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dM / Blog » primary

Democratic presidential primary video metrics wrap up

With the primary season finally over, we are now ready to publish some of our findings regarding the Democratic political candidates and their supporter’s use of viral video.

One of the biggest challenges political candidates have is understanding viral video consumption across the web. People are viewing video on a variety of sites including YouTube and MySpace as well as on blogs and social networking profiles. With current monitoring systems is it very difficult to track this viewership and determine demographics and engagement right down to the city level. There is only one service on the market, that we know of, that can monitor millions of online videos across multiple viral video platforms in real time and offer critical user activity and demographics data along with engagement tools to help get in front of the right audience on any video platform. That service is Scope Video.

Strategists from each campaign have embraced online video and it is amazing to see how powerful video has become for political candidates. Both, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s campaigns used the major viral video platforms (although the best results came from YouTube ) to get their message out to supporters. Barack Obama outnumbered Hillary Clinton when it came to posting videos online. Clinton’s campaign uploaded about 250 videos on YouTube where as Barack’s team uploaded over one thousand videos during this time span. These officially released videos uploaded by the two campaigns received over 65 million views combined with about 13.5m views for Clinton and a staggering 52m views for Obama.

What is more important than the number of videos the candidates themselves uploaded is the thousands of videos their supporters uploaded. With Scope Video doing all the heavy lifting for us we were able to go the extra mile and track ALL the videos related to the candidates across multiple video platforms around the globe.

Our findings revealed that the total volume of video views to date related to each candidate, which were not uploaded officially by the campaign, exceeded the official views by an average of over 500%. Barack Obama cleaned up with 316,605,687 views while Clinton racked up 69,676,016 views across viral video sites as of 12th June 2008.


Own Views
Global Views
Barack Obama

52,450,257

316,605,687

Hillary Clinton

13,574,380

69,915,595

Views are a great way to understand if a video is being seen but it is not the only measure of success. What is needed to understand is if the video is doing well in a marketing sense. Are people really engaging with the videos. Do they provide ratings and comments on them? Are they sharing the video with others? Do they embed the videos in their blogs and social networking profiles? If yes, then the candidate has done a great job in content creation, positioning, and promotion of the video.

In order to accurately and consistently report on these engagement characteristics, Scope Video now offers VMI aka “Video Marketing Index,” a definitive rating number that rates the overall health of a video. The VMI is rated on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest.

Let’s take a look at the overall VMI numbers for the candidates:

Author VMI

Global VMI

Barack Obama
40.57

20.83

Hillary Clinton
51.42

18.79

We can see that the VMI for Barack Obama edged out Hillary Clinton on viral video platforms when we include all the videos uploaded by the candidates themselves and other authors.

Barack Obama did a great job early on of inspiring people to create video, discuss the issues, and take up the cause outside of the platform. The quality of engagement did take a heavy hit as we moved to the latter part of the primary season when several events, like the Jeremiah Wright, eroded the quality of the conversation around Obama.

For Hilary Clinton, the conversation online was bleak in the early days of the primary battle. As the battle waged on we saw a lot of chatter pick up around her and she really did a good job of creating conversation and engagement online.

On the demographics front, both candidates saw wildly different demographics supporting them based on exit polling data. But online, the viewing audience was about the same. The great thing about Scope is that we can figure out demographics on a subset of videos on video platforms. Armed with this knowledge, candidates can create content that really resonates with the right audience. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had the same gender breakdown. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama recieved a 75% male audience and a 25% female audience. The age demographics were almost the same with the bulk of the audience being made up of 18-34 year olds.

Hillary Clinton

HCDemos

Barack Obama

BO, Demos

With Scope, it is possible to not only target this audience watching and engaging with political videos but also pin point the videos uploaded by the campaigns themselves in front of the right audience. Scope is the only product which helps marketers to sample the landscape on online videos in order to understand unified demographics and traffic trends across all online videos sites like YouTube, MySpace and others. With a simple click, marketers can drill into any platform and understand the dynamics of individual sites to accurately target audience on those sites.

Use of technology in presidential elections has come a long way in 2008. Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, and Facebook have proved to be very very important in getting the attention of the audience that generally does not vote or does not care about the issues critical to the country or their future. Please refer to this excellent analysis by Jeremiah Owyang on this Social Media and web marketing blog for more analysis of the campaigns on other sites like Twitter and the blogosphere.

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