The first Tuesday of November is only about three months away—that is, from the date this article’s publication—which basically means one thing: Politicians across the country at all levels of government are in the final sprint to the finish line of this year’s mid-term elections.
While many campaigns have already locked and loaded a big chunk of their political advertising plans in the lead-up to Election Day, there’s still plenty of time to amplify those efforts with strategic and highly targeted out-of-home advertising tactics. So, to get you off to a good start, here are a few tips for leveraging OOH ads effectively this election season.
Boost the stickiness and reach of political advertising with OOH ads
Politicians, PACS, and non-profit organizations with a political bent will pull out all of the stops to communicate their messages and get voters into the polls on Election Day. And knowing just how much is at stake during these mid-term elections—with some pretty heated contests across the country—political campaigns will have to wield every tool in their toolkit to claim victory on Election Day. Of course, this should include out-of-home advertising.
Funny enough, and despite our best efforts to help people see out-of-home advertising in an entirely new and data-driven light, there’s still a lot of misunderstanding around the power that OOH ads can have on driving consumers to action—at an unbeatable price (compared to other advertising channels). That’s why we thought it was about time to give you a quick refresher on how to make out-of-home advertising a core element of your political advertising campaigns.
1. Know the rules of political advertising
Political advertising is its own beast with a lot of very special rules (ahem, red tape). Check out this article where we went into the ins and outs of political advertising rules in more detail.
As a general rule of thumb, before making any kind of ad buy or investing time and money into developing OOH ad creative, be sure to double-check the rules that apply to political advertising or partisan messaging in your local area. While the Federal Election Committee (FEC) has laid out a number of blanket rules that apply to political advertising across all marketing channels, different states and cities—and sometimes media owners, too—can often choose to enact their own unique rules and regulations in addition to those provided by the FEC.
Long story short: Be sure to do your research at the local level to ensure you don’t land yourself in an unexpected (and unwanted) advertising pickle. Because no one likes fines!
2. Think beyond the billboard
When most people hear the words “out-of-home advertising,” their minds typically go straight to billboard ads. And true, while billboards make up a big chunk of OOH ad units today, there is a lot more to the out-of-home advertising ecosystem that many people fail to take into account. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Wallscapes and murals
- Bus shelters
- Taxi toppers
- Bus and car wraps
- Rideshare ads
- Street furniture (think: park benches)
- Place-based ads (think: ads in restaurants, gyms, or shopping malls)
And the list goes on and on. However, keep in mind that there are quite a few limitations about what kind of OOH ad units you can tap into to run political—or rather, partisan—messages. So, be sure to check out this article about political advertising rules before locking in your ad buy.
But the moral of the story here is simple: If you’re interested in adding OOH ads into your marketing mix, it’s important to remember that billboards are just one piece of the puzzle.
3. Use a data-driven OOH buying platform
Now that we’ve blown your mind around what constitutes out-of-home advertising today, you might be wondering how to go about locking in these various OOH ad units.
In the past, this was a nightmare. You would have had to reach out to each media owner separately to negotiate rates, confirm availability, and review other details about the media buy. Today, however, thanks to automated OOH buying platforms like AdQuick, you now have one-stop access to pretty much all available out-of-home media inventory around the country—along with robust data layers at the ad unit level to help you choose the ad units that will reach your target audiences more effectively.
Therefore, not only does AdQuick simplify the OOH ad buying process across the entire out-of-home advertising ecosystem, but we also ensure that you’re equipped with real-time insights to make more strategic media buys with confidence. At the end of the day, if you’ve only got limited budgets to work with, which is often the case for many political campaigns, you need to make sure the dollars you spend reach voters and actually get them to vote (for you).
4. Harness the power of advanced targeting
As opposed to out-of-home advertising of the past, today it’s now possible to pinpoint the OOH ad units that can achieve your marketing goals with AdQuick’s advanced targeting capabilities:
Audience Targeting: In order to lock in the OOH ads that will reach your exact target audiences, we’ve equipped the AdQuick platform with hundreds of extremely granular demographic and behavioral filters—including things like “likely to be Democrat” or “likely to be Republican.” You can even upload your own first-party or CRM data sources into your AdQuick account to specifically target your own audience segments.
Geo-Targeting: One thing that makes political advertising unique but (sometimes) challenging is that political candidates or ballot measure campaigns—at the state, county, city, or local level—only need to target voters within their voting districts. Advertising to voters outside of a district is essentially money wasted. With AdQuick, however, you can now hone in on specific congressional districts (at the state level) when planning your out-of-home advertising media buys. You can even upload your own custom geography list—should your campaign extend beyond typical congressional lines—to reach the exact voters who will ultimately decide your fate.
Cross-Channel Re-targeting: Many people incorrectly assume that the experience a person has with an OOH ad starts when it’s directly in front of their face and then ends after they’ve moved on along their journey. But thanks to AdQuick’s unique mobile, desktop, and direct mail re-targeting capabilities, you can now reach voters exposed to your OOH ads across multiple channels to increase message frequency, boost impact and awareness, and, most importantly, encourage voters to take some sort of immediate action. This is perfect for building momentum around fundraising campaigns and, in the final stretch, motivating people to go to the polls or mail in their ballots.
5. Measure OOH ad effectiveness
Any advertiser, whether a big brand or a political campaign, wants to know that the ads they run are moving the needle in some way. Fortunately, only AdQuick makes it possible for you to measure the awareness, lift, offline-to-online conversions, and other key performance metrics of your OOH ad campaigns to ensure that every dollar spent drives real value in getting your message out to voters. And because we put real-time performance metrics at your fingertips, you now have a powerful way to optimize your political campaign’s messages or creative on the fly. After all, sometimes it’s the smallest refinements made to your campaign message that can transform a neck-and-neck race into a definitive win on Election Day.
AdQuick drives political advertising success with real-time data
The savviest political campaign strategists know that data is ‘king’ for understanding the impact of advertising across multiple channels—and not just digital channels alone.
This is why, in the end, the political communications campaigns that succeed are those that get the right message in front of the right voter at the right time—all with the utmost precision. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that political advertisers have consistently been ahead of the curve when it comes to leveraging the total power of audience targeting, geo-targeting, and multi-channel re-targeting, across both traditional and digital advertising channels, to maximize the effectiveness and influence of political advertising campaigns.
This is what makes AdQuick the go-to partner for any political campaign looking to amplify its messaging through out-of-home advertising. We’ve infused our platform with the most updated and accurate data—pulling from a number of the most reliable data sources—to help political advertisers not only plan OOH ad buys with precision and confidence but also see real results.
Check out AdQuick’s Out-of-Home Toolkit for Political Advertisers today.