During A Political Year
Advertising appropriately during a political year requires strategic planning. You don’t want to waste your marketing budget on TV commercials during a political year because you must worry about a few things:
- You may not receive the best rates or the highest exposure
- You run into the risk of being bumped by politicians ready to spend thousands of dollars for coveted spots
- Your TV ads may not reach the customers you need to grow your business
Therefore, properly placing your marketing budget into avenues to generate the ROI (return on investment) is critical this year. Furthermore, this year two political windows could throw a wrench in your television advertising schedule. The primary begins on February 1 and runs through March 17 while the general starts August 31 and runs through November 3.
If you want to dominate in advertising for 2020, you’ll need alternatives. Let’s look at backups for your marketing budget during those times.
OTT (Over The Top)
OTT is the most natural and effective move for your television budget. OTT (Over The Top) is a form of digital advertising for presenting your commercials through the internet and streaming services.
What are the benefits of advertising through OTT?
Through OTT, you can reach customers through their smart TV’s, tablets, cell phones, and computers.
- OTT bypasses traditional cable, broadcast, and satellite television services by utilizing access points such as Apple TV, Google TV, Roku, and more.
- Are you tired of wasting your budget on individuals who don’t need your services? With OTT, you can advertise to specific geographical areas and drill down to zip code targeting.
- Depending on the OTT provider and their options/methods available in their service, you can target very specific audience segmentations such as homeowners, income levels, age, and even behavioral targeting. Instead of blanketing everyone as you do on traditional TV, you can focus on advertising to your desired audience.
Google Ads (Formerly Google Adwords)
Google Pay Per Click advertising is an excellent alternative to OTT. Although Google Ads is not TV-based, it still offers an exciting and proven way to reach your audience.
What are the benefits of advertising on Google Ads?
- Do you use Google? You can safely assume your customers are too. When potential customers are searching for solutions and services you can provide, Google Ads can help you reach them.
- Google Ads is the largest advertiser on the internet and holds nearly 38% of the digital advertising market. It pays to get your brand in there.
- You can even load your TV commercials to your YouTube channel and promote them through Google Ads to your desired audiences. This way, you can extend the effectiveness and reach of your marketing investment.
- If your current Google Ads efforts are properly managed, and you see a positive ROI, it’s safe to increase your investment here and compliment the OTT. Google Ads doesn’t compete with your current TV efforts but supports them.
Microsoft Advertising (Formerly Bing Ads)
Did I just hear you laugh? It’s OK. I did as well when our PPC Manager suggested we start actively utilizing their pay per click platform a few years back.
Admittedly, Microsoft Advertising is not effective for every industry. However, for some industries and their target customer, we have found Microsoft to be more effective at a cost per conversion scale than Google Ads. This means some of our clients have seen a higher advertising ROI through Microsoft Advertising than Google Ads. Mind-blowing, I know!
The volume of conversions is a fraction of what you will get with Google Ads, but the competition is smaller. Thus, making the auction bids, or your overall advertising costs, lower.
I can throw some incredible stats at you regarding the success we have seen by adding Microsoft Advertising into the marketing plans for our clients. However, I have to reserve some things for our customers. I can tell you to do yourself a favor and at least earmark some of your alternative marketing budget for Microsoft Advertising.
Facebook and Instagram
Facebook and Instagram are extremely popular social media platforms. Similar to Google, you do yourself a disservice by not investing your advertising budget into social media. Although in 2020 TV advertising is going to be difficult, Facebook and Instagram will have the bandwidth to help you reach your customers.
Although Facebook and Instagram are powerful, they shouldn’t take a lion share of your budget. However, these social media platforms should at least account for 10% to 25% of your budget, depending on your industry and target demo. With that in mind, these platforms should receive some of your TV budget when political ads would be pushing your commercials off the air.
What are the benefits of advertising on Facebook and Instagram?
- Facebook and Instagram have rolled their advertising capabilities together. This means you can run your ads on Instagram even if you don’t have an Instagram account. All you need is a Facebook business account.
- Facebook is an inexpensive advertising and branding platform to help reach your audience. If you have a Facebook business page, I suggest updating your icons and images, keeping your contact information accurate, and posting once or twice a week. Furthermore, with an experienced marketing manager, you can maximize the effectiveness of your social media brand.
Traditional Mail (We call this Snail Mail)
Everything to this point has been related to digital advertising, but we cannot discount the ROI for traditional mail campaigns. Furthermore, traditional snail mail isn’t reliant on the TV commercials of over-eager politicians.
What are the benefits of advertising through Traditional Mail Campaigns?
- You can design anything you want and put it in the hands of your desired audience. If you do not have the addresses of your intended recipients, you can purchase lists or postage routes.
- We have gone from simple postcards to delivering a detailed case study and company magnet. Through direct mail campaigns, you can wow your audience and impress them.
- The great thing about snail mail campaigns is that your prices are not based on auctions or trends. Instead, your costs are based on design, production, and shipping.
An Example Client’s Marketing Budget for the 2020 Political Year
Now you might ask how you should allocate the budget into each of these avenues? To try and simplify things a bit, I will paint a scenario for you.
Company A sells and installs windows in homes.
Their sales goal for 2020 is $3 million.
Company A has allocated 15% ($450,000) as their marketing budget since they are in a highly competitive market and in a growth phase to get market share.
For the sake of this scenario, let’s say they spread their marketing budget evenly across each month for the entire year. That gives our fictional company $37,500 for its monthly advertising budget.
We will assume they’ve already pulled data through competitive analysis and have ROI over a few years allowing them to implement a diversified marketing plan that places 25% ($9,375) in traditional TV per month.
Seeing that February is a month we need to skip traditional TV due to political ads potentially bumping us, we need to move the budget into our other options. The budget allocation described below is in addition to ad spend currently in place on each of these platforms:
- OTT gets a healthy buy with 48% ($4,500)
- Google search and display ads get 32% (3,000)
- Microsoft Advertising gets approximately 11% ($1,031.25)
- We roll the remaining 9% ($843.75) into boosted posts and targeted ads on Facebook.
Since you have proactively planned the entire year off and avoided the political pushes, you have an entire year of TV ads purchased and mapped out. Therefore, when you raise your ad spend in other categories, you can roll them back to their standard levels. Lastly, having this plan in place reduces stress, prevents wasteful spending, and keeps your business operating like a finely tuned engine.
Your Advertising Budget Can Survive The 2020 Election Year
In review, you need to be prepared to diversify your advertising during political years. The five options I have overviewed are the perfect recipe for a blended marketing plan while you move off TV.
Of course, if you are a gambler and choose to place your TV buys during these heavy political times, you risk being bumped and will have no time to implement an alternative.
If you are interested in implementing a strategy that is right for your business or trying out the services above, contact us today for a free one-hour consultation and understand what your customized plan would look like.
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