Want to only talk to Independents who voted by mail in three of the last four elections? Right in their Facebook News Feed?
No problem says Gateway Media’s Kurt Snow: “We will pull any voter select in any political district in any of the 50 states and have that target matched to Facebook and waiting in your FB ad account by tomorrow. And did I mention we do all that for free?”
In one fell swoop, Gateway Media has leapfrogged “big data” systems that merely offer educated guesses as to who are, and are not voters in a given target. With the patent-pending Gateway to Facebook technology, “you pick your voter file target and we match that exact list to Facebook. No spillage, no waste, no talking to the wrong people,” added Snow.
While a candidate might pay $25 per thousand for a list of voters for a mailing, Gateway imports voter data, literally, for free. The Facebook match is also free. In fact, the only charge is $2 for every thousand ads you send to voters in the target audience.
Here’s how it works: On our site, a candidate or consultant will simply choose what list vendor they’d like their list pulled from, say a list in California from Political Data, Inc., or perhaps, a list of Texas or Massachusetts voters from L2, at no charge. The requested list will be pulled and matched, appearing the next day in the candidate’s Facebook account where it can be used to target ads.
Suppose a candidate has selected a target that nets a list of 39,000 Facebook-matched voters. The candidate runs an ad that reaches 32,000 of those voters and is charged just a $64 data charge to reach those 32,000 voters ($2 X 32,000 = $64) right in their News Feed. That’s in addition to whatever Facebook charges for the advertising, of course.
“This is huge,” said veteran Democratic political consultant Dale Emmons. “Facebook candidate advertising has changed forever. We can now reach specific voters in their Facebook News Feed for a fraction of a penny, with no spillage, no waste and never a message to the wrong voter.”
“We’ve just finished beta testing this, and it’s everything we could have hoped,” said Republican Duane Dichiara of Revolvis. “In California, 2/3rds of voters are on Facebook for an average at or near 50 minutes per day. And it’s always a captive audience of one.”
It takes about 5-7 minutes to set up an account and start ordering lists, but once the account is established, there is literally no limit to how many targets can be created. (The only exception is that Facebook imposes a 10,000 minimum threshold for matching purposes.)
One of the ironies of using what is called “hard targeting” i.e. using actual one-to-one voter matching on Facebook, is that it can actually make it less likely for an opponent to reach the same targeted voters.
“That’s a function of programmatic ad buying software,” explained Gateway’s Digital Media Director Matt Johnson. “Suppose a candidate for Governor and a candidate for U.S. Senate are both using hard-targeting of voters on Facebook. Then you come along as a congressional candidate and do the same thing. Both of those statewide campaigns overlap your district. Programmatic software is going to slightly bid up the price Facebook will charge to reach those voters, but at least you’ll still be talking to voters. That same programmatic software is going to serve your opponent’s ads to the people you’re not targeting, in effect, he or she will be targeting non-voters, wasting every last penny.”
In other words, the more candidates use Gateway’s free voter matching, the more they insure their opponent’s waste their ad dollars.
We asked Johnson for his 2016 predictions.
“We anticipate the digital spend will be about 22% of campaign budgets in 2016, and we think the largest single chunk of that is going to Facebook,” said Johnson. “We like Pandora and Hulu a lot right now, because like Facebook they’re basically fraud-free. The day when some overnight sensation walks in and promises to buy your ads for the cheapest CPM are gone and good riddance. Using lowest CPM as your metric insures you’re buying bot networks or, in the case of platforms like Facebook, buying the non-voters that the more targeted campaigns are leaving behind for you. If you’re going to venture down those Internet alleyways, have someone like a TubeMogul at your side.”
“It’s a race to quality,” he concluded. “It always has been. It’s just taken a while for the dust to settle. People will look back in five years and be astounded at how dirt cheap it was to buy Facebook. Enjoy it while you can.”
There is a tutorial on our Get Started page that shows you how to create an account and start downloading free Facebook-matched voter lists. You can also request a private online session where a Gateway technician will walk you through set-up step by step. To set up your personal session, click here.