Everywhere you turn right now, you run into ads put out by politicians and their political parties, with all of them telling you that they are the right person to vote for. It used to be that you could simply turn off the TV to avoid such ads, but the internet is now a place where political ads run wild. It may be off-putting to some, but the internet is an excellent place to reach the masses, and can be an effective part of any campaign, assuming of course that the ads are placed properly. Mistakes are often made when placing political ads online, so let’s look at a few of the most common slip-ups.
Blowing the Budget
Have you ever run into a salesman who just can’t stop hyping up the product even after you have decided that you are going to take a different one? This is something that can often happen with political ads, as they are sometimes placed in websites or in front of groups where the clear majority have already decided to go with someone else. This is a colossal waste of the budget, as money should only be spent on people and places where the outcome is still in the balance.
Improper or Inappropriate Placement
A politician running on a platform that calls for changes to gun laws would probably not do well placing ads on sites that sell guns and offer discussion forums for gun enthusiasts. Similarly, a pro-life politician would probably not do well on planned parenthood or pro-choice sites. The websites chosen for ads should be those that support the message or are neutral on the issue.
During an election, there are countless propositions that need to be voted on, many which are of local importance. Ads that try to sway voters to vote either Yes or No on those propositions are only effective if they are targeted at the people the vote affects. Running an ad for marijuana legalization in one state, but showing it in all 50 is another big waste of resources. An ad server with geotargeting capability can make it very easy to display the ad campaigns to the suitable state, province, city or postal/zip code.
No Regard for Voter's Location
There are certain states that have essentially voted for the same party for many, many years. While politicians from the opposing party should not abandon campaigning in those states completely, they should be aware that their political ads will be better off in swing states where winning could dramatically change the course of the entire election.
Landing Page Not Optimized
Many of the political ads that will be placed online will focus on a specific issue that is part of their overall campaign. When an ad is done in that way, clicking on it should take the potential voter to a page that contains more information about the said issue, and what the politician plans to do about it should they take office. A common mistake that is regularly made is that the link will simply lead to the generic homepage of said politician. That is not a quick way to sway voters who may be on the fence.
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