Digital Targeting and Messaging Tactics for Independent Expenditure Campaigns
Tips You Can Use as You’re Setting Up Your Digital Targeting and Messaging for Your Independent Expenditure Campaign
Independent expenditure campaigns play a unique role in an election, largely by filling gaps campaigns have. These gaps are often caused by resources being directed elsewhere and independent expenditures can help bolster a campaign by targeting audiences with messaging that candidate campaigns either can’t or won’t reach.
Candidate campaigns should have a distinct set of targets they are going after, not only in digital advertising, but in other forms of communication. Of course, it’s rare that any one candidate campaign can talk to every single voter in their district, so this is where independent expenditure campaigns can play a huge role. As you’re thinking through your digital strategy, think about what target audience the candidate campaign may not be talking to. Could your independent expenditure go after voters who would likely support the candidate but have a lower propensity to vote with a highly persuasive GOTV message? Thinking through alternate target universes is one of the ways independent expenditures can support a candidate campaign’s goals.
A benefit of digital advertising is the ability to target in ways that you aren’t able to on tv or in other mediums. Using this to your advantage will help fill in gaps that the candidate campaign may have. There may be a few localized parts of a district that aren’t consuming television and may not be targeted by mail. Using geo-fencing technology, you can serve digital ads to those areas, bolstering a candidate campaign’s (likely) phone and canvass efforts.
Another area where independent expenditures can fill gaps that candidate campaigns may have is through messaging. A candidate’s campaign will want to show what their vision is and why they are the best person for the job, rather than focusing too much on their opponents. Like it or not, independent expenditures often play the role of getting out the more negative messaging. An independent expenditure can play the role of highlighting reasons why an opponent is the wrong person for the job. Sending advertising with negative messaging to the right audience can certainly help a candidate during an election.
Outside of negative messaging, an independent expenditure can also message on specific issues. Many organizations will move into election messaging that is in line with the organization’s goals as Election Day gets closer. If you work with an environmental organization, you may run ads that show which candidate will make addressing climate change a key part of their platform. If you work for a women’s health organization, you may highlight what ballot measures will try to take away a woman’s right to choose so constituents know when they go to the polls.
Independent expenditures play a key role in elections. They are able to talk about things in ways candidates aren’t able to and they can focus on key target audiences to do so. Using digital tactics to accomplish these goals is smart and efficient.
Want to learn more about tips for independent expenditures? Check out Joe’s 5 tips here and drop us any questions you may have below.