Pathmatics Blog

Political Ad Spend & Polling: A Partnership with Embee

November 03 2020 by Matthew Bozin

We’re down to the wire! With Election Day less than 24hrs away, Pathmatics has been hard at work researching the most up-to-date insights. But, to offer a more complete picture, we partnered with Embee to share a glimpse into user trends, experiences and behaviors in Instagram.

Combining our industry leading ad intelligence, Embee polled over 14k Instagram users to find out their views on voting, issues that concern them the most, and who they think might win the Presidential Election.

Targeted Investment

With 30 days to go, both campaigns used different channel strategies to raise donations and get the word out to vote. Diving a little deeper, the Biden campaign chose to invest almost 3X more than the Trump campaign in Instagram, at $1.5MM vs. $359k respectively. And, according to Embee’s data, that translated to 5.4% of IG users reporting they’d seen an ad for either candidate.

The result – Biden posted 222 Creatives to Trump’s 52 on the social network, also gaining a huge advantage in impression volume with 194M impressions to Trump’s 45.9M.

Screen Shot 2020-11-02 at 3.07.16 PM

Getting the Message Out

When asked what the top 5 issues affecting the US are, it’s not surprising that the top 3 dealt with health (56.7%), the economy (50.4%), and the global pandemic (45.4%), all of which are inherently linked together.

Screen Shot 2020-11-02 at 2.06.48 PM

Similarly, we did an analysis of creative text for IG ads in the last month for both campaigns, finding that the Biden Campaign seem to be looking at the numbers, with ads mentioning health, covid, the economy and education, while the Trump campaign ads don’t specifically mention any of the top issues.

Screen Shot 2020-11-02 at 2.27.44 PMScreen Shot 2020-11-02 at 2.27.06 PM

Popping the Bubble

It's no secret ads are influential - otherwise, why spend all this money? But the real measure of political ad spend is how its affecting voters. According to Embee, 80% of Biden's and Trump's ads were served to registered voters who actually intend to vote - Check! 

Screen Shot 2020-11-02 at 3.50.58 PMHowever, more interestingly, the data shows the majority of political ad spend for each candidate went to voters, already in their respective bases, both in terms of party affiliation and who they'd already planned to vote for. But, there's still undecideds out there, combing through Instagram, who could be swayed, even up to the last minute.

Taking IG Seriously 

The good news - Instagram isn't only for influencers peddling energy drinks and bathing suits. With 107 million US users, 53% 18-34, political campaigns see the value in marketing to the younger demographic. And with exponential growth in the next 5 years, we expect the 2024 election to see a significant jump in spend on the social platform.

Our thanks to Embee for the killer insights, and, if you haven't already - get out and vote!

About Author
Matthew Bozin

After earning his BS in Communications, Matt cut his teeth in the entertainment industry, spending fifteen years writing everything from feature screenplays for A-List directors, to celebrity bios for some of Hollywood’s top actors. That creative drive made it an easy transition to Marketing, bringing his eye for storytelling to the digital advertising ecosystem.

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