Written by Firda Amalia Mahmud, Mar 17, 2023
A competitive political climate today urges political figures to be more aware of how information travels in the digital space. That’s why a political strategy is needed to ensure a candidate's good image to the public.
What was once an on-site political campaign, full of masses cheering on a political candidate, is now a digital promotional strategy with a lot of followers to gain. It’s this change in climate in the political sphere that needs to be looked at closely.
Most political campaigns can now be done online. We can see it in the 2008 and 2020 United States presidential elections, which gained increased attention from people all over the world. It's proof that the power of the masses cannot only be seen in real life but also in the digital world.
And so, it has come to the public's attention that the internet masses can generate traffic and interest that used to be limited to geographical areas. As such, this factor contributes to the changes in political strategies in this era of the internet and smartphones.
Applying Digital Political Strategy
A political strategy ideally consists of 20% tactics and 80% implementation. While the number says that its contribution is very little, its role in real life is something that cannot be underestimated.
In order to start a political campaign, a candidate must first prepare a strategy. This includes the phase to figure out what to do based on the political climate, the vision, the mission, and the target voters, as well as how to best deliver it to the audience through digital platforms.
Essentially, what defines a political strategy is a candidate’s image. This persona, so to speak, should appeal to the masses first and foremost. Hence, it’s important to curate the image according to the current political landscape.
To spread the message, a political candidate will need a team to promote online. This is where a digital political consultant comes in. Its role is to map out an online political campaign strategy and make sure that the candidate’s message is delivered to the right pool of audience.
An Effective Political Strategy with SEO
One of the most efficient ways to create a political strategy is to use SEO services. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Its role in a political campaign is to amplify the voice of a candidate during an election and even ensure its longevity afterward.
In this case, SEO practitioners can also be called digital strategists. They plan out ways to improve a candidate’s visibility on the internet. Basically, every time users type out a candidate’s name, the search results will give them curated information that is tailored to fit the political campaign.
With SEO services, a digital political strategy can be implemented in a measured manner. There are several steps to implementing the optimization strategy here, which are:
In any kind of field, a competitor analysis is needed to be done first and foremost. Having a good understanding of what your opponents have that you don’t, and vice versa, should give you an advantage in crafting the message you want to deliver to your target audience.
SEO’s role here is to make sure you cover the areas that your opponents don’t. Essentially, it is critical to gain the upper hand on certain issues that may confront your opponents. This can help you craft your image and make sure that it's well received by the public.
Analyzing Political Landscape
Before making sure of your political strategy, you need to first analyze the political landscape around the competition. Aside from the competitor, it’s important to consider the climate you’re in.
With the help of SEO practitioners, you will be able to pin down several issues that matter to the current internet discussion. From then on, you can decide the stance you want to take regarding the issue to help the public start the conversation about you.
Targeting Potential Voters
One of the most important things in a political SEO strategy is targeting potential voters. It’s something fundamental that can influence your decision on the campaign strategy moving forward.
In this case, you may need to gather voter data to help your SEO strategist understand what kind of target audience you want to reach out to. Make sure to do it the legal way so that you won’t face any issues in the future.
Making Personal Branding
Once you settle on who you want to target and what political stance you take, it’s important to stay on that track throughout your political campaign. It’s the best way to ensure your personal brand sticks with the public.
The more your public persona is known, the more you can reach your target voters through optimized searches. With that public persona, your SEO strategist can map out the way to amplify your voice and widen your reach.
Selecting Platforms for Your Political Strategy
There are many platforms to choose from for a political campaign. Naturally, to make sure that your voice reaches a lot of people, you will need to select a platform with a wide reach. Among the search engines and social media out there, there are three with the biggest audience reach today: Google, Facebook, and TikTok.
As the biggest search engine in the world today, Google undoubtedly has a wide reach. It’s the default destination that people go to find information online. As such, it’s important that your audience easily finds information about you through a single search.
Making sure that your information appears on the SERP can be said to be the most important task of a SEO strategist. It’s the best way to organically introduce yourself to the public without blatant advertisement.
Aside from the SEO efforts to push your information to the top of the SERP, you can also use Google political ads to leverage your influence on the internet. However, in this case, you need to make sure to comply with Google’s policies since this feature is blocked in several countries.
Another way to spread the word about your political campaign is through Facebook political ads. Facebook is still the biggest social media today and has a wide reach in almost every country around the world. Contrary to Google political ads, Facebook offers something different.
Political ads on Facebook are not something new. They've been ever-present during the two consecutive United States presidential elections. It has proven its effectiveness in driving public opinion. Since then, the platform has increased its transparency and eligibility to cater to the masses' needs with Facebook political ads.
TikTok is consistently growing to be one of the biggest entertainment platforms in the world today. It’s first and foremost a place for people who look for entertainment-related content. In regards to politics, TikTok political ads are definitely prohibited according to the company’s policy.
Basically, advertising a political campaign through TikTok political ads is out of the question. TikTok prohibits political paid ads as well as branded content from content creators on the platform. Any governmental need to access TikTok, however, will still be allowed under limited circumstances, such as advertising COVID-19 prevention campaigns.
Firda Amalia Mahmud
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