Archive for March, 2015

The Digitizing of Political Campaigns

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Affluent online political donors by party affiliation available for digital display advertising.

Political campaigns need to target wealthy online donors by party affiliation to maximize contributions and social media interaction.

At first I couldn’t believe my eyes: “Spending on Digital Ads is Up Almost 2,000 Percent for the 2014 Election.” Nothing I know of goes up a thousand percent each year.

As a provider of both online and offline marketing data, I discovered more about this digital advertising juggernaut:

I also learned that voters who follow political figures on social media rank among the higher value constituents a politician can serve. According to the Pew Research Center, they participate in campaign activities at high rates—volunteering, donating money, and encouraging others to add their support. The web is becoming the new frontline in the battle for supporters. As Dan Pfeiffer, the president’s senior adviser, said, “To not have an aggressive social media strategy in 2015 would be the equivalent of not having an aggressive TV strategy in the 1950s. We have to go to where the conversations are already happening.”

Politicians and their organizational backers are aggressively vying for voters to “Like” them on Facebook, watch their YouTube videos, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram — Instagram being the latest social media territory for politicians to leverage.

For example, there are several Instagram accounts associated with Rand Paul, a 2016 senatorial candidate and potential presidential candidate. His personal account, “senatorrandpaul”, shows 81 posts and nearly 8,500 followers as of this writing. His PAC-operated account, “randpaul2016,” shows 124 posts and nearly 3,000 followers. I am guessing that many of these followers are also contributors to the political campaigns and PACs. (How else are you going to attract thousands of followers with just a few dozen posts?)

Politics has always been about getting the message out and controlling the daily news cycle. Now it’s also about round-the-clock messaging to followers with digital snapshots, 100-character tweets, and viral videos. Today’s online electorate has influenced media planners to place increasing emphasis on digital media budgets, which are eclipsing traditional advertising outlets at a pace never before seen.

Organizations operating social media accounts for their candidates and causes are big spenders in political digital advertising. They need online followers and the best way to capture them is online. As the 2016 general election heats up, the web is already blowing up with political display ads and videos.

The battle to control the hourly news cycle for this upcoming election is going to get costly. Politicians and organizations need to capture big-time donors to fund their social media strategies and the best way to do that is by reaching wealthy, politically-motivated donors 24/7 wherever they go online. I suggest this can be accomplished by attracting wealthy donors by party affiliation to donor landing pages with digital display ads and retargeting them should they leave without taking action.

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