Digital Optimizations for Political Campaigns

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In fast-moving political campaigns, a key challenge is often gathering and aggregating data to make informed optimization decisions. For example, should a campaign shift budget to increasing the frequency of their intro video, or route funds toward their fundraising-focused Facebook campaigns?

One of the best ways to make these decisions is to use your analytics to guide data-driven next steps. As campaigns quickly pivot strategies and make crucial calls about their digital media programs, the SpeakEasy Political team is here to help you answer the question: how do I effectively use digital ad analytics in my decision making?

Consider the run time: One optimization that is often at play is the run time of the digital program. Most successful digital campaigns set at least a 5-day flight, increasing the lengths of the run as they change the audience, budget, or both. Not only does this give the media buyer more time to make optimizations based on initial data, but it also gives the ad program more time to reach as many people in the audience as possible. Especially for many targeted campaigns with a smaller audience (such as a school board race with only 6,500 registered voters), our media buyers incorporate extended flight dates into plans to ensure we have enough time to reach your voters frequently enough that they recall your campaign.

Look at pre-click metrics: CTRs and VCRs (the digital jargon for Click Through Rate and Video Completion Rate) are a helpful snapshot into how your target audience are interacting with your ad — but aren’t always the “end all” of digital metrics. For example, some campaigns optimize toward reach and aim to get in front of as many voters as possible, regardless of whether they are engaging with the ad via a click to the landing page. Others are focused on a “direct response” conversion, such as signing up to receive a lawn sign or donating to the campaign.

Keep an eye on frequency: Successful campaigns keep a laser focus on frequency metrics – or the number of times an average voter has seen your ad. Generally speaking, you’ll optimize toward a frequency that is high enough to be memorable to a voter, but low enough so that they are not inundated with the same ad over and over again. For example, a frequency of 20 over 2 weeks would be a strong showing, whereas a frequency of 20 in 2 days might become irritating to voters and start to create diminishing returns for your ad spend. From an optimization standpoint, if your frequency metrics are approaching the higher end of your targets, this could inspire a creative refresh (swapping in new versions of your ads), expanding the audience, or shifting budget to another channel with a lower frequency.

Review your page analytics: Google Analytics, or similar data-gathering tools, are crucial tools in your optimization toolbox — enabling you to track how your audience is interacting with your website. Are visitors from Facebook converting to request a lawn sign at 2x the rate of visitors from YouTube? How many pages is your audience viewing when they visit your site? These insights can help you and your team make key decisions about your digital media spend and efforts. 

Looking to learn more about working with our team on your digital optimization strategy? Don’t hesitate to shoot us a message to [email protected]. We’re always here to help!

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