Tapping Into Political Campaign Budgets

by: Elizabeth Harrington, on Sep 21, 2012 in Case Studies, Hyperlocal Advertising

Political campaigns are white hot across the country, and local news sites are seeing a sudden lift in advertising.  Local Yokel Media is working on several local advertising campaigns with various political agencies, and we thought you might appreciate looking at some of our key findings.

Our digital sales specialist, Carla Posthauer, is leading the acquisition and management of political campaigns in multiple states, ranging from full-state initiatives to city-focused measures.  Carla has been pleased to discover that political agencies recognize the value of highly-targeted, community-level messaging.  These agencies also realize that a tremendous amount of time and expertise is required to successfully organize and execute community-level online campaigns across an entire state, for example, and have gratefully relied on Local Yokel Media to streamline and simplify those efforts for them.

And, when it comes to performance for these hyperlocal online political campaigns, we are seeing the same kinds of national average-blasting click through rates as we do in our other hyperlocally-targeted campaigns.  Click through rates that are 10x the national average for display advertising underscore the improved receptivity of constituents when they’re reading quality hyperlocal websites.

We thought it might be helpful to frame some of Carla’s additional learnings for you as a Q&A, and invite you to apply any of these insights to your own political campaign sales efforts.  We would also welcome any additional comments or color you could provide based on your own experiences, and hope you will share them in the Comments section below this post.

Q:  What level of targeting are political agencies asking for most often?

A: The level of targeting can range from super small, like a city, to defined congressional districts to full-state initiatives.  Regardless of the size of the geographic target, if your site(s) reaches their constituents, you offer an important vehicle to reach them.

Q:  What is the typical campaign length?

A: Anywhere from  4 to 10 weeks out from election day.

Q:  What lead time do you typically get from the time they ask for a proposal to launching it in market?

A:  I’ve turned around a proposal and plan in under one to two weeks.  Once they make a decision, they move fast.

Q: What ad sizes do they want?

A:  Typically the 3 standards, which are the 728 x 90, 300×250 and the 160×600.  On occasion, agencies can handle non-standard IAB ad sizes.

Q:  What are the payment terms for political campaigns?

A:  Political campaigns traditionally prepay for all campaigns.  This is standard in the political category.

Q:  What are their success metrics?

A:  The ultimate metric is the end result of the campaign itself..a win or passing of a measure, for example.  But along the way, the main metric agencies like are visits to their campaign website for information and sign-ups for volunteers and donations.  From a digital measurement perspective, clicks do reflect a direct link to the site and provides one form of measurement.

This is a great time to get out and talk to your local politicians/campaign managers and offer the opportunity to reach their constituent via your sites.  Bottom line – qualify your conversations right up front and recognize that you are part of their overall strategy so your reach and ease of campaign execution are high priorities for them to get started.



Considering hyperlocal ad targeting for your next political campaign? Curious to know what hyperlocal sites are available in the area(s) you wish to target?


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