Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Made-for-Digital Content Courts Young Voters

In their efforts to corral younger, millennial voters, 2016 election campaigns are investing in made-for-digital content, with a focus on social media and mobile, at record rates, according to a recent CNBC.com article. Reuters estimates that candidates will spend $1 billion on digital media advertising, close to four times the amount spent in 2012, CNBC reports. Almost six months before the primary elections, 80% of declared presidential hopefuls have created made-for-digital YouTube videos, and eight candidates have used live streaming for their candidacy announcements. Democratic contender Sen. Bernie Sanders even worked with a virtual reality production company to film a fundraising speech so viewers could have a 3-D, 360-degree experience. Candidates clearly want to tap into the 18- to 36-year-old crowd that, per the Crowdtap marketing platform, spends 17.8 hours a day consuming media content, especially through social sites. It is also a voter group that is so mobile-phone-addicted that YouTube on mobile now reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds than any single cable network. When it comes to content delivery, Facebook is aggressively courting politicians with updated ad products that allow matching of voter files with Facebook profile data, and Snapchat is curating live candidate events and offering candidates their own Snapchat channels. However, in embracing made-for-digital video, candidates are taking a new approach from the slick TV-style productions of the past. Campaigns are trying to connect to a new generation of voters with raw, live and hopefully viral content (Sen. Ted Cruz frying bacon on the barrel of a gun). A quote from Sen. Rand Paul's chief digital strategist, Vincent Harris, sums up: "2016 is potentially the first cycle that, by Election Day, voters will be consuming more content from the Internet than on television. This is especially true for first-time voters, younger voters and college voters..." For more, read http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/05/how-pols-are-targeting-the-youth-vote-go-360-and-snapchat-like-mad.html

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