2024 Election Guide: Activating Influencers in Politics

2024 Election Guide: Activating Influencers in Politics

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Over the past five years, we’ve witnessed the gradual adoption of influencer marketing as a viable strategy for political organizations. When we launched People First, much of our time was spent educating Democratic stakeholders on the importance of integrating influencers into their communications strategies. As we begin 2024, the “whys” are asked less, but the “hows” of implementation remain a challenge.

Below are essential insights about creator marketing for political organizations as they launch their 2024 communication programs:

1) Creators shouldn’t be treated the same as celebrity endorsements.

One of the key issues we see in political influencer marketing is replacing a classic “analog” celebrity with a TikTok creator. A campaign gets two or three big TikTok creators to make content or attend an event to publicize to their millions of fans. It’s easy to rack up big impression numbers and lots of engagement on this content, but this functions exclusively in the short term. It’s not a long tail communications strategy making a real impact in the discourse. 

Study after study continues to prove that people trust friends and family over campaigns and social media. Recent YouGuv survey, for example, finds that friends and family top the list of trusted election information sources over traditional outlets.. Additionally, based on our analysis of over 15 thousand creator posts, we have found “micro creators” (users with fewer than 20,000 followers) earned a 146% higher engagement rate than “macro creators” (users with more than 20,000 followers). This isn’t just any engagement. We have also found that micro creator’s followers are far more likely to share affinities and live in the same states as these creators.  

This isn’t to say there isn’t a place for macro creators. Top down communication is important, but by collaborating with creators at all levels you can drive conversations from the top down and bottom up. Making a real impact in the discourse. 

2) It’s about more than organic reach!

Organic reach is a valuable part of a creator collaboration, but it’s not the only part. Get more impact from creator partnerships through these two tactics: 

Paid Whitelisting: Using tools like the Meta Paid Partnership tag, content can be boosted directly from creators profiles. This is the most authentic way to take content from a suburban mom in Wisconsin and guarantee viewership by every other suburban Wisconsin mom online. People First even works with creators to go through the Meta political authorization process, meaning even political campaigns can take advantage of this powerful strategy. 

Content Repurposing: There is huge value in repurposing creator content on your campaign’s social channels or through other paid media like OLV. By including videos, images, and quotes from real community members in your marketing strategy you further the authenticity of the message. Make sure you’re securing the rights to use the content outside of the organic publishing for maximum benefit. 

3) Don’t Over Direct Creators.

The best creator content performs well because it doesn’t feel like marketing. Trust that the creators you’re working with understand how best to reach their audiences and give them the tools to do that successfully. Through partnering with thousands of creators over the years, we’ve learned that it’s important to guide creators with information on key messages and calls-to-action, but allow them space to exercise their creativity and keep the content authentic. 

We believe 2024 will be the breakout year for creators in politics. With so much on the line, it’s important they are properly integrated into your campaign in order to make the greatest impact. For more great examples of activating creators in politics, check out our case studies.

By Ryan Davis Cofounder, People First