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Research shows that 62% of Americans believe the 2024 election will be vital to determine the state of democracy in the United States, according to a poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. While voters pay close attention to the issues, candidates and causes are utilizing new ways to reach the masses. 

While TV and radio are still used, influencer marketing is taking a more centralized role during this election cycle. Fighting for their candidates and causes of choice, political influencers, commentators, and analysts are doing their part to share information, encourage voting, and translate complex political issues into easy-to-digest talking points. Their influence shapes public opinion, making social media a crucial battleground in the political landscape.

Here are some highlights from political influencers impacting this election year.

Who’s working with political influencers?

Candidates, political parties, and social causes have all benefited from working with content creators with the authenticity, trust and power to persuade their audiences. These digital influencers may be paid for their efforts or serve as volunteers, simply sharing their opinions, news, or other information about issues they feel are important. 

Aside from influencers who are political candidates themselves or who work as campaign staff, various sources are tapping individual content creators to distribute information or serve as thought leaders. 

The Democratic National Committee, for example, created an online hub for volunteer Social Ambassadors to access messaging, talking points and digital content. Likewise, the Democratic political action committee Priorities USA spent $1 million on a creator program to enlist help from 150-plus influencers.

Republicans, too, are using political influencers. Right-wing nonprofit Turning Point USA has been building a group of young, conservative influencers through “patriot parties” like AmericaFest. The Rockbridge Network, funded by conservative billionaires, invested more than $30 million in legal, policy, and media ventures that included influencer programs

But local, state, and non-presidential national campaigns are also turning to political influencers in hopes of swaying voters to lean their way. 

Cause marketing, too, has grown significantly in recent years, with both paid and unpaid influencers seeking to grow support, drive action and sometimes fundraise.

Benefits of working with political influencers 

Using political influencers — whether they’re late-night talk-show hosts or suburban moms on Facebook — can give candidates, campaigns and causes an advantage over traditional forms of advertising and public relations, such as press releases. For example, they can:

  • Boost visibility and awareness (reach and inform new audiences).
  • Bring credibility to a cause (with personal experience or that of others).
  • Drive action (voter registration, fundraising, newsletter sign-ups, volunteering).
  • Foster engagement and conversation (sharing, comments).
  • Increase the potential to go viral (using hashtags, trending music and sounds, creating challenges, dueting with other popular creators, using humor).

While there are many benefits to political influencers, they can also serve to, intentionally or unintentionally, spread misinformation. Be careful to vet your digital opinion leaders thoroughly or better yet, invest in an influencer marketing company that has seasoned experts to do it for you.

How political influencers are being deployed 

Looking for some examples of how political influencers are using social media to make the most impact? Here are examples:

  • Personal credibility for a cause: Political influencers leverage their personal credibility to advocate for causes, using their platforms to raise awareness and rally support among their followers.
  • Persuasion on issues: Influencers engage in meaningful discussions on key issues, using their influence to shape public opinion and persuade their audience to adopt their viewpoint.
  • Early voting reminder: By posting or tweeting a simple message, influencers remind their followers about the importance of early voting, thereby increasing voter turnout.
  • CTA for candidate donations: Influencers effectively use calls-to-action (CTAs) to encourage their followers to donate to their preferred candidates, directly contributing to campaign funding.
  • Personal endorsement: By personally endorsing political candidates, influencers leverage their popularity to sway their followers’ voting decisions.
  • Humor to educate: Some influencers are using humor to educate their followers about complex political issues, making the information more digestible and engaging.

If your candidate, campaign, or cause plans to use influencer marketing, IZEA can help.