3 Common Political Digital Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Marketing Strategy

With Election Day right around the bend, your digital feeds are probably starting to flood with political campaign content. And – let’s be honest – some of it really could be better. Let’s take a look at some of the low-hanging digital fruit that political campaigns are missing out on.

Mistake #1: Forgetting to take advantage of open graph tags

You’re scrolling through your social media feed, and you see it – someone shared a link to the candidate’s latest press release, and it appears as just a sad snippet of text. Or, rather, you almost didn’t see it – because the campaign missed out on the opportunity to engage you with a photo (and they missed out on the opportunity to take up more real estate on your feed with a big, bold picture).

It’s a frequent mistake – but it’s easy to fix with the proper use of the Open Graph tags. Open Graph protocol is used by Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to grab the title, description, and imagery from a url when it’s shared on social media. Your best option? Remember to include original, relevant imagery in your open graph tags when you post new content to your website.

An even easier option? If you use a CMS like WordPress, make sure your site-wide settings have a relevant default image that displays when a link from your campaign website is shown.

Keep in mind: it’s not just a cosmetic fix. Great use of visuals on social media will help your audience engage with your content – it’s been shown that tweets with an image get 150% more retweets.

Mistake #2: Not asking for SMS opt-in on donation and petition pages

You may have noticed SMS marketing surging this cycle. Despite its growing popularity, many campaigns keep missing opportunities to build their SMS housefile. We see too many lead forms without an SMS opt in included on the page.

Just include the legal disclaimer text, a field for the user’s phone number, and start adding to your contacts with every donation or petition page you send out. Grow your SMS housefile with the same urgency you grow your email list. 90% of texts are read within 5 minutes. Building out this branch of your omni-channel marketing strategy is crucial for a cause as urgent as a political campaign.

Mistake #3: Failing to segment your email list – and burning it up by Election Day

If you’ve worked on a campaign, you’ve probably heard this dreaded phrase: “Blast this out to EVERYONE.” In the heat of the moment, every email seems like the most important thing in the world. But the truth is that not everyone on your email list needs to see photos from the opening of the latest field office – or receive the fifth fundraising email you’ve sent that day.

Segment your subscribers by engagement level, interest, and location – and serve them the kind and frequency of content they want. You want to keep talking to your supporters after election day – so don’t burn through your list with dozens of spammy emails.

And don’t worry – fewer asks to some subscribers doesn’t mean fewer donations. Marketers who implement targeted, segmented campaigns have reported as much as a 760% increase in revenue.

If your campaign doesn’t have time for Open Graph protocol or customized email segments, consider working with an agency like IMGE. Our team of digital experts with political experience know how to get you from campaign launch to victory party without breaking a sweat.

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