a few affordable pieces of equipment, you’ll be reaching voters in no time.

5. Leftover money? Use peer to peer SMS.

OpnSesame sends personalized SMS to all valid mobile phone numbers by taking your voter file and uploading it to their platform. This allows texts to be sent by real people, not machines, which increases open and read rates exponentially. SMS continues to be a very effective channel of communication between campaigns and constituents. Because SMS is somewhat unexplored as a marketing strategy, people aren’t sick of receiving promotional texts like they are with emails. If your goal is to enhance GOTV efforts and communicate with voters, we recommend you place your resources here, if possible, for a substantial result.

These tips and tricks will get you started on your own, but there is so much more available in the digital world – chatbots, web push, and more. However, these advanced tools can be difficult to utilize without a background in digital marketing. That’s where we come in.

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