Growth Marketing Tips from TFC Volunteers

Growth Marketing Leaders By Day, TFC Volunteers By Night.

At our recent All Hands meeting, we were lucky enough to hear from Kyle Sherin, formerly of Netflix and Allbirds and Reva Minkoff, founder and president of Digital4Startups. These two professional growth marketing experts (and TFC volunteers) shared the opportunities they see for Democrats to grow our movement in the midterm elections, and in races going forward. Here’s the blog version of what they had to say. If you want the real deal, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and join our next All Hands meeting. 

Meet Kyle

Currently at a digital consultancy, previously at Netflix and Allbirds. Has been volunteering with TFC since the beginning in 2016 with his first campaign being the infamous coin flip campaign. 

1. Creative quality is crucial

“Creative ideation is so, so, so paramount. And that can be as simple as: What is that call to action headline? Or, what is the background of a particular image?  What does that three second opener look like? As much as your creative support can give you to cycle through those…it’s so, so important.” 

2. Trust the algorithm to optimize your creative 

“If you’re taking a couple different message points, or a couple different pieces of creative, most algorithms will do a very good job of finding the subsets of audiences. Message A might resonate with me, message B with Lauren, and C with Reva. And [the algorithm] will find who it resonates with and spread from there. Then you can kind of pull the levers where you have more budget or more reach.” 

3. Blurring lines between influencers and endorsements 

“Having creator speak about whatever it is: whether it be a product, a particular point of view, or a candidate. I think this is a really big trend and it adds a lot of credence — especially if someone knows who that person is. And that is something that I think you’re going to see much more in the coming years. Less of these generic, static images. And more relying on the creator economy to create videos. The very direct-to-camera…like look at John Fetterman. They’re killing that perspective of having him talk to the camera. That’s a very easy, efficient way of getting that style of content out there”

4. Favorite low-effort, high-reward tactic

An educator who ran in Michigan, Dayna Polehanki. She was getting endorsement after endorsement after endorsement. There was literally no way to keep up. We had the idea of putting all of them together. And I believe we got a local firefighters union and a local welders union, and whoever else she was getting endorsed by — we had some quick interviews with those folks. We made a supercut of those, slicing them together with the union logos and things like that and just made a quick 30-second spot. And it did incredibly well and was very, very low effort. 

Meet Reva

Some of our key chambers this cycle may not be considered flip targets, but hold opportunities to either defend or build Democratic presence in state legislatures. The Minnesota State House, for example, currently has a Democratic majority but just the loss of just one seat would transfer power to the GOP. Nine races in that chamber are considered competitive in 2022.

In the Alaska State House and Senate we’re working to defend a delicate balance, and in the Georgia State House we are working to build long-term power. Of more than 550 races in these Republican contrTeam Lead for three projects and has run a digital marketing consultancy for over 10 years specializing in performance marketing. 

1. Determine what the client’s/candidate’s needs are 

“For example, I was working on a campaign with the Michigan House Democratic caucus to do email acquisition. And we found we had a lot of success through Facebook lead generation, which I’ve also seen work really well for a number of other clients who need to collect email addresses or build a list. But, there are other clients we’ve worked with where it didn’t yield high enough quality leads or do what they’re supposed to. So I think it really is a matter of making sure you’re testing and learning across different platforms and not putting all your eggs in one basket.” 

2. Control as much as you can 

“Sometimes those algorithms aren’t necessarily consistent. So how do we make sure we’re giving them the information to kind of control and make decisions around who this ad should be shown to? Don’t make it too broad. Don’t just pick the whole county and then assume that the algorithm’s going to pick the right people. If an ad is about, say, the right to choose, let’s target that to women in X, Y, Z age groups and see how it does first.” 

3. Find your candidate’s uniqueness and authenticity 

“Being creative with your candidates is really important, and really thinking of things that will cut through the noise. Someone from Michigan in the last cycle was a firefighter, so there was some really cool content they could do around that that I could see playing really well into some of the TikTok trends. There’s another candidate in New York that used to be a rapper. So, there’s some fun stuff that you could do with that. You definitely want to make sure that it’s authentic to your candidate. I think the worst thing you could do is push it with somebody where it would be really awkward.” 

4. Favorite low-effort, high-reward tactic

My biggest thing, honestly, is just doing health checks on the accounts you're running. We’ve seen so many things where just an audit makes a huge difference. Who are you targeting? Where are you running your content? How are you optimizing and paying? Just checking a couple boxes differently can make a really big difference. So, I think the most important thing is to make sure all of that adds up. And that’s a place where I’ve seen huge, huge, huge wins for clients with, like, 1000% KPI difference. 

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