As we adjust to the realities of COVID-19, we all do what we can to flatten the curve and keep as many people as possible healthy. But as we’re in the midst of primaries, campaigns have to ask, how do we keep our democracy healthy during an election year when the ability to organize and reach voters on-the-ground is tenuous at best?
With vote-by-mail requirements varying state to state, campaigns need to communicate with voters requesting mail-in ballots well before election day; and, with live TV viewership decreasing, that communication strategy needs to start now.
Now more than ever, campaigns need to use every tool in the digital toolbelt to succeed. DSPolitical’s advanced targeting means campaigns can leverage best in class voter data to communicate the right message to the right voters.
But to reach voters at every level campaigns need to institute a multifaceted approach to fill the gap left by live tv and canvassing.
So here are DSPolitical’s nine digital tips to help campaigns big and small survive the disruption of COVID-19:
1. Start Running Digital Ads Early
Running digital ads early will help to build name recognition. Many voters will never meet your candidate because of the crisis. Voters will now get to know your candidate best through the internet- and chances are you won’t be the only one talking about your candidate. Do not let your opposition define you.
2. Use Targeted Digital Ads
There are a plethora of benefits to using digital ads, not the least of which is being able to better target your audience. By using targeted digital ads, you can reach specific voters that you would normally have to go door-to-door to engage. You can even target different voter segments with a specific message to maximize your digital advertising effectiveness.
3. Reallocate Resources
Have your campaign’s budget and resources changed since the start of this epidemic? Your team is sure to be adjusting where those funds are going during this time and we have a recommendation for where they should go. Reallocate those resources into digital. For everything from relational organizing to SMS and target ads to boost engagement. Digital is going to be bigger in this election cycle than ever before- don’t get left behind the competition.
4. Use Video
Use Slack and/or video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts to keep volunteers and other supporters engaged with the campaign and your candidate. Like we said at the beginning of this article, people are now video teleconferencing for fun! Tap into this emerging cultural trend for the benefit of your campaign.
5. Mobilize Supporters
Use relational organizing tools to keep volunteers involved by launching digital canvassing programs can keep the momentum of your campaign moving. Just because your volunteers might be stuck at home doesn’t mean they can’t continue to contribute their passion to your campaign.
6. Use Call Time Software
Since your candidate cannot campaign in the community, use call time software like CallTime.ai or other platforms to help them raise funds for more digital engagement.
7. Host Town Hall Meetings
People are living their lives through social media now more than ever- meet them where they are. Using platforms like Facebook Live you can launch policy initiatives or communicate with voters and take their questions.
8. Don’t Underestimate the Small-Dollar Donors
Build a large pool of monthly small-dollar donors to help raise funds more consistently during an extremely difficult economic environment. Although money may be tight for many right now, how the government and its civil servants are reacting to this crisis is also at the forefront of many American’s minds. Tap into your neighbor’s desire to support more capable leaders! After all, it’s money well spent.
9. Get Creative
Getting creative in general is pretty much the overarching theme during this unprecedented time. However, for number nine on our list we are talking specifically about your targeting. Do not assume the same message will work with every voter. Develop different ads that will appeal to various voter segments.
We live in uncertain times. For campaigns to make progress during the chaos, they must move quickly to adopt new digital practices. These changes will take time to put in place and finely tune for the specific needs of a campaign.
DSPolitical is here to provide the resources campaigns need to run better digital ads and engage with voters. From running webinars and creating how-to guides to providing personalized customer service. See the DSPolitical difference for yourself.