How to Effectively Use Digital Advertising in Your Political Outreach

How to Effectively Use Digital Advertising in Your Political Outreach

In today's culture, when you think politics, you may automatically think of digital advertising or social media, and with good reason. YouTube, Facebook, and other social media platforms have become the dominant platforms for viewing and discussing politics. In fact, 2020 presidential candidates are projected to spend $2.90 billion on digital and online ads, more than double the amount during the last election.With such ease of delivering a political message to millions of people in the blink of an eye comes immense opportunities. Unless you can figure out fast how you can use these digital landscapes to stay ahead, you might just end up getting lost in the shuffle, missing opportunities, and losing your political outreach. 

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Digital Advertising Options for Political Outreach

What makes digital advertising so advantageous for political campaigns is its ability to influence and reach voters with minimal costs. Almost any candidate can create an effective online marketing platform as long as they understand each of their digital advertising options. 


Political advertising on Facebook is known to be very effective. Facebook allows advertisers to not only target people based on demographics, but in the process you can directly deliver your message to voting-age users that match a specific location. However, following the 2016 presidential election, Facebook now requires that those pushing political agendas must provide disclosures and label the ads as political.

According to a Buffer study, there is no universal best time to post ads on Facebook. Some results indicate the best time to post is between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. during the week and on Saturdays. In addition, these studies have found that engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays. 

Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click (PPC) is another digital political advertising option that is best used on both Google Ads and Bing Ads. You will find that you reach a large portion of your search engine traffic between these two options. However, before you proceed with PPC political ads, you must understand the new guidelines that are in effect that require you to go through a verification process before you can post. 

If you really want to ramp up your results, your PPC campaign needs to be running for at least three months. This will allow Google to get to know you better and provide you with the data you need to optimize and improve the quality of your advertisement. Simply put, the longer the campaign runs, the more information you can collect, and it can lead you to the best possible results. 

Website Ads

Website ads  are still relevant, especially when you run banner ads on local newspaper websites. These political ad banners can not only help you with branding your efforts but also key messaging. Traditional banner ads can also help provide you with the name recognition you need with a local audience.

Retargeting Digital Ads

Retargeting provides you with the opportunity to offer display ads to those who have visited your campaign website. Visitor retargeting can help you deliver ads to those voters who are actively researching their candidates. 

Retargeting can help keep interested voters engaged throughout the campaign, and as a result, increase awareness and your political outreach. 

IP targeting

IP targeting works by using individual IP addresses to reach specific voter households. It accomplishes this by matching IP addresses with a list of names and street addresses. Your political ads will then be displayed on websites the household visits across the internet. 

IP targeting is far superior to geo-targeting because you can target your political advertising to a specific business and household. This allows you to have a far more significant impact and response. 

Video Ads

If you want to maximize your political video ads , you need to ask yourself this question: Does my video content answer the questions people want to know? The best way to answer this question is to provide videos that address issues or event-related content combined with targeted ads. 

Today's voters want to catch up on the latest election news as quickly as possible, and they have found the solution through online videos. One of the first places people go to no matter what political information they are looking for is YouTube.

Tips for Effective Political Digital Ads

It is essential to realize that today's political campaign lives and dies online. That is why it is vital to understand the different tips, laws, and best practices of digital marketing. 

Understand Digital Ad Laws for Political Campaigns

Election meddling is nothing new, yet it has been all over the news in the last few years. This has resulted in many states looking to their own laws and policies regarding digital ads. Lawmakers in states across the country have started to pass and implement specific requirements to make sure digital advertising is becoming more transparent. For example, states are making it public knowledge to know who spends what and where the information is published.

Know Exactly Who You Are Trying to Reach and Target Them

The whole goal of political advertising is getting the right message to the right person at the right time. That is why to succeed in digital advertising, you need to break down your voter base to know who you are trying to reach and where they are. 

    • Target by Platform: Social media platforms are well on their way to becoming the top way to reach potential voters. For these reasons, targeting through platforms like Facebook or Twitter can help you reach the people you want to connect with. 
    • Target by Area: You can target the voters you want based on where they are or the places they visit.


There are different rules for online ads versus television ads. Due to new regulations, you must take certain factors under consideration when pursuing digital advertising, such as:

    • Make sure everything is fact-checked.
    • Be aware of the general stipulations that are required when using political ads.
    • Understand that the future of political ads on social networks involves a higher level of checks and balances and transparency. 

Landing pages

Even though building a landing page may appear easy, certain practices can ensure that you can boost conversion rates and reduce cost-per-acquisition. These best practices include:

    • Making sure your message matches your specific ads.
    • Designing the page for the right device.
    • Using directional cues to direct the eye.
    • Testing and updating your landing pages to ensure accuracy.

Choosing the Right Platform

Everyone wants to know if there is a perfect platform that can help expand political outreach.  The simple answer is to be open to all of them. In truth, there is no "single" platform that works best when it comes to politics and social media, even if Twitter and Facebook are usually the top favorites. The key to succeeding in using these platforms is to cross-post your content on multiple networks and post daily. Especially now, as more political ads are showing up on 'younger' platforms like TikTok and Snapchat and campaigns are regularly using social media to reach voters of all demographics. 

The Bottom Line

Given how fast the world of politics evolves, it is no surprise that digital ads and the world of social media have taken over political advertising. Unfortunately, if you do not stay up to speed with all the latest digital ad developments, you will get lost before you even get started. That is why now more than ever, it is vital to work with a digital marketing agency that can help you implement the best practices of digital marketing and get you on your way to seeing the ROI you want. 

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