In 2008, the US election was dubbed “the social media election” thanks in large part to Obama’s social media campaigning, so it comes as little surprise to anyone that four years later both parties were prepared for online war, and things have stretched well beyond social.
Regardless of whether you love or hate their politics, there’s plenty of content marking lessons to learn from the digital battleground that has been this year’s electoral campaign.
Infographics are in
Between Obama and Romney, there are enough infographics to keep the politically inclined Pinterested for weeks. Everything from the number of soldiers in Iraq to the price of gas has been wrapped up in a share-worthy jpeg.
Make everything shareable
Both Obama and Romney have share buttons on just about every single piece of content on their sites, and so should you. Share buttons are so easy to encrypt and there’s just no excuse for not giving your site visitors a chance to share the content you’re providing them.
Both parties have taken to launching timely microsites around issues they know everyone will be searching for. USA Today reported that the Romney campaign has spent more than $32,261 on domain-related purchases and Obama has invested $29,627 on “domain websites”.[i]
Make dates with data
Both political parties have used their access to data to their advantage, dividing the people of America into various groups according to their voting habits and party preference, which they then target through advertising.
If you’re interested in this process, I recommend you check out the Forbes interview with The Victory Lab author Sasha Issenberg here.
Four minutes or bust
Not one of Obama’s recent weekly round-up videos is more than four minutes long. Anyone can sneak a four-minute viewing into their workday, making the videos realistically viewable. Plus, a short message is a memorable message.
Create an adaptable website
Obama’s site adapts as you decrease your browser size and changes depending on what device you’re working on (computer, tablet or smartphone). It’s one of the most malleable sites I’ve seen, and its sleek simplicity is something every brand can learn from.
This post only just touches on the digital efforts of the political campaigns. With enormous budgets, the best in the business on their teams (Obama hired Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes back in 2007 and has an equally impressive line-up this time around) and an all-or-nothing approach, there’s a lot to learn from the electoral campaigns this year.
Chloe Schneider – Online Editor