In 2015, it's hard to imagine that presidential campaigns ever succeeded without an online component. Yet as recently as 2008, when Republican candidate John McCain chose not to use social media when running for president, Internet marketing was not required for a successful campaign.
Looking back, it's easy to see how quickly times have changed. Today's consumers will make an impression of a brand or product within just 10 seconds, and the same goes for anyone hoping to rise to the top of the political field.
It's clear that the many Internet marketing benefits helped give Barack Obama a major advantage over his competition in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. Because of that, it will be highly unlikely that we'll see another election in which the candidates don't elect to adopt a digital media marketing strategy
To see how online marketing is changing the game in the 2016 presidential election, take a look at how two of the leading candidates are taking advantage of digital marketing:
To kick off her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton -- a former first lady, U.S. senator and Secretary of State -- officially announced her candidacy on April 12 via a YouTube video. It was a smart choice. Web users overwhelmingly prefer visual content over text, and there are an incredible 50 billion online video views each month.
Clinton continues to lead the Democratic candidates in both the polls and in use of social media. In addition to YouTube, she is actively utilizing Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and even Periscope. It's clear the Clinton campaign is well aware of the Internet marketing benefits for presidential hopefuls, and she's not shying away from these tools as a result.
Over in the Republican camp, Cruz isn't far behind Clinton herself in terms of web savvy. On March 23, the Texas senator announced his candidacy by live-streaming his first major speech on the web. Cruz continues to make use of every major social media platform to promote his stances on major issues currently facing the country. Additionally, by creating valuable content with which he can deliver his message, Cruz is developing three times the number of leads as outbound marketing would -- at a fraction of the cost.