The year 2016 disclosed immense possibilities in digital marketing, and the US presidential election greatly aided in this discovery. For some marketers and pundits, the audience reach and support on social media were beyond expectations. It has absolutely transformed the way brands do campaigning. Politicians like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton captured the attention of millions of people through digital marketing and gained massive response too. Social media changed into a direct medium to see if the reaction of the people is positive. It taught us that digital marketing can really impact the real world.
- Hashtags matter a lot
The whole campaigning begins with some clever hashtags, which resonates with the audience. People find like-minded people and engage in the posts. They start conversations and expand the reach of those hashtags and related posts.
- Meme is the most shareable
Memes were primarily used for making socio-political statements. A meme can be funny and so is a powerful tool. People frequently like, copy, and share the memes. You can find these posts circulating in the large network of influencers. Despite being offensive and polarizing, memes are the most shareable.
- Simple phrases are the key players
One simple phrase can say it all. For Barack Obama in 2008, it was “Yes, We Can.” For Trump in 2016, it was “Make America Great Again.” These simple phrases make the campaigns consistent as well as distinct, and hence improve the chances to go viral. On the other hand, using different CTAs leads to nowhere.
- Listen to online conversations
When people get involved in the online conversations, they share their views and experiences about the brand. The brands should pay attention to these interactions so that they can improve not only their marketing campaigns but also their products and services. Online conversations are also helpful for the analysis and predictions.
- Live streaming video is the future
Old ways of campaign advertising such as linear TV broadcast are being outdated. New video channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are partnering up with media to broadcast live coverage of debates and conversations. The digital viewers find the live streaming video more compelling and more engaging, especially when social channels are involved.
- Free media are better than paid advertising
The paid advertising looks captivating on the digital platforms. However, people like the things that they can share, and they find such things in free media. Paid advertising works as a catalyst in increasing impressions and reach, but sometimes people get annoyed by the unnecessary ads on the social media.
Digital marketers should pay close attention to these takeaways. There are some other noticeable lessons such as ‘context is the king’ and ‘influencers are an essential part.’ The presidential election was a battle on the digital platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, which induced important lessons for the digital marketers. It does not solely rely on the learning, but the implementation. Millions of likes, comments, and retweets can affect the brand image, which is supportive not just for the marketing, but also for the ultimate goals like sales.
– Dipesh Choubisa