So, you just lost a political race. The feelings you have about it are complicated. Grief, disappointment, and anger are common and justified.
But imagine turning those feelings into action, progress, and motivation. Just because you’ve lost today’s race doesn’t mean there isn’t a future for you in politics. You have supporters who stand by your message, you have experience in running, and you have NATIV3. Post-election is the perfect time to capitalize on your momentum and secure the win for next time.
In 2020, US political ad spending hit a massing $1.82 billion. That’s up from $.74 billion just two years earlier.
If you’ve already made the smart move of investing in digital political marketing, you can continue to make that investment create returns by pivoting your focus to building your contact lists, identifying your next opportunities to run, and remaining in constant contact with the people who support you. Let’s look at strategies you can employ to let this loss propel your next victory:
Build Your Marketing Lists
Someone’s email address is one of the most valuable forms of digital and social currency that exists. With an ROI of up to 4,400% when it comes to making sales, imagine the potential it has for converting voters. Just like you did when you were actively running, keep your email signup clear and tempting. Include it on your website, on landing pages, on letters and flyers, on your social media… Everywhere! Each email address that you can add to your campaign list is another person to whom you can show the value of voting for you next time elections roll around.
Additionally, it’s an invaluable tool in keeping the funds for your campaign rolling in. People who believe in what you have to offer and who care about the future of their community are willing to contribute to a campaign that will make it happen. Your constituents know that the candidate with more donor support has more resources to market, which in turn leads to higher vote counts. Keep them interested and invite them to stay in touch to see all of the ways that you are going to work in their best interest, while offering abundant opportunities to stay actionably involved through volunteer and fundraising signups.
Stay on Top of Election Opportunities
Being politically engaged in your community requires much more than yard signs, emails, and local ads in the year leading up to an election. Stay abreast of politics in your area and keep an open mind when it comes to running in smaller races. Jumping into the arena and gunning for a top spot from the jump can be tough, especially if your opponents have risen through the ranks over a number of years.
Be willing to start with positions that offer you a chance to make your way onto the scene more cautiously. Then, once you’ve won your first race, show your current and future voters why you’re the person they want representing them on a district, state, or federal level. While you’re probably already aware of most elected offices available in your area, the best way to stay on top of it is to monitor your county’s official website.
As an example, the Hennepin County site has a list of offices on upcoming ballots divided by city and district. A spot on the school board could turn into a council position, and that council position could lead into a mayoral election, until you’ve proven yourself as a candidate to keep an eye on for more prominent offices. Continue to prove to your supporters that you care about what they have to say, and show them that you’re willing to dive in at any level to make it happen.
Keep Your Current Audience Compelled
While it’s important to continue building your list, it’s just as important to keep your current following highly engaged. They’re the folks who are going to spread information and support through word of mouth, sharing on social, and by showing up to do what needs to be done to keep your momentum going.
A great way to keep them interested is by simply sharing what you’re doing in the community without necessarily marketing a campaign. Doing a river cleanup with your neighborhood? Invite your social media followers to come out and join. Want to serve dinner at a shelter that supports victims of domestic violence? Encourage them to make donations. Share your commentary on the current political scene and tell how you’d approach it differently. Invite people to create task forces and action groups to take on local legislation that they don’t approve of. Host a barbecue in the park to celebrate the end of the school year. There are infinite ways that you can continue to be top-of-mind for people looking for steady, trustworthy leadership without necessarily being directly related to an upcoming election.
Most importantly, use social media and digital platforms to stay available for ideas, questions, and suggestions. If you’ve lost a race, there are going to be supporters who are just as disappointed as you are. They voted for you because they like what you have to offer. Listen to what they have to say, even when the stakes are lower. It will remind them that you’re running so that their feelings and thoughts and ideas are turned into action.
No matter if you’ve won or lost your election, it’s critical that you stay engaged in the digital arena. NATIV3 can help turn your political prowess into action with digital marketing that entices an audience, website design that shows off your saavy, and social media campaigns that turn everyday platforms into powerful messages.
More and more people are turning to social media, online news sources, and political databases to decide who their candidate of choice is. Every candidate who is interested in continuing to make a showing in the political arena should stay just as active and hungry for the next race.