This post was originally published on TechCrunch. The impact of mobile devices and social media on every aspect of our lives is nothing new, but some facts can really shed light on how mobile has changed behaviour. like ours. Presidential elections do just that. During the 2012 election, cell phones were at the center of everything, but the smartphone industry has been relatively in diapers, and smartphone shipments have since grown by almost 40%. We now spend more time and money on mobile devices and get most of our content from them. These game-changing facts are about to change the biggest game of all – politics. To keep up with the ever-changing mobile arena, we decided to look at how mobile is about to change our political process by looking at the current political race in Israel, which has led the way. technology for many years now — especially in the mobile communications arena. We investigate the influence of mobile devices on Israeli elections and learn a few lessons that will most likely relate to the presidential race ahead of the 2016 US election.
Better media targeting than shaking hands and kissing babies
The main advantage of mobile media is its high-quality targeting capabilities, allowing advertisers to capture an extremely specific target audience. Smart campaign managers study their audience and find sophisticated ways to reach relevant users. The parties’ media budgets are bigger than ever, and almost every candidate hires dedicated agencies to do the job. Facebook’s mobile-only user base recently hit half a billion, and with new ad platforms popping up everywhere, campaign managers can reach their target audience virtually. like every step. For example, during the Israeli election, one of the hot topics was the inability of young people to buy an apartment. Parties running on social platforms would be wise to target users who are looking for details on mortgage loans or families who want to rent an apartment on a budget. Another example for smart communication practices is location-based targeting, which in the US plays a particularly important role, with the electoral system. Parties can track users in specific states where they know they should increase their advertising efforts and reach the right target audience with customized notifications. Speaking of messaging, targeting specific groups should always be accompanied by relevant creative content. Candidates should prepare different versions to suit each specific segment. This will allow candidates to highlight topics that are relevant to a certain group and let voters know that they are truly at the center.
Gamification turns politics into a form of entertainment
Astute campaign managers are well aware that the battle for user attention is fiercer than ever. To stand out, we’ve seen great use of gamification techniques in Israeli elections, with ads focused less on delivering direct messages and more on creating experience that indirectly describes this message. Another great use of mobile this election season is in crazy mobile games that are entertaining but also send a very powerful message. In one game, users were asked to play a “temple run” style game starring their favorite candidates. Other games present a very specific agenda and are used to criticize the opposition party, but even those that do not focus on a particular candidate play an important role in determining encourage people to vote and participate in political discussions. In other words, gamification helps make politics a more enjoyable and engaging experience, while allowing parties to reach out and become more relevant to a younger crowd.
Mobile video turns everyone into an activist
With US mobile video ad spending doubling in the past year, the widespread use of video content in Israeli elections should come as no surprise. Facebook’s native video now hits 3 billion views per day, and other social networks are moving in the same direction. The Israeli candidates tried to get attention and talk by creating videos that were widely shared on social media. Essentially, we’ve seen this communication tool used by all parties, including those of mainstream religion. Chances are the upcoming US election will also be video-focused, which will affect not only the budget, but the content as well. Video content tends to be more entertaining and less formal than what we are used to seeing on national television. The lines between the official and creative messages of independent political activists are mixing and the content is not only user-focused but user-generated. With mobile becoming the device of choice for all age groups, campaign managers must pay more attention and develop a mobile-first approach as early as possible. We cannot predict the outcome of the US election, but we can say one thing for sure: It will be interesting and will be on mobile.