Digital Marketing for Political Campaigns

Over the past several election cycles, there has been a significant shift toward digital marketing for political campaigns. This effective strategy is ideal for candidates that want to gain more exposure and name recognition in their district. Technology, the driving force behind this change, has made it easier and cheaper to deliver your campaign’s message to a greater number of voters.

Historically, campaigns have relied on yard signs and print material to reach voters. But as any experienced campaign understands, it’s expensive and time consuming. The cost to reach a voter by mail includes the design fee, printing and postage. To cap it off, there’s no guarantee that it won’t end up in the junk mail pile.

It’s not much more assuring for yard signs either, which also include design and printing fees and must be delivered one by one to each supporter’s residence. The effectiveness of each yard sign depends on the local population density and the daily traffic that passes by. While we don’t necessarily advocate abandoning these traditional campaign marketing strategies, we do believe that digital advertising offers a more cost effective and targeted approach.

digital political for political campaigns featuring advertisement on desktop, tablet and mobile device

digital marketing ads for political candidate

How digital marketing for political campaigns works

On any news or blog website, you’ve probably noticed various image-based advertisements in the website sidebars and headers. You might have observed that these ads are often targeted and relevant based on your recent online activity, geographic location and other demographic data.

Online political advertising utilizes the same digital delivery platform, Google AdWords, and leverages similar demographic data, including location, age and online interests. We first create an ad set for the campaign that meet the allowed size and specs. Typically, an ad design includes the candidate’s image, branding, tagline, political disclaimer and a call-to-action button.

We then establish an advertising account for the campaign and determine the targeting settings to reach the appropriate audience. We can target specific states, counties, municipalities and even zip codes. Do you want to create a targeted message for voters aged 45+ in a certain zip code? We can deliver exactly that.

Ahead of primary elections, it may be best to target members of a specific political party. While we cannot identify who exactly is a registered Republican, Independent or Democrat, we can use proxy targeting by placing your advertisements onto right-leaning or left-leaning political websites and reach individuals more likely to vote in your primary election.

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What kind of results can we expect?

One result metric is the amount of exposure that your campaign generates from its digital advertising. Especially for political newcomers, a goal might be to raise name recognition in the district. Therefore, we might want to maximize our ad views per advertising dollar spent.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results, but over the course of our digital ad management service, we have seen clients get, on average, 1,100+ ad views per $1 spent on digital advertising. Extrapolating this data, spending just $10 per day on a digital ad campaign could yield over 11,000 daily ad views! Is there any other method as cost-effective that can reach this magnitude of individuals? We don’t think so!

Another advantage of digital marketing for political campaigns is the increased website traffic. When an ad is clicked, the user is directed to the candidate’s website to learn more about the campaign, get involved or even donate.

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2016-17 Historical Results*

Metric Low High Average
Views Per $1 Spent 522 Views 1,957 Views 1,164 Views
Avg Cost Per Ad Click $0.17 $1.40 $0.33

*Results may vary based on campaign targeting and other factors.

google adwords certified

Advertising on Google’s Search Network

When a candidate first launches a new website, it often takes time until the website is indexed and starts to display in the search results when a Google search is done for that candidate. This can be a frustrating experience for candidates that kick-off their campaign with a pubic announcement but are not yet found online. Another common issue is when a candidate has a good amount of search engine visibility but on other websites, such as local news websites, social media websites and other common outlets.

The challenge is to drive traffic to your campaign website when voters are looking for you online. If the website was just launched or there’s other websites that pop up in the search engine results, then a good solution to bridge the gap is a search network advertising campaign.

It’s a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign with an objective to display the candidate’s campaign website at the top of the search engine results when the candidate’s name is Googled. This is also a common strategy for candidates that have a common first and last name and may need a boost to display prominently in the search engine results.

For best results, consider launching a search network campaign simultaneously with the campaign launch. This will help ensure that interested voters easily find your campaign website.

search network advertising for political candidates

Increase Engagement With Retargeting Ads

Over the course of your campaign, your website will accumulate visitors interested in learning more about your campaign’s platform. These can be key supporters that the campaign should want to maintain a level of engagement and not miss out on an opportunity to lose their interest.

One tool that can deliver that kind of engagement is retargeting. You may have browsed Amazon or other shopping websites in the past and noticed that you began seeing ads from that retailer after you left the retailer’s website. It’s a form of building brand awareness and striving to bring you back to the website later to complete the sale.

Political campaigns can take advantage of the same technology. After a website visitor leaves your campaign website, it’s possible to deliver relevant ads to that visitor over the following weeks. These hyper-targeted ads could be to encourage volunteering, donating or any other type of activity that increases supporter engagement.

We suggest a slightly larger campaign ad budget to accommodate retargeting campaign marketing and offer this service in our Premium plan. Sign up today or contact us for a free consultation!




Initial Consultation

Ad Account Creation


Image Ad Design (4 Ads)

Location Targeting

Demographic Targeting

Ad Placement Targeting

Retargeting Ads

Search Network Ads


Monthly Performance Reporting

Dashboard Access


Monthly Management Fee










  • Initial Consultation
  • Ad Account Creation
  • Image Ad Design (4 Ads)
  • Location Targeting
  • Demographic Targeting
  • Ad Placement Targeting
  • Retargeting Ads Not Included
  • Search Network Ads Not Included
  • Monthly Performance Reporting
  • Dashboard Access
  • $75 Monthly Management Fee


  • Initial Consultation
  • Ad Account Creation
  • Image Ad Design (4 Ads)
  • Location Targeting
  • Demographic Targeting
  • Ad Placement Targeting
  • Retargeting Ads Included
  • Search Network Ads
  • Monthly Performance Reporting
  • Dashboard Access
  • $95 Monthly Management Fee