Since the birth of broadcast video, it’s been among the most important and influential parts of virtually any political campaign. From the infamous “Daisy” Presidential spot, to the game-changing Kennedy-Nixon Debate, to the current deluge of online political ads, Internet video promotions should be a part of any politician’s outreach package.
A well-made, popular video can be a huge boost to a campaign, but a poorly-made one can just as easily hurt you or, at least, turn into a waste of money. How do you make the most of online video promotions in your campaign strategies? Here are three big tips to help you get there!
Using Internet Video Promotions to Boost Your Campaign
I. One message per video, always.
When putting together a political video, it can be tempting to throw in everything but the kitchen sink, or to drown your audience in facts and statistics. Don’t do this.
A political video should be tightly focused to have one single key takeaway message that will be unmistakable to any reasonable person viewing it. Even if they disagree with that message, there should never be any doubt what your core point is.
To this end, strip out anything that doesn’t directly contribute to making that point. This will also help keep your videos short. There’s rarely any reason these days for a single political clip to run more than two minutes, and 30-60 seconds is a better length.
Plus, when it comes to online video productions, more is generally better. If you have a dozen different points to make, tell them with a dozen different videos. There’s more of a chance of one gaining traction.
II. Set a mood.
There’s no getting around this one: effective political video promotions are designed to influence your viewers’ hearts at least as much as their minds. To this end, everything in the production of your video needs to aim at setting a single mood that influences your viewers’ perception of your presentation.
Consider the following when planning and scripting your video:
- What IS the mood? A video focused on your opponent’s failures will likely be more dark and grim, whereas one talking about your greatness should be upbeat and optimistic.
- Set the tone with music. Music will play a huge role in determining your video’s mood. There are plenty of libraries of stock music out there which you can utilize to find the perfect soundtrack.
- Consider sound design. Added reverb on a voice will make it sound ominous or portentous. A low-register Trent Reznor-style industrial buzz or Hans Zimmer bass throbbing creates an indistinctly uncomfortable vibe. Crowd noises at live appearances can be made more prominent in mixing, to make them seem more enthusiastic. Most viewers won’t notice the sound design, but it WILL affect their perceptions.
- Use language that appeals to your audience. This can be as simple as choosing to be “plain spoken” or to have more of a college professor appeal. Or, you can take it further and integrate dog whistles that only certain viewers will catch or understand.
III. Inspire Action.
Of course, the action you ultimately want is for people to vote for you, but with online video promotions, the other action you want to inspire is for them to share your materials with their friends and acquaintances. To do this:
- Make it simple to share your videos socially with a variety of one-click buttons.
- Have your own social media account to promote your videos.
- Add interactive apps that add depth, interest, or fun trivia to your videos.
- Embed a link in the video that goes to your mailing list signup form.
- Have plenty of links to your website and other promotional materials.
- Directly encourage them to spread the word. Unlike with commercial videos, openly asking for shares in political videos is fine.
If you want to get elected, you need video. It’s as simple as that.