How to Effectively Use Digital Advertising in Your Political Outreach
In today's culture, when you think politics, you may automatically think of digital political ads or social media, and with good reason. YouTube, Facebook, and other social media platforms have become the dominant platforms for viewing and discussing politics. As of April 2022, politicians have spent $2.1 billion on 14 million ads.
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 how to use these digital landscapes to stay ahead, you might get lost in the shuffle, miss opportunities, and lose your political outreach. This is why it’s imperative to know how to create effective digital ads or work with a media partner for your next campaign outreach.
Digital Advertising Options for Political Outreach
What makes digital advertising for politicians so advantageous is its ability to influence and reach voters with minimal costs. The best political ads reach and resonate with voters and help them understand a campaign’s messages. Almost any candidate can create an effective online marketing platform as long as they learn about 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 political ad campaigns to have disclosures, and they must follow the platform’s guidelines.
According to a Buffer study, the best time to post is between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. during the week and on Saturdays. In addition, the study has found that engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays.
2.) Pay Per Click
Political ads on Google or other search engines, known as pay-per-click ads (PPC), are great for reaching your target audience. PPC is a digital political advertising option best used on 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 legal requirements that are in effect that require you to go through a verification process before you can post.
If you 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. The longer the campaign runs, the more information you can collect, and it can lead you to the best possible results.
3.) Retargeting Digital Ads
Retargeting allows you 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.
4.) IP Targeting
Political 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 household visits across the internet on websites.
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.
5.) Video Ads
To maximize your political video ads, you need to ask yourself: 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, are YouTube videos.
Tips for Effective Political Digital Ads
When learning how to create a political ad, it’s vital to understand the different tips, laws, and best digital marketing practices.
1.) 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 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 make it public knowledge to know who spends what and where the information is published.
2.) 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. 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 one of the top ways to reach potential voters. For these reasons, targeting through platforms 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 political 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.
4.) Landing Pages
Certain landing page best practices can ensure that you can boost conversion rates and reduce cost-per-acquisition. These best practices include:
- Make sure your message matches your specific ads.
- Design the page for the right device.
- Use directional cues to direct the eye.
- Test and update your landing pages to ensure accuracy.
5.) Choose the Right Platform
Everyone wants to know if there is a perfect platform to 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 for politics and social media. The key to succeeding in using social 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 starting. 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 see the ROI you want.
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