A Digital Strategist Needs to Know 5 Things

5 Things Your Digital Strategist Needs to Know

Your Digital Strategist Needs 5 Key Pieces of Information

Any time you work with a digital strategist to craft a digital ad campaign, they’ll want to know 5 things to build the right plan for you. Your digital strategist will want to know your goal, budget, targets, timing, and the geographic area you want the ads to run in. It can be helpful for you to think about these things ahead of time so you and your digital strategist can get on the same page and build a campaign quickly and efficiently.


Setting a goal is the first thing your digital strategist will want to do with you. It’s important to have this discussion before starting a program, as it will inform the strategy and creative. Your goal should be something a digital campaign can directly accomplish. For example, 3 million impressions, a click-through rate of 0.20%, or 500 names added to a petition are all good goals for a digital ad campaign. Your ultimate goal may be name recognition, awareness around an issue, or holding legislators accountable, but you should work with your digital strategist to determine what digital metric to set as your digital campaign goal so you can measure success.


How much you need to spend depends on how you are targeting your ads and how long they will run. If you want to run your ads statewide to a large demographic group for more than a week, you’re likely going to need to spend at least 6 figures on your ads. If you are only running ads in a small area like a state senate district, or to a narrow population of likely primary voters you can spend a lot less. If you have a set budget with no wiggle room, make sure to pin down your priorities in terms of geography and target and let your digital strategist know so they can make the most of your budget.


To achieve your ultimate goal, you need to think carefully about the audience you want to target. Sometimes the audience is pretty easy to figure out—if you’re running for office in a primary you should definitely be talking to likely primary voters. But some organizations are limited by who they can legally target or exclude. In that case, work with your digital strategist to figure out a way to reach your intended audience with demographic targeting or issue-favorability targeting. You could also consider lookalike targeting to expand your reach by finding people who have similar behaviors or characteristics to people you already have information on—like people who signed a petition of yours. One thing to keep in mind is not to micro-target too narrowly. It’s important to both activate your base supporters and reach out to people who could be persuaded to join your cause.


This one seems simple, but on campaigns that don’t have an election date, it can be hard to define. Your timeline can be based on legislative sessions—especially for awareness and accountability ads—or around other dates that are relevant to your issues like rallies or local events. The run-time of a campaign is also generally based on your goal, with your targets and geography as additional factors. For example, petitions should run for as long as possible to collect as many names as you can—the general recommendation on these is at least 4-6 weeks.


The geographic area you run your ads in is typically determined by your goals and your budget. If you have a limited budget, you need to prioritize what areas are most important to reach. Geo-fencing is often used to make a campaign with a limited budget appear larger than it is by targeting a small geographic radius. It can get as granular as a few hundred feet to a mile around a building. That said, geo-fencing can get too limited, especially if your campaign is running for under a week. You still need to make sure enough people will be in the places you serve ads to make an impact.

If you aren’t sure how to pin down one of your goals, let your digital strategist know the mitigating factors so you can work together to figure out what will make your campaign successful. We are always happy to help with any questions and will help you define your goals if you need us to.

You can stay up to date on the latest advances in advocacy messaging and advertising by following our blog here. We’re also always around to help you craft a strategy for your advocacy goals. Feel free to reach out to us here.