Bradley Nickel

Online Marketing Guy | adbeat.com

4 min read

Trump vs. Clinton on Display Part 2: Donald Trump

Note: This is Part 2 in a two-part series that reveals the two presidential candidates’ Display strategies. Click here to see Part 1: Hillary Clinton.

As of June 2016, there were rumors that the Trump campaign was running low on funds.

Subsequently, Trump blatantly started asking for public donations from supporters. There have been a few controversies over who he is asking and who is giving Trump these funds.

We’re not here to talk about those controversies.

We’re here to talk about one of the methods he uses to garner support and campaign cash from supporters:

Display advertising.

Up until about a month ago, Trump’s team didn’t spend a cent on digital advertising. Recently, however, the Trump team has pulled out the big guns on Display. Trump has begun to spend hard.

His campaign started off fairly vanilla. Trump wasn’t testing many landing pages or ad creatives. However, as he began to increase his spending, he also began to increase the number of A/B tests he’s running.

You can learn a lot from how Trump is running his campaign.

If you’re interested in seeing how a presidential hopeful’s team runs a multi-million dollar ad campaign in the final months of this year’s election, keep reading.

Donald Trump’s Top Ad Networks & Ad Spend

“The Donald” has spent an estimated $1,298,688 on Display over the past 60+ days. Trump allocates close to all of his ad spending to the Google Display Network. He allocates much smaller portions to Advertising.com and Direct Buys.

trump-ad-spend

Trump’s Publishers

Trump’s publisher selection strategy is similar to that of Hillary Clinton. Trump’s team buys most of their ad inventory on general political news sites, conservative news sites, and online magazines.

Here are Trump’s top 5 publishers:

trump-publishers

One thing that caught our eye is that both candidates are good at buying traffic on specific pages and placements that are most relevant to their ads and messaging. Both candidates’ media buying teams rarely make the mistake of purchasing inventory on a page that is likely to get a prospect not in their target audience (this is a mistake that too many advertisers make).

For example, here are Trump’s top placements on politico.com:

trump-placements-politico

You’ll notice that he buys traffic only on pages related to the presidential election. Now, it’s pretty easy for candidates to target pages related to them on a political news site. After all, they are presidential candidates.

But you’ll also notice that Trump’s team got a bit more creative. His media buyers also spend heavily on Forbes.com.

Which pages display Trump’s ads?

Trump typically places his ads on pages related to celebrity net worth:

trump-placements-forbes

What’s the lesson behind this?

Many online magazines and news sites contain sections that are relevant to your offer. The entire site might not be suitable, but large publishers like the Huffington Post or Forbes will have a few high-traffic placements that can perform well for your offer. This strategy is perfect for further scaling your campaign.

Both Trump and Hillary do an excellent job at selecting publishers and placements.

However, things start to get interesting when you dial down into Trump’s ad creative and landing page strategy.

Trump’s Ad Creatives

Trump tests a few different styles of ad creatives. You’ll notice that most of his creatives contain pro-America messages and imagery. Hillary Clinton tends to use less of this type of imaging. For example, here are some of the first ad creatives Trump launched that contained symbols of American success, like the NASA program:

trump-ads

You’ll also notice that Trump was A/B testing different calls-to-action in his earlier ad creatives. However, the A/B testing did not stop here.

Over the past few weeks, Trump has ramped up his A/B testing on the four main elements of his Display ads: the background color, the main image, the headline, and the call-to-action.

Here is a collection of recent ads that Trump has recently started testing:

leading-the-way-creatives

You’ll also notice that Trump was A/B testing different calls-to-action in his earlier ad creatives.

However, the A/B testing did not stop here.

Over the past few weeks, Trump has ramped up his A/B testing on the four main elements of his Display ads: the background color, the main image, the headline, and the call-to-action.

Here is a collection of recent ads that Trump has started testing:

trump-american-pride-creatives

Which style of ad is winning?

Since Trump’s team recently launched these A/B tests, it’s still unclear which ad is winning.

However, initial Adbeat data shows that Trump has been spending the most on the “Leading the Way” creatives.

You’ll see that the messages on Trump’s creatives feeds right into the messages on his landing pages.

Trump’s Landing Pages

Trump used to send all traffic to this “donation funnel”:

trump-landers

You’ll notice that the first page is a simple opt-in page based on the promise that he will “bring jobs back to the U.S.” The second page is a donation page that the user sees after opting in to Trump’s email list.

Trump has recently begun to allocate more of his ad spend to send prospects directly to this donation page:

trump-donation-lp-small

Trump’s media buyers have spent an estimated $117k sending traffic to this new donation page.

You’ll notice that the imagery on this landing page is in line with the imagery in his ad creatives, which shows typical Americana symbols.

Trump’s team has also been testing another opt-in page that contains a large image of Trump and his running mate Mike Pence:

trump-opt-in-new

The difference between this page and his original opt-in page is mainly the message. The headline of the first landing page is all about bringing jobs back to the US., while the headline of the second landing page is Trump’s campaign slogan.

Conclusion

If you’ve read part 1, then you’ll have noticed that there are many similarities between both Trump and Hillary’s ad campaigns. They both spend heavily on the Google Display Network, they both use very similar landing pages, and they both are ramping up spending as we get closer and closer to the election.

As of the publishing date of this blog post, Trump is slightly behind Hillary in the polls. Will his last effort on Display help give him the advantage he needs to win the election?

Only time will tell.

Bradley Nickel

Online Marketing Guy | adbeat.com

2 Comments

  1. Wow! Excellent post!!! I’ll do the same strategies to all of my display campaigns. Thank you so much!

    Reply

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