It's been a while since I posted and I got tired of looking at the same start screen. So here's my review of what worked and didn't work in the 2010 midterms when it came to political online marketing.
- Google once again dominates this space. A big or small campaign, Google is your one stop shop for political marketing. If you can't afford to spend a large chunk of campaign cash here, you are still using a marketing playbook from the 1980s
- YouTube - yes I get that is Google too but using pre-roll ads in YouTube is a winning strategy and the key to getting some of that traditional advertising bucks. The cost per view was sub a penny and the CTRs were far higher than any banner ads. Plus promoted video is a key to making sure those unflattering related videos don't keep showing up in your search results.
- Mobile Advertising - Sure a lot of people didn't think that 2010 was a mobile year, but we proved on several campaigns that the targeting is far superior than desktop and if you time your message correctly you can have a huge impact. How else can you market your message when a large group of people are attending a huge football game?
- Facebook for Communication - I became a big believer in boosting Facebook fans for GOTV, messaging, and spreading the word on candidates. Some folks believe it is a good predictor of elections, me? Not so sure but I think the benefits of using them far outweigh any reason to ignore Facebook's predictive power.
- Email Marketing - Yes I wrote that. Last cycle I was starting to buy into the "email is dying hype" but that was wrong. Email is anything but dead and in fact, thrived this cycle. That includes a candidate's house file as well as renting external lists. Email works.
- Partisan Websites - You know them....Drudge, RedState, HuffPo. They work. You can get petition signups, donations, and other actions - pretty cheaply.
- Fox News TV - Nothing like the shot in the arm you get when a candidate is interviewed by Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck. I don't watch Beck unless a candidate of mine is on but when it comes to donations, I get verrrry excited...
WHAT DIDNT WORK
- Big Websites - I love building websites and especially love landing pages. However, the way people get news and information today I'm seeing less and less use of the big websites that caters to everyone. Lighter, faster moving, and highly focused pages are the way to go now. Building deep, heavy sites seem to be going extinct. Think Skittles (yes I wrote that)
- Any Social Networking Site Not Named Facebook - Did you really use LinkedIn to effectively reach voters? Come on. There is no other advertising game in town. Twitter is good for pushing out or gathering information, but is currently useless for advertising.
- Conversions out of Facebook - Yes I became a big fan of Facebook but getting measurable conversions out of FB besides what's available there is still difficult. The only real conversions I've seen were the two times I clicked on ads to pre-order Springsteen's Live in Hyde Park and The Promise.
- Low Search Volume - You can't manufacturer search volume - if it is a small search volume candidate than that is the answer.
- Spending too much time worrying about big ROIs instead of plowing some of that money into expanding your reach. The ideal ROI should be between 100% and 125%.