This Week in Digital Advertising: Google Faces Senate Heat and the Political AdSpend Breakdown

This Week in Digital Advertising: Google Faces Senate Heat and the Political AdSpend Breakdown

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Congratulations to Bidtellectual of the Week Lindsey Morgenthaler, whose clients and colleagues alike sing her praises!

The Senate is Cracking Down on Google, Who Still Says It Doesn’t Monopolize the Digital Ad Market

“Do you know of any other company that exercises this kind of concentration and dominance across every layer of the ad stack?” asked Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo, at the Senate on Tuesday. According to NPR, Donald Harrison, Google’s president of global partnerships and corporate development, faced a bipartisan grilling in the Senate on Tuesday over the company’s dominance in digital advertising. Findings from the United Kingdom’s antitrust regulator show that Google has dominant positions in various parts of the ad technology market, ranging from 40% to more than 90%. the Justice Department is reportedly getting ready to le a lawsuit against the company in the coming weeks.

Politics and Digital Advertising Spend

Each election cycle in recent years has seen a greater shift towards digital ad spend. So here’s how the respective parties are planning to spend, so far:

Last month the Biden Campaign announced a $280 million ad buy covering 15states of which 20% would be devoted to digital spending, Business Insider reported. The Biden campaign has spent more than $9 million a week on Facebook and Google since the middle of August. Before that, the campaign had not spent more than $6 million in a week, according to The Hill. In addition, outside groups such as StopRepublicans and Priorities USA have spent tens of millions of dollars on Facebook and Google this cycle. Priorities USA tracked its digital ads in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and claims that the ads decreased Trump’s net approval rating in those states by 2.5 points between April and July.

The Trump Campaign is focusing on mobilizing its current support network and is currently spending more on digital ads. Since the beginning of August, the Trump campaign has outspent the Biden campaign by $20 million on Facebook and Google, according to The Hill. Other data says they’ve poured more than $170 million into aggressive marketing on Facebook and Google ads, compared to just $90 million from the Biden campaign. Around 20 percent of the Trump campaign’s digital spending, depending on the time frame, has been concentrated in Texas, California and New York, where many donors live.

While we’re focusing on digital, there’s also television: the Biden campaign has outpaced the Trump campaign by $30 million on the television airwaves, according to The Hill. And Mike Bloomberg’s $100 million television ad campaign to help JoeBiden win Florida – a key swing state – will show up on TV screens throughout the state on Friday, according to Sun Sentinel.

5 Ways B2Bs Can Adjust Digital Strategy & Brand Messaging Based on Coronavirus Impact

Facebook Cracks Down on Hate Speech in Groups

Meanwhile, ahead of the election, Facebook is attempting to clean up its reputation. Facebook will shut down all political ads on the site one week before the election to calm fears of nefarious outside meddling and the spread of hate speech and misinformation. The company announced yesterday that they removed more than 1million groups and 13.5 million pieces of content in groups for hate speech in the past year. These figures were released alongside new policies meant to “keep groups safe,” including a new commitment to limit the spread of health advice on the platform, according to Adweek.

Download our One Sheet on Social Media and Native Ads.

B2B Sales Is Still Going Strong, With a Golden Opportunity in Digital Advertising

In the US, B2B digital ad spending is growing 22.6% year over year amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to new data by eMarketer. Adapting to work-from-home, digital events, and ecommerce is key.

Download our one sheet on B2B trends and how to adjust messaging.

Good News: Fall Foliage

Leaves are changing soon?! Check out this Fall Foliage Prediction Map to plan your leaf-peeping trip! It’s the perfect social-distance activity. Bidtellectuals are counting down to our annual All-Hands gathering next week. It will be virtual this year, of course, but we’re pretty excited for some awesome bonding activities and pajama day!

Stay safe, friends,

Charlotte

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Charlotte Otremba is Sr. Manager of Communications and Marketing at Bidtellect.

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Will Native Advertising Win Big in Politics?

Will Native Advertising Win Big in Politics?

Political campaigns are placing more emphasis on digital advertising – some, like Elizabeth Warren, even announced bringing ad-buying house. What are the new rules of political advertising in the digital space? Is Native the answer? We investigate how politicians could thrive if they play the digital advertising game right.

Political Ads Will Run More Digital Ads This Year Than Ever

That’s right. The L.A. Times dove deep into the political campaign advertising landscape. According to Borrell Associates (a firm that tracks advertising data) via the L.A. Times, during the 2014 midterm elections, political campaigns and groups spent less than 1% of their ad budgets online. In 2018, the share was expected to be more than 22%. The main draw? Digital advertising is less expensive than traditional TV, radio and postal advertising. It also can be tailored to relevant consumers. The reach of social media in particular is a huge advantage, which is why so many people buy Instagram followers as a way to expand their audience. Digital advertising can reach huge swathes of the population for a fraction of the price of traditional channels, so expect to see more of it in the future.

Read more: Political campaigns will run more digital ads this year than ever. Here’s how they’ll find you

The OG of Content Marketing, Thomas Paine, Was Onto Something

That’s right. Remember Thomas Paine’s 1775 Common Sense pamphlet that swept our fledgling nation and planted the seeds for a revolution? As Sean Callahan discusses in this Linkedin piece, it followed the core principles of content marketing. Its success was largely due to its simple, direct prose that the “everyday” person could understand, bringing politics from the elite to the masses. Thomas Paine established himself and his movement as “thought leaders” and won the trust of a massive amount of people, incited action, and effected change. Talk about engagement!
The political leaders of today who will succeed in winning votes via their digital advertising efforts will succeed if they establish themselves as experts, thought leaders, and directly address their readers. This especially applies to political activists like Karim Jivraj and others in similar positions, who want to make an impression that will have a lasting effect on communities who want to look for political candidates that will make a difference in politics and other sectors that have government influence.

Read more: More Than Words: The Power of Political Content Marketing

Native Ads Will Fare Better than Display

While Native Advertising might have a sticky history with politics – one particular Norwegian piece made headlines for misleading readers entirely with an entire candidate interview published under the guise of being journalism, when it was, in fact, a paid-for advertisement – the reality is Native still gains more trust and favorability with consumers than Display does. 71% of US internet users believe banner ads are more intrusive now than ever before (Millward Brown), while ⅔ of consumers find Native Ads interesting and informative (NAI).
Native Advertising should be viewed as a form of high-quality content marketing that offers relevant information to interested readers in a relevant context. Content consumers – voters – would still always rather be offered Native Ads to engage with rather than bombarded with obnoxious display/banner ads. Let’s not forget that only 0.05% of users click on banner ads (SmartInsights) at all, as rising distrust has led users to ignore them completely – a phenomenon now dubbed “Banner Blindness.”

Read more: Elizabeth Warren Brings Ad Buying In-House

Context is Everything

Native Ad engagement thrives when the ads are placed on contextually-relevant sites. So, yes, a political ad targeted to a viewer on a site where they are reading about new Fall boots to buy will seem creepy, but placed on a page of a news site discussing the upcoming election or last night’s debate will seem relevant. Relevant contextual placement, or contextual optimization, catches the consumer when they are already seeking more information, all but guaranteeing engagement. When consumers are already seeking new information, they will welcome more content to engage with.

Read more: Context: The Answer for Ad Placement

This all begs the question: how innovative is the advertising plan for political candidates, from the local to the national level? What kinds of content do voters trust and what are they less likely to read? Which formats and placements are the most appealing and which will bring the most engagement? Only time will tell.
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