Don’t be a digital dinosaur: 6 Reasons Your Campaign Should be on Digital
Digital media can be a bit of an enigma to political campaigns, candidates, and advocacy groups. Digital hasn’t been established for long enough to exist with a campaign how-to guide. And it changes so often that even if it did, it would be outdated every other week. Nevertheless, we believe that digital is an essential piece of any twenty-first century movement – political campaigns included.
Here are our 6 reasons we think every campaign should be on digital – or why you shouldn’t be a digital dinosaur:
1) It’s where Americans spend their time. The average American spends five hours and forty-five minutes on digital every day, compared to four hours and three minutes watching television. Digital will give you a better shot at reaching your target voters simply because they’re already online.
2) Digital media consumption is growing while everything else is shrinking. Digital media is growing exponentially, and consumption of other forms of media (such as television, radio, and print) is shrinking. Now, don’t get us wrong – this doesn’t mean that using other media platforms is a mistake. But it does mean that at least a portion of your campaigning should be online, because digital is already big, and it’s already growing.
3) Digital targeting gives you an advantage. Just like direct mail, it’s easy to target specific people and groups of people online. This can help your campaign in a multiple ways – for one, you can rest assured that the only people who see your digital ads will be the ones you want to see them. And, since your ads won’t be shown to populations beside what you set up, your money will only go toward groups and individuals who give you the best shot at winning. In other words, bringing your campaign online has the potential to optimize your budget’s return on investment.
4) An online presence will make you look more legitimate. Now that more and more people spending time on digital, many Americans are accustomed to learning most everything online. Having a professional, regularly updated online presence can help voters feel comfortable giving you their vote.
5) The opposite is also true. A non-existent or poorly executed online presence is obvious, and it can cost you. Now that anyone can learn anything from a simple Google search, not having information online makes you look unnecessarily opaque and unreachable. Besides making you or your group look less legitimate, voters have less of an opportunity to learn about you or your group without a website or social media presence.
But while you or your group should be trying to reach your audience online, you don’t have to be everywhere online. A poorly kept social media presence can backfire – so if you do start a new digital project, make sure you have the knowledge and capacity to see it through.
6) A digital presence will keep you more accessible and connected to voters. Whether through through website content, social media pages, or email communication, digital media gives voters the ability to easily learn about you, your priorities, your convictions, and your experience. Digital media also offers a lot of unprecedented access to individual voters – think replying one-on-one to a Tweet or a Facebook post from a constituent. An updated and informative online presence has the power to humanize candidates, provide access to voters, and legitimize a campaign’s image.
To learn more about how digital can give you an edge during campaign season, visit Change Campaigns. If you’d like to talk about creating a digital strategy for your campaign, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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Amy Libka is CMG’s Crafter of Strategic Communication. Amy combines strategy and creativity to help clients communicate as effectively as possible. She is passionate about clear, effective communication, and enjoys crafting messages that help individuals and groups achieve their goals. She specializes in creating content and managing digital advertising campaigns for a diverse group of clients.