Content Marketing in the Political Industry

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The political climate is becoming increasingly challenging to navigate. With a wide range of views and charged opinions on both sides of the spectrum, any brand in the political industry needs to take a calculated, research-backed approach to its content marketing efforts. With that in mind, let's explore the benefits that content marketing can offer your business.

Here's a closer look at how content marketing works, what it's doing for other political brands, and the step-by-step for executing an effective strategy.

What is Content Marketing?

If you're not yet familiar with the concept of content marketing, it's nothing new. While many may see it as a recent trend or even a buzzword in marketing, content marketing as a concept dates back to the late 1800s and is often credited to John Deere's magazine, The Furrow. In modern times, content marketing is more likely to involve blog posts than glossy magazines, but — for political brands in particular — content marketing still consists of a mix of online and offline endeavors.

When done right, content marketing is executed as a formulated, research-based strategy that enables your brand to produce content that answers readers' questions, engages them with your brand, and builds their trust in what you do. As a whole, content marketing is built around offering real value to readers rather than constantly advertising your products and services.

By informing the creation of valuable content that readers will enjoy consuming, content marketing offers countless benefits that will help reinforce your brand identity, grow its reach, and encourage more loyal support.

Benefits of Investing in Content Marketing for Your Political Brand

An excellent content marketing plan offers several benefits for brands across industries, and that's why 70% of marketers actively invest in their content strategy. Of those who use it, 72% say they believe content marketing plays a direct role in generating new leads. So, what benefits can your political brand expect to see? Here's an overview.

Become a Political Authority

Whether your brand is a magazine skewed towards one political party or an unbiased blog offering analyses of the latest political advertising methods and campaigns, every business should strive to be an authority in their niche. Being an authority means that readers will turn to you, and refer others to you, whenever they're seeking information about a pertinent topic.

Becoming an authority requires you to offer timely, valuable, and insightful content. You may get opinions from experts, interview relevant authorities, or cite research to support any notions you write. The keyword? Factuality. In politics, authorities do away with smoke and mirrors and get to the truth of any discussion. Snopes is a great example, offering fact-checking for political figures, among other sources.

Distinguish Your Brand

Ask yourself: What does your brand have to offer that no other brand in the industry can? Every brand has competitors and, to overcome those competitors, they must recognize what distinguishes them from the crowd. This could be your unique insight or presentation, or your goals and values behind the work you do.

If you look at the campaigns of political figures themselves, you'll easily recognize the power of building a distinguished image that represents clear values and goals. Study any successful political campaign and you'll see examples that showcase all the different ways you can show that your brand is different and help gain recognition.

Increase Organic Traffic

When it comes to the digital side of content marketing, one of the best benefits by far is the ability to drive organic traffic by targeting keywords, talking about what your audience cares to hear, and offering value wrapped in unique insight. All of these things make for a powerful content strategy, and they also directly tie into the generation of more organic traffic.

Suppose you spend some time exploring the ranking factors that Google and other major search engines use to determine who shows at the top. In that case, you'll begin to understand how all the elements of your content strategy tie into successful SEO. The result? You rank better, receive more traffic, and — ultimately — you get more leads.

Boost Your ROI

Your political brand may have a variety of goals in mind. If you represent a political figure, the ultimate goal is to garner votes and support. If you have a magazine focused on the latest political news, your goal may be to get more subscribers and increase engagement because that's how you earn advertising revenue. Whatever the case may be, a content strategy will help you get there.

As you'll see in the steps listed later, everything you put into your content strategy will be informed by your company's short- and long-term goals. In doing so, you'll be able to come up with a plan that puts your company on the path to growth and success.

Tips for Creating a Winning Political Content Strategy

Chances are, you'll be able to find countless examples of excellent content marketing at work in your niche, but no amount of inspiration will form a content strategy for you. While you should look to others and study what they're doing, it's also important to follow this step-by-step process so you don't leave anything out.

Step 1: Build Your Foundation

The foundation of your content strategy will be rooted in preliminary research that you may or may not have already performed. In the world of politics, knowing your demographics is everything, and that's why even established political brands should go through these steps to ensure they're on the right page.

  • Identify your audience personas. Who is your ideal reader, client, or supporter?
  • Keep your goals in mind. Do you want engagement, donations, or sales?
  • Define your identity. How do you talk and how do you want to be perceived?
  • Lay out your brand book. Who is your company and what are your values?

With your audience personas and brand book in front of you, moving forward with your content strategy's creation will prove much simpler. You'll be referencing these resources throughout the creation of your strategy, and you'll be using these resources to inform any new hires, team members, or contractors (i.e., writers and editors) that you hire to help execute your strategy.

Step 2: Breakdown Your Goals

As a brand, you already know what your overall goal is. It could be to drive donations, get more votes or supporters, or simply boost engagement so that you have a strong reader base to attract advertisers. Whatever the case may be, remember that your goals should guide your content strategy. After all, there's no way to create an effective plan if that plan isn't aimed at getting you somewhere.

Once you have your goals in mind, it's time to break them down into short- and long-term goals. For instance, if a long-term goal is to increase donations by 25% in the next year, your short-term goals will be all about attracting new supporters and sustaining old supporters. Short-term goals in this example may include:

  • Doubling social media engagement.
  • Increasing your website traffic.
  • Setting up content that encourages readers to join your newsletter where you can further market to them.

As you set your short-term goals, be sure to follow the SMART goal-setting framework to make your goals specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound.

Step 3: Explore Your Platforms

As a brand, there's a whole host of platforms out there where you may choose to develop a presence. However, there's no need for your company to be on every platform under the sun. It's your job to refer back to your customer personas and see where your audience spends most of their time. Also, consider their media preferences and how they like to consume content.

For example, your business may find that your audience rarely interacts on Twitter but is constantly consuming videos on YouTube and sharing Facebook posts. That means you can count Twitter out and focus on the other two platforms where your content is most likely to succeed.

In addition to knowing where you're going to post, you'll also want to consider what type of content performs best on the platforms of your choice. For instance, YouTube is ideal for videos of 2 to 10 minutes in length. Meanwhile, videos on Facebook perform best if they're under 1 minute. Do your research so you know where to post and what to post to get the best results.

Step 4: Create a Content Calendar

Think of a content calendar as your schedule. It will help you remain consistent with your posting so that readers will consider you a routine, reliable source for the information they want and need. Your content calendar defines when you post, where you post, and how often you post. There's no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to any of these factors.

A political news website is likely to post every day, if not multiple times a day. Meanwhile, a brand advocating for a specific cause may only need to post once a week. Refer back to your audience and goals to determine how often you should be posting on each of your chosen platforms. Over time, you can tweak your schedule based on when you see the most engagement.

Step 5: Plug-In Your Ideas

The final step in creating your content strategy is planning out ideas to plug-in to your content calendar. Most businesses will schedule content slots for a full year, but you don't need to plug-in ideas for an entire year. Since the political industry is very timely as it is and lacks a lot of evergreen content, you may only be able to plan out a few weeks at a time.

When it comes to what you should post, much of your content strategy should be informed by keyword research. Keyword research will tell you what your audience is searching for and give you insights into the causes and issues they care about. As such, it can help you plug in your topics, whether you're looking for evergreen content or covering the latest trends.

In addition to plugging in your content ideas based around keywords, which will boost your SEO, you should be creating content that explains your brands, its values, and the cause, too. Your content schedule will help you plan things out so that you end up publishing a good variety of content across topics and platforms, like case studies and blog posts.

Step 6: Implement and Execute

Once you have a content strategy laid out, it will feel like a weight has been taken off your shoulders. Of course, the next step is executing that strategy, and it's another area where many brands feel stumped. Most businesses simply don't have the resources to pour their time and energy into researching keywords, planning topics, and creating content, at least not to the degree they need to see results and meet their goals.

Figuring out how to handle your content writing can be tough, but quality content is the foundation of effective digital marketing. It requires a talented writer who can naturally implement your long-tail keywords. Your writer may even conduct keyword research themselves to find terms with the right search volume. All of this will help drive traffic to your site. Meanwhile, they need an engaging style that will resonate with your target audience.

Ultimately, driving traffic to your website depends on a variety of aspects that your content strategy needs to account for — from having a variety of content to implementing on-page SEO, among other SEO strategies. On top of all that, your content strategy should work to earn featured snippets and win backlinks (i.e., an authority link to your site), all of which goes back to help increase organic traffic.

Tools like Google Analytics can help, but many brands ultimately find that the DIY approach simply isn't effective when they want to increase organic traffic. That's why many brands turn to a content writing platform like Scripted.

Successful Political Brands (and how they did it!)

Before we dive into the steps that you need to follow to create an impactful content strategy, let's explore some of the successful political brands that make content marketing work for them. Turn to these figures, and others, for inspiration as you move forward with implementing your own strategy.

MoveOn is a political advocacy organization powered by petitions and political news. The brand has very direct calls-to-action, with the homepage showcasing the latest movements they are looking to garner signatures and support for. Powerful writing reinforces the brand's opinions and positions while the blog adds context for current movements and touches on the historical and political events the audience cares about.

To encourage engagement, MoveOn makes their content and petition ultra-sharable. They're also highly active on social media. All copy is empowering, driving social change and reminding the reader that they can make a difference. A number of online and offline events add to MoveOn's interactive platform, where they seek to encourage action amongst followers.

Political analysts and others fill The Geopolitics site with articles and opinion pieces covering the latest in political news. Setup as a news-style website, The Geopolitics explores world news and touches on the economy, security, and defense. They keep all of their content organized by either topic or region and maintain a database of archives for those seeking older content.

Primarily driven by ad revenue, The Geopolitics seeks to keep readers on the page to get more impressions and clicks for the advertisements they show. They also encourage readers to sign up for the free email newsletter, a smart move for any content-centric brand.

While Snopes doesn't limit itself to politics, this brand has become the go-to information source when the internet wants to fact-check a statement. Snopes does in-depth research to determine what's true and what's false about a given statement, photos, or alleged quote.

With a fun website design and an engaging approach to telling the story behind common myths and memes, Snopes is a great example of a personality-filled brand that still manages to hold authority in the niche thanks to its factual content.

Looking for Premium Political Writers?

Brands of all sizes will find that the Scripted platform is highly accessible thanks to our self-service and fully-managed membership options. Choose our Cruise Control service to have your strategy and calendar planned for you while an account manager handles its execution. Or, opt for a self-service plan so you can take your content at your own pace. Whatever you choose, you'll get access to the same talented professionals.

Interested in learning more about how Scripted can help your brand grow? Browse our database of political writers or reach out to the team for information on our membership plans and answers to all of your questions.

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