Who are the candidates we’ll be praising for their digital efforts once the 2014 election cycle is over — and what are they doing now to make their online efforts successful?
The digital portion of the 2012 election cycle — namely the Obama campaign — has been rehashed to the point of nausea. It’s time to think about what’s next, and how candidates are taking advantage of new trends and tools for 2014 and beyond.
New online campaign strategies are not necessarily super technical — instead, they are hyper targeted to the individual, not a larger, generic demographic. There are tons of new and updated tools that 2014 campaigns are using to get a leg up this cycle.
Here are 10 tools to consider in getting your campaign underway:
Testing what becomes of your messages is a major part of discovering online success these days. Optimizely makes it easy to A/B test everything necessary for a winning communications strategy. With this tool, campaigns can track engagement, clicks, conversions, sign-ups and more. It takes the technical stuff out and makes it easy for communications staffers to plug in what they need — Optimizely does the rest.
2. Zignal Labs
Zignal Labs is an awesome listening tool that helps campaigns keep up with the large volume of real-time online conversations and engagement. With this platform, campaigns can filter relevant categories and easily find the stories and trends that matter to them.
Facebook advertising isn’t new, but it is extremely evolved, and one of the most powerful ways for campaigns to take advantage of messaging this year. Facebook’s Power Editor tool continues to become more sophisticated in its targeting, offering detailed look-alike audience segments to target, as well as an advanced tracking pixel for even more specific tracking of users.
4. Adobe Social
Adobe’s new social and analytics platform has already been picked up by groups like the NFL, and campaigns are no doubt seeing the benefits of this advanced platform. The platform lets campaigns manage all social activity within a single space, identify relevant content & data on preferred platforms, and build relationships with key influencers by tracking where website readers and donors come from. Adobe’s state-of-the-art geographic targeting is so good, it’s almost creepy. It services data and information from many platforms, including, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, among others.
Twitter continues to adapt its advertising strategy to keep up with the more powerful Facebook ads platform. Twitter’s ROI is often less ideal for the advertiser than Facebook’s, but it’s still an important platform for outreach. Twitter lead gen cards are one way to capture email addresses and deliver your message in a visually appealing way to a targeted group. A little secret is that you can actually use Lead Gen cards for free, but campaigns won’t get very far without putting money behind them to target to specific audiences.
NationBuilder is another well-known platform and one that has made significant upgrades. Why do people like it so much? It makes it easy for campaigns to build websites with multiple page types and user profiles with responsive designs. It also simplifies donation pages, social sharing and helps you connect with individuals in multiple ways, including by email, text, phone and on social media.
This easy online payment system is something many campaigns are using for fundraising. The tool is optimized for iOS and Android, and includes easy billing, collection, payment storage information and more. People like it because it’s simple, powerful and secure, integrating well with multiple kinds of mobile payments and connecting easily with existing systems.
Campaigns can upload entire email lists to Attentive.ly and easily discover the Twitter handles of those on the list. This is incredibly powerful because it allows you to connect quickly with online warriors who will help to spread your message. The platform collects data about what your people are tweeting, so you can send optimized email messages based on their current interests. It gives you a running feed of just the folks on your email list as well, so you can easily track their current tweets and topics.
Targeted Victory’s new “Targeted Engagement” platform has highly sophisticated, real-time targeting capabilities. These include banner display ads, Facebook exchange, pre-roll video and more. Aim to reach persuadable voters through this data-driven, hyper-focused platform. The ability to target an audience geographically is extremely important for campaigns, as are the detailed reporting metrics served up by the platform.
For most campaigns, having the means to communicate easily from different locations at various times is key. GoToMeeting is a convenient way to make those meetings a little less painful. For a flat fee, campaigns can get unlimited web and phone conferencing with webcams — without having to start over from scratch when getting something underway.
I hope you find some of these tools useful in your next campaign and in creating more hyper-targeted, personalized messages.
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