How to Use Social Media to Engage Millennial Voters

It is no surprise that over 80% of Americans use prominent sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat to stay connected in various communities and informed about current events. The reach of social media has helped transform a number of different industries, from online advertising to e-commerce–but little estimated the true magnitude of social media’s impact on the political landscape.

Regardless of political affiliation, it is clear that social media played a huge role in the 2016 election and the campaign cycles that followed. But across the board, most political campaigns are still lagging in utilizing social media to capture the attention of younger generations. With the 2020 elections creeping up, political advertisers need to update their paid social strategy to engage Millennials.

Why Millennials?

For elections to come, Millennials are projected to grow into the largest generation in the electorate, making them an ideal demographic to reach. The 2016 election estimated 62 million Millennials eligible to vote, surpassing the amount of Generation X and nearing the 70 million Baby Boomers. Additionally, Millennials’ eligibility is only set to grow, compared to the inverse growth trend of Baby Boomers.

But despite positive growth, Millennials fail to compete on the number of actual voters. 2016 results showed approximately only half of Millennials voted versus a near 70% voter turnout from Baby Boomers. While it is true that historical data points to low voter turnout among young adults, Millennials are still politically involved. Whether it be contacting politicians for policy change, protesting for social causes, or participating as civic volunteers. For political campaigns, it’s more important than ever that they meet millennial voters where they are, and this includes on social channels. Below are a few steps that serve as a great starting point for political advertisers looking to drive engagement among Millennials.  

1.Increase Digital Spending Budget

On average, political budgets spend only 2.7-5.1% of their massive media budgets on digital advertising, while 50% of the budget is allocated for television ads and direct mail.

In the 2016 presidential election, Trump identified the potential in digital media, effectively investing 44% of his media budget on digital campaigns. As users shift to online methods for obtaining information, campaigners need to avoid outdated advertising methods and shift their strategy online as well.

2. Build a Strong Brand

Building a strong social media presence is essential for any political candidate at any level. It allows the campaign to engage under a unifying theme through audio-visual experiences and real-time interactions.  

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a perfect example of a social media master. Even as a freshman legislator and the youngest congresswoman ever, AOC has amassed undeniable power in the political landscape. She took to the digital stage to share personal anecdotes as well as her political platform, building one of the most engaged followings on Capitol Hill.

3. Connect in Real-time Conversations

Twitter has gained the most traction among politicians and constituents alike. Before character-capped tweets, politicians had few opportunities to share opinions frequently; now, the platform serves as a direct communication platform for campaigners to be more connected to followers and transparent in terms of policy stance. It allows politicians to gauge sentiment in real-time and take appropriate action to engage their audience.


At the end of the day, voters want to feel heard, and social media is the bridge that gives voters a platform to a voice. By prioritizing digital strategy, political campaigners can effectively push their message to a large audience and closer connect to Millennial constituents.

Choosing the Right Programmatic Advertising KPIs for Your Travel Brand

In 2018, an estimated $46 billion was spent on programmatic advertising by all Internet marketers. It’s further projected that by 2020 up to 90 percent of all the display ads you see on your cellphone screen will be programmatic.

In short, this digital technology is revolutionizing the way ad business is conducted, and how you’ll run your next travel marketing campaign. So we should start by answering a basic question.

What is programmatic advertising?

You see the fruits of programmable ad strategy just about every time you go online. Conduct an Internet search to find a nearby coffeehouse in Schenectady and you’re suddenly assailed with display ads for Schenectady coffeehouses on seemingly every web page.

In the early days of Internet marketing, you had to place your display ads…somewhere. Maybe you put an ad for a Cancun weekend getaway on Travelocity and trusted that at least a few people going to that page on that site were looking into Mexican resort vacations.

Programmatic advertising doesn’t wait for interested Cancun travelers to land where your ad happens to be. Google algorithms track individuals who’ve used search terms and visited websites that identify them as having an interest in Cancun travel.

That’s critical because most people don’t even notice display ads…except those that match a current need. A Cancun weekend getaway ad will totally escape your attention unless you happen to be conducting Internet research regarding pricing and availability of Cancun travel packages.

It’s much different than the old “spray and pray” advertising approach of dropping ads everywhere your budget will allow where you think interested parties just might show up.

Writing campaign-effective KPIs

The thing is, your programmatic ads are only as good as your programming. Once you set your campaign in motion, it will do whatever you told it to do. But how do you know you’re telling your automated campaign to do smart and cost-effective things? That’s where your KPIs come in.

Your key performance indicators are your documentation of what you want your programmatic advertising campaign to accomplish – and then what it did. If you are working with a programmatic partner, they can advise you on the KPIs that are most relevant for your brand and other digital efforts and how your campaign may stack up against the competition.

Effective travel marketing KPIs

Now that you know the basics of running a programmatic campaign for travel advertising, let’s look at some indicators you might consider tracking to measure performance.

  1. Number of unique website visitors — There’s a lot that this number won’t tell you, but it’s a good place to start. If you know your average monthly unique visitor count, you can easily get a quick snapshot of performance by checking out your new numbers after campaign launch.
  2. Conversion rate — What are people doing once you land them on your landing page? What do you want them to do? Watch a destination video? Download a brochure? Sign up for your email newsletter? How many are doing it? This is where A/B testing is a useful strategy. Use it to compare the effectiveness of varying offers and creative approaches.
  3. Audience Engagement and Sales — You want engagement and sales, especially among your most valuable audience members. How many qualified prospects do you expect to reach through this campaign? How many leads do you need to convert to paying customers to justify the media spend?
  4. Return on investment — ROI is always your bottom-line marketing metric, isn’t it? For many ad managers, it’s the difference between that next promotion or budget increase.

Maintain constant focus

No programmatic advertising campaign is static. While your ad placement is automated, your job doesn’t end after hitting a few buttons. You must constantly analyze the metrics, see what meets your KPIs and what doesn’t, and adjust your messaging and placement strategy for ever-better results.

As long as you do this, you’ll find your mistakes early and be able to reconfigure quickly and cost-effectively.

May the metrics be with you!

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