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Winning Strategies for Political Campaigns: Mastering Digital Advertising This Election Cycle

Master digital advertising strategies for political campaigns in 2024. Learn how to target voters effectively and drive engagement to ensure campaign success.

Ad Spend in Social Media Set to Explode in 2024

Published on

Jun 10, 2024

Written by

Huddled Masses

Winning Strategies for Political Campaigns: Mastering Digital Advertising This Election Cycle

The stakes couldn’t be higher this election cycle. For your candidate or campaign to succeed, you must target the right voters and ensure they get out to vote.

Digital advertising will be a key strategy this election cycle -- and will account for an astounding 28% of all political ad spending; a 156% increase from 2020.

The steep increase in spending isn’t surprising given digital’s ability to home in on the right people in the right channel. But it’s also a warning: If your campaign doesn’t have a sophisticated digital campaign, your cause may suffer in the polls.

What Does a Smart Digital Campaign Look Like?

A smart digital campaign leverages data-driven strategies and innovative technologies to connect with voters more effectively and drive meaningful engagement. Let’s break this down step-by-step.

  1. Build an Audience Segment. All campaigns know who their supporters are. They are the demographics that volunteer, donate, visit the campaign website, and engage with social media. The next step is to identify similar voters within the district.

For instance, Huddled Masses worked with a campaign that wanted to target African American audiences. Thanks to our direct access to the largest multicultural audiences through our sister company, Colossus SSP, we were able to build a qualified audience to target. (While we excel at reaching multicultural audiences, we can also help campaigns reach all voters on a national, regional and local level.)

  1. Set a CPC goal for your digital campaign. Depending on the campaign or candidate, funds might be tight. Set a goal for a cost-per-action (CPC) as well as a click through rate. This will help you determine if your efforts with a particular ad creative, format, channel or even demographic are worth investing in.

  2. Think multi-strategy. Combining strategies, such as behavior and contextual targeting, will help you home in on the voters you want to sway or prompt them to get to the polls. Yes, people who click on a campaign ad or visit a website are a great audience to target, and you’ll want to re-engage them as the election draws near.

    But there are likely to be many other voters who are sympathetic about an issue area, but either aren’t planning to vote, or vote for someone else, unaware of your candidate's positions. Contextual targeting is a critical strategy to help reach these voters.

  3. Embrace CTV.  CTV will be the most important channel this election season. US political CTV ad spend will be five times greater this year than in 2020, reaching $1.56 billion, per eMarketer’s forecast. Some 12% of political ads in digital will be for CTV. Of that, 81% will be spent programmatically. CTV can have higher CPMs than cable, but you can target your ads to the right voters, rather than spray-and-pray. In other words, the rich targeting opportunities means you can advertise in the most important channel cost effectively.

  4. Get Social. Political advertising will substantially increase from 2020, nearly doubling according to eMarketer. Social media advertising can make or break a campaign for some demographics -- such as Millennials and Gen Z. But you’ll need to plan your campaigns carefully. Gen Z loves TikTok, but the platform does not allow political advertising.


This chart is a thumbnail for using digital channels in your campaign. This is an extremely high level overview, however. It’s best to work with a digital strategy agency with experience in political campaigns to design an exact but flexible plan of action.

Social Media Mobilization

·       Leverage the campaign's social media presence on platforms like Facebook, X, Instagram to target likely voters to vote (TikTok does not allow political advertising).

·       If early voting is allowed, encourage likely supporters to do so

·       Include clear calls-to-action, such as “sign up to phone bank” or “check your polling station.”

·       Enlist influencers to amplify your get out the vote and your candidate’s positions

Digital advertising and retargeting

·       Use digital advertising platforms like Google Ads to reach undecided voters with get-out-the-vote ads ads based on location and demographics.

·       Map specific actions on a site that indicate a propensity to vote, and created remarketing strategies based on these actions


·       Getting out the vote requires a laser focus on local audiences, using ZIPcodes within the voting district. Some CTV solutions allow you to target at the household level.

Work with An Agency Who Has Done This Before

As I said at the top of this blog post, the stakes are very high this election season, and you have just five months to build and launch your campaign. 

You increase success if you work with an agency with experience in campaigns. For instance, Huddled Masses was instrumental in helping a campaign to promote early voting, by designing a multi-pronged approach. Read about it here.

Get in Touch

Contact us to receive a free 30 minute consultation to see if we can help you with your campaign efforts. Contact us today.

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