Political Advertising with the Help of SEO Strategy
Cover image: Illustration of political advertising as a way to promote a political figure or candidate during an election

We’re currently in an era where a political campaign can be done on the internet. As a result, it stands to reason that political advertising becomes one of the factors to consider in the journey of a modern-day politician.

Advertising itself is part of a marketing strategy. It’s something not so unfamiliar in a politician’s life. What a political figure sells in a campaign is not a product or service, but rather a public persona that needs to be curated well in order to appeal to the masses.

However, there are rules that need to be followed when it comes to digital political advertising. The process takes time, and there are several platforms that regulate the ads, including search engines and social media.

In line with the regulation, digital advertising is something that should be done by experts in their field. It requires a number of selective people who understand what it takes to advertise a political campaign on the internet.

To help you understand the world of political advertising and its place in the digital space, take a look at the information below.

What is Political Advertising?

Political advertising is a form of advertisement that is intended to influence public opinion about a certain topic in politics. It usually involves a political candidate, representative, or party that engages in an election or a government activity.

In most cases, this type of advertisement is done to drive masses of people into a political campaign during an election. This type of digital campaign often falls into a gray area where it’s difficult to be maintained by the community panel or ad regulators in certain countries.

Generally, advertising about politics involves an introduction of certain candidates and their vision. It is usually followed by the candidate’s political stance on certain issues that may stir conversations online and create headlines.

However, not every political advertisement is strictly driven by promotional needs. Some of the content for this activity can be made with educational or informative intent. That is why it’s important to select a political consultant who understands the needs of a campaign in the digital space.

Political Advertising in Search Engines

A lot of information can be searched online. From informative to promotional content, each one of them serves something different to web users. This is something that needs to be noted by digital political campaign practitioners.

Search engines grow along with the needs of web users. They constantly change to serve information that answers a user’s questions. Hence, the policies regarding political ads are implemented to make the space less political and more neutral for every user.

Many complaints regarding the political ads have been found over the years. Issues are raised about the truth and accuracy of some of these campaigns. They find this information misleading to users, which violates codes of ethics in several countries.

While all the cases above may be true, they are all considered to be black campaigns. It’s not something to be done in every area of business, especially in politics. Hence, the solution is to provide relevant and informative information to users that can shape a politician’s image in the best way possible.

Optimize Political Advertising with SEO

One of the things political advertising can do is push a certain image of a public figure in a positive light. It’s not done with misleading information but rather an appealing public persona from well-curated information on the internet.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the way to make sure a politician’s voice is heard and amplified through a clean and organic channel. Even though it is essentially an advertising effort, the process for doing it is different from other promotional strategies in political campaigns.

What SEO offers is an organic way to present a public image through a positive online presence. To do so, a politician or political candidate needs to have a website, aside from social media platforms.

Having a website will significantly improve a politician’s profile in search engines. It’s an effective way to curate an image in a single space. Consider it an online portfolio. Eventually, internet users will find such a figure more credible with a well-designed and functional website,

Digital Platforms for Political Advertising

Once you understand how complex yet efficient political advertising can be, you need to learn more to pick which platform fits your campaign best. Among search engines and social media today, there are three of the biggest names that may be familiar to you.

Google Political Ads

As the biggest search engine with about 84% market share today, Google has a wide reach that may prove beneficial for your political campaign. Other than providing a giant library of information in the form of SERPs, Google also has something specific for political activities called Google Political Ads.

However, the ad feature is not yet applicable to every country around the world. In fact, there are several countries that prohibit political ads through this channel, such as Canada, France, the Philippines, Singapore, and South Korea.

Nevertheless, SEO efforts on Google will make it possible for a politician’s information to be displayed at the top of search results. As soon as a user types the name of the political figure, every piece of curated content about them will show up.

Facebook Political Ads

Aside from Google, Facebook also has a specific type of advertisement for political needs. Since the last two presidential elections in the United States, we've become familiar with the presence of Facebook political ads.

Political ads on Facebook can only be run by the campaign team or the political candidate directly. All advertisements in this space are regulated as political, which should be conducted after an authorization process.

TikTok Political Ads

While TikTok may be a new and big platform today, it may not be a suitable place for political ads. TikTok political ads are strictly forbidden on the entertainment platform. It’s a part of the company’s policy regarding campaign fundraising.

All kinds of political ads on TikTok, from the paid political ad to the branded content by content creators, are banned. These restrictions are applied at the account level. It means that accounts promoting such campaigns will have their access to advertising features turned off.

Firda Amalia Mahmud

Firda Amalia Mahmud

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