The Republican and Democrat presidential conventions were the beginnings of key marketing campaigns for both parties. They reached across the world and there were four million conversations on Twitter in two weeks. Businesses might roll their eyes at a bunch of politicians strutting across the stage, but there are actually a number of marketing lessons you can learn.

Both conventions successfully built their brands and set everything up for a grand campaign that will send them across the length and breadth of the country.

You Must Break Through The Chaos

Both conventions started out chaotically. Nobody seemed to have anything in check, but by the end of each convention everyone had their brands in check. Chaos is never good and no brand should ever endeavor to have the trouble both of these conventions did, but they proved you can come back from it.

Developing order out of chaos is the main job of any marketing manager trying to grow the business fast. Sending mixed messages and dealing with missed deadlines is what you’re responsible for. Understand what your brand has to offer and make it shine through everything else. This is how you can stop your brand from descending into chaos.

User-Generated Content Is A Great Way To Promote Yourself

The right way to start branding is to get people engaged at the earliest possible opportunity. Each of the presidential candidates rarely appeared at their own conventions. It was only on the final day that they appeared at all. They positioned themselves as the main event and they allowed others to speak to them.

Those people did happen to be their employees, but they also worked to get the crowd involved. Most of the interactions going on at each convention and on social media involved users generating their own content. This worked well because the brand isn’t speaking about itself it’s allowing others to do it for you.

Other people told their story and it allowed people to feel like they were more involved with the overall process. But how does this translate to your business?

You should equip your followers with the tools needed to create and share the information you want them to. This is where social media comes in handy. During big events you should have someone dedicated to interacting with people on social media.

Hashtags Are Immensely Powerful

One of the big shocks of the presidential conventions was that all the big marketing materials didn’t make much of an impact. On the contrary, the majority of the interactions came out of hashtags. These simple one-word solutions were able to generate interactions like nothing else.

The hashtag makes it easy to convey a message that’s memorable. They resonate like nothing else, and both candidates at the conventions were able to take full advantage of them. They managed to get their messages to stick, as well, because nobody is ever going to remember a long speech. But what they will remember is a line or a hashtag.

This year has represented the clearest and most concise use of social media ever. One of the major breakthroughs on the campaign trail is that more and more campaigners have managed to use social media to their advantage.

So how should you use hashtags for your business?

The key to successful hashtagging is to first understand that you aren’t able to use them in the same way on every single social media network. You’re going to have to look at the rules of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, otherwise your hashtags will be fighting a losing battle from the start.

You can even use them to join in with conversations that have already started. More and more brands are piggybacking off trends to get their brand seen.

One of the main branding errors made by startups is they aren’t concise enough. As a general rule, if your message can’t be distilled into a hashtag you don’t have a good brand.

Last Word – Politics Is All About Branding

Politics is mainly about branding, so companies have a lot to learn from it. Look at what each candidate does throughout the upcoming election and consider how you can apply the same lessons to your business. Successful branding can accomplish more than you think for your growing company.

What do you think is the most important lesson you can learn from the presidential election this year?