5 Digital Marketing Strategies Small Businesses Can Learn from Political Campaigns

Voting Election

By Ata Khan

Election season is in full swing and with that comes a barrage of marketing methods that inundate the average American. While the top runners in the race have larger budgets, their marketing strategies actually are something that small businesses can learn from.

If candidates can use these techniques to win entire presidential elections, just imagine what they can do for your business. With that thought in mind, here are five ways small businesses can use the tactics of effective election campaigns to their advantage:

1. Website design

Typically, the first step to launching a successful business is a well-designed website. Much of the same is true for presidential candidates. They use their websites to get their message out to the masses (both national and local), give the American voter a way to communicate with them, and a platform to accept campaign donations.

These days there are thousands of user-friendly website development platforms and templates available (with many that cater specifically to small businesses and startups). There really is no reason that any business, even with a nominal marketing budget, can’t create a website that is optimized to sell their products or services.

Take this opportunity to set your brand apart from the competition and design a site that meets your business goals. Be sure to have a clean and recognizable logo, a consistent and defined color palette, concise messaging about your services/products, mobile-friendly design, search engine optimized design, and a clear call-to-action and conversion funnel.

2. Events

Every single candidate gets started by knocking on doors and shaking every hand in order to introduce themselves to the community. Scaled up, knocking on doors evolves into town halls and eventually national debates, caucuses, news spots, opinion pieces in national publications, and more. Face-to-face interaction builds credibility for a presidential candidate and the same is true for small businesses.

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Small businesses should absolutely attend trade shows, local events, and anything that puts a face to the company name. Typically, these events offer many opportunities to network and generate leads. They provide paid sponsorship opportunities, booths, speaker spots, and even attendee lists (which you can then market to). Not only will these efforts help you generate leads directly, but it will also help generate brand awareness and funnel customers to your website or brick and mortar store.

3. Email marketing

Presidential candidates rely on free merchandise, meet and greets, and more to attract new voters and potential donors. But they know that this isn’t enough, so they send out mass emails to their lists. These emails help candidates stay in front of their voter base, present their position on current events, and provide a secondary pathway for voter communication/feedback. It is an excellent tool for presidential candidates, and it is an excellent tool for small business as well.

Email marketing campaigns that run on platforms like Mailchimp cost very little to run if you already have a list of contacts. Everyone likes a good deal, and if your email marketing campaign can entice users to keep coming back to your products or services, you should make a concerted effort to nurture those relationships. This doesn’t mean that you must give out your products for free, but rather be creative with what you are offering and how you are offering it.

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