Here at SpeakEasy, we chat with candidates running for office up and down the ballot all the time. One common thread we hear is that candidates want to thoughtfully apportion their digital ad budget and strategically integrate it with their mail and print programs. But, this is a big task
How Candidates Can Leverage Digital Targeting to Persuade Voters and Maximize Media Spend
For candidates running media through traditional channels such as TV, radio or direct mail, digital media can be a cost-effective and impactful way to expand audience reach and engagement. Much like direct mail, digital ads can be targeted by demographics, location and voting history – ensuring that only your target voters see your ads online. This maximizes valuable media spend and allows campaigns to cost-effectively micro-target messages.
Using SpeakEasy’s partnership with TargetSmart, candidates are able to quickly set their target digital universe to fit the needs of their campaign. Using our universe building tool – powered by TargetSmart – campaigns, candidates and consultants can select a voter universe that works best for their goals. In some cases, this means expanding the universe – and using digital to reach every potential voter in the district with a broader message, such as a Name ID banner ad. In others, this can inform a microtargeting strategy – for example, launching an issue-based campaign that is localized by city, county or ZIP code.
How does digital targeting work?
Once you select your universe using SpeakEasy’s TargetSmart-powered universe builder, our team works to begin onboarding your universe. This takes the data points about a person, such as their name, address or email address, and matches it to their online persona. Then, we’re able to bid on a digital impression only when those voters are browsing on brand and campaign-safe sites and apps. Industry-wide, digital match rates tend to be between 40 – 60% of your audience, so it is a best practice to pair digital with other media tactics such as mail, TV or a texting program.
What are the best practices of digital targeting?
Due to the lower cost per touchpoint of digital (when compared to more expensive mediums such as direct mail or placing ads on the radio), we often see candidates expand their digital footprint to complement other media strategies.
For example, a campaign sends a mailer to 5,000, 3/5 Democratic primary voter households. Then, two weeks before the election, the candidate receives a key endorsement that they believe will resonate with younger, lower propensity voters. The campaign could quickly launch a digital endorsement campaign speaking both to the core high-propensity voter audience and the expanded, younger, target audience.
Digital also tends to lend itself to rapid response communications. Using SpeakEasy, you can launch a campaign starting in as few as three business days, as opposed to longer production timelines for other mediums.
What are the key benefits of digital?
Digital is a fast and targeted way to move your message to voters. Digital ads are also a proven “direct response” medium – a voter can click right on the ad to be taken to a donate, endorse or “sign up for a lawn sign” landing page and complete the desired action right there.
One of the other key benefits of digital is that it helps reach a larger percentage of your target audience. We know that not every voter is reachable through every channel – some people don’t have cable, but read each mailer they receive, whereas others spend hours a day online, but never listen to the radio. Digital helps expand your “media mix” and allows you to reach more of your target audience – including voters in your district, but outside of your personal network.
To learn more about using digital ads to reach and persuade voters, please visit us at SpeakEasyPolitical.com or get in touch with one of our account managers ([email protected]) to learn more about how digital can help you reach your target voters.
Using SpeakEasy Political, you can tailor your own powerful online ads and match that creative with the best voter data in America. We give every campaign access to premium website inventory, steep discounts, and proven tactics only big campaigns could afford in the past. SpeakEasy’s Consultant Studio was also built to support consultant teams with leading data, strategic targeting, and comprehensive ad tech to serve as your backend media buying operation.
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We are so excited to welcome our new Sales and Marketing Intern to the SpeakEasy team. Abby will be joining us for an exciting spring as we continue to work with candidates up and down the ballot to communicate with voters, as well as work on some new special projects!
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