advocacy brand digital elections

Top 7 Digital Mistakes to Avoid

Digital advertising has evolved into a nearly $100 billion industry led by mobile. Simply put, digital delivers. But digital advertising isn’t as simple as it sounds, as the rules, devices, and platforms continue to change. Here are the Top 7 Digital Mistakes to Avoid.

Way back in 1994, the first online ad was delivered on a web page. Since then, digital advertising has evolved into a nearly $100 billion industry led by mobile.

Simply put, digital delivers.

But digital advertising isn’t as simple as it sounds, as the rules, devices, and platforms continue to change.

Here are the Top 7 Digital Mistakes to Avoid.

Skipping Remarketing Ads
Remarketing is cookie-based advertising that keeps your name or issue in front of your audience as they visit various websites. While a remarketing takes time to build, the benefit is the sustained, repeated presence you will have across the web that helps you to build name ID and keep your campaign at the forefront of your voters’ minds ahead of the start of early voting, during absentee voting, and Election Day.

“Political campaigns are unique in advertising because the period to influence a voter is very short, often months or just weeks. Remarketing ads are another tool in your toolkit to increase the frequency of those ads in that quick window.”
– Reid Vineis, VP of Digital

A Non-responsive Website
It is hard to believe anyone would not think mobile-friendly when designing and developing a website today, but some still do and pay the price. Since Google’s “Mobilegeddon” of 2015, a website’s mobile responsiveness is factored into Google’s search engine algorithms. That means non-responsive sites are ranked lower and show up later in a search – the exact opposite of what you need to build name ID and deliver your message.

Plus, your audience expects a responsive website; 85% believe the mobile version should be as good or better than the desktop site.

“The website is the new store-front or campaign headquarters. You can spend one million dollars on digital ads but it’s a waste of money if you don’t have a mobile-responsive website. The percentage of people consuming digital content on their mobile phones is now north of 50%, which means campaigns or businesses who haven’t optimized their website for mobile have spent all of that ad money getting people to visit their store or their campaign headquarters, but left the front door locked so it’s hard for more than half of their audience to come in.”
– RJ Caster, Director of Digital Operations

Digital Ads on Mobile Devices ≠ Mobile Advertising
81% of Americans own a smartphone. Last year, 58% of website visits came from mobile devices, making up about 42% of total online time.

Delivering digital ads on mobile devices is not the same as delivering true mobile advertising that focuses on targeting, creative and reporting to deliver ads on premium websites and apps as users visit from their smartphones.

Learn more about the value and importance of mobile advertising in this #StrategySession, “It’s an App, App, App, App World.”

Starting & Stopping Social Media
Social media is a long game. It takes consistency to build a following of engaged users, but it is worth it. An estimated 223 million Americans will take to social media in 2019, with Facebook accounting for more than 22% of internet usage. Facebook reportedly reaches 51% of Americans every day and has grown substantially amongst seniors. Instagram tops the charts today as the #1 social platform for millennials and reaches 35% of Americans. Twitter’s user base is smaller at 22% of Americans but has the highest percentage of politically-engaged users at 42%.

Providing your audience with the content they want – campaign updates, quotes on the issues, links to relevant news articles, information that keeps them in-the-know – will build an engaged audience of supporters who can be activated at a later date to volunteer, return their absentee ballot, or get out and vote.

Wasting Money with Ineffective Targeting
Self-service platforms like Facebook and Google have made it easier for more campaigns and organizations to enter the world of digital advertising and manage their own campaigns. But with that access comes the real risk of ineffectiveness. Reports today are that poor-quality data and targeting waste as much as 21 cents of every media dollar spent. Targeting the wrong audience will only drain your budget and leave you with no results.

A data-first approach that ensures you are talking to the right people at the right time helps to eliminate ad waste and maximize your budget.

Leaving Video Out of Your Strategy
80% of internet traffic is video. Did you 73% of American adults use YouTube? Or how about 60% of millennials preferring to watch YouTube rather than traditional TV? Video plays an important role in digital advertising and delivering your message.

Video performs well across all devices. If you can only run one video, choose the 15-second video. It has been shown to offer nearly twice the effectiveness of 6- or 30-second videos alone.

Read more about the best length for video ads.

Not Owning Search
Back in 2013, Google went down for approximately 5 minutes. In that short period of time, there was a 40% drop in web traffic. Internet session often start with search. Every minute, there are more than 2.3 million Google searches.

According to Google, search was the #1 research tool for Gen X voters in 2018. Not owning your space in that search would be a big mistake as voters ask some of the top trending searches including:
• “What time does voting start today?”
• “Who to vote for today?”
• “Where do I vote today?”

Before You Go:
#DigitalDelivers: What’s Next in Digital
#ByDesign: A Website in the Making
#DataDrives: A New Way of Thinking