Ten years ago, politicians relied primarily on traditional advertising to further their campaign efforts. Refocus on 2016: When is the last time you saw an advertisement for the upcoming election outside of television? Candidates are dominating across all mediums: from traditional to mobile, Facebook to Twitter, and YouTube to Snapchat. There’s one thing both candidates have in common: having a digital presence is not only critical for success, but became increasingly difficult in 2016. And they’re not alone.
This August, AdAge reported that half of the overall digital ad spending in 2016 would go towards local elections, breaking $1 billion dollars. With election advertisements dominating advertising mediums, it’s no secret that the cost of advertising will increase — and that presents a challenge for advertisers working with limited budgets. So what can advertisers do to make the most of their budgets until November 8?
Whether they’re driving to work, checking their Facebook feed on lunch or tuning into a big NFL game, consumers are being exposed to countless advertisements in one day. The majority of those advertisements won’t resonate. Message alignment — reaching the right consumer with relevant content or ad — is what resonates. If a consumer searches “used Honda CR-V near me” and your dealership serves an ad for a new Civic, you’re not only wasting the consumer’s time, but wasting your valuable ad dollars. Focusing on relevancy drives awareness, and ultimately action.
Efficient spending is not only about relevant content — it’s also about targeting the most relevant consumer. That’s where strategic targeting comes in. ZIP code-level data allows you to meet the consumer in immediate need of an oil change with your service lane’s incentive. Customer match helps you retarget previous consumers based on your CRM data. Inventory targeting helps you determine which vehicles need the added spend, versus which will sell themselves. Data provides insight into where your spend goes, and where it should be going. With targeting, you’re able to replace guesswork with strategy — a much more efficient use of time and budget.
Focus on User Signals
And finally, user intent: a key component in efficient spending. Reaching today’s consumer starts with being present during the critical moments, and many of those moments are marked with intent. Keywords like “price” and “near me” indicate purchase intent, and are more likely to convert. Is your ad showing up “above the fold”? Is your listing and contact information up to date? If they’re searching for a specific vehicle, are you matching their inquiry with the exact model they’re looking for?
Actions reflecting purchase intent don’t always result in an immediate sale, but they do push them down the sales funnel. Focus your advertising — and your budget — on moments of intent. Reach them when they’re looking, and where they’re looking.
Ultimately, it comes down to one thing: creating a more relevant user experience based on consumer intent and available data. You don’t have to deplete your ad budget to be successful this election season. It’s what you do with your budget that makes the difference.