Digital presence has played a large part in the election season ever since Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Obama raised $500M online in 2008 and $690M online in 2012 [Source]. Both grassroots fundraising and the way the Obama campaign optimized ad spend were seen as pivotal to winning the election. Startups like Civis Analytics which spun out of his campaign have gone on to help several Fortune 500 companies with their media buying techniques.
Let’s take a quick look at how this presidential race is doing in terms of digital presence and media buying!
Both Clinton and Trump launched their websites in 2015 (though I assume Hilary had an equally popular website in 2008!).
As of Sept 30th, Hillary’s campaign website stands at 14M total sessions a month, with about 6M coming from desktop and 8M from mobile. Donald Trump follows closely with 11M total sessions a month, with about 5M coming from desktop and 6M from mobile.
Both have had their Alexa rank grow as expected, quickly rising to the top, with Hillary at 2857 and Trump at 4145. Note that Hillary’s Alexa rank has hovered in mid to high hundreds of thousands in recent years, given that she has held political office and has run previous political campaigns; however, the presidential campaign lords over the previous rankings.
Search spend and organic attention
Without going too deep into analyzing their PPC strategy, keywords and uniques for Trump and Hillary for just their direct phrases (“donald trump” and “hillary clinton”) are hovering as follows on Google:
- "hillary clinton" has a search volume of 1.7-1.8M, with CPCs hovering around $2
- "donald trump" has a search volume of 3.2-3.4M, with CPCs hovering around $1.10-1.40
This is actually pretty interesting, given that though Donald Trump’s website has a slightly lower number of sessions, the overall search volume for him is about twice that of Hillary's.
Both are on the lower end of CPCs on Google. Hillary’s CPC indicates some spend on the media buying side, though not too heavy. Trump’s CPCs being are much lower possibly because of the organic media attention he has received. A quick graph from Google Trends looking at relative attention numbers supports this fact.
So it seems, while Hillary might be winning on redirecting campaign users to her website, Trump is winning on the organic attention side and perhaps staying top of mind.
With fierce competition coming from both sides, this has definitely been an interesting election to follow!