3.2.2. Advertising campaign

The insertion of institutional advertising reinforces and amplifies the impact of a campaign of a participation process. Each institution has its budget and policy regarding advertising campaigns, the execution of which is usually carried out by a media agency.
Before going into details, it should be emphasized that each medium has characteristics that are directly related to the type of consumption, and advertising must be adapted to each medium to ensure that the effectiveness of the campaign is optimal.
For example, the highest percentage of content consumption in social networks is done from the mobile, without wifi and with a 5-second attention window, so you have to make sure that the impact is adapted to each support.
Outdoor advertising, radio and television are passive media, while digital is a medium where the consumer is active and in which the relevance of the content must be ensured in order not to be intrusive.
To design or order a campaign is a great advantage to have training or experience in advertising. Although if you do not have, in this section are explained, in broad strokes, the types of advertising that can be used, the needs that should be covered by the side of the institution and some basic recommendations.

Before ordering the campaign

Some questions that the institution has to contemplate before entering to develop the campaign are:
  • Define the target audience to which the campaign is directed: who we are targeting, both demographically (age ranges, sex, socioeconomic class, geographical distribution), and qualitatively (interests or affinity with specific contents such as the environment, cinema, urban planning, travel , etc). This will help us determine the size of the campaign and the distribution of the weight by type of media.
  • Define the main and secondary objective of the campaign to mark strategies: what we want to achieve (records, votes, presentation of proposals, etc.). It is a decision that the institution has to make.
  • Offline, online advertising? Although it will depend on the study of the target audience and their consumption of media, an ideal scenario is the combination of both types of advertising if you have a sufficient budget. It must be emphasized that our participation platform is digital, so online advertising is a "natural" format for our objectives. We seek that users click on our page and participate, and it is easier to get if they come from a digital environment.
  • Materials needed according to the objective of the campaign: depending on the main objective of the campaign we will need some materials or others. There are no clear guidelines to know what works best.
In the experience of Decide Madrid, the use of videos has served to publicize the platform (branding), while the images and GIFs have better supported calls to action for users to make direct decisions from online advertising.

During and at the end of the campaign

It is important that during the course of the campaign there are partial follow-up reports to be able to decide the optimal strategy at all times.
If it is detected that there are better results with one strategy than with another and we are in time to turn resources into something that works, we must be able to redirect the campaign and in this way, in addition to increasing the impact among the public, optimize the advertising investment .
Likewise, it is essential to have a complete report of final results. Each advertising experience serves to learn in the face of a future campaign.
Some metrics that should be taken into account in the final analysis are:
  • The reach of the announcements (to how much public we have reached).
  • The number of visits to our website through advertising.
  • Conversions (is the fulfillment of the action we were looking for, such as completing a vote).
  • The CTR (the clicks that a link obtains with respect to its number of impressions).
  • The CPC (how much each action / click has cost depending on the investment).
  • The CPV (cost for video playback), etc.
Practical tip: regarding metrics we can detect what works best in terms of creativities, media, etc. If any of the advertising actions has not worked at all, it may not be the best way to get users hooked.
As for new formats, if we do a test with little investment with any format or medium and we see that it has given good results, we can expand investment in the future.

Television advertising

Television is the most viewed medium today and the most expensive type of advertising to produce and when buying spaces. Before investing in television advertising you have to assess aspects such as how much it costs to create an advertisement; in what chains and when to insert them (cost of the time slot, audience, etc).

Advertising in digital media

The proliferation of digital media has gone up in the last two decades, as well as advertising investment in them. These media are a way to approach potential participants through banners that are shown when the participatory process is underway.
The cost will depend on the rates of each media depending on the position of the ads within the pages and the duration of their insertion, among others.

Advertising on social networks

Advertising on social networks is a relatively simple way to reach a broad audience and requires less production effort. It is important to have accounts with a broad base of followers, to get more impact with the campaign. However, if this is not the case, we can resort to launching the campaign from the main accounts of the institution, which may have been open for a longer time.
As for the investment to be made, it will depend on the results the institution wants to achieve. Based on these objectives, the agency will guide the investment that has to be made.
In what social networks should we advertise? To know what works best, each institution should be planned based on experience and data collected in previous campaign reports.
  • Facebook: since the algorithm change at the end of 2017, Facebook prioritizes the organic publications of family and friends with respect to brands, institutions, etc. It seems that the way the company sets to achieve visibility is to use the promoted publications, that is, advertising.
The main features of the ads on this platform are that it allows you to segment by location, age, sex, language and interests; they allow adding user behaviors (for example, if they follow our page) and marking the objectives we want to achieve, among others.
If images are used to advertise on Facebook, we must ensure that they have the least possible text, since excessive text penalizes. You can check the density with this tool offered by the platform itself. If video is used, it does not have to exceed 30 seconds in length.
More information: Facebooks page and Messenger ads
  • YouTube and video platforms: for the Google platform and others, there are formats such as pre-roll (very short video before a video is played) or mid- roll (very short video when playing a video), among others . You can also insert clickable banners into third-party videos
Regarding the duration of the videos, they must have a minimum of 12 seconds and a maximum of 30, and it must be taken into account that you can decide to omit the advertisement after 5 seconds of playback.
More information: ad page on YouTube
  • Instagram: this network, allows you to use images and videos. The most recommended format for images is the square (1080x1080 px) and you can not include more than 20% of the text in the image.
The videos, best in square format, should not exceed 30 seconds in length. In both cases it is advisable to include a call to action.
More information: Instagram ads page
  • Twitter: on Twitter you can promote campaigns with the objectives of getting more visits to the web; conversions; to get followers; interaction (increase retweets, create brand awareness or generate interest) and promotion of mobile apps (downloads and interaction).
This network allows you to segment the public by demographic data, by keywords that include users in tweets, by users who follow certain accounts and people interested in certain topics.
More information: Twitter ads page.

SEM Advertising

The SEM (Search Engine Marketing), is the promotion of a web page with payment ads in search engines like Google or Bing. The users look for a specific term and among the results it appears highlighted, in the superior part, publicity related to that search term.
We must consider this type of ads, because if we have an outdoor campaign and media appearances, it is likely that searches will increase. In issues such as direct democracy or citizen participation there may be less competition when positioning in this type of advertising.

Paper advertising

Advertising in the paper press (newspapers, magazines and Sunday papers) is one of the traditional formats in advertising. The publications offer insertions that vary in price depending on the position, size, dissemination of the medium, etc.
From higher to lower cost, there is full-page or double-page advertising, which is the one that has the greatest impact on readers; Stripps, which are the horizontal ads that are located at the bottom of the page and modules, which are the blocks into which a page is divided.
To obtain the materials we have to indicate exact measures to the design team and have the support of the media agency, who will advise us on how we can optimize this announcement.

Radio advertising

The radio is still a medium whose penetration is very high, so we should consider including the dissemination of advertising spots within our campaign. The media agency can present a plan in which it is necessary to take into account the duration of the campaign and, therefore, the density of emission of ads, the geographic scope and which time slots are the most recommended to reach the maximum possible public .
Of the writing of ads and the locution must be commissioned professionals, that either are in the own organization or it is necessary to include it between our requests if we resort to the contracting of services.