With Election Day fast approaching on November 6th and key races for the House, Senate, and state governments happening across America, sounding the call to get out the vote is more important than ever. If your brand is hoping to make an impact and influence these crucial midterm elections, then the most compelling way to drive people to take action is via social video. Don’t be concerned that having a political stance is risky; on the flip side, consumers have ever-growing expectations for brands to focus on corporate social responsibility. Not to mention that you don’t have to explicitly choose sides when using social video to encourage your audience to rock the vote.
A study by Havas Group that included more than 300,000 people and 1,500 brands found that 75% of consumers expect brands “to make more of a contribution to our wellbeing and quality of life, yet only 40% believe brands are doing so.” On top of that, companies that Havas dubs “meaningful brands” have outperformed the stock market by a whopping 206% from 2006 to 2016, adding a serious financial incentive to create powerful content. With young audiences using social media more than any other platform to stay informed, you’ll only serve to benefit your company or organization by creating a get out the vote video campaign that resonates with this key demographic, as their purchasing power is as strong as their affinity for brands that take a stand. Here are some tips on how to you can use social video to promote democracy and advocate for taking advantage of our right to vote on Election Day, no matter what brand you represent.
1. Cut through the noise by getting right to the point
Hot-button issues like Social Security, healthcare, and student loan debt often elicit groans when not presented in easily digestible formats, which is one major reason why more people don’t get out the vote. That’s why it’s vital to get right to the point about the impact our elected officials have on our future when delivering messages on these subjects in social video. Creative strategy firm Nail Communications did just that in this clip highlighting the dire need for young people to vote for politicians that represent their needs:
2. Become a master curator
Creating an impactful social video often requires nothing more than curating other people’s content and repackaging it in your own format to maximize impact for both your audience and brand. Billboard did an excellent job at getting into the rock the vote video content game by leveraging the extensive media library in the Wibbitz platform and the influential tweets of celebrities like Katy Perry, John Legend, and Michelle Obama – and packaging it all into a perfectly shareable video for social.
Katy Perry & John Legend want you to register to vote. #BillboardNews
Posted by Billboard on Tuesday, September 25, 2018
2. Be fearless in focusing on issues that matter
When Taylor Swift outed her political leanings on Instagram and urged her 112 million-plus followers to vote, voter registrations surged around the country in the following days. The NBA champion Golden State Warriors are also doing their part, partnering with Rock the Vote to help get more voters registered across the nation. While you may not have the sway that Swift or Steph Curry do with your audience (yet), it goes to show that having the courage to align yourself with a cause or rationale can endear you even more to some of your biggest fans—and also highlight something of the utmost importance in discussing the need for young voters to register if they want to be able to cast their vote. You may risk alienating certain groups, but as marketing legend Seth Godin aptly put it, you can’t please everyone, so you ought to “do better work for those you can please.” Check out how the NBA’s finest handled a get out the vote video here:
4. Showcase the diversity of the voting public
Levi’s is using its clout as an internationally renowned clothing brand to encourage action with an extensive get out the vote campaign. In addition to leveraging its network of celebrity fans and iconic reputation, Levi’s is highlighting the diverse makeup of our country in a beautifully filmed social video that shows a melting pot of people getting ready to vote at polling stations across the nation. While many of the people in the video happen to be wearing Levi’s signature denim, it’s artfully composed and the primary message is clearly that people of all types should be rocking their right to vote.
Your vote is the ultimate use of your voice. So use it.
With Midterm Elections nearing, it’s time to use your voice to create the change you want to see. We’re all responsible for shaping our future. Learn how we're helping people use their voice: https://t.co/IkmqfxZIMf pic.twitter.com/N4dlUclmyK
— Levi's® (@LEVIS) September 24, 2018
5. Inform the public on key issues they’ll be voting on
A winning ‘get out the vote’ video conveys important information, such as voter registration deadlines and candidate profiles, to the public in a thorough way, and is brief enough to keep viewers interested to the end. PolitiFact accomplishes social video success in informing voters on a key issue on the ballot for Florida’s upcoming statewide election (regarding the rights of convicted felons when it comes to voting) in this simple video created with Wibbitz, that uses a zoom effect on still images for added visual effect:
Florida has some of the toughest hurdles in the U.S. for felons to regain their voting rights after leaving prison. In New York Andrew Cuomo made the process easier. On National Voter Registration Day we look at the policies in each state. https://bit.ly/2BD9oFP
Posted by PolitiFact on Tuesday, September 25, 2018
6. Keep your content short and simple
We’ve all heard that attention spans are getting shorter. Whether or not that’s true, it cannot be overstated that a powerful rock the vote video can be created with under a minute of footage and without human actors by cleverly using text animation and statistics to tell a story that moves people. Done well, this can condense complex ideas into simple concepts, which MTV achieves in its Elect This social video campaign that touches upon everything from climate change and LGBTQ rights to creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in a 30-second clip: