How we engaged a new generation of voters
Elections Manitoba is an independent office of the Legislative Assembly that ensures the democratic rights of Manitobans by running free and fair elections. They approached Metric Marketing for help in developing a new campaign that would accomplish three key things: help increase voter registrations, help promote job opportunities with Elections Manitoba, and then ultimately support Manitoba’s next provincial election by encouraging all eligible people to vote.
This first phase of the campaign was designed to raise awareness of voter registration and encourage Manitobans - especially newly eligible first-time voters - to sign up.
In order to achieve Elections Manitoba’s three goals, we needed a BIG IDEA - something big enough to help communicate messaging around registration, recruitment, and an election.
Phase 1 of the campaign (registration) came first, and our goal was to motivate unregistered Manitobans to register as voters. Manitoba's voter registration process is straightforward – eligible residents 18 years and older can register in advance and obtain a voter information card informing you when, where, and how to vote (once an election is called). The process can be completed online in less than five minutes and helps to ensure a smooth and easy voting experience later.
For Phase 1’s voter registration goals, we knew it would be critical to be able to target and engage first time voters - especially those Manitobans who had turned 18 since the last provincial election.
One thing we all have in common is that we spend altogether too much time online. We scroll, we filter, we vote in polls about pizza toppings, we fight with strangers in the comments section of a Facebook post, we Google random subjects… it’s an almost infinite list. Our strategy was to meet younger voters where they already are: online and on social media platforms. We embraced the platforms themselves and identified activities our target audience was likely to be engaging in RIGHT NOW - and encouraged them to spend five minutes to register with Elections Manitoba instead. We wanted all Manitobans to take five minutes and do something that matters.
Our message - do something that matters - was designed to fit each digital platform perfectly. A Google display ad talked about searching online. A Facebook ad talked about commenting. An Instagram story ad talked about voting in online polls. Each variant encouraged the audience to spend five minutes registering to vote instead. The copy was intended to be light and humorous, allowing everyone to see themselves in each scenario and pause with a bit of self-recognition.
Visually, we established the use of Elections Manitoba’s iconic “X” as a central theme that will show up again in Phase 2 and 3 of the campaign. We selected images that reflected the diversity of Manitobans - all engaged on their devices - breaking out of the “X” and taking action by registering to vote.
While younger voters are key to Elections Manitoba’s registration campaign success, we wanted all Manitobans to hear our message - so targeting was key. We developed custom audiences on each platform and ensured diversity in messaging, placement, and imagery.
The campaign ecosystem consisted of a Google Smart Campaign to increase traffic and conversions, Google Display, Facebook, Instagram and Spotify to target relevant affinity and in-market audiences related to politics, elections, voter registration, or local government. All ads were redirected to the Voter Registration Service section on Elections Manitoba's website.
This campaign launched in Fall 2021 and it’s off to a great start! We look forward to updating the case study with complete data & results soon.
Here’s what we’ve learned so far:
The campaign has driven 5,808 unique visitors to the Elections Manitoba website in less than 3 weeks
We’ve generated 1,112 conversions (and counting)
43% are voter registrations and information updates
52% are people checking if they are registered/eligible to vote
Each visitor read an average of 2.44 pages per session and stayed on the website for an average of 1 minute and 42 seconds.
167,055 targeted users have seen ads on Google, Facebook and Instagram - resulting in 6,143 total clicks
Spotify audio advertising has reached 23,158 unique users with a 95.6% completion rate (ads played to the end)