Online Media More Important in Upcoming Elections

Pundits have been predicting that the midterm election cycle this fall will boost the coffers of local radio and TV stations. There’s another sector that will witness increased advertising  as well – online media. Experts are pointing to the online strategies employed by both President Barrack Obama and new Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown as evidence that a well-​planned online media campaign leads to success.

Pete Snyder, CEO of New Media Strategies, told Advertising Age that "We're seeing in the neighborhood of [a] 20% to almost 30% increase over past years. That's incredible growth."

A report published by Borrell Associates earlier this year indicates that online media spending by political campaigns will reach $44 million which is only 1% of total political ad spending this year. Further, Borell doesn’t expect online spending by politicians to surpass $100 million until 2012.

But campaign managers are looking for ways to use the Web most effectively. Strategies will include:

Google bomb” – Buying up search words and terms

Meta tagging – Improving organic search results

Facebook – Purchasing display ads on social networks

E‑mail – Using traditional e‑mail to reach voters who need motivation to get to the polling booth

If some  campaigns are spending nearly 1/​3rd of their ad budgets on online media, the shift represents a big change in strategy as candidates try to encourage supportive voters to influence friends and family members. But according to Edmund Lee, writing for Advertising Age, TV is still the most expensive, most trusted, perhaps most effective media tool.

[Sources: Lee, Edmund. “Politicians Pony Up for Paid Online Ad Plans.” Advertising Age. 9 Aug. 2010. Web. 24 Aug. 2010; Kaplan, David. Borrell: Political Online Ad Spend Will Be Local. Paidcontent​.org. 5 Feb. 2010. Web. 25 Aug. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.