The final days of a campaign can get overwhelming. For candidates and their teams, Election Day is a large-scale, public job performance review. It’s also the time when pressure on your digital campaign is at its highest because most everything else – TV, mail, fundraising, etc. – are all baked in.
The only way to survive the chaos of get out the vote (GOTV) is to have a plan so your energy is spent executing, not deciding or debating (or worse, panicking). Here are some tips for building a digital GOTV plan.
Start from Election Day and work your way back to at least Saturday. You don’t want to be in the position of fighting for approvals during that critical period. The only thing you will have time to do is to execute.
Create a timeline for every email, text message, and social media post. Then identify the content needed for each. You may need to scale back your plan or tap into additional resources for help.
During GOTV your objectives are obvious: get supporters to the polls and get voters to support you. But clearly articulating them keeps you focused and avoids unnecessary distractions.
This is a proven tactic for keeping last-minute tasks off your plate so you can concentrate on executing your plan. Each objective should have a designated landing page where all of your efforts are focused.
Create a Content Library
To execute on your plan, you need content. Create a library that you can return to throughout the GOTV period. Have landing pages on your site with voting information, frequently asked questions, and fact-checks on important issues.
Collect photos, graphics, and videos in this library. You should plan to reuse the same creative assets multiple times over your GOTV window.
Set an Internal Deadline for Approvals
Again, you don’t want to be mired in the approvals process when your focus is on executing. Package together everything you need approved and submit it as early as possible.
Let decision makers know that if approvals aren’t received by a certain time, you may not be able to execute on the full plan.
With the additional bandwidth you’ve secured by planning ahead, your attention can shift to voter support. This means replying to comments, DMs, emails, and texts and answering questions voters have about voting generally or specific policy issues.
This is the moment you’ve built your audience for. Make sure you tap into it.
Perhaps the most important part of articulating your GOTV digital campaign plan is getting ahead of any panic from a candidate or campaign manager that would distract you from executing on what really matters.
Here’s a GOTV digital campaign plan thought starter.
- Identify Landing Pages
- Voting Information (I recommend Vote.GOP)
- Frequently Asked Questions (more user-friendly than an Issues page)
- Election Night Emails – Win, Lose, and too close to call.
- Last Chance GOTV (Election Day afternoon)
- Lunch Break GOTV (Election Day 11 a.m.)
- Polls Open GOTV (Election Day morning)
- Remember to Vote Tomorrow (Election Day Eve)
- Make Your Plan to Vote (48 hours)
- Final Ask to Vote (72 hours)
- Social Media
- Facebook Posts (3-5 per day)
- Tweets (10-15 per day)
- “I Voted” Graphics for social media
- Social videos from candidate
- Photos from candidate at polling places
- Endorsement graphics
- Fact-check blog posts or candidate videos
- GOTV reminder texts for opt-in subscribers
- P2P turnout texts
- Search Ads
- Google Search Ads for Election Day
- Google Search Ads for pre-Election Day
- Confirm ad shutoff when polls close