This past week I received a call from a desperate candidate running for office.
He was late to enter his race, behind in the polls, with no organization and few resources. The election is in five weeks, and there is not enough time to knock on 12,000 doors. What he does have is a stellar resume, a great story and a compelling message.
I gave him some unconventional advice. Put your money into on-line advertising.
The great advantage of internet ads is that they are completely data driven…data that allows you to target not just a specific demographic group, but individual voters based on their voting history, viewing habits, buying habits, issue concerns, interests, leisure time habits…on every device they own.
Because they are data driven, they are the best tool in your arsenal to recruit volunteers, contributors, and those who can help you spread your message.
And they can be done for a fraction of what it costs to do mail or other conventional forms of campaign advertising.
Some tips on making your on-line banner ads work:
You need a picture. Or a graphic. A slogan or a compelling message. Or a call to action. Your ad should be hotlinked to your website.
The purpose of the picture is to capture the attention of the voter. The slogan or phrase delivers the message. The best ads trigger an emotional reaction from the viewer that compels them to click on your ad.
You want to drive the viewer to your website, or a special landing page on your website.
You want the viewer to leave their email address. You should make it easy for them to do that the minute they land on your site.
Once you have their email address, you have gold. Why? Now you can ask them to volunteer, invite them to contribute, attend an event, share information with their friends, even their contact list.
Sunday morning I visited the websites of more than a dozen different newspapers. I saw hundreds of banner ads…most of them were awful…because they were boring. Boring pictures. Boring slogans.
So here is an ugly truth. If you want people to click on your ad, and visit your website and share their email address your ad must trigger one of the seven human emotions—Anger. Sadness. Happiness. Fear. Surprise. Disgust. Contempt.
The internet has changed everything, and it is revolutionizing politics and political communication. But if you want your advertising to work, you must touch hearts. It is a click you have to earn. That is a truth that will not change.
Have questions? Hit the comment button. Or email me at [email protected]. My phone number is 845-458-1210.
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Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.
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