When a new campaign joins Best Practice Digital, the first thing we do for them is to conduct a review of their existing digital strategy. We do this by examining only public-facing information like the website, social media, and technical details to offer the clearest initial picture. We’ve also found this is the best way to identify the easiest, “low hanging fruit” improvements we can make.
In addition to surfacing these issues, we also provide checklists, guides, tutorials, and screencasts to implement each of our recommendations along with the audit. Here’s a look at some of the most common findings from our campaign audits.
We start with the fundamentals, like can we find your website and a social media presence? If the answer is yes then we’re already more than halfway there.
Now we examine some technical aspects of your website, like are you loading your pages via HTTPS (as indicated by the green lock in your browser window) and are your DNS records for email configured correctly?
Our initial review of your social media strategy is looking at whether you are posting regularly, you are using different content types, and if your posts reflect a basic understanding of the social network. We recommend that campaigns focus only on Twitter and Facebook given limited bandwidth because these are the biggest drivers of engagement for campaigns.
Your conversion funnel is the process by which a supporter levels up their engagement with your campaign, frequently beginning online and hopefully transitioning offline as a volunteer and voter. Are there plenty of opportunities for a supporter to sign up with emails? Do you begin a series of automated emails to engage them? Is your donation page properly configured to maximize the conversion rate?
We use the ads archives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google to review any past or existing ads you’re running. Email list building is a key function we want to address and we can see what you’ve already tried.
We also check to see if you’re retargeting site visitors and building up your first party advertising audiences for later in the campaign.
It may take some time before all of these issues can be addressed and we understand that, but it’s important to identify them early as we help your campaign reorient its thinking about digital strategy.
One thing that we want to make clear is that our audits are never meant to criticize the work of another digital agency or professional. The challenge with “digital” in politics right now is that it’s such a broad term it and there’s not much agreement on who is responsible for what.