Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mitt's Video Post-Mortem: No Wonder...

Michael Kolowich, one of the folks involved in Mitt Romney's video operation offers this dissection of what happened on the web video front. What struck me is how his language continues to be about quick returns on investment, versus seeding the conversation as required by the social web:
If part of the idea is not just to inform but also to inspire people to act (give money, sign up, give us their email, etc.) then YouTube was weak at the “call to action” part.
Politics has never been an A = B environment - you never get your return on investment at first blush. There are tools at the politico's disposal that do drive specific action, but there are just as many that are about laying groundwork. I argue YouTube is a channel for laying groundwork towards the masses.

Providing rich video content on YouTube enables the campaign to reach a large, mass audience. Given the cacophony of content available (opposition clips, foibles, etc.), it is critical that the campaign be loud and proud within this channel, to ensure their message is heard.

He continues:
The most remarkable statistic of all is that more people watched the Romney campaign’s clips on Mitt TV than on our YouTube channel.
Sorry, Michael, but the reason your channel was more popular was not because your video was better, more tailored, etc. It's because you spoke to your zealots rather than the masses. In politics, the zealots get you close, but in the end it is all about reaching the masses. The fact that your YouTube channel was less popular was more a symptom of a more pressing problem - that your campaign's message was not inspiring the masses.

Was your Mitt TV content also published on YouTube? Assuming all content is cross-published, YouTube views should exceed your internal video site. You should be reaching folks that don't necessarily engage in your campaign, but at least hear your message. Focusing on such "seed" channels is just as necessary as focusing on those channels that drive action, in the age of the social web...

2 comments:

Michael Kolowich said...

Brandon --

In answer to your question, the Romney YouTube content was a superset of the Mitt TV content.

Brandon Thomas said...

Interesting. My original thought still stands - YouTube viewership must be greater than your own channel, if your message is working. Otherwise, you have what Ron Paul has - thousands of zealots and no voters...