Political advertising isn't just about spending money — it's about creating a platform for powerful messaging to influence the voting process. Highly specific targeting is also necessary. These factors play a large role in shaping the trends in digital-political marketing, and that's just as true in 2018 as it was in 2008. Here are seven digital marketing trends to watch for the upcoming season.
1. Dynamic Database Systems
Properly code and build detailed databases to include demographic information. Data of this nature aid in identifying voting history or frequency. If possible, include data relative to voter belief systems. A deeper understanding of demographics in terms of digital marketing provides a broader range of information to segment and target voters from polling data.
Most of the information needed to establish an efficient database strategy can be obtained through field or telecommunications analysis. Surveys, polls, and petitions are alternative sources, too.
Using demographic information, advertisers can search or track data with greater efficiency. Then there are added benefits to targeting through:
● Email list segmentation: Divide lists into categories — one devised of persuadable voters and the other containing enthusiastic supporters. Lists can also be narrowed to include volunteers, contributors, registered voters, inactive voters, and even political signage.
● Fundraiser data: Zero in on donors and research their worldviews, which could be issues ranging from economics to abortion rights. Aim to push their response buttons.
● Advanced data modeling: Build a dynamic database using transactional data such as contributions made to political campaigns and causes.
Don't forget that people change and their perspectives will, too. Over time you'll need to bring in new data, refresh old data, build new models, and update accordingly.
2. Integrated Multichannel Marketing
Synchronizing messages across channels to increase awareness, favorability, or familiarity is no different on the political landscape. Integrated communications allow advertisers to deliver consistent messages to targets of a defined audience.
Popular in every sense, the internet still brings advertisers opportunities to share through social media, websites, and mobile apps. For specific groups you are targeting, create immersive experiences via channels such as:
● Direct mail
● Facebook newsfeed
● Banner ads
To amplify this strategy, customize messages across ads or email — for instance, by retargeting. It's a cinch when used in combination with dedicated, promotion-specific landing pages.
3. Direct-Response Content
Copy containing a cleverly crafted call to action (CTA) and unique selling propositions are essential components to highlight the benefits of politically infused campaigns. To further solidify your marketing efforts, add separate landing pages for each segment you're targeting.
Imagine this: Your marketing team creates spectacular offers and drives traffic directly to the brand's homepage. The problem with this? There's no way to target messaging or measure its effectiveness. Clear messaging delivered through multiple channels deserves dedicated landing pages.
According to recent findings, 48 percent of landing pages contain multiple offers. Attention spans are short, so stick with a single offer and CTA button instead. This ensures audiences are only focused on taking one action at a time.
Also, minor tweaks are sometimes needed to increase response rates. Adopting a test and optimizing strategy for use on the regular keeps the marketing machine running.
4. "Bumper" Pre-roll Video
Video plays an essential role in online advertising. The short, memorable messages that work in your favor when targeting voters are those featured on YouTube video, as bumper pre-rolls. Six seconds is all it takes to maximize your reach, and Google Ads offers an intuitive platform to create bumper ads for mini-messages that have minimal impact on the viewing experience.
Again, focus is instrumental. To get the most out of your 6 seconds, design three distinctive ads that focus on one element in particular. Also, a combination of music, voice-overs, emotion, and comedy play well in bumpers.
Using video-based content is effective. More interesting are the benefits of retargeting, when advertisers can target people who show interest. Once a viewer engages, they become the perfect candidate for dynamic pre-roll ads. This method re-targets viewers with the same offers or category of products in the same price range.
Advertisers can get creative and take more chances with short-form messaging — even more so with Trueview campaigns. Each ad can be distributed to serve a different purpose: one for deeper engagement and one for reach and awareness, for example. Also, video retargeting continues to turn convention on its head, all while generating high returns on investments.
5. Digital Audio
Yes, power still reigns in audio — specifically, delivery of highly creative messages to voters in their unique environments.
With the rise of voice activation and recognition technologies such as Amazon's Alexa and Google Home, audio is an emerging tool to reach voters of all backgrounds and ages. With music being a top entertainment choice for many Americans, consider using Pandora as an outreach method in the next voter cycle. It's a premium, clutter-free environment where voters are tuned-in and receptive.
6. Mobile Devices
Advertisers need to be where many voters are today — on mobile. Voters use mobile to watch TV, stream audio and video, check their social feeds, and play games. A shift to mobile advertising is important. Advertisers who embrace this strategy gain a winning advantage for future campaigns.
7. Influencer Marketing
Reaching a few targeted voters can prove to be more effective than reaching the masses. Employ this digital marketing strategy to reach and influence important leaders capable of taking on the role of brand advocates to deliver messages to larger audiences.
The benefit of political advertising? The influencer (person, brand, web page, or source with vast reach) has credibility with — and the ability to influence — an audience. The success of using an influencer depends on how well the influencer spreads marketing messages and the impact those messages have on the audience.
What's next? Political marketers need to take an audience-first approach to generate sufficient awareness and persuasion. Advertisers are poised to leverage these valuable marketing techniques in strategic ways.