Planning Digital Campaigns in a Changing World: 5 Key Lessons

This week, we hosted a panel discussion focused on the future of Digital campaigns with partners from POLITICO and MiQ. We tackled everything from the best practices for advocacy advertising in the current crisis, to how you will know when your audience is ready to hear about something different. Below are five lessons we learned.

1. Audience tolerance for non COVID-19 information is increasing again. During the first weeks of the pandemic, appetite for information not related to COVID-19 was almost nonexistent. Now, as we are starting to acclimate to the idea that this is going to be a long-term issue, non COVID-19 information has become more palatable. This opens up opportunity for movement on advertising campaigns previously on hold due to the uncertainty.

2. Tone is essential in creating effective campaigns. While we’ve seen an increased appetite for non COVID-19 related content, that is not to say that the current climate is to be ignored. Acknowledging the reality of people’s circumstances in a serious tone is crucial to the campaign’s success. One way of striking that tone is long form storytelling formats which have seen surges in engagement.

3. Inexpensive ad space opens opportunity for impact. While many sectors of the economy are on pause in an effort to reduce costs and stay afloat, digital advertising space has become available at considerably lower costs. Places where airline or travel advertisements have been pulled, for instance, open up opportunity for advocacy to claim premium space. Also consider traditionally high cost in-person activities, like sponsored events, may have lower cost alternatives.

4. Gaming is a new emerging market in the digital advertising space. While many would initially expect the online gaming demographic to be primarily focused on millennial and gen-z men, new demographics are emerging in this space. Group Zoom calls have sparked gaming platforms like Jackbox TV to engage older demographics looking to play board games with their family members. This opens up an opportunity for advertisers to target older groups in ways never seen before the pandemic.

5. Virtual networking events are the new norm. While many speculated how cities like Washington DC would operate without the crucial in person networking events that drive the ecosystem’s social and political life, many find virtual events a convenient alternative. Virtual networking events allow for greater participation in many instances due to increased accessibility and reduced barriers to entry. Clients looking to increase their presence in these spaces have eagerly sought opportunities to get involved.