Digging for Votes Goes Digital: Internet Ad Spend in 2016 Could Hit $1 Billion

Digging for Votes Goes Digital Internet Ad Spend in 2016 Could Hit 1 BillionPresident Barack Obama may have been one of the first to make digital a priority, but he’s not going to be the last.

Political campaign analysts expect, as a matter of fact, that online advertising in the next election cycle could surge to $1 billion.

Especially in presidential cycle elections, candidates are working harder to “micro-target” prospective voters with specially designed appeals delivered via the internet.

Yes, television and radio advertising is still the king of the hill in campaign spending. But digital continues to explode.

Betsy Hoover, the founding partner at 270 Strategies and the former digital organizing director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, thinks campaigns need to start working now.

“The next step for campaigns is to effectively incorporate these various platforms into a cohesive strategy. It can’t be an afterthought. That isn’t enough anymore,” Hoover explained. “Campaigns will need to invest in the talent to do the back-end work to integrate these platforms.”

And, according to Adotas, “Having a strong and aggressive digital advertising campaign played a key role in Scott Walker’s successful re-election campaign in 2014, according to a Google case study obtained by The Wall Street Journal.”

Spending on campaigns in general — and digital in specific — has skyrocketed. The 2008 presidential race cost candidates $2.4 billion and was called “the most expensive presidential contest ever.” Four years later, presidential campaign spending rose yet again — to about $3.2 billion, a new record — according to the Federal Election Commission.

Now digital advertising, whether by candidates or their supporting organizations and pacs, will get a bigger piece of the political ad pie.