From social media to Google, more Americans are getting their political news online.

According to Pew Research Center, Facebook is now the #1 source of political news for Millennials. Meanwhile, almost 50% of web-using adults have gotten political news on Facebook within the past week.

Since most of the political content on Facebook comes from other sites, digital newspapers are a huge opportunity for politicians.

In fact, Univision Communications – Hillary Clinton’s top financial supporter – just bought a 40% controlling stake in The Onion.

Since the purchase, the satire news site has moved from printing headlines such as “Campaign Staffers Making Progress Conditioning Hillary Clinton to Replicate Emotions” to “Clinton Credits Nevada Victory To Inescapable, Pitch-Black Tide Of Fate”.

It’s clear that politicians and their supporters see that digital newspapers have the power to sway.

Millennials Facebook political news source

Image Source: Pew Resource Center

Politicians to Spend $1 Billion on Digital Advertising This Year

A study by Borrell Associates predicts that politicians will spend a record-breaking $1 billion+ on digital channels this year. This is a 20% increase from digital spending in the 2012 Presidential campaign.

However, this number is just 9.5% of all political ad dollars. Borrell predicts that 52% of these funds will go towards broadcast television.

“Despite the allure of digital media, things like banner ads and search advertising don’t do as good a job as television commercials persuading the electorate to like or dislike a candidate or a particular issue,” the report says.

Still, as digital usage continues to rise, political spending will increase with it. Borrell forecasts that it will reach almost $3.3 billion during the 2020 presidential campaign.

political news source

Newspapers Have the Power to Sway Voters

Politicians are now spending more on digital than they are on print newspaper ads. The Borrell study forecasts that they will only use 8% of their advertising budget on newspapers.

However, newspapers are still important. They carry a lot of influence, especially at the local level.

Feature stories and political endorsements can generate a lot of media attention – potentially swaying undecided voters. In addition, more than 80% of voters say that they regularly read newspapers

Borrell recommends that newspapers expand their election coverage to report on all aspects of a race – such a ballot issues. This will create more opportunities for politicians to place ads around specific stories.

political ad spending forecasts

Image Source: Editor & Publisher


Mobile Matters When It Comes to Reaching Voters

One area where politicians can focus their advertising efforts is on mobile.

According to International Business Times, 20% of Millennials now access the Internet exclusively through their mobile devices.

Meanwhile, 39 of the top 50 online news websites get more traffic from mobile devices than they get from desktops. reported that “One of the biggest advances in reaching voters on their phones since 2012 has been the increased amounts of data on potential voters in this election cycle and the ability to better connect what voters are doing on their desktop computers to what they are doing on their cell phones.”

Politicians can use mobile data to target voters based on any number of factors – from their location to their personal interests. also reported that political display ads tend to be more effective on mobile. Since these ads take up a larger portion of a mobile screen than a desktop screen, users are more likely to click them.  

mobile political campaign ads

Image Source: CNN


Delivering the Right Message on the Right Channel to the Right Voter Is Key

Politicians who increase their digital efforts can gain huge advantages. While channels such as television and newspapers are great for reaching a general audience, digital campaigns can get their message in front of a very targeted audience at a very precise time. For example, politicians can target voters by issue, social channel, mobile device, or demographics. This can help them reach a younger, tech-savvy audience and sway a new generation of voters.   

Advertising across media platforms requires a deep understanding of consumers – knowing where and how they get their information.

Are you taking advantage of the opportunities available in print and digital?

Contact us today to learn how to maximize your reach across all platforms.