In 34 days Brits will take to the polls to decide which political party (or parties) will be in government for the next five years. Politicians are on the charm offensive with voters, and on the attack against their rivals.
You could be forgiven, when hearing the mud slinging and accusations, for thinking you’re listening to an argument in a primary school playground. Things must be tight in the polls.
The rise of social media in the last 10 years has brought a new angle to party broadcasting. Its impact has been well documented.
But promoting yourself on social channels is just one piece of the puzzle.
Effective and engaging digital content could form the basis of a solid digital election campaign and, more importantly, win votes from those critical undecided voters.
Being on the marketing team for a political party must be a thankless and relentless task. But, if I were in charge of the content strategy for one of the parties, here are some of the content pieces I would look at producing:
Every party has a manifesto, but very few people will read it in full. Producing a version that’s easily digested and allows a reader to jump to the part that interest them would get your key points across to every visitor.
Input your details and we’ll tell you our policies that will affect you. There are risks – you need a way of dealing with those who aren’t going to be better off – but it’s a good, snappy way of getting the message across based on individual circumstances.
Pick 10 key topics that interest voters, and present the policies from the three main parties in a comparison table. An accompanying image version would also aid sharing.
Put your key policies into individual images and make them easily shareable from your website.
A chance to tell the stories of people whose lives will be better with you in power. But don’t use sob stories. Instead, focus on people the public can associate with.
Similar to what the Conservatives and Labour are already doing, this would be a bank of images on key statements and facts you’d like sharing about your party.
A section on the website with key statements made by your party that can be easily shared across the major social networks.
You would probably need an abuse filter, but give live access to MPs for half an hour at a time, allowing people to ask questions of them and their policies. As much as politicians like to suggest we have access to our MPs, in reality this isn’t really the case.
Badges are nothing new in politics. But, taking it one step further, I’d create a customisable, embeddable badge which allowed people to say “I’m voting XXXXX because insert key policy of interest“. Share it, embed it and promote it.
From now until the election politicians are going to be on the road, trying to maintain their core constituencies and aiming to win some marginal seats. Thousands of press images will be created during this time. But what about curating images from the people that were met along the way? Encourage them to upload their images and then work to curate them on Flickr and the party website. This is more ‘real’ and has more sharing potential as it taps into the individual in the photo.
Voters are concerned with the issues that affect them as individuals. Presenting an easy content view on the local issues that will affect them and their local area will make the content more personable and relevant.
If David, Ed or Nick are reading, you can have these ideas for free.
Content and content marketing could be the cornerstone of a successful election campaign. Don’t neglect it.
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