In the 2008 US presidential election, John McCain gained the distinction of being the last candidate to eschew social media. Since then political candidates in all parties have realised that a wide-ranging strategy – with content marketing at its centre – is crucial to success. Of the two main parties in America, however, it is the Democrats who are ahead of the curve.
Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy on YouTube and Twitter. However, her team broke new ground with the use of live-streaming platform Periscope to broadcast her first rally on Roosevelt Island, New York.
Another Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders, created his own online news site called Democracy Daily. It features stories and comment pieces, and has been produced with the aim of gaining shares across social media.
In the 2012 election, Barack Obama made extensive use of interactive infographics on his campaign site. One of these, “The Life of Julia”, showed how the President’s policies affected the life of one woman. The interactive part of the site illustrated ways in which a Republican victory would change it.