Tuesday Tips: How to Drive Voter Engagement with Digital Content

Campaigns today are looking past traditional means of mobilizing voters to meet the digital age ‒ Facebook posts can also impact how people vote. This is especially important for progressive campaigns hoping to engage the rising American electorate: 88% of millennials and 74% of minority voters use Facebook on a daily basis. Campaigns must learn how to reach their target universe in the digital age of politics.

So what kind of content best drives engagement on social media? Videos, videos, and more videos!

Short, compelling videos ‒ not wordy posts ‒ have the biggest impact on social media. Facebook posts with videos attract 3x more likes than text-only ‒ and people gaze 5x longer at videos ​than ​static ​content. Campaigns can optimize voter outreach online with a high volume of low-cost videos. Remember that the best videos are those built for social media. As Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg put it, “the most effective video ads are really built for social.”

Campaigns can produce a wide array of short videos that impart powerful campaign messages. Here’s a few frames campaigns might use to make their videos both personal and powerful:

  • Introduction videos feature the candidate and articulate a central message. The video should explain in one minute or less the candidate is running ‒ whether it be personal motivations, specific career or district-specific qualifications, or something else.
  • Positive ads cover any number of issues, and generally include appeals based on a candidate’s background, charisma, political platform, term priorities, etc. This often involves b-roll of candidates, candidates talking straight to camera, and other footage of campaign events, media coverage, home videos, photographs, volunteer action, or compelling supporters.
  • Citizen or volunteer testimonials raise the stakes of an election, make issues more personal for voters, and add authenticity to a campaign. While citizen testimonials distributed on television are typically professionally shot, lower quality production is well-suited for social media.
  • Endorsement videos help campaigns harness the power of their political party and prominent supporters. Public endorsements can be recorded live or filmed.

Ads that capture real people and real messages can help campaigns reach voters with authentic videos that resonate. These videos don’t have to be professionally shot or produced ‒ while colorful advertisements chock full of professional footage work for a wide television audience, content created exclusively for social media can be viral without significant investment in high- quality production or editing.

Check out our next post for more Tuesday Tips on how to make campaign videos on a budget!

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