Swing the vote this election season: 2024 political ad spending

By Cortney Frank
Head of Marketing - Advertise
January 16, 2024

As marketers, we talk about campaigns all day, every day, every year. But in an election year, “campaigns” get more complicated. Media planners and traders build programmatic campaigns for political campaigns. The stakes are sky-high with election ads. Experts are forecasting that political ad spends for the 2024 election cycle will range from $10 billion up to $16 billion. That’s why we’re sharing the key ingredients for programmatic campaigns that resonate with voters.

🎯 Build a winning campaign with effective targeting

Political marketing is about more than finding new voters — it’s also about building loyal relationships with your existing support base. Telling personalized, compelling stories at the individual level is key to success.

Ensure your DSP of choice can amplify your first-party data, align and track upper-funnel and lower-funnel efforts, and easily deploy high-impact creative across screens. 

Maximize first-party data

Uncover the attributes of your ideal voter profile, then use that data to find audiences who look like your campaign’s loyalists. 

Here’s how:

  • Onboard your first-party data: Onboard CRM and website data. 
  • Leverage behavioral data: Increase the likelihood of engagement and resonate better with potential voters. 
  • Tap into voter data: Plug into trusted sources with offline and/or online data for enhanced voter and consumer data.

Utilize tactics for upper and lower funnel

Align upper-funnel awareness with performance tactics to ensure opportunities to reach voters, drive clicks, and inspire poll visits. 

Here’s how:

  • Orchestrate brand awareness on the big screens across connected TV (CTV) and digital-out-of-home (DOOH).
  • Retarget on mobile and other screens on geo-fenced campaigns. 
  • Measure campaign lift, actions, or poll traffic. 

Grow awareness


Upper-funnel tactics

DOOH

CTV

Inspire action

Lower-funnel tactics


Mobile

Post-CTV retargeting on mobile

🗳 Hit your political campaign goals faster

We know from experience that political campaigns usually mean high pressure plus maxed-out bandwidth — for months on end. Programmatic traders are tasked with reaching voters at every milestone from early stump speeches all the way to election day. There’s good news, though: PMPs and contextual solutions can speed up campaign success.

Private marketplace (PMP)

Fortunately for media buyers during election season, there’s an opportunity to serve ads on sites aligned with specific campaign goals and KPIs.

It’s more important than ever to look for a DSP that has a PMP with political inventory. To save you time, a political PMP should automatically be compliant with state laws. Before electing to go PMP, ensure your DSP has safeguards in place on each political bundled deal. Incorporate to…

  • Easily connect with your audience: As voters stay updated on political news, they typically engage with sites designed as feeds, where they scroll through content and read headlines. 
  • Drive performance: If your DSP offers this kind of bundled inventory, it’s an easy way to precision target at scale. 
  • Save time: PMP deals means programmatic traders can save precious time – all while making campaigns more efficient. 

Contextual targeting

We all know behavioral-based advertising is at risk due to the decline of cookies — and that contextual targeting is a top alternative. But what you may not know is that not all contextual solutions offer the same precision. Many hinge on basic metadata like keywords and location. To maintain a competitive edge, it’s crucial to leverage a contextual solution that goes beyond surface-level targeting. 

When you’re weighing contextual solutions on the market, make sure to leverage one that prioritizes speed. That way, your message can captivate immediate audience interest — a crucial advantage in the bustling election season.

🤝 Make your life easier — partner with a supportive account team 

The final ingredient to success? A strategic and seasoned account team. The right partner can make all the difference when meeting your specific campaign needs. Before launching your political campaign, make sure your DSP has a supportive team with political experience who can guide you to success.

This team should help you:

  • Identify key voter audiences
  • Align with with relevant content
  • Serve on ads across screens
  • Target congressional districts
  • Geo-fence poll locations
  • Implement a full-funnel strategy

(and more!)

If you want to connect with us, and learn how Verve Group can help you target voters in a meaningful way, to drive conversions and maximize ROI this election season, get in touch. We’re happy to strategize. 

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