Political campaigns try to reach voters wherever they are. Candidates still use traditional methods, such as door-to-door canvassing, yard signs and mailing. Today, political campaigners increasingly leverage online opportunities to promote their message to voters.

Even local campaigns use digital means for outreach. This includes social media, advertising on search engines, retargeting website visitors, email and text messaging – and even online polling. The modern political campaign lives and dies online.

But competition for users’ attention is greater than ever. Advertising needs to stand out to be effective. If you are running online display ads (banner ads), here are tips to improve your visibility and effectiveness.

Faces add interest. Logos are nice, but an image of a face draws immediate attention. Add a picture of the candidate (or opponent) to create visual interest. A strong image combined with a strong message is your best bet.

Match your color schemes. One of your online advertising goals is to brand your campaign to voters. Maintain a consistent color scheme between you website, signs and print materials. A consistent look helps improve the visibility of your political ads.

Use a call to action. Include clear messaging and a direct call to action (CTA). A CTA statement can include “Vote on…” , “Learn More” or “Support Us Now”. Make a proposition or ask a question that encourages people to click your ad and find out more. Tell the user what you want them to do. Stick to one message or CTA per ad. If you have more than one message or request, then create a separate ad for it. You don’t have much room on a banner ad, so make the most of your space.

You can be a little odd. Ads that are nice and clean tend to blend in with a web page. Something should make your political ad stick out. It might be to include bold colors and large lettering. Another trick is to make your ad asymmetrical or use lines that are somewhat tilted. Anything that makes your ad stand out from the rest of the web page content will help it perform better.

Add disclaimers. Your online political advertising (including your campaign website) should include the proper disclaimers. They should follow your local election laws and regulations.

Create multiple sizes. Remarketing or IP marketing campaign ads appear across many websites and types of devices. Having multiple ads sizes will accommodate both the desktop and mobile audience. The most common display ad sizes are 300×250, 728×90, 320×50, 160×600 and 300×50 pixel size. Size also applies to ad files themselves. Optimize your images for the smallest file size possible. Ad networks will not serve ads that are too large or improperly formatted.

Split test your ad creatives. If your ad campaign is running long enough, consider A/B split testing your ad creatives. Make several versions of your initial ads and see which performs better. A different background color or adding a button can change the conversion rate of an ad.

Target your audience. Most local political campaigns don’t have a huge budget. Advertising must be targeted to voters who are most likely to respond. Retargeting ad campaigns reach out to those who have already visited your website. Other forms of display advertising, like Pay Per Click and IP Targeting can be targeted to specific geographic locations or even individual households. The more defined you target your audience, the less waste you will have in your advertising spend.

Have the right landing page. Send your visitor to the proper landing page after they click your ad. If you are seeking donations, don’t send visitors to your site’s home page. Send them to your campaign’s donation page. If you can match your landing page to the ad campaign, visitors won’t feel lost after they click. Landing pages that are relevant to the ad also tend to convert better.

The banner ad is a great way to reach voters and supporters. A great visual will improve interaction with your ad and increase the number of clicks.

From political campaign websites to social media setup to online advertising services, Online Candidate can help get your campaign online quickly and easily.

 Ads shown as examples, not endorsements.

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