Given the rapidly changing political landscape, all forms of digital communication are critical to reaching voters. One of the best ways to communicate with people who are interested in your cause or candidate is through a blog. More informal than a press release, a blog allows you to share a point of view and establish the campaign as an authority on the issues that impact the community.
A well-written, timely blog can help build bridges between the community and the campaign, attract a varied audience, lay the groundwork for grassroots support, focus the campaign’s messaging, and is an opportunity to raise funds.
Tailoring Content to Your Audience
We’ve established why a campaign should strongly consider having a blog, now let’s look at what the blog should say. Using the example of a school millage proposal, a series of blogs might focus on the benefits of the increased mils to students, their families, property values, teacher hiring, and retention.
Using a formula that highlights each feature of the millage, the advantages or pros of the millage increase, and both the short-term and long-range benefits of said millage increase. A blog is an excellent way to educate and provide value to your supporters in a more laid back, conversational way than a more formal press release or mission statement while delving deeper into more complex topics than a sound bite or stump speech.
But what about who? Who will be reading the blog, how will it speak to their interests? By focusing on what matters to different groups of voters as determined by research and data, a blog can help invite people into the campaign, encouraging community members to not only vote yes, but to feel good about the choices they are making.
People want to feel empowered, they want to know what’s in it for them for supporting your cause or candidate. That is not to say a blog should be preachy or lecture readers. Humorous blogs can be insightful, blogs that share a personal connection to a campaign can help the reader envision themselves voting in favor of the candidate or cause and may even drive them to take a more active role in the campaign process.
Lastly, the where. Where should a blog live, be captured as a record of a campaign’s POV on key issues? If your campaign is in the midst of building out a website, create a blog tab or add one to the existing site. Being able to find pertinent content is a big part of transparency and a sound communication tactic. Making blogs searchable by SEO is also recommended.
Regularly posting a blog to the campaign website is only a small part of the process. A blog can serve as a way to attract readers to the campaign website, depending on how it is positioned and promoted. For example, industry data shows that the use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, and YouTube have jumped sharply in 2020, a trend expected to continue. Social media algorithms are designed to show audiences more of what they are already interested in, a blog is one way to have your messaging reach a wider audience.
When and where to promote blog content is part art and part science. There’s a common truth in digital campaigning: a campaign is not a creativity contest – what looks best and what works best for the website is not always the same. Campaign decisions should be driven by a data-based strategy, regardless of the tactic deployed, be it a blog or any other form of communication.
Test post timing, as peak readership may vary by platform. Try out different positioning copy, platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram appeal to different age groups than Facebook and Twitter. Social media post copy needs to be more than trending SEO terms and industry buzzwords, that approach may even turn readers off. Be conversational, try to mirror the voice and tone of the blog.
Social media copy should draw the reader in, make them want to click the link to learn more, read more. They should be rewarded for their action with blog content that has value, that educates, informs, inspires, and engages the reader. Make it something readers will want to share, and discuss with their friends and family.
Make That Blog Work Harder
Blogs also serve other purposes. Not only can a blog help draw web traffic to the campaign website, but blog content can also be repurposed as part of newsletters, email campaigns and direct mail pieces. Consistency in messaging helps reinforce campaign strategy; the adage “tell ’em what you are going to tell ’em; tell ’em again, and tell ’em what you told ’em” still holds.
And blogs can ask as well as inform. Make it easy for the blog reader to sign up for the campaign mailing list. And don’t be afraid to ask for contributions either.
Part of Something Bigger
Remember, blogs are not free-standing entities. They are one of many digital communication tools in your campaign’s toolbox. A recommended component of a campaign website and key to the campaign’s digital ground game, a good blog should be tied back to the campaign’s overall strategy and align with other digital communication tactics.To learn more about how a blog can help get the word out about your campaign or cause, contact us.