Campaigns Skirt Political Ad Rules by Paying Influencers to Promote Them
In a world where candidates have to constantly reach voters by speaking directly to them through TV ads, Facebook posts, tweets or other social media channels, campaigns have been known to pay influencers to promote them. The influencer, in turn, will use this money to pay their own team of professional writers and will use any money they have to go on social media themselves.
While a candidate may be able to make a fortune by using this approach to campaign, the truth is that the best campaigns don’t do it. What the campaigns miss out on is the most important part of modern campaigns: the conversation.
In every campaign, the candidate knows that there are people who are paying attention: their fans, their followers on Twitter, their Facebook friends and their followers on Instagram. The campaigns that know this are the ones that successfully win the election, the ones that can hold a line when others may appear to be losing everything.
So what are the advantages to campaigns who don’t pay influencers to promote their campaign? It makes the process more transparent. It makes it more clear what the candidate’s communication costs are. And it puts the candidate in a much better position to determine how much money they are going to use to fund their campaign.
In short: it makes campaigns more financially stable and profitable. And those companies that don’t use influencers in political campaigns are the ones who will lose out – fast.
When I first started out as a political consultant, we used a system that worked to our advantage while limiting our own involvement. We would pay a few writers and have one or two of them go on Facebook or Twitter to promote our events and to create buzz. We would spend our money on marketing and media buying (for events, ads and so on) and we would take our cut. That system worked for us because – in the eyes of a politician – it looked like they were investing in their campaigns.
Now campaigns are looking more closely at whether or not they should pay influencers. For example, the British campaign Vote Leave.com have taken some criticism in the past for paying influencers (who are not paid by the campaign) to promote their campaign. The criticism was that this was not transparent or transparent enough. A campaign has to consider the following costs:
The campaign has to pay their influencers.