Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Facebook Emerging As 2016 Digital Ad Heavyweight

Facebook is being declared "the single most important tool of the digital campaign" in 2016 by a recent National Journal magazine article. The National Journal reports that 2016 presidential contenders as disparate as Hillary Clinton and Ben Carson, Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders are already investing in the social network. And the reasons for Facebook's expanded clout, beyond its 190 million American users, are new features unveiled since the 2012 presidential campaign, including more customized and sophisticated splicing of the American electorate and the ability to serve video to those thinly targeted sets of people. That means "the emotional impact of television delivered at an almost atomized, individual level," as the article points out. Facebook not only has a wealth of information about its members--identity, age, gender, location, passions--its new partnerships with big data firms, like Acxiom, allow it to layer on behavioral information, such as shopping habits. Political operatives are already modeling the universes of likely Iowa caucus-goers and potential New Hampshire primary voters and uploading those models into Facebook to match them with Facebook profiles of actual voters in those states, per the article. "We are guaranteeing you will reach the right person at the right time and eliminate the waste that you might find in e-mail marketing, certainly in TV advertising," Eric Laurence, who is in charge of political advertising on Facebook told the National Journal. Cost factors are definitely driving Facebook interest. Vincent Harris, Paul's chief digital strategist, is quoted: "It's so cheap. I am getting Facebook video views for one cent a view—one cent a view! ... It's a fundraising tool, it's a persuasion tool, and it's a [get-out-the-vote] tool. It's a way to organize, too." And there's an attractive ROI potential, too. Facebook likes to point out that the 2013 campaign of Terry McAuliffe for Virginia governor recovered 58% of its Facebook acquisition costs by linking new e-mail subscribers to online contribution forms. For more, read http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/facebook-the-vote-20150612

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