How To Tap Into Local Political Campaign’s Digital Dollars!

How To Tap Into Local Political Campaign’s Digital Dollars!

According to Borrell Associates “Online political spending in 2016 across local, state, and national campaigns projected to hit $1 billion.”  That is a 500% increase since 2012.  Of that $1 Billion, 500 Million is expected to be spent on local elections.  In fact, the average town council race candidate will spend $47,000.  Politicians are absolutely allocating ad budgets for digital, to the tune of $25% of their total ad budget on average.  And, online digital advertising is not covered by the “equal time” laws that TV and Radio must abide by.

Where are the ads being placed? One product perfect for political campaigns is advertising on Facebook and Instagram. More than 8 in 10 internet users ages 18-29 have a Facebook account and it is the only site where Republicans and Independents were both more-represented than Democrats. Instagram is the Number 2 site among millennials. More than half of millennials who self-identified as Democrats said they had an Instagram account. 10 points ahead of millennial Republicans and 12 points ahead of independents (Harvard University Institute of Politics Research as reported in eMarketer, Jan, 2016).

In addition to Facebook and Instagram, you can reach voters down to the specific household with Household IP Targeting; you can reach voters on their smartphones while they are on the go with Mobile Conquesting (you can even target by political party affiliation); and you can reach very specific groups of people with Targeted Display and Video ads across all devices and geographically targeted to the specific area the campaign wants to reach.

If you offer digital advertising products how do you access these local digital ad budgets for political campaigns?  State-wide and national elections will already have a political agency or advertising agency handling their digital campaign. However, local (city, county, district) races offer an opportunity; think Mayors, City Council, Coroner, Family Court Judges, Sheriff… it is a long and healthy list of opportunities!

Also, you can find out who is running through Google by simply typing “who is running for office in “____” and list your county and state. Check Secretary of State websites and look under the “elections” heading.  You can check out Ballotpedia.org for listings of all types of local elected offices as well as ballot initiatives.

Get the candidate (or campaign manager) interested in what you have to offer by talking about how you can get in front of their ideal registered voters by targeting their households at a high frequency 30-45 days prior to the election. Emphasize you are local media and know how to get hyperlocal with digital advertising.

Plan out your needs analysis questions. Ask about their target voter and get specific: age, gender, income, political affiliation, interest. Where do they live? How many votes are needed to win? (Their win number can help you determine a budget). Do they have a database of names to target? Do they want to have different ad creative for different voter targets?

And it is not just about the dollars being spent, it is also about how those dollars spent INFLUENCE voting behavior. It is about the results:

Political ad effectiveness

Now is the time to be pursuing political prospects. Reach out to Vici for more information on how to prospect and win digital dollars.

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