According to Borrell Associates, online political advertising will surpass $1 billion in 2016, over six times that of the previous presidential election. In an age when the power of TV and other traditional media is dwindling, digital advertising channels like native advertising can help a political campaign group spread its’ message to a specific voter audience.
For native advertising (also referred to as sponsored content) to be persuasive, the content has to tell a compelling story that keeps the readers’ in mind. Let’s use President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign as an example. Part of the success of that campaign was great storytelling. His campaign spoke to the things that were important in the Obama campaign in the context of the people these policies were going to help. They rallied around actual stories of families or organizations and how particular hot topics in the presidential debates affected them…but in a soft way. Another good example of thought leadership pieces in the political content arena is this sponsored article that focuses on tax compliance in the sharing economy from Politico.
There are some best practices to keep in mind when considering native advertising as part of your channel marketing to reach key voter segments:
Sponsored content campaigns should include thorough research to support the article’s message and focus. Visual tools such as infographics and charts should accompany the piece to drive key issues that are part of the candidate’s platform. The information-driven nature of this “sponsored content” mandates actual reporting and fact checking.