Combined, Republicans and Democrats spent nearly $9 million dollars on Facebook from September 17-23, 2020. That’s $9 million dollars on just one digital platform with six weeks still to go before Election Day. With the nation immersed in a heated presidential campaign, the conversation—some might say noise—of politics has saturated the airwaves and our newsfeed. It’s a time when brands can struggle to cut through the clutter and may have to pay more to have their messages heard.
Political campaigns continue to shift more dollars into digital placements because those platforms face less FCC regulation and allow candidates to hyper-target key voters. And with almost a third of political spending typically hitting in the last three weeks of the campaign, competition is only going to increase.
So, what’s a brand to do? Strategic planning can help your brand find some open lanes to your audience.
This barrage of political advertising drastically increases competition within channels like Facebook and Google. The result is increased costs to reach your audience(s). One option is to shift budgets until after the election. But what if your goals can’t wait? With some key adjustments you can find new ways to reach your target.
Compelling creative should always be a priority, but creating fresh, eye-catching graphics—especially video—is a great way to catch attention from your audience in this season. Focus on channels that don’t allow political ads, like Twitter, or take this opportunity to test and explore new channels like Nextdoor or Spotify. If you have a solid database of your customers, now is a great time to amplify your email efforts.
Political season is noisy, but your audience is still out there. With the right mix of creative and strategy, your message can make it through—and you might just find new channels to employ in the future. Want to know more about advertising during this season? Reach out to CRA.
UPDATE 10/9/2020: Facebook recently announced that it will be indefinitely halting all political and social issue ads once the polls close on November 3, 2020. This decrease in competition within the platform will be beneficial to non-political advertisers. Capitalize on this by planning your campaign runs dates to coincide with this new development.
UPDATE 3/4/21: Facebook lifted the political and social issue ad ban as of March 4, 2021.