THE ROLE OF DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS
Digital and social media has played a pivotal role in the success of branding and political campaigns. As we spend more and more of our time engrossed in our screens (have you checked your iPhone’s weekly usage report?), digital and social media agencies are leveraging this to push more content to us. Such agencies are actively disrupting traditional advertising agencies, due to changing consumer habits. Sean Topham knows this better than anyone, as he notably assisted the Morrison Government’s victory earlier this year by deploying high octane digital messaging, email marketing, videos, graphics and much more to help cement the win. We were lucky enough to host a roundtable with Sean this week, where he shared his philosophies and methods on the power of digital and social media. Keep reading for the session’s highlights:
Content is king, and video is the king of kings
This is now an adage that has come up in the past few years with the explosion in digital, and the trend certainly continues. Throughout the planning Sean and his team undertook for the ScoMo 2019 election, video content played a major part given the astronomical consumption of this type across social media platforms. We spend 5 times longer watching video content than other forms – such a tactic proved successful, as long-form, cinematic-type videos proved to be effective across the Liberal Party’s campaign.
You don’t need fancy infrastructure
Sean stressed the importance of having a solid foundation of your digital campaign’s infrastructure. For example, Mailchimp is a great and intuitive tool for email marketing that is used by both large corporations down to mum and pop stores. You don’t need the latest tools and gadgets, but what you do need is to ensure that they all integrate and function well together to maximise efficiencies. Only with a robust infrastructure can you effectively feed in your winning content, which is the ultimate (yet simple) recipe for your campaign’s success.
But, how is success measured?
In order to fully grasp the effectiveness of your digital campaigns, appropriate measurement frameworks need to be in place. Sean does not necessarily believe in the traditional weekly and monthly reporting patterns, but rather, he responds to the data immediately to generate insights and make decisions. Such decisions need to have clear, set metrics that accurately measure ACTUAL engagement rates with the content – as opposed to ‘vanity’ metrics.
Beware: creative fatigue ahead
With tonnes of content flooding our newsfeeds every millisecond, consumers get tired of the same old thing quite quickly. Which is why Sean preached a three-pronged approach to generating and pumping out content: variety, speed and volume. With the rapid social media cycle, different types of content with various messaging and forms need to be constantly pumped out, meaning a large volume needs to be generated to keep feeding the newsfeed machine.
Digital gaps in your team?
We wrapped up the session reflecting on the prevalence of digital skills in all disciplines (especially communications), with Sean saying there is now a digital solution to most issues. Thus, it should be the team’s priority to upskill in digital literacy with the right training. If you find that your team doesn’t yet quite have the right digital or social media skillset, we at Commtract can assist with our talented community of 3500+ talented experts, of whom many have great social and digital media capabilities. Reach out to us today here.
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