Political campaigns throughout the U.S. are pulling out all the stops to mobilize voters and get them to be more involved in the trajectory of the nation.
According to the Pew Research Center, voter turnout reached its highest rate since 1900 with the 2020 presidential election, where two-thirds of eligible Americans cast their ballots. The 2018 and 2022 midterms experienced similarly higher-than-average rates, indicating a major step forward for voter participation across the country.
Nevertheless, garnering that sort of attention and attendance is by no means a simple process. Below, we’ll explore three key methods campaigns use to attract voters.
1. Crafting a Compelling Narrative
As humans, we’re hard-wired to resonate with stories that touch our emotions and bolster our personal experiences. The most successful campaigns capitalize on that innate aspect of the human experience by crafting compelling narratives around their candidates that spur voters to action.
Storytelling is not just about what you say, though; it’s also about how you say it and where you deliver that message. To that end, campaign narratives often focus on the following:
Personalizing the Political
Effective campaigns often present their candidate’s personal background, achievements, and struggles — whether through “behind the scenes” images on social media or by elaborating on the candidate’s life story in an intimate setting — to better connect with voters.
No matter how a campaign makes use of the concept, personalization is a critical aspect of storytelling. It helps voters see candidates less as political figureheads and more as relatable individuals.
Aligning With Voter Values
The strongest narratives are tailored to align with the values and concerns of their target audience. Whether they’re about economic stability, social justice, or national security, the best campaigns craft messages that echo the concerns that are closest to the voters’ hearts.
However, achieving that requires that campaigns first identify what those issues are, which leads into the next strategy: the use of data-driven targeting.
2. Leveraging Data-Driven Targeting
Data-driven targeting takes the guesswork out of campaigning by guiding decisions regarding who to target, where to deliver the candidate’s message, and how frequently they’ll need to interact with their audience.
Diving deeper, there are three facets that comprise data-driven targeting, which are as follows:
While old-school mediums like billboards and TV ads still have their place, digital marketing channels should take overall priority. They not only allow campaigns to reach more voters, but they also represent powerful data-gathering tools in their own right.
When campaigns prioritize digital channels, they can tailor messages to specific demographics, increasing their reach and impact. Voter sentiment can also be gauged toward the candidate and the campaign itself, giving those involved an opportunity to adjust their marketing strategies as the campaign matures.
Microtargeting involves analyzing data to identify small, specific groups of voters and then target them with personalized messages. Campaigns can pinpoint specific counties, cities, or even neighborhoods to mobilize voters; furthermore, they can leverage online behaviors, purchase histories, and even TV viewing habits to segment voters and curate content for each group.
Social media platforms are fertile grounds for voter targeting, and campaigns typically use these platforms to reach younger voters and those less likely to engage with traditional media altogether. The interactive nature of social media also allows campaigns to engage directly with voters, creating a sense of personal connection.
There are plenty of ways to weave social media into a campaign. Go live, post polls, and consistently publish content on top channels. Consistency and persistence are key, as it can take some time to gain traction on social media.
3. Engaging Grassroots Movements
Though the digital revolution has shifted some of the focus away from grassroots movements, they remain as powerful as ever, as they involve the following tactics:
Building Community Connections
Grassroots movements excel at building connections, typically organizing local events and going door-to-door to create a community presence. That sort of local engagement creates a personal connection between the campaign and its potential voters, making the political process more tangible and accessible.
Building community connections takes time, of course, but doing so often leaves a huge (and lasting) impact on the efficacy of campaigns.
Grassroots movements are also crucial in mobilizing supporters, especially during “get-out-the-vote” efforts. They encourage people to vote and can provide practical assistance, like transportation to polling stations. In other words, they provide a hands-on approach that can make a significant difference in close races.
When mobilizing supporters, campaigns must strive to turn community members into political advocates. With just a few influential community leaders on board, any grassroots movement will catch fire, leading to dozens of community members speaking to their peers about your campaign and working together to optimize voter turnout.
Make an Impact With Aristotle
As for what these three methods all have in common, they all require an understanding of your audience and access to an abundance of high-quality data. With that being said, if you want to step into the minds of your constituents and improve the efficacy of your next campaign, Aristotle can help.
Aristotle is widely regarded as a leader in political data, and as an award-winning data provider, we connect clients like you with raw data and the tools you need to achieve your lofty goals.
Book a demo of Aristotle and tap into our robust database today, which includes over 235 million registered voter files, 250 million consumer fields, and a monthly mover database of over one million. We’ll give you the tools, data, and insights necessary to mobilize voters.