May 25 2016

What Your Website Can Learn from the 2016 Election

political-blog-imageElection coverage sometimes seems inescapable. The constant deluge of information related to candidates, political parties, and policies comes at us from every possible media source. Even if you’re not following the various races, you probably have a good idea of who the key players are, and maybe even a couple of their viewpoints. Each candidate has a message that they want to get across to the American people in the hope that they secure their vote in the fall, just like your website has offers that you want your audience to take part in. Since politicians are the ultimate salesmen, we can look at how they structure their campaigns and apply their best practices to your website strategy.


Create brand loyalty

Every candidate has certain ideals that they represent. There might be several vying for the nomination within a party who seem similar at first glance, but vary on certain issues. This similarity is exactly why many candidates choose to brand themselves with a distinct message that quickly sums up who they are. Even if you don’t know all of their core beliefs, you can look at the outward brand that they’ve created and decide if they fit your needs. The same goes for your website. Having an easily identified brand - using consistent imagery and copy - can help you achieve recall in the minds of your audience. Candidates aren’t repeating their slogan multiple times because they think you missed it. They’re doing it so they’ll have top of mind awareness when it’s time for you to cast your vote.

Define your goals

With any campaign, whether political or marketing, it’s important to have clearly defined goals. For politicians these goals might be receiving a certain percentage of delegates, being nominated to represent their party, and eventually to win the seat they’re currently vying for. As a business, your goals may be to increase sales of a specific product this quarter, to achieve a higher conversion rate than the previous quarter, or to hold a higher percentage of sales than your competition. These goals need to be set in place so that you can look at everything you did to get there, and determine either what worked to get you there or what hindered you from hitting the mark. Clearly defining goals will allow you to build and optimize future campaigns in the same way that politicians look at what has either helped or hindered candidates in the past.

Don’t go off-topic

Whether you want someone to vote for you or you want them to make a purchase on your website, you’re going to deliver a sales pitch. While that could be in the form of a candidate’s stump speech, or a section of informative content on your website, the idea is the same. You want to give just enough information to persuade someone into buying what you’re selling. On the campaign trail, a potential world leader shouldn’t have to explain our entire system of government before every speech, just as your website shouldn’t go into detail about every step of the development or manufacturing process when describing a product. Consumers, just like voters, are comparing multiple options and want to be able to quickly make relevant comparisons before making a decision.

Create personalized messages

Personalization in web design is a hot topic these days. The ability to deliver customized content tailored to individuals goes a long way towards driving conversions. Your personalization strategy starts with building personas, which are specific attributes built around an individual that are shared across multiple site visitors. While your personas might be built around a fictional visitor, you can see politicians using these same personalization tactics on the campaign trail with real people. On their travels, candidates get to meet a lot of their supporters who will tell them their life story and their viewpoints on the coming election. You’ll hear the candidate harken back to these individuals during speeches because they know that individual’s views are shared by a larger swath of the electorate. The candidate can speak to a specific audience built from a pre-defined persona, which seems highly personalized but actually was built around the feedback from one person.

Start your campaign

Elections are won through hard work, competent strategy, and dedication to your audience. Your website will need the same if you want to develop a base of supporters who will take action and spread the word of your brand to their peers. Put the focus on creating a better overall experience for your site visitors and you’ll see that effort rewarded in your conversions. Whether you need help developing a brand identity, optimizing your analytics to leverage conversions, creating meaningful content, or building a fine-tuned personalization strategy, we’ve got a campaign manager at ZAG who can get the job done.

  • Branding
  • Content

posted by
Patrick Trayes
Patrick Trayes
Associate Director of Client Analytics

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.
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