Digital Marketing and Social Media in the 2016 Election
As we’re living in the age of digital, we find ourselves more frequently bombarded by ads. During an election, the number of political ads has been constantly increasing and the 2016 election has been no exception. The candidates are utilizing social media more than ever to connect with the voters and spread their campaign propaganda.
The usage of social media is vital to campaigns as it has been allowing candidates to really develop stronger and more passionate followers. These followers share the content created by the individual campaign as well as creating their own content to share to their followers. This has led to constant exposure to the election in 2016.
The virality of the candidates has also become a key marketing tool for some of the candidates. Many millennials simply won’t stop discussing how they #feelthebern and have gone #bernieorbust. Bernie Sanders has captured the millennial voters with his campaign and used social media to his advantage. Meanwhile, in comparison the Clinton campaign has not had even close to as strong of a presence on social media with a much more precisely planned and executed campaign and less user generated content when compared to the Sanders campaign.
Virality is the key pillar on which the Trump campaign stands. His campaign is in the news nearly every day for something that has happened and has appeared to have taken on a stance that “all press is good press.” The campaign is consistently in the news for offensive things said by Trump, fights and protests at his rally, and an ever changing mix of drama. Many of the offensive things said have been found from Trump’s own Twitter and are used by the Cruz and Kasich campaign in the election; however, this bashing has provided little success and only provided more virality for the Trump campaign.
Additionally, third parties such as BuzzFeed and John Oliver have been creating video content in regards to the upcoming election that solely concern the Trump campaign and serve to criticize it and emphasize the long term effects of what could happen if Trump were to be elected. These videos are shared and go viral as those who don’t stand with Trump view these. However, what is interesting is that while these go viral they seem to have no real impact on the campaign as Trump continues to sweep through the primaries. Then the dangerous part that comes through is the rise of #bernieorbust, in which many young Millennial voters are refusing to vote for the Clinton campaign should she win the nomination (by not voting at all, voting independent or even writing in Sanders).
This election season has caused deep rifts within both parties and will change the way that election campaigns are ran. The Trump campaign has continued through the primaries and nearly won the Republican nomination with a huge amount of negative marketing and viral tweets against them. And on the opposite side of the aisle, the Sanders campaign has struggled through the primaries even with his strong support from millennial voters, who had previously been viewed as a key to success in the 2016 election. These trends that are occurring demonstrate the constant evolution of social media and its role in Digital Marketing and just how unpredictable the success of marketing campaigns can be.