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Millennials have taken the political world by storm, wielding serious electoral power for several election cycles already.  In fact, Millennials in America now outnumber Baby Boomers 75.4 million to 74.9 million.  With a voting share of 31%, Millennials’ voting power is roughly equal to that of Baby Boomers. However, Millennials have struggled to impact elections with the force that their voting share implies--studies show historically low voter turnout.  As The Atlantic said in February, Millennials are sometimes considered to be “all throat but no vote”. The question is, how can political candidates engage with Millennials during their campaigns and further activate them on Election Day? Candidates should consider the following tips in order to capture Millennials’ attention and convert political support into votes.

Be Transparent

Unlike other generations, 81% of Millennials answered “No” when asked if people can generally be trusted.  Breaking through Millennials' natural skepticism can be a real challenge.  Candidates should aim to be authentic and straight-forward to gain voters’ trust, loyalty and support.

Appeal To All Ethnicities And Races

According to the Pew Research Center, 43% of the Millennial generation is non-white, making them the most racially diverse generation in history. Researchers have also determined that the 2016 electorate will be the most diverse in history, making it more important for candidates to connect with voters of all different backgrounds.

Connect Online

Millennials are sometimes called “digital natives” due to the proliferation of technology since their births. Studies show that 90% of Millennials have at least one social media account, exemplifying that online participation has become the best way to reach, inform and interact with this generation of voters. More importantly, a personalized, active online presence will establish a connection with Millennials and can motivate them to go out and vote.

Target Your Topics And Issues

One in three older Millennials (ages 26 to 33) have obtained a four-year college degree or higher, putting Millennials on track for being the most educated generation in the country. However, 70% of Americans, spanning all generations, say that today’s young adults face more economic challenges than their elders. Financial and economic issues are just a few examples of the concerns Millennials will focus on when deciding whether to support or vote for a candidate. 

 

More tips on engaging with Millennials and every demographic in your community, get in touch with us today.

The 2016 election cycle has been unlike any other one we've ever seen before in the United States.  One of the many reasons is the heavy reliance on social media among candidates, sitting Members and constituents when engaging in political discussion.  Chances are, the emergence of social media as a major platform in politics is not news to you or your communications team.   With that said, the numbers are quite striking when we look at the power of sharing, online credibility, and how Congressional staff view the effectiveness of social media.  Here are six statistics that illustrate the increasingly important presence of social media in politics.

1.  92% of voting age Americans have at least one social media account.

Social media use among Americans 65+ years of age has more than tripled since 2010.
 

2.  40% of voting age Americans share political content on a daily or weekly basis.

This is in comparison to 54% of voting age Americans who share any type of content on a daily/weekly basis. 
 

3.  57% of Americans trust their friends most for political information on social media.

Only 41% of social media users in America trust political information coming directly from a Member or candidate.
 

4.  36% of American social media users trust traditional news outlets for political information on social media.

18% of Americans say they distrust political news from traditional outlets.
 

5.  76% of Congressional staffers say social media makes a  positive impact in constituents' ability to have real, meaningful interactions with the Member.

What's more, 70% of Congressional staffers think social media has made Members more accountable to their constituents.
 

6.  72% of Congressional staffers believe social media allows their office to reach people they could not otherwise connect with.

This figure is especially interesting in an election year when first-time voters are expected to play a crucial role in races across the country.

 

If your office uses IQ, you already know that our CRM platform is the only solution on the Hill that integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flickr.  In fact, we're the only CRM on the Hill that integrates with any social media channels.  If you're using another CRM, you may not be capturing these crucial interactions.  Contact us to learn more about how IQ allows you to capture, track, analyze and respond to social media communications.

In 2015, a renewed emphasis on originality has put an end to "cookie cutter" websites and has made quality, creative web design much more than a luxury, but a necessity.  A functional, up-to-date website is a clear and obvious prerequisite for success on the Hill.  Constituents expect a basic level of website organization and usability that allows them to easily email a Member, read press releases, connect on social media, etc.  However, we believe in 2016, this expectation will go a step further.  Constituents will expect not only to be able to consume relevant information on a Member's website, but to be able connect and interact in a way that is unique and reflective of both the Member's personality and the constituency as a whole. 

Read on to learn about some of design trends of the future that our team of designers is ready to put into place on your website today.

 

Big Background, Small Movement, Even Smaller Header

In recent years, home pages adorned with big, full screen photos have become increasingly popular among consumer brands as well as the public sector.  As ISP bandwidths increase, browsers can handle these large images much more easily, allowing designers more creative freedom.  This style mimics traditional print advertising where a custom, high resolution image runs to the edge of the screen with dramatic, contrasting text indicating a call to action.  We predict this trend will continue into 2016 with two small variations:

1)  Traditional headers will be replaced by compact navigation panes that can expand and contract by clicking.

2)  Video/animated backgrounds featuring subtle movement will replace static background images.


Note the compacted navigation pane at the top left.  Click to see the subtle background movement.


 

Flat Design Continues to Evolve

The end of textured, gradient-heavy "web 2.0" design elements is certainly not breaking news to anyone with an eye for design.  In the last several years, "flat design" has become more in vogue thanks in part to iOS and Android's heavy use of flat elements in their mobile platforms.  Web designers love flat design because of its minimalist, classic characteristics and the amount of white space it allows.  This is why we believe, in 2016, flat design will move from primarily mobile platforms to desktop applications as well.  In fact, Google has already hinted towards this trend with their recently updated logo and their use of the term "material design", an updated interpretation of traditional flat design concepts.


Old "web 2.0" Facebook logo (left) and new "flat design" Facebook logo (right)


Micro Interactions

Whether we call them "micro experiences," "mini apps" or "micro interactions" these tiny moments of online activity are here to stay.  A few quick examples of what we're talking about:

  • Retweet on Twitter = micro interaction
  • Thumbs up/down on Pandora = micro interaction
  • Zooming in on a product on Amazon = micro interaction

Clearly, these types of engagement opportunities have been around since we could "like" something on Facebook.  But we believe in 2016, micro interactions will become a major focus web design rather than a slick side component.  The constituent of tomorrow will not be satisfied to simply consume information from a website--they will demand engagement and interaction with the site too.  Micro interactions allow the constituent to customize his/her experience by engaging with the site in small but meaningful ways, slightly altering the path of navigation as they continue to interact with the site.  Snap polls, interactive maps and easy web forms are just a few examples of micro interactions that our designers can build for your website to get you ahead of the curve.


LinkedIn uses micro interactions in several interesting ways.  The endorsement function allows users to quickly and easily interact with their network and customize their own experience while they use the site.

Contact us today to schedule your free web design consultation.  With no charge and no comittment, our design team will meet at your convenience to share ideas for how we can help get your office's website ahead of these trends and ready to lead in 2016.