Getting people to do something for you usually takes some convincing. This is as true for selling your product, as it is for participating in elections. In recent years voter participation across the US has been as low as 36 percent, which is why big brands are using their recourses to ask their audience to register to vote.
We all remember the incredible Rock The Vote campaigns that brought celebrities together to encourage people to register to vote. This year major companies have taken this initiative into their own hands. The approaches they've used to connect with their audiences have been motivating, and their methods look effective.
Here's what you can learn from the marketing strategies Google, HBO, and Starbucks used this week to encourage people to register to vote.
1. Prioritize banner placement and easy navigation.
Today the tech giant Google used their landing page as a banner for registering to vote. The company used their site, a place where many eyeballs frequent, to address national voter registration day by placing patriotic colored "register to vote!" buttons across the Google homepage.
The most important part of any marketing campaign is making sure your initiative gets seen. Google did this with ease by advertising it on the search engines homepage.
Another brilliant thing Google did with this banner is that it followed their ask with an easy access action. If you're going to ask your audience to do something, they shouldn't have to jump through hoops of fire to do it.
Underneath the search bar, Google placed a hyperlinked text saying "To vote in November, register today" and when clicked it takes you to a Google search of "how to register to vote #RegisterToVote". The same happens when you click on the actual banner.
Giving your audience easy access to accomplishing your ask is a smart online marketing strategy. If you're running an Instagram ad campaign for your companies newest pair of shoes, but don't give them an easily accessible link, chances are they won't purchase the shoes. Instead, they'll think "I don't have time for this right now, I'll do it later." Make your ask so easy that you don't give your audience the option to do it later.
2. Promote your ask on social media.
HBO used National Voter Registration Day as an opportunity to encourage potential voters by promoting the hashtag #NationalVoterRegistrationDay on Twitter. Getting your marketing campaign seen is the most important part of marketing. Today, that should be happening on social sites. Using your funds to promote something on social media is advertising 101 of the digital age.
Along with their promoted hashtag, HBO posted powerful videos of actors from their shows such as West World, Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley and Barry that reminded us our voice is "only as loud as our vote".
Like Google, HBO also gave their audience easy instructions which were to Text HBO18 to 788.683 to register to vote today. Doing this is an amazing way to spread awareness about a cause, but it's also a powerful way to spread awareness on your brand. Using current events and empowering causes as something your brand supports gets your brand noticed and remembered.
3. Start from the inside out.
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks used his bandwidth to urge people to vote by starting within his company. Yesterday, he wrote a letter to his employees across America encouraging them to vote.
For decades we've created meaningful connections with our customers and served communities. We're about to answer these questions once again by addressing a problem that many partners have identified as extremely important: increasing voter registration and participation across America.
This is a brilliant way to get something done, no matter the marketing campaign. Whether you have 150,000 employees like Starbucks or 5 employees they should be on board with every product, service and marketing ploy. Efficiency and excitement in your companies mission should start from the inside out. Which is why as the leader of the company empowering your employees to be a part a change you believe in is an incredible tool.
Schultz followed the golden rule of asking your audience to something and used TurboVote which is an easy way for his employees to register to vote on their phones or computers.
Marketing is always a form of asking your audience for something. It's asking them to buy a product, to support your brand or to believe in your cause. With their National Voter Registration Day initiative, these three majors companies exposed fundamental tools in empowering your audience to respond to an ask.