7 CTV Strategies to Prepare for the Top 2024 Election Trends

7 CTV Strategies to Prepare for the Top 2024 Election Trends
By Lindsay Sakraida, Content Marketing Lead
April 25, 2024

In March, political experts and campaign managers converged on Charleston, South Carolina for the Reed Awards & Conference, and our CTV strategists were there taking notes. 

We heard from seasoned experts on how the 2024 election season is shaping up, and there are big takeaways that advertisers should incorporate into their CTV campaigns. 

The political advertising season is ramping up, and as you plan your strategies for your candidates, make sure to keep these trends and tips in mind. 

Undecideds will be hard to find 

According to The New York Times, the number of truly undecided voters is diminishing. With increased polarization among voters, most people have already decided one way or another how they will vote. So true undecideds, or swing voters, are going to be a "needle in a haystack" pursuit. 

CTV strategy: Luckily for campaign managers, CTV advertising is a great tactic to employ to find those hard-to-reach audiences. For example, Madhive has flexible data offerings that feature segments specifically catering to political needs — including undecided voters. 

Just make sure you aren’t excessively targeting beyond this; if the audience numbers are too small, you’ll experience delivery issues.  

Motivating voters to show up will be key 

While undecideds are a worthy goal, the fact remains that the vast majority of potential voters are firmly set in their party affiliation. Which means that campaign managers are going to be primarily focused on motivating these people to show up at the polls. 

In the 2020 election, 34% of eligible voters didn’t participate, a number that could sway the results if properly tapped. Pairing the right message for your audience will be essential to remind people of why they already feel so strongly about their party, and why their individual vote matters.

CTV strategy: Advertisers should leverage strategic segments with relevant messaging that’s tailored to motivate. 

For example, you could target audiences based on their feelings about climate change — yes, that’s a segment you can use in the Madhive platform! — and serve messaging that focuses on just this issue. Or, you could segment for demographics that have a high likelihood to be affected by a particular policy and address that topic. 

Universally, people are more likely to act when they are targeted with a personalized message that speaks to their needs or interests.   

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Campaigns will educate on how to vote 

One method for motivating voters is to reduce the hurdle of the unknown. Quite a lot of non-voters will also be first-time voters, and they might easily forget to register, or be unsure of how to participate. 

CTV strategy: Advertisers should create segments for unregistered potential voters, and time campaigns according to important milestones for registering.

Urgency is one of the best motivators, but don’t cut it too close; our research shows that conversion tends to correlate with higher ad views, so make sure you’re leaving time in your campaign for viewers to absorb the message and act. 

Gen Z is a treasure trove of new voters

Speaking of first-time voters, there’s a whole generation of citizens who are new to this election cycle, and they’ll be a crucial focus for political campaigns. Not quite undecided, but new to the political process, they’re a particularly important demographic to nurture and motivate. 

CTV strategy: CTV is an excellent fit for this demographic, since many Gen Z audiences are cord cutters, or cord nevers. In fact, Samba TV's State of Viewership Report says 8 out of 10 Gen Zers stream TV. 

Campaigns that leverage CTV will reach audiences that they would otherwise miss with linear advertising. Just make sure the message fits the audience; these are people who might not have voted before, so education is key.

Education on down ballot voting will also be essential 

While voters might have a strong party affiliation when it comes to the presidential campaign, they often feel ill-informed for down ballot contests. As a result, voters who show up sometimes only vote for the presidential candidate, and will skip candidates for the House, Senate, and beyond.

Knowing that down-ballot education is a goal, it's no surprise that we're already seeing 76.8% of political CTV ad impressions going to Congressional campaigns.   

CTV strategy: Geo-targeting will be key, and focusing on congressional districts instead of large regions allows you to cut out waste and craft relevant messages for a precise audience. Delivering an ad for a local race to someone in a different district can confuse voters, and further push them towards opting out.  

Campaigns will target audiences that have already seen competitor ads 

Hotly contested voting groups are going to be targeted by all parties during the election, and if your competitor is catching their attention, then you should too.

A campaign manager can do this broadly by targeting the right audiences, but they can employ an even more advanced strategy by delivering ads to households that have viewed a competitor's ad. This tactic ensures a candidate has equal visibility, and can even allow them to craft unique, responsive messaging. 

CTV strategy: Automatic content recognition (ACR) technology is what makes this "conquesting" strategy possible on CTV. Madhive, for example, works with Samba TV to fingerprint and track linear TV ads, which allows an advertiser to create audience segments based on real viewing behaviors. 

Prices will fluctuate in unpredictable ways 

The real-time bidding wars during the election will go up and down throughout the season due to demand, and these price and availability fluctuations will create a volatile market that campaign managers need to prepare for. Speakers at the Reeds conference recommended that advertisers reserve money from their budget to specifically accommodate these CPM spikes.

CTV strategy: Accuracy and predictability might be hard to come by during the election season, but CTV advertisers can take control of their planning in a few ways. First, planning a campaign as close to your start date as possible, and using political publisher lists, will give you the most accurate forecast for pricing and reach.

Second, you can opt for rate card pricing which offers a flat CPM throughout a defined period of time during the season, which not only makes your budget more predictable, but also protects you from the day-to-day chaos of volatile pricing.  

Reach more 2024 voters with CTV 

CTV will play a decisive role in reaching voters this election season — but don't wait until the last minute. 

Get started with Madhive today to bring hyper-targeted CTV advertising to your political advertisers. 

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