"Are you ready to witness the biggest Game of Thrones (2019 Lok Sabha elections) in the world's largest democracy (India)?"According to a survey done by Morgan Stanley, "Millennials account for 1/3rd of the country's population and represent 46% of the total workforce. India is set to become the youngest country in the world by 2020 with a median age of 29.Gen Z to outnumber millennials by the end of 2019 and are about to reshape businesses."Millennials and Gen Z form a major chunk of voters and this is the voter base that the politicians and political parties should target. Moreover, Gen Z voters are going to be first-time voters this general election. Usually, first-time voters are swing voters i.e. they are not loyal to a particular politician or political party. Every election politicians fight to grab a major share of swing voters. Where the swing voters swing, the particular politician wins.According to 2011 census, 2 crore Indians turn 18 every year. So, that means 10 crore voters to vote for the first time in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.81+ crore Indians were eligible to vote in 2014 Lok Sabha elections and now adding the numbers taken from the census, 91+ crore Indians would be eligible to vote in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The age group of 18-23 i.e. the first-time voters are swing voters representing close to 11% of the total voter population.

Basic questions a politician should think-off are:

  • What does Gen Z fear?
  • What issues of theirs should I address?
  • Through what channels can I reach them?
  • How do I build my presence around them?
  • etc.

All-in-all, targeting Millennials and Gen Z through digital mediums is important to win the elections. They even act as influencers, they hold the power to influence their family and relatives who are comparatively less tech-savvy."Jeete ga bhai jeete ga... digitally smart neta jeete ga."

Personal Branding and Inbound Marketing for 2019 Lok Sabha elections

Let's imagine a scenario where a Political Party is a Company, Politician its Product and Voters its Customers. Just like any company has its ideology, a political party too has its ideology to which their politicians have to adhere to. The product i.e. politicians are the company's branded products. To sustain in the market the product has to appeal to the customers by providing short-term and long-term value i.e. by addressing the issues of the target market voters.It has been noted that personal brands are more saleable than intangible brands. A politician has to build a brand for himself around ideologies, thoughts, and ideas for the society and country keeping the target market in mind.The politician shouldn't push his personal brand around the target market too much that he gets himself unfollowed. That is where Inbound Marketing comes in the picture, the politician should try to create content for the target market and generate engagement with them.

Voice-based SEO

Starting with a very contemporarily designed personalized website of the politician sharing his thoughts, plans, achievements, videos, pitch, schedule etc. with language translation option, widens the scope of reaching the right target audience.The way people search is slowly changing, with Google/Siri/Alexa taking over the way people search, voice-based SEO is very essential to survive now as voice search shows one result only. The use of long-tail keywords as the focus word would increase the chances of appearing as the result.

Chatbots

They have been popularized in the last couple of years and play a very important role in lead generation and customer engagement.Facebook messenger chatbots have been beneficial in re-targeting, this can be used for sharing important content or messages of the politician to the existing potential voter. This is termed as Conversational Marketing or Conversational Experience.

Social Media

It is the most powerful tool of all. If a politician can ace the social media test, he/she has sure shot chances of winning in his/her constituency. It is because of social media that news has become a 24/7 phenomenon.Twitter, ShareChat, Facebook, and Instagram are the main tools a politician should focus on. Having a well-maintained profile is not enough anymore. Voters are content hungry and the politician should keep on feeding his target market to survive in the race.Twitter is like the Tinder profile of a politician, based on which a politician is right swiped. It is a popular platform for instant news.ShareChat, India's largest regional social network, its platform is in 15 regional languages which is a very good medium for a politician to target his constituency.Facebook and Instagram feed posts view-ability is declining as other features of the platform are attracting the users which are the 'Stories'. Stories are challenging because of the short duration medium, the content should be apt and appealing. The design and content play a very important role to convey messages.WhatsApp has its business account offering where, if someone subscribes to the list, the business account owner can send personal one-to-one messages to the subscriber.

Audio Branding - Podcasts

People always have a sense of FOMO and want to stay connected to the world at all times, they want to consume content even while driving, in the bathroom, while cooking etc.Podcasts fill the gap of consuming content off the screen. It is an essential tool for informal discussions and making the whole experience different from other platforms, the voter feels closer to the candidate as if the candidate is right in front of them and talking to them.

Making use of Data Science

It is the most essential need for a politician, it gives insights of the voters in his/her constituency on various online platforms. The depth at which analysis can be done is insane.The location of the voter --> age --> gender --> language --> positive/negative comment etc., on this basis the similar data can be extracted and grouped together. This will help in the planning of the type of content to create and use, the slogans, the manifesto can be prepared according to the suggestions of the voters etc. The amount of data that can be mined is infinite.The scenario today is such that the people attending a politician's rally use smartphones to update the happenings of the rally on their social media. This data is mined that very second from the mentions of the politician's social media and hashtags. Then political analysts suggest points to be addressed in the same rally and convey the same to the team present at the rally, so that the politician can incorporate those points in his speech and leave the audience awe-inspiring.

To Conclude the above strategies that a politician should follow...

The key here is Personal Branding and that is possible with the help of Inbound Marketing only because a personal brand is built when it is not pushy and pulls the crowd towards it.