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Web 2.0 Politics: What Brands Can Learn From the 2008 Presidential Campaigns

Web 2.0 Politics: What Brands Can Learn From the 2008 Presidential Campaigns

“The Web neighborhood is questioning what its place on this planet of politics is.” Howard Dean, 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate, Wired Journal, January 2004

If the Web neighborhood didn’t know what its place on this planet of politics was again in 2004, it most actually does at the moment.

Its “place” is to actively have interaction politicians and fellow residents in conversations, promote candidates, assist with marketing campaign fundraising and educate different voters about specific candidates and points—all by way of using new social-media instruments which might be important to a candidate’s total advertising and marketing technique.

Contemplate, for instance, the latest viral advertising and marketing sensation on the Net: an inspirational political music video titled “Sure We Can,” starring presidential candidate Barack Obama and utilizing lyrics base on a speech he delivered on the eve of the New Hampshire major.

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Its reputation (over 13 million views to this point) is basically attributed to its authenticity. Performing with none involvement from the Obama marketing campaign, a preferred hip-hop artist created the video in an effort to affect voters to decide on Obama in 2008, and he opted for the most important on-line video web site, YouTube, as his distribution platform. Whereas the Obama marketing campaign was not concerned within the making of the “Sure We Can” video, it actively inspired Net customers to unfold it throughout the Web.

Such citizen participation by way of social media is enjoying an vital function within the 2008 presidential race and is a markedly totally different marketing campaign technique than in 2000 and 2004. In previous elections, campaigning on the Net consisted primarily of one-dimensional candidate Internet sites that includes a mix of reports, biographical data, and on-line donation performance.

Immediately, in contrast, campaigns do not simply have a Net presence “they’ve a Net 2.0 presence. Marketing campaign managers are profiting from the Net’s current evolution to a extra social and participatory medium (dubbed “Net 2.0”) and leveraging new social-media instruments reminiscent of social networks, blogs, social video websites, embeddable widgets, and extra to achieve hundreds of thousands of voters and interact them within the political course of.

This shift within the political use of the Net from merely assembly voters’ informational must offering them with neighborhood, connections, interactive and participatory options, and viral instruments displays present on-line advertising and marketing practices throughout the non-public sector. Shopper model entrepreneurs have been actively experimenting with social-media advertising and marketing techniques and studying how they can be utilized to reinforce the advertising and marketing communication course of and, finally, affect customers.

With the 2008 presidential race in full swing, model entrepreneurs ought to begin trying extra intently on the political realm for artistic makes use of and finest practices of social-media advertising and marketing. Listed under are three key advertising and marketing alternatives for using new social media from a political vantage level.

1. Viewers Attain

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In December 2006, North Carolina Senator John Edwards introduced his candidacy for the US presidency, not on nationwide tv however on the social video-sharing web site YouTube, which has over 50 million US guests monthly.

Different politicians have adopted Edwards’s instance and at the moment are utilizing YouTube to distribute marketing campaign movies in hopes of reaching giant audiences and making an intimate reference to them.

As audiences develop into much more fragmented due to an ever-increasing variety of media decisions, it’s essential for political candidates and shopper manufacturers to entry platforms that attain giant segments of a goal inhabitants. Well-liked social networking websites reminiscent of MySpace and Fb are prime examples of social-media locations that permit politicians to achieve hundreds of thousands of voters and join with them in a discussion board of their alternative.

A majority of the Democratic and Republican nominees have a presence on these social-networking websites, and their private microsite pages make the most of MySpace’s and Fb’s skill to achieve hundreds of thousands of voters and interact them by way of the websites’ interactive options (see No. 3, under, for extra particulars).

What’s probably much more intriguing for model entrepreneurs are politicians’ makes an attempt to achieve the voters by way of a cellular entry resolution reminiscent of Twitter. This social networking and microblogging service permits customers to obtain brief textual content updates by way of a number of sources, together with cellular textual content messaging, from different Twitter customers.

Barack Obama, for instance, has a Twitter web page that retains fellow Twitter customers up to date on his marketing campaign. Although he has fewer than 7,000 followers on Twitter, the service has the distinctive skill to bridge the communication hole between voters and candidates out on the marketing campaign path. From a shopper model advertising and marketing perspective, Twitter represents a probably highly effective expertise for entrepreneurs to achieve customers who’ve opted in to receiving advertising and marketing communications by way of their always-on cellular gadgets.

2. Viral Advertising and marketing

To succeed in exponentially bigger audiences, politicians want greater than only a presence on social media websites—they want audiences that can voluntarily share their political content material with others, which may then lead to its viral distribution.

As a main instance, the Obama marketing campaign is now serving to to foster the proliferation of the “Sure We Can” video by way of Fb, the place on Obama’s profile web page customers are requested to submit the video on their very own private Fb pages for others to view. When this motion happens, a complete person’s community of Fb pals is knowledgeable, and viral advertising and marketing ensues.

Different presidential candidates are attempting to harness the ability of social-networking customers’ “social graph”—the community of connections and relationships amongst folks on a specific web site.

The social-media marketing campaign for former Republican candidate Fred Thompson, as an example, included a viral fundraising technique, which inspired bloggers and different social-media customers so as to add a small fundraising instrument to their on-line presence. The instrument included title and electronic mail handle fields for guests of that web page to fill out and begin the donation course of.

Alongside the identical traces, former Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani’s official Website online included an embeddable information widget that Net customers may place on their social media pages. The widget would always show up-to-the-minute information tales about Giuliani and his marketing campaign.

By turning social media customers into distributors of political content material, campaigns can now attain an exponentially bigger viewers with messages and content material—and people messages typically have nice affect due to their stage of shopper advocacy. This idea additionally applies to the non-public sector: When model entrepreneurs give customers compelling social media instruments that permit them to unfold their enthusiasm for a specific model, they’ll attain a big quantity of individuals on the marketer’s behalf.

3. Model/Marketing campaign Engagement

One of many distinguishing traits of Net 2.0 social media is the best way it permits customers to work together with different folks and varied types of media content material.

As talked about above, lots of the 2008 presidential nominees have private microsite pages on the main social networks MySpace and Fb. These interactive environments permit voters to develop into engaged in politics by posting feedback, studying about different voters’ enthusiasm for the candidate, and associating themselves with the candidate by including them to their community of on-line pals.

The significance of offering voters with interactive social-media environments has clearly been taken to coronary heart by Barack Obama’s marketing campaign. His formidable Net 2.0 technique features a first-of-its-kind social community referred to as MyBarackObama.com, which has similarities to standard “friend-oriented” social networks. This on-line neighborhood permits customers to create profiles, weblog in regards to the candidate and his viewpoints, ship and obtain messages with fellow supporters, and extra.

This advertising and marketing technique successfully brings each present and potential Obama supporters collectively in an influential Net 2.0 setting that’s managed by the Obama marketing campaign.

The Obama social community serves as an incredible instance for model entrepreneurs, who can develop their very own brand-hosted Net 2.0 communities to offer their prospects a spot to specific their experiences with a model and a neighborhood of customers with which to share them.

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Politicians have realized from a long time of shopper advertising and marketing practices. In the previous few years, the non-public sector has launched the political realm to the ability of Net 2.0 social-media advertising and marketing.

In at the moment’s hypercompetitive election, fueled by multimillion-dollar marketing campaign budgets, politicians are heeding the teachings from the non-public sector and leveraging varied social-media assets and instruments to affect voters.

Entrepreneurs who need to dive into social-media advertising and marketing can in flip study from the political realm’s artistic and profitable functions of this new advertising and marketing technique and may pay shut consideration to Net 2.0 social-media politics over the subsequent eight months main as much as the presidential election.

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