The “Digital Election” 2015

May 5, 2015

I’ve been paying more attention than ever to the 2015 General Election. Being from a slightly apathetic generation, I need to confess: this is only the second time I’ve ever voted (aside from the obligatory 18-year-old vote). What has swayed me this time to take notice – and head to the polling station – is definitely the Internet marketing directed at people exactly like me; it’s like they’re saying, “vote, or forever hold your peace!” It’s made myself and my peers choose to stand up and vote to try and make a difference. As the world becomes increasingly Internet-charged, political party strategies have become even more noticeable; my Facebook timeline has been filled with posts trying to sway me one way or the other. But, from a marketing point of view, what can we learn from their tactics?

It’s certainly made me take note of what each party is doing. 2015 has witnessed more digital marketing than ever, in the form of memes, video, presentations and infographics. It’s all about ‘going visual’. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and political parties have taken note, using powerful and emotive images in order to sway opinions. Combine with language such as the Green Party’s “Save our NHS” and you have a winning formula. Marketers need to find out what resonates with their target audience emotionally; by educating, informing and inspiring them you will build your credibility and become a thought leader.

Labour has cleverly used Buzzfeed’s younger audience to attract first-time voters (who naturally lean towards Labour anyway). It seems like they’ve also been inspired by Buzzfeed’s intriguing headlines, with a classic example being “17 Reasons not to trust David Cameron.”

In terms of campaign budget, the Tories are set to outspend Labour by 3:1. Traditional media is the main focus for them, with the majority of Conservative voters sitting within the older age demographic. Labour, on the other hand, has heavily invested in digital strategies, using the same marketing team Obama used three years ago.

Have you been inspired by any aspect of the General Election campaigns so far?

Photo: Michael Spencer