Written by Philip Mitchell, VP, Ad Ops
With primary elections in Texas now behind us, the roller-coaster has officially left the station. As more elections tick closer, we are still grappling with the looming prospect of more restrictions and changes on the horizon.
Any further limitations on political ads would come at a cost. These would have an outsized impact on cash-strapped campaigns trying to navigate the best way to allocate their resources. We risk pushing those underdog campaigns into a position of trying to replicate paid media with organic content that has been on the decline for years. The content necessary to “go viral” requires one to be focused first, on what is best for the algorithms and second, what is best for the voters.
With some estimates predicting close to $10 billion in political spending this cycle, and many known (and unknown changes) on the horizon, here are three ways that you can prepare your digital paid media campaign to navigate the ups and downs of the cycle.
Get creative (with targeting): For years, “micro-targeting” was the focus of all digital efforts. This month, Facebook limited some targeting options, and those restrictions will likely only continue as more platforms adopt similar restrictions. Micro-targeting still has a place – particularly in down-ballot races – but as machine learning and contextual targeting become more robust, educating campaigns on the benefits of those strategies is becoming essential for a well-rounded strategy.
Trust but Verify: Navigating all the aspects of political advertising online is going to incentivize some to work with unproven ad networks and default to third-rate inventory sources. Only with radical transparency along every step of the path – from execution through reporting – can we ensure that the campaigns are allocating resources to where they are most needed.
Expect Change: Weeks before the 2020 election, restrictions were put into place that limited what advertising could be run in the days before voters went to the polls. There is no reason to believe that this election will be any different. Only with a nimble approach and a diversified strategy can you ensure that you can weather those changes as they come.
2022 is going to be a roller-coaster. Hold on tight.