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Digital Media’s Favorite U.S. Election!

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This year’s presidential election has been creating lots of chatter globally. With social media participation at its peak, the discussions and debates are at their glorified best. It’s estimated that $11.4 billion has been spent on political ads in the 2016 election. This is 20% higher than that of the previous election. (Source: Technavio)

Now, if we look at the both candidates’ websites, we’ll get some interesting insights. According to the data aggregate site, SimilarWeb, both sites are competing inch to inch for visitor attention. Look at the table below for the stats from SimilarWeb.com:

Monthly Visits

Avg. Visit Duration

Pages / Visit

Bounce Rate

Hillaryclinton.com

13.98M

1:51 Minutes

2.07

64.03%

Donaldjtrump.com

13.12M

1:43 Minutes

2.07

60.81%

Interesting, right? Can we say Hillary Clinton is marginally winning? No, not yet. We don’t have any predictions and there are still a few hours until we’ll find out. In short, politics is complicated. But, we can definitely learn from the digital campaigns involved.

Now, let us look at another set of Similarweb for data on the traffic sources to these websites.

Four striking points emerge from the above pie graphs:

  • Social Media is the common favorite: For motives like influencing potential voters, social media proves to be the best medium. Both parties have invested significantly in social media. Parties have very aggressively adopted digital media this time. We see them going beyond Facebook or Twitter and getting into the likes of Gen Z media like Periscope or Instagram. As per Technavue, the social media ad spend has gone up by 600% over that of the previous election.

  • Natural search favors Hillary: The republican candidate has got a higher share of traffic from organic search. However, Hillary scores over Trump in terms of the quality and effectiveness of the traffic. Look at the below table for the trust flow and citation flow of both websites. (Source: Majestic.com)

Trust Flow

Citation Flow

Hillaryclinton.com

64

55

Donaldjtrump.com

42

48

  • Trump wins the referral traffic: Interestingly enough, the referral traffic for Donald Trump is much higher than that of Hillary. There’s probably a lot of content Mr. Trump has triggered out there in the web, directing traffic to his site. Smart guy, right?

  • Dormant Email: Direct marketing with email remains very dormant with less investment. At least that’s what the graph says. However, political merchandise stores seem to be dealing with email marketing more professionally. Internet Retailer magazine quotes Thomas Phillips, Director of Merchandising, Hillary for America, the official campaign shop for Clinton, “We send abandoned cart emails. We’re constantly refining our marketing emails and messaging. We do A/B testing on email subject lines and offers.”

The US election digital savviness doesn’t stop at the websites of the candidates. The game of democracy has triggered sales of political merchandises. Bobble head dolls of Trump, Hillary, Obama, Sanders, etc are the hot favorites in such stores. Home pages of most of the gifting websites have adopted the theme of presidential elections. Check out the below screenshots of Cafepress and Zazzle.