Guest Blog Post: Get Schooled on Digital Marketing for Districts

Introduction by Chris Korsmo SVP of Education at Strategies 360 and guest blog post by Matt Davidson, SVP of Digital Marketing at Strategies 360

Fellow Travelers,

As we head into fall, many of you are heads down and deep into strategies for the next year. Whether it’s legislative session or the political season, your preparation now can be a huge part of victory later. As you’re considering your communications strategies I wanted to share some information on digital media so that you consider it as part of your tool box. I know I wish I’d invested more in it as a leader in policy change prior to coming to Strategies 360. Now, it’s a mainstay for my clients – a critical part of their communications strategy. Hope you find this useful.


As the world evolves into a digital place where individuals share their lives online, political campaigns have had to evolve to meet these new realities. However, with change comes opportunity. In the new world of digital organizing and persuasion, there is more data, targeting and cost efficiencies than anything that has ever existed through more traditional mediums. In this world, we can now identify behaviors, interests, demographics and even voting histories in a way that had never previously existed. And better yet, it’s more cost effective and measurable than any other form of voter outreach.

Having executed dozens of digital campaigns for school districts, here are the three top reasons to use digital marketing for these campaigns:

1. Targeting

The level of targeting ability through digital media is unprecedented. With numerous data providers and networks collecting every detail possible about online interaction, digital targeting can incorporate identified behaviors, interests, demographics and offline voter lists.

With a robust set of voter data, you will be able to match voter lists through IP targeting as well as matching to social media and other online accounts. This allows campaigns to reach these individuals across a wide variety of digital platforms and media channels. Actions such as regularly reading political related content, commenting on and liking politicians social media pages and even subscriptions to various related publications will help to expand target universes beyond the offline voter lists while refining our overall universe. And of course, there’s tremendous data to identify and reach out to parents who are most likely to benefit from the passage of a school bond and levy.

2. Costs

Digital media is inexpensive compared to other communication avenues. For every $1 spent online, you will typically get between 50 – 100 views of your messaging online. This allows for budgets to be stretched and truly scaled to a large audience for the money invested in digital. Often times in school district campaigns, budgets can be tight. Digital media presents a really good opportunity to strategically and intelligently invest those budgets to reach the most people for the money spent.

3. Tracking

When measuring success, there are a number of variables we review to determine how successful a campaign is performing. For starters, we you can determine overall reach and saturation to determine if the entire voter universe is being reached. Engagement rates can be used to determine if your messaging is resonating with the audience. Targeting can be reviewed to see if specific audiences are engaging and being prioritized in the way they should. And finally, the results of the election will be telling to see if the campaign over or under performed expectations.

For these reasons and many others, we always recommend digital as an integral part of any good campaign strategy. When it comes to targeting, cost effectiveness and tracking, there are no other communication channels that can compete. Plus, as people spend more and more of their lives online, the sheer scale and reach of any good digital effort can make all the difference.