Search This Blog

Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Facebook in 2016: Precision and Price

At National Journal, Shane Goldmacher writes that new Facebook features enable candidates to reach voters more voters, more cheaply, and with more precisions.
ALREADY, DIGITAL operatives are modeling the universes of likely Iowa caucus-goers and potential New Hampshire primary voters and uploading those models into Facebook. Then, they match them with Facebook profiles of actual voters in those states. (Strategists say match rates can run as high as 80 percent.) It's a powerful feature—custom-designing the audience for your ads to coincide with the voter rolls—that didn't exist four years ago.
...
A statewide television buy in Iowa, for instance, reaches more than 3.1 million potential viewers. But only 121,000 people actually turned out at the Republican caucuses in 2012. So instead of blanketing the state, Facebook allows campaigns to target only those who they believe to be likely caucus-goers and then to fragment that universe further into a thousand smaller subsets. One ad could run to students at the University of Iowa and another to those at Iowa State. Or just alumni. Or female alumni. Or alumni who "like" Rush Limbaugh. In Des Moines.
"Think about how powerful this is. This is so, so powerful, and I honestly think it's still underused," says Vincent Harris, Paul's chief digital strategist. "And it's cheap. It's so cheap. I am getting Facebook video views for one cent a view—one cent a view! ... It's a fundraising tool, it's a persuasion tool, and it's a [get-out-the-vote] tool. It's a way to organize, too."
...
There are new built-in Facebook tools that can help campaigns, too. Candidates can upload their databases of donor emails, find their corresponding profiles on the site, and ask Facebook to spit out ads to a "look-alike" universe of users whom they haven't yet pitched for money. Or they can take the sign-ups from an event, upload them, and ask to advertise to people who look like them. While the best-funded campaigns will almost certainly do some of this modeling themselves, Facebook's "look-alike" feature didn't exist until 2013, and it promises to allow poorer campaigns to tap into sophisticated analytics on the cheap.
...
BY FAR THE BIGGEST development for 2016 is video. "Video advertising wasn't around in the 2012 cycle," says Goudiss. "That's going to be huge in 2016."

Facebook says users log about 4 billion video views every day. Already, campaigns have taken notice that Facebook's algorithm has been pushing videos embedded on the site higher and higher in users' newsfeeds. (Harris says Paul's videos now get triple the interactions that more static posts get.)