In a politically charged election year, it becomes increasingly apparent how impactful advertising budgets can be on primary outcomes. This same effect holds true for elections of all sizes, whether presidential, gubernatorial, local officials, or even ballot measures. Political spending in digital is increasing rapidly, with particular acceleration each election year. Borrell Associates estimates that political advertisers will spend $1 billion on digital advertising in 2016, rising to $3.2 billion in 2020.
Areas of Opportunity
Local Campaign Spend Growing Quickly
Local campaigns for politicians, ballots, or initiatives will grow quickest, as the smaller operations will look to digital to access better targeting on smaller budgets. According to Borrell Associates:
Social’s Sought After
Social inventory is highly prized by advertisers, as consumers look here for political news and updates and to stay active in conversations taking place. According to a Lab42 study, 53.6% of U.S. Internet users will use social media to research and learn about political candidates prior to elections.
- Millennials in particular favor this medium and ought to be a focus as this demographic becomes a growing portion of the electorate.
- Minorities, Hispanics in particular, also largely access and heavily participate on social platforms.
Missing Out on Mobile
Mobile is a missed opportunity and will be the next frontier for political dollars. As reported by eMarketer, mobile comprised 53% of digital ad spending in 2015, but only 6% of registered voters saw ads on mobile.
Goodway’s Best Practices
- Utilize real-time ad serving to update messaging in line with the news cycle.
- Geo-target down to the zip code level.
- Use contextual keyword and content targeting to reach users interested in relevant topics.
- Target third party data segments to reach audiences based on the previous voting, political affiliation, and behavioral attributes of your constituents.
- Create geo-fences around churches, colleges, and other voting locations.
As director of account strategy & insights at Goodway Group, Nick uses math to help make clients heroes. Leveraging years of industry analytics experience from Digitas and Millward Brown Digital, he provides strategic advisement and knowledge development to ensure all client campaigns succeed. Nick believes that numbers tell stories and that good campaign strategy is a delicate blend of craft and science. When not talking programmatic, he can usually be found in his kitchen laboratory.