With less than two weeks before Election Day, millions of Americans are already casting early and absentee ballots. Does that mean you should pour all of your digital resources into getting out the vote? Does digital persuasion advertising make sense this close to November 6th?
Let’s flip the question: with early voting under way, are you stopping your TV persuasion ads? Of course not, unless you’re either out of money or so far ahead it doesn’t matter. GOTV advertising is important, and we’ll cover that in an upcoming post, but so is reaching voters who are likely to turn out whether you reach them or not.
To spend your late persuasion dollars well, try using demographic or voter-file targeting to reach people in your district or area who are 1) likely to vote, and 2) theoretically persuadable, based on your data modeling, polling and/or canvassing. If you don’t have much money, even a few dollars on Facebook can put your name and face in front of demographic groups particularly likely to turn out to vote (older people use Facebook — a lot). Spend $100 and you might reach people with your content 5,000-15,000 times, or more if it really resonates.
As your budget grows, the options open up. Services like DemocraticAds.com sell voter-file-targeted banner and video ads with minimum orders as low as $500, and they can help you reach people who vote reliably and who meet specific demographic characteristics. For instance, this year a Democrat might include a focus on college-educated women who have voted in the past two elections and who may be on the moderate or conservative-light side.
Considering how much campaigns spend on television right before Election Day, I’m consistently baffled at how few media-buyers seem willing to put at least a few dollars into persuading the same voters online. At the least, digital ads can deliver plenty of “touches” to the targeted voters for not a ton of cash. Apply the same rule to digital advertising you would to TV: most of the time, even as the election looms, don’t stop persuadin’.