Nearly every communication with a potential voter includes a call to action in the form of asking for their vote. But what happens when Election Day is still days, weeks or months away?
An effective call to action usually requires a more immediate response from your voter in order to maintain the relationship you’ve established. That’s especially true for your digital marketing, as the connection with someone who sees an ad online is more passive than someone who actively attends an event.
The simple solution is to incorporate a call to action into all digital marketing campaigns. Offering someone an action they can take now rather than having to wait until Election Day will help you maintain those relationships over time.
Think about commercial advertising to get an idea of what we’re talking about. A company wants you to buy their product, but they don’t always come right out and say it. Instead, they offer a different call to action that requires less of a commitment on your part: “Call now for more information”; “Visit your local dealer”; or “Ask your doctor if this medicine is right for you.” They know that if they can get you to take a small first step, they’re already well on the way to converting you into a customer.
You can apply the same principle to your political digital marketing campaign. Here are a few of the calls to action you can use in your digital ads, and the additional benefits they can achieve:
Take a stand
Voters appreciate the chance to be heard. So ask your audience to take a stand by signing your online petition on relevant topics. If you can, try hot button issues, but be careful to target these asks to audiences that will be motivated by them, rather than being turned off by them. For example, probably not a good idea to target your gun control petition ask to Republican voters. You can also look to hyper-local issues – like a stop sign at 3rd and Main or a new park for the Rose Garden neighborhood. Data shows the more local the appeal – the higher the conversion rate.
Because of the constraints of the medium, it can be difficult to make a complete argument in a digital ad – but it’s easy to use a digital ad to direct someone back to your website. A TV or print ad can ask a viewer to visit your website, but a digital ad can take them there with one simple click.
This call to action can make a digital ad an effective tool for persuasion. The destination link can make a longer argument than the ad itself. Once they’re on your website, hopefully they’ll click around to your bio or issues pages to find the argument they’re looking for that convinces them to vote for you.
Use a “donate” button in your digital ads to bring people to your online fundraising page where you can raise money. Even if they only give a few dollars, they are now invested in your campaign’s success. You now have their information to ask them to contribute again in the future.
Put the “social” in “social media” to use for you. Encourage your supporters to share your content with their own networks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media platforms. This will help you expand your messaging reach for future communications from your campaign and allow your supporters to be your trusted messengers.
“Join Our Team,” “Join Us,” “Get Started” or “Sign-up”
Asking people to sign up is a versatile call to action: to be part of the campaign, to receive updates, to stay involved, to add their name to a list of supporters, etc. “Join Our Team” lets voters know that they are a part of an extended social network with a shared goal of winning the election. The social aspect of campaigns is a great motivator for volunteers.
The important constant is that you’re collecting contact information. With this information, you can grow your email list, recruit volunteers, publicize events and solicit donations. And by indicating support, you know these folks are also likely targets for your “get out the vote” campaign.
Always keep in mind the specific action you want someone to take after they see your digital ad. In politics, it’s important to ask for someone’s vote – but another call to action can be an intermediate step to help you get there.
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