Back in late 2019, it was no secret that 2020 was going to be a unique year for digital marketing with an impending election. However, no one could have dreamed how unique it would really be. From the initial news of the Coronavirus, state-wide shutdowns, and now various levels of re-openings to social-justice movements and political uproar, 2020 has been a year unlike any other.

For many local business owners, this has resulted in their digital marketing strategy being revised and adjusted—multiple times. Many business owners are questioning what to do as we head into the final weeks before the presidential election.

At Vivial our number one goal is to support local businesses. Therefore, to get you through these next few months, we have put together key pointers to help you navigate through the unknown so you can bounce back better than ever as we head into 2021.

Choose Your Channels Wisely & Plan to Spend More

It is projected that $9.9 billion will be spent on political advertising in 2020 with $2.8 billion of that, specifically in the digital space. As history predicts, the price for consumers’ attention will only continue to rise as presidential campaigns turn up the heat closer to election day.

So, what does that mean for local businesses? First, you need to look at where you plan to spend your advertising dollars. Marketing channels like television and radio will be the most expensive due to the limited number of spots available. To generate the highest ROI, you should focus your efforts on platforms that can easily expand with the additional demand. Platforms like social media, Google ads, video, and more.

You need to plan for potentially higher costs in ad spend and increased competition. It is also necessary to consistently monitor your campaigns and adjust as needed to ensure you get the best possible ROI.

Know Your Audience & Stay Apolitical

For most businesses, their customer base includes people from all walks of life with different backgrounds and opinions. So as hard as it is, especially when we feel strongly about a particular issue personally, we recommend staying apolitical in your content. Otherwise, you risk alienating a segment of your audience long-term.

Not to say that you can’t make a statement or stand behind a cause or movement; however, before choosing to do so, you should take a step back and look at your audience. Think through the potential ramifications before putting out any statements or viewpoints that can be seen as leaning toward one side or another.

Leverage Election Cycle Fatigue

As we get closer to election day, people are getting tired of being overwhelmingly bombarded with political ads, posts, opinions, and news. This is called Election Cycle Fatigue. They are craving content that gives them a mental break from the chaos, especially content that is light-hearted and makes them feel happy or laugh.

Use this opportunity to your advantage and stay visible and engaged with your local community. Here are five quick ‘feel good’ ideas you can use to break through the flood of political content:

  1. Share funny, behind-the-scenes video snippets of your team. This will not only give people a good laugh but shows that you care about company culture and your employees.
  2. Organize a group of team members to volunteer in the community and share their experiences in a social post or blog update.
  3. Post fun tips and tricks that are helpful.
  4. Offer a discount or special offer tied to the season, family fun, or the upcoming holidays. Update your Google My Business listing with current offers
  5. Host a virtual event to raise money for a charitable cause in your community and donate a percentage of product or service sales.

PRO TIP: When putting together your creative (images, photos, etc.) for social posts, it is a good idea to monitor what others are using in their feeds. What do the political posts look like in your area? What colors are they using? Then use that information to help you design unique, yet brand-specific imagery that will help your content stand out.

Focus on Retention

One area of business that has enormous potential, but often gets put on the back burner, is your existing and past clients. While driving new business is imperative to success, it’s also important to take the opportunity to re-engage with those who have already chosen your business once before. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Would customers who have purchased from you in the past need your product or service again? Is there another product or service you offer that they may be interested in?
  • What additional value can you bring to clients that currently use your products or services? Is there an upgrade you can offer? Or possibly an extended service offering to complement a past purchase?
  • How are you staying in touch with your active customers? Are there new ways (social media, text messaging, email marketing, etc.) you can engage with them?

PRO TIP: If you haven’t explored the fantastic benefits of text message marketing, now is the time to do it! Not only do text messages produce an engagement rate 6-8x higher than traditional email marketing, but 48% of internet consumers also say they would prefer to receive loyalty-related communications through SMS.

Be Patient

Finally, it is essential not to make any rash decisions to pull back entirely on your marketing efforts during the height of campaigning. Not only could this put you at a disadvantage compared to your competitors who continue their marketing efforts, but you have the potential to lose any ground you worked hard gaining this year.

Instead, take a deep breath and look at areas you can adjust and optimize to ensure you are getting the best results possible while continuing to make headway toward your end-of-year goals.

We understand 2020 has been a year filled with uncertainty. However, Vivial is here to support you every step of the way. From free resources such as our upcoming Facebook Advertising MasterClass webinar to our newly launched Podcast, “Simply Connected,” it is our goal to give local businesses the tools they need to stay strong and successful in today’s digital landscape.

If you would like help evaluating where you stand and what steps need to be taken to ensure you are getting found online by customers in your area, schedule a free consultation with one of our digital marketing experts!