As with any political campaign, and especially one for the presidency, the point is to get yourself or at least your name in front of as many people as possible.
For those like democratic candidate and former mayor of New York City Mike Bloomberg, his billionaire status makes that more than possible. But Mike isn’t exactly taking the usual route to get this accomplished.
Sure, he is traveling around the nation like the rest of them, hitting up states like California where the donations are more significant than average and the people tend to lean a little farther to the left.
And he definitely has quite a few tv ads at his disposal. It seems that just about every television network has at least one of his ads playing on a loop at any given time.
But, according to The Daily Beast, Bloomberg is trying out a new type of advertisement. He is paying social media influencers to make him look cool.
No, cool is not typically, if ever, the first word used to describe the former mayor. But he has plans to change that, as getting in with a decidedly younger and more popular crowd could give him some much-needed credit.
For those of you who haven’t been completely taken over by social media, a social media influencer is someone on social media who has amassed a great deal of credibility or knowledge, usually within a particular industry.
They are people like Kim Kardashian, the now-disgraced Olivia Jade, or the thousands of others found crowding the digital halls of Instagram and YouTube.
These individuals have thousands, if not millions, of followers who all look to them for some idea on what is “in” and “cool.” And their followers trust them and their opinions, whether they are talking about specific products, ideas, or even political policies and candidates. It’s the basic idea of social proof, that if you see others, especially trusted and admired people using it, it must be a good thing.
So it’s not surprising that brands have used these massive followings to their advantage, knowing that if they could get their products or content in front of such large audiences, they too could amass popularity
. Just about every major brand you could think of utilizes this form of advertisement on some level. They seek out and pay these influencers good money for them to mention, talk about, or just wear their stuff, all in the hopes that people will see it and think it’s cool.
And Bloomberg, as a smart businessman, wants in on that kind of action. If he could get popular and well-known influencers to talk about him and his political policies in a good light, it might make quite a difference in his presidential quest.
The Daily Beast reported that the Bloomberg campaign is using a “branded content marketplace” called Tribe to connect with social media influencers who might want to support him. The campaign has agreed to pay $150 to any influencer who is willing to create creative content that highlights why they like Bloomberg for president.
“‘Are you sick of the chaos & infighting overshadowing the issues that matter most to us? Please express your thoughts verbally or for still image posts please overlay text about why you support Mike,’ the campaign copy tells would-be Bloomberg stans under the heading ‘Content We’d Love From You,’ asking influencer to ‘Show+Tell why Mike is the candidate who can change our country for the better, state why YOU think he’s a great candidate.’”
However, the article does note that Bloomberg isn’t looking for those like celebrities to endorse him. Instead, the campaign is seeking to inspire a more grassroots like following by using “micro-influencers.” These are individuals who have anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 followers.
In either case, he is still buying his way to the White House and has no apologies for it.
I am surprised no one else in politics has tried this strategy yet. Currently, Bloomberg is the only one even talking about using this type of advertisement. But you can bet that if it proves to be a successful venture for the billionaire, others will soon follow suit.