I recently read an article where the world was dumbstruck when it was found that in US political campaigns the expenses on online advertising increased by hundred percent in 2011-2012. But why online ads are being preferred over Television and Radios which are supposed to envelope more? The basic idea behind the prioritization of online ads is that its effect can be recorded. Number of clicks can always be counted on online ads, while you can never be sure how much audience really tuned to Television or Radio while the advertisement was aired.
Moreover, as per The Sunday Indian, there are two ways to win election – that are capturing emotion and instilling fear. In case of India, former works far better. Politicians might have jumped in the digital arena but they need to calibrate themselves with the frequency of practicality.
I consider moving online a very brilliant move. Buts it’s not about spending huge amounts of money online and not knowing the best way to gain the maximum output. But we should also remember that most of Facebook and Google users are young in India and the bitter truth – those who are eligible don’t care to vote.
The target audience for these political campaigns, if I may say, is remarkable. The new generation is progressing. It is, after all, the Internet generation. They are opting to read online, express their opinions and even shop online. The internet is full of smart, opinionated people who have several platforms provided to them to “make a difference”. The generation is aware and understands the importance of politics even. Talking to these people will be a challenge for these political parties.
Politicians want to address the new generation through a medium they understand, the online medium. The decision or the idea is great but the execution needs fine tuning. They need to keep the following in mind:-
A. Online Reputation Management- First and foremost it is extremely important for the politicians to gauge all the places they have a negative reputation and seize the day. Concentrate positive comments/opinions in all the places there are negative comments. It is important for the opinion leaders of the online space to think positively about the political parties.
B. Expression of Opinion- The target audience is free spirited and highly opinionated. It is essential to express opinions to get their attention and the focus must not be on being politically correct.
C. Budget- I am sure the funds are running in smoothly and probably in surplus but the fact of the matter is that the best online campaigns work when highly optimized. All the channels must be used, paid as well as unpaid but the most effective is organic traffic.
D. Sustenance- Online campaign must not be sporadic, it is essential that parties understand that losing time online would be a hazard to the overall reputation. To gain that edge again, one may need to start from scratch.
Controversies have aroused while the parties in power advertised themselves by using money which was supposed to be put in development. But to advertise is critical in politics and politicians are well aware of the fact! Now that they have done it, they might as well get it right.
Anyhow, we wish our beloved politicians good luck, and request our readers to go for voting at least!