How to do content marketing: Lessons from BJP’s post-election campaign


#bjp #content marketing #content medium #email marketing #personalized content

This article is the second part of two part articles which discusses the content marketing strategy of BJP. This part discusses how BJP has put content in the centre of its marketing strategy after the success of BJP in 2014 elections and what marketers can learn from it. You can read the first part here.


“This election result has increased people’s faith in democracy.”

Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister after 2014 general election results

Who knows? But as a marketer, I can assure you that the results of 2014 Loksabha elections increased my faith in digital marketing. The elections changed the digital marketing landscape in Indian political battles. Forever.

As I mentioned in the first part of this article, among all the political parties, BJP’s digital marketing team showed more faith in content. Unlike other political parties, who were focused only on social media, BJP went beyond it with its content offerings and messages.

BJP has emerged as the new age political party and have kept up with inventive strategies. In the last 2 years, BJP has showed us they know how to be consistent and effective when using content marketing.

In this article, I will show you the insights from BJP’s post-election content marketing campaigns and what you can learn from it.

1. Choosing the right content medium

“In the era before news channels, AIR (All India Radio) was national pulpit of politicians”

Nalin Mehta, Behind a Billion Screens

There are still millions of people in India who listens to Radio. And why shouldn’t they? After all, radio has aired India’s most historic speeches, news, and events. The Tryst with Destiny at the stroke of midnight hour. On Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, ?The light has gone out of our lives ?. Or ?The emergency announcement ? by Indira Gandhi in 1975.

During 2014 elections, BJP purchased four lakh ad spots on radio channels making it the biggest campaign in the history of radio. Usually, political ad spends for radio ads amount to 1-3% of total ad budget.

BJP used 12-15%!

The success was evident. And that’s why Narendra Modi didn’t betray radio even after 2014 elections.

On October 3, 2014 PM Narendra Modi launched much popular radio programme Mann Ki Baat. BJP tapped the national resources to reach out to the masses with AIR covering almost 99% of the Indian population.

And this wasn’t an intuition based move. BJP was simply applying the successful experiments of Gujarat elections. In 2012 Gujarat elections, BJP ad spends had touched over 15%. And the results were promising.

Who knows? Radio might be another reason for BJP’s epic success in Assam after 15 years of Congress rule.

What you can learn from this?

Unlike other political parties, BJP would have kept using traditional TV advertising or posters and banners across the cities. But they knew where to tap the audience.

I have seen companies opt for Facebook marketing just because it’s a social media channel and everyone is using it. Choosing the right medium is extremely crucial for your content marketing success. If you haven’t chosen the right one, you’re probably not doing justice with your marketing budget.

With a lot of mediums to communicate your messages (email, YouTube videos, blogs, podcasts, etc), it is, no doubt, difficult to choose the right one. Usually, choosing the right medium comes down to two factors (apart from budget):

    1. Who is your audience?
    2. What is your message?

The more you have clarity on these two areas, the more successful you will be in your content marketing efforts.

2. Offering personalized content

While Mann Ki Baat was really creative from political viewpoint, the language BJP used was perfect from a content marketing perspective.

Maybe that’s what inspired BJP to have Mann Ki Baat aired in 23 languages and 146 dialects.

nardenra modi app

While the content offering was personalized, the content distribution was also personalized. The Narendra Modi official app also offered Mann Ki Baat in podcast form for mobile users.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

Nelson Mandela , Former President of South Africa

What you can learn from this?

Some people call a personalized content approach, relationship-driven marketing. And it makes sense, doesn’t it?

Even in your day-to-day life, you talk differently to people. The way you talk to your friends or neighbours might be completely different from the way you talk to your colleagues. Often, the topic of conversation also differs. The tone and voice can also change.

So why not in your content?

If you’re Myntra and you have an audience rooted in men as well as women, you don’t want a content that makes sense to only one gender.

online pharmiacies.

A HubSpot data says personalized content does 42% better than a non-personalized approach. I guess BJP’s strategists understood it, and you should too.

3. Doing email marketing…in the right way

“Not viewing your email marketing as content is a mistake.”

-Chris Baggott

BJP used email marketing majorly for two purposes.

Firstly, to reuse and promote the content they had already created. For instance, the episodes of ?Mann Ki Baat ?.
Secondly, to promote intercepts of Prime Minister’s events like Independence Day or visit to a foreign land.

The best part about their email marketing campaign was that it was not cold in its approach. They didn’t send out emails to a list they had bought. They developed a list!

BJP kept its audience informed and updated on the progress made the government via email campaigns. One can notice the use of social media links.

The best part about their emails was the social media intercepts for individual parts of the email content. You click on any of the social media link and only that part will be shared.

bjp email marketing

What you can learn from this?

More than 34% of the people worldwide use email. That’s about 2.5 billion people. It’s predicted to increase to 2.8 billion email users in the next 2 years.

Email is the best way to promote your content and measure its success. It’s cost effective, action oriented, can be personalized, and can be seen on mobile as well.

Unfortunately, companies are still sending out cold emails.

If I am not wrong, I didn’t receive any email from NarendraModi.in until I had signed up on the website. If PM Modi’s team understand it, well, you’re a marketer’it’s high time we learn our lessons.

4. Wide content offerings and consistency

BJP has been consistent in their marketing efforts since the last 2 years’creating content regularly and making it available to the audience.

21 radio programmes in less than 2 years from the house of a political party!

One can see the commitment of delivering timely content to the audience. Apart from email marketing, social media and radio programmes, the party is also using SMS services and WhatsApp to reach people on their mobile phones.

BJP’s content offerings have also been broad with a mixture of text, audio, and video. On PM Narendra Modi’s personal website, you can see a mixture of content offerings ranging from eBooks and newsletters to radio podcasts of Mann Ki Baat and event videos.

narendra modi personal website

What you can learn from this?

Deciding on what type of content to create, it is again important to understand your audience. Who they are? What do they want to learn? How do they consume content’on mobile or desktop? When do they consume it? Do they like to read or browse through images? Are they equipped with good internet speed to watch videos online?

All these answers will help you determine which type of content to create. Moreover, a wide content offering will always give you edge to reach a wider audience.

At the same time, it is important to maintain consistency in content. Also choosing a wider content offerings mean you would need a big team to maintain the consistency. So decide wisely.

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