Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Will Voters 'Like' New Facebook Political Videos?

Political campaigns expanded use of video ads on Facebook and other social platforms in 2014. But if campaigns like Facebook video, they'll have to make changes to get voters to "like" them back in 2016, according to a recent article by Derek Willis for The Upshot website of The New York Times. Previously, many political videos were just re-purposed TV ads, either run on the candidate's Facebook page or as a "pre-roll" clip before another YouTube video that users actually wanted to watch. For political video ads to really leverage social media impact, they will need to be in the "feed" as ads, and grabbing attention in just a few seconds. That means 2016 campaign videos will have to be designed specifically for the Internet rather than TV, digital ad consultants predict. Plus, while social media has a great potential audience, data shows that politically active Facebook users rarely cross party lines and mainly share with like-minded followers. So tapping the wider reach of a social network like Facebook also will mean producing more distinct online videos customized to specific audiences. "Campaigns will need to produce vast quantities of customized messaging," Connor Walsh, a Republican digital consultant, told Willis. "And with a cap on the frequency a user is shown the same ad, campaigns cannot rely on repetition to drive home their message." Instead of repetition, video content will be challenged to use a few seconds of title and image for an immediate hook that inspires engagement and sharing. Yet while grabbing viewer attention, social video content will have to straddle the line between serious policy and the over-the-top "red meat" that can backfire, especially outside the base, warn digital media experts. Clearly, winning over social networks with political videos will not be an easy task. For the whole article, read http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/05/upshot/coming-to-your-facebook-feed-more-political-videos.html

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