Not only brands, companies and associations are restricted to digital marketing. Political parties use digital media advertising in complex ways and spend a lot of money on their political campaigns for success.
Since its inception, the Internet and social media have been used for different social and political causes. The core practices of political organizations and parties are influencing mass opinions, persuading people, groups and organizations, propaganda, and much more. The prospects and possibilities for this are magnified by new media and the Internet, and thus provide a huge leverage for political parties.
Let’s look at the ways in which political organizations / parties use digital marketing to influence politics, attract votes, and sufficient voters.
Establishing/Projecting their Political Brand
A successful political party needs a brand as well as businesses / companies. Projecting a clear brand of politics shows people what the party believes in, what it stands for, how it addresses the issues and problems of the public.
And that’s what earned the 2014 BJP win. Even before 2009, the party started using social media and used social media, political blogs, and the Internet in their political campaigns much more than traditional media. More often than not, it is their internet presence that places them even on news channels and newspapers in the spotlight.
Their campaigns like ‘My First Vote for Modi’ and ‘Mai Bhi Chowkidar’ made a phenomenal impact, and brought a new dimension to the political usage of hashtags in India. These hashtags were booming social media in 2019 which was the time of election.
Promoting Their Party Ideology
Promoting their party ideology is much easier and more effective on the internet to support party ideology. Parties do not need to rely on traditional media, but rather use them as secondary channels that respond with or without using them to the impact that these parties already have. Content marketing is a primary way to promote the ideology of the party.
In the method, material can be used in the form of social media posts, images, photos, blog posts, infographics, memes, gifs, etc. It is easier to share videos, photos and memes and thus touch more viewers.
Segmentation of People & Targeted Advertising
Targeted advertising is a great tool to deliver their message to people by political parties. But proper segmentation of the audience is required for successful targeted advertising. Political parties can deliver certain messages to some groups of people through segmentation and targeted advertising.
For example, a policy of’ voter suppression’ has been created by the Trump campaign. Based on the targeted advertising system of Facebook, they identified specific voters who were not Trump’s supporters and targeted them with psychographic messages designed to discourage them from voting.
Targeted advertising gives political parties a great advantage by measuring the effectiveness of their political campaigns, making necessary changes to their political stance based on the responses they receive, and reaching a higher audience effectively. Political parties can easily attract more specific voters and advance their party goals by using demographic, psychographic targeting, and features such as lookalike audience.
Effective Use of Social Media
“Social media helped me win.” That’s what US President Donald Trump said about his U.S. presidential election victory in 2016.
The main tools for lobbying for politicians and political parties are social media sites. And interestingly, to get their word to the public, they don’t have to do a lot of hard work. They just get a message out and let the work be done by their followers. It refers to both single politicians and parties.
Twitter and Facebook are the two channels on which politicians rely a great deal because of their high political reach and commitment.
While individual politicians can sometimes interact with their followers, political parties often use social media as a channel for advertising. They pump out their messages in the form of tweets or comments, and their followers do all the active work, such as forwarding, reposting, commenting, and building a conversation.
Social media is a good tool for creating people’s political pressure. Political parties may create buzz, friction and difference of opinion among the people through their posts without even interacting directly with the people. And with the relevant use of #hashtags in their tweets or posts, the effectiveness multiplies.
WhatsApp Groups and Communities
When it comes to using WhatsApp, political parties are ahead of companies. Political representatives and local leaders are known to form communities using WhatsApp Groups to distribute political messages through WhatsApp forwards that can reach the nationwide follower base of the entire party. WhatsApp communities also organize meetings, marches or online activities.
It is not enough to publish political messages and reports, their influence and participation need to be evaluated in order to develop new and effective political strategies. This is the image of the analytical tools. Politicians can measure their reach (how many people viewed their tweet), commitment (retweets / shares, likes, comments) and overall impact using social media analytics tools. Analyzing the data is important because they can change their political strategies and narratives accordingly, depending on the responses they receive.
One can test how many times a specific political word or hashtag has been used over a period of time using certain analytics tools. Similarly, a political blog or vlog can check the traffic, analyze the engagement of the audience, and measure its impact.
Even after introducing, for example, a simple hashtag can be checked by searching for the hashtag on a specific social media platform. Then one can look at different posts and reposts with the hashtag to know the public’s views on that particular issue and use the data to develop political strategies accordingly.
The Internet and social media are filled with political propaganda, and that’s why. Partial facts, distorted narratives are so attractive to the audience that they drive the political campaigns themselves as intended. Content is used for political propaganda in the form of blog posts, photos, posts / tweets, pictures, etc. that can be easily shared.
While traditional media such as television news outlets, newspapers and magazines have already used propaganda techniques to get their messages to the public, the internet and social media are the places where they are transmitted and reach the highest audience numbers.
Due to the ability of the viewer to connect, interact with each other and easily share their opinions and ideas, the level of engagement and scope is much higher on the internet than that of traditional media. This makes the internet and social media highly interested in attracting votes for political parties.