On Friday I put up 5 online ads aimed at saving Social Security and Medicare that we were testing over the weekend, to see which one performed the best.  The ads are running through Google AdWords in key swings states like Florida and Ohio, and are targeted at the senior citizens.

While the public opinion overwhelmingly opposes cuts to Social Security or Medicare benefits for any reason, the challenge right now is getting the word out about what’s happening.  It’s hard  to reach people when you have to go around the co-opted media, the silent  veal pen groups that people usually look toward for validation at moments like this, and the weasel words coming out of Washington DC that cloak what’s going behind closed doors.

One of the best and most cost-effective ways to do that is through online advertising with Google and Facebook, which allows you to target ads specifically at the demographic groups in the geographic areas you want to reach.  So that’s one of the things we’re doing.

The bigger our budget, the more people we can reach with these ads. Can you please chip in $10 to strengthen our online ad campaign and expand our capabilities?

The average banner click-through rates, according to the latest MediaMind survey, is .09%.  The click-through rate, however, is not the be-all, end-all.  Studies have also concluded that the “hover rate” (the amount of time someone hovers the mouse over the ad) is also a significant indicator of attention paid by viewers, however Google doesn’t measure hover rate.  The point being, that the ads have impact beyond those who click through to the landing page.

Two of the ads did significantly better than the average, one came in right about there, and one was not performing so we stopped serving it before it actually got any clicks. That’s the great thing about online advertising — you really get a chance to see what’s working and what isn’t, and adjust your buy before you’ve sunk a lot of money into the ads.  One other did not run because of a technical glitch, but that is fixed and we should have results on that soon.

So here they are, from best performing to worst performing.  The ads were created before Obama said publicly that he had offered $650 billion in cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, so we’re working on creating an ad to reflect that.  In the mean time, these are the results for the ads we’re running:

Ad Click-through rate
0.47%
Paused (0%)
0.38%
0.10%
(awaiting approval)