Your personal brand and the election: what thought leaders need to know

As we near the end of the Presidential election, the amount of polarizing advertisements and content surrounding candidates and policies is almost deafening in our media environment. When reflecting on political elections throughout the years branding has always played a big role in campaign outcomes. 

Every element of branding from campaign slogans, jingles, colors and logos has influenced a race. One of the most unique aspects of a political campaign when it comes to marketing is it’s all centered around one strategy – elevating the personal brand of the politician. Although you most likely are not looking to run for office soon, as a thought leader you can learn from the three best personal branding practices (or mistakes) we have seen during election season. 

Take ownership of your brand

In today’s landscape it’s all about owning your first impression online. First impressions are no longer happening when someone walks into your office – they are now happening online on the first page of Google. If a customer is referred to you, if a company is considering hiring you, or if a journalist is looking for an expert to interview, the first thing they will do is Google your name. It’s important to conduct a quick audit of the Google search results for your personal brand name.

One of the most important ways you can take ownership of your brand is by purchasing your name as a URL (ex. We have seen past political candidates have cringe-worthy consequences when not reserving their URL. One of the most memorable URL mishaps was during the 2016 Presidential election.

 Speak to your target audience

When it comes to approaching content for your personal brand, political campaigns shine by catering content to their target audience. One of the best ways to engage your target audience is by focusing on incorporating “news-driven content” into your strategy. 

There are two types of news-driven content that can be utilized in your content strategy. The first type is headline driven – tying your expertise or discussing a topic that is a headline in the news. Headline-driven content is one of the best ways to get maximum engagement from your audience. The second type of news-driven content is calendar driven – focusing on the time of year that is important for your audience. This type of content you can plan ahead and speak to anxieties your audience might be facing. 

Incorporate others into your mission

During the campaign season, involvement from other influencers is key to a successful race. You should have the same strategy when it comes to your personal brand. Brainstorm ways you can involve others and have them gather around your mission. One of the best ways to build advocates around your mission is by involving them in your content strategy. Start an interview series that can be done through your blog, audio or video. The idea is that you are having a meaningful conversation that is valuable for your audience while building relationships with key people in your community. Most of the time the individuals you interview are going to want to share your conversation with their network as well, ultimately maximizing your reach.

Are there any marketing moments that have stood out to you during this campaign season? We would love for you to share in the comments section of our blog!

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