Guide to political digital advertising | Choozle UPFRONT
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Jun 26
Guide To Political Digital Advertising

Guide to political digital advertising

With voters spending more time on their screens, advertisers are taking to digital marketing for political campaigns to run more online ads than ever. So, whether your goal is to increase campaign donations or drive awareness, follow along with our guide, inspired by trends we’ve seen from our own political digital advertising clients, to improve your marketing strategy and reach more voters.


Top targeting strategies for political digital advertising campaigns

Geofencing & geoframing

To target people based on where they are or the places they visit, leverage location-based targeting strategies geofencing and geoframing.

With geofencing, you can draw a virtual “fence” around a physical location and serve ads to anyone inside the geofence while they’re on their smartphone. Geoframing collects mobile device IDs from users who have entered a predefined area at a specific time and allows you to target those users later on after they’ve left.

Putting strategy into action

National elections present a wealth of opportunity to leverage geofencing and geoframing. Since these kinds of elections are largely bipartisan, you can target a demographic of voters in a given area that are more likely to vote for one party over another.

Why the hype around hyperlocal targeting?

Contextual keyword targeting

You always want ads to appear in the context of a user’s interest, and contextual keyword targeting enables you to do just that. Keyword-targeted ads are relevant to the website or page they’re running on.

Keep in mind there’s both contextual category targeting and contextual keyword targeting. While they’re similar concepts, category targeting looks at how the publisher categorizes the website while keyword targeting looks at the keywords on the site.

Putting strategy into action

If you’re running a political digital advertising campaign for a ballot initiative, you could put together a keyword list to make sure your ads show next to compatible content. Say, for example, the initiative is for an environmental policy. You could include keywords like “sustainability” or “environmental protection.”

Data targeting

If first-data is in short supply, you can employ third-party data, aka data targeting, from outside sources to provide the means for reaching your target audience. More on choosing data brands and segments later.

Jump to Choosing data brands & segments.

CRM targeting

First-party data is your most powerful asset. A quick win for any marketer is to employ CRM targeting in a campaign strategy. With Choozle, you can bring your CRM data into our platform to target people who are already in your customer base and engaged with your brand.

Putting strategy into action

If you have a database of people who have previously donated to your campaign, you could upload that CRM data to target the same people with ads and drive more donations.

Connected TV advertising

Connected TV (CTV) is any television that’s connected to the internet. Connected TV advertising is the placement of ads on connected TV devices like Roku and SlingTV and brings the benefits of traditional TV advertising to programmatic. By employing connected TV advertising in your campaign strategy, you can reach highly-engaged audiences like millennials and cord-cutters.

Putting strategy into action

There are a few ways to use connected TV advertising for a political campaign. One, you could use the extra layer of granularity to target people with connected TV ads across all of their devices. Two, you could use connected TV advertising as a way of testing the effectiveness of your ads before running them on more costly, traditional TV spots.

Note: geofencing, geoframing, and connected TV advertising are Supported Solutions available to our partners or advertisers and can be implemented with the help of our Client Experience team. 


Choosing data brands & segments

While third-party data can bolster your campaign’s reach, sifting through the abundance of data brands and segments available in our catalog can quickly become overwhelming. Lucky for you, we have data brands we can recommend for political advertising campaigns.

  • ALC offers a range of data segments to choose from, including segments to target voters based on their voting history and profile.
  • Acxiom lets you target people based on their political affiliation.
  • Epsilon allows you to target people who are either likely or unlikely to vote as well as target people based on their political affiliation.
  • Factual’s location-based segments let you target by congressional districts.

We also work with custom data providers to create unique audience segments that meet specific targeting needs. Are you looking for a custom data solution? Reach out.


Optimizing political digital advertising campaigns

A/B testing

If you’ve created multiple ad groups to test your messaging and creative assets between audiences, look at the performance of each one, and shuffle the budget to the top-performing ad group. We also recommend checking out our infographic on what makes an effective ad.

Make your online ads stand out.

But, if you’ve created only one ad group, look at your campaign report and see how the ad group’s audience segments are performing. If an audience segment is performing less than expected, change out the underperforming audience segment with a fresh one to improve results.

Whitelists & blocklists

After identifying the sites that are driving traffic back to your website and the ones that aren’t, you can create whitelists or blocklists. A whitelist is an index of the sites where you want to serve ads, while blocklists bar certain websites from serving your ads.

More on whitelists and blocklists here.

Brand Safety & Viewability

No one wants to pay for ads that can’t be seen or to have ads placed next to inappropriate content. Brand safety and viewability are two strategies that help mitigate these risks.

Brand safety refers to a set of tools and strategies that ensure your ads don’t appear in an inappropriate context or next to inappropriate content. Similar to how whitelists and blocklists let you filter sites, our brand safety solutions allow you to filter out specific categories of sensitive content.

Viewability is an online advertising metric that aims to track only impressions that can be seen by users and can help optimize a campaign in-flight.

Dynamic passback tracking

For donation-based campaigns, we recommend going a step beyond clicks and impressions and using dynamic passback tracking.

A dynamic passback tag allows you to track the different aspects of a conversion event—revenue, currency, order ID—and include them in your reporting. When the time comes around to prove ROI to your boss, dynamic passback tracking can not only help you translate the data from marketing speak to show the true revenue generated from your campaign, but it can also pinpoint which targeting tactic is performing the best.

Note: Viewability and dynamic passback tracking are Supported Solutions available to our partners or advertisers and can be implemented with the help of our Client Experience team. 


Ready to galvanize your political digital advertising? Chat with us!We’re here to help.

About The Author

Hannah Middleton is the Content Manager at Choozle, where she writes about how to get the most out of self-serve programmatic advertising tools. She’s on Team Oxford Comma.