political

How political ads and video content influence voters in the US

People watch videos all the time, including on the move.

People watch videos all the time, including on the move.

Given it’s from the Google, the piece How political ads and video content influence voters in the US understandably rather concentrates on Google’s own platforms but the principles are more widely applicable too:

Election micro-moments happen when voters turn to a device to learn about a candidate, event, or issue. Today’s voters want a quick way to catch up on the latest elections buzz and they’ve found it in online video.

Since April 2015, people have watched more than 110 million hours of candidate- and issues-related content on YouTube. That’s 100X the amount of time it would take to watch all content ever aired on CNN, C-Span, MSNBC, and Fox News combined. Whether voters are looking for a debate sound bite, instructions on how to vote, or Stephen Colbert’s latest burn, they turn to YouTube…

And voters of all ages—not just young people—turn to YouTube in their I-want-to-know moments. While 59% of people who turn to online video to learn more about the candidates are under the age of 35, one in four are over the age of 45.

So, how can candidates win these micro-moments to win in November?

Google gives three answers:

  1. Track search trends data to see what voters are looking for information on and make sure you have video content to provide it.
  2. Even better, anticipate future surges in search data and have your videos already in place. That’s important because the surges in interest can be very quick.
  3. Create video content in partnership with non-politicians who have their own established audiences and credibility.

A fourth point, which they don’t mention, is that when done well – really well – videos can come with a huge emotional impact. More often for most campaigns, however, the struggle is to make sure that the video is of at least basic competence – and to ensure there is someone who has the judgement and courage to say ‘no’ when it clearly isn’t.

You can read the piece from Google in full here.

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