man standing in the middle of times square at night

Marketing during election season: Tips to help you stay above the noise

Jun 19, 2020 | DAE & Company, Design

In average times, marketers can bank on the adage of “content is king.” But as we all know, 2020 is anything but average. You’ve got the double whammy of COVID-19, along with our presidential election. In this article, we’ll focus on what effect the elections will have on your marketing, a time when the “noise factor” ramps up in a big way. With political digital advertising ranking in the billions of dollars per season, keeping your non-political content and messaging relevant (and even heard) amid the noise of election advertising can be a significant challenge.

As always, though, knowledge is power. Armed with knowledge, there are a few strategies you can take to ensure the health and hardiness of your messaging during this clamorous time. Check out the five points below and get busy getting heard!

Point 1: Expect to be up against a big spend

According to a June 2019 report by the Wall Street Journal, “Spending on political advertisements is projected to hit a new high in 2020, surging $3.6 billion above the most recent presidential campaign year.”

And they don’t use the term “surge” lightly, estimating a total spend of $9.9 billion for the 2020 election year. That bulky spend is probably the greatest challenge in marketing during election season.

Point 2: Know where your ads will face less displacement

Presidential election cycles mean political ad displacements ranking in the billions of dollars. For one, radio and television stations are forced to follow rules set forth by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), meaning they’re required to fill their schedules with more political advertisements than they’d like to. However, some platforms, such as Twitter, ban political ads altogether, making them attractive alternatives during this noisy season.

Point 3: Leverage your marketing as a respite from election fatigue

“I approve this message’ and “paid for by the committee to elect so-and-so” are just a taste of the election drivel that’s in store for you. Before you’re tempted toward utter discouragement, however, remember that folks tend to grow sick of all the election hype. As a non-political advertiser, that puts you in a good position, particularly for content directed toward organic and inbound marketing channels. Also, by keeping content positive and upbeat and seeking to provide some humanity, marketers can show their ability to care while imparting a sense of control—things everyone can appreciate in these tremulous times.

As writer Rachel Weingarten put it in a recent article on, “The upside of all of this is that people with election cycle fatigue will probably be actively seeking out everything from puppy memes to New Yorker cartoons, to your extremely brilliant and expertly marketed content.”

Point 4: Keep doing what you do best

If you’ve already been generating high quality, engaging content, keep up the good work. Remember, if done well, your content should continue to attract your most relevant audience as long as you continue to use it to uphold your mission and entertain and inform that audience.

In the face of low odds, it can be easy to lose sight of the purpose of your content marketing—to provide consistent, high quality content. Keep that philosophy top of mind and there’s a better chance your content will be at the top of the search results.

Point 5: Stay up on the spend trends

During election season, marketers are keen to keep up with every single dollar spent. Thanks to that tendency, there is more free data available on marketing trends during an election season than during a normal season.

As Weingarten said in the aforementioned article, “One added benefit of the election cycle is the added attention paid… to… every… dollar. From a marketing research perspective, the nuances of campaign spending—who’s spending how much, where, when, and to target who—can provide you with ample and free insights.” Take advantage of those insights!

The takeaway

At DAE & Company we know that—whether you’re marketing during election season or not—when it comes to content, your best bet for getting heard is to always focus on high quality content combined with the right targeting. And your best bet for achieving those goals is to work with a marketing agency that understands your needs and niche. If you’re ready to start meeting your content goals, reach out to us and let’s start getting you heard!

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