Last week we attended CampaignTech 2012 in Washington, DC. It was a great time. We got to meet a lot of great people and listen to seminars and panels by some of the best in the industry. While there was a lot to take in, here are five major trends that political campaigns can expect to find in 2012 and beyond.
Convergence is … converging
Platforms are blending together rapidly. If you have a campaign website, does it tie into your social media profiles? When supporters make donations, can they share your support with others?
Social media helps spread the word
Social media is great for riding the wave of current events and reaching large numbers of people quickly. Facebook and Twitter are still the platforms of choice for many candidates. Although some campaigns are starting to using Pinterest and Google Plus, smaller campaign will want to focus resources where they will do the most good.
Keep in mind that broadcasting on social media does not mean that you will reach all your followers. On average, just 16% of your followers are likely to see any particular item. If you really want your message to be seen regularly by your followers, email is key.
Email is still relevant
Are you asking for email addresses at your fundraising events? If not, you should. Getting voters on your email list is typically the first step toward having them engage your campaign further through donations, volunteering and getting out the vote on Election Day. Want people to join your email list? ASK them at every opportunity. Email list and data segmentation is also important to improve your response rate and engage voters in ways that matter to them.
Your most important item in any given email? Your subject line.
Mobile is growing
While mobile apps are gaining traction for getting out voter information, there are new services that help campaigns organize volunteer efforts, gather and organize data. With the cost of smart phone technology, even smaller campaigns are starting to using mobile.
Mobile phone usage of the web is growing rapidly, as well. While some campaigns opt to create entirely separate mobile websites, iPhones and Android smartphones can render well-designed websites just fine. Clean, fast-loading sites are important for the mobile user. (So optimize those images!)
Tracking is important
Are you still counting ‘hits’ to your website? If you’re not using Google Analytics to track your site traffic, what are you waiting for? It’s a free, world-class service that will provide you with great insight to who is coming to your website and where. More importantly, you can use analytics to track your email, social media, polls and surveys to see what is working and what is not.
Split-test landing pages and even email to see what gets the better response rate. Use the data, not opinion, to make changes.
For more online campaign training, articles and tools, visit OnlineCandidateResources.com. Running a political campaign? Discover the most effective ways and tools to build online support, donations and votes.