Use YouTube to Engage Voters

Why Use YouTube?

With more than 200 million Americans online, political information is now regularly distributed outside of traditional media outlets. The rise of social media, blogs and online video allows candidates to speak directly to voters in a way never before possible.

Candidates can use YouTube to engage Americans of all ages and demographics. Whether they’re students, parents, news junkies or deeply-motivated voters (or all of the above), you can reach them on YouTube.

Top 5 Ways to Use YouTube

This online guide will show you what you'll need to get started as well as the advanced ways to get the most out of your online video presence on YouTube, the world's #1 video site.

YouTube Politics Top 5
  1. Provide useful and relevant content Deliver timely information by uploading speeches, TV appearances and more.
  2. Control the story Stay ahead of the news cycle by posting videos in response to current events. Media sources will often incorporate your videos into their stories.
  3. Start a conversation Use your YouTube Channel to post footage from a Google+ Hangout with voters.
  4. Grow your audience Ask people to subscribe to your channel so they can help spread your message. Embed videos on your site or automatically share them on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Learn about your viewers Use YouTube Analytics to find out who is paying attention to your videos.

What works best on YouTube?

YouTube helps strengthen your online presence, increases credibility, creates promotional opportunities and establishes two-way communications with your voters. You’ll receive instant feedback, comments and opinions from your viewers, and they’ll spread your messages.

  • Relevant

    Be relevant

    Keep your YouTube channel current by consistently uploading short videos. They don't all have to be professionally produced. You can video blog from your desk or upload intriguing behind-the-scenes footage from the campaign trail.

  • Informative

    Be informative

    Help your audience understand your work by posting short videos regarding issues you care about and accomplishments you have achieved.

  • Genuine

    Be genuine and engaging

    Post passionate speeches, interesting interactions with voters and Q&As that your target demographic would want to watch.

  • Community

    Build a community

    Empower your voters to spread your message. Respond to comments, run Q&A sessions with Google+ Hangouts and involve popular voters in your video content. Then, promote it all through social media outlets.

Create a YouTube Channel that represents you

YouTube helps strengthen your online presence, increases credibility, creates promotional opportunities and establishes two-way communications with your audience. You’ll receive instant feedback, comments and opinions from your viewers, and they’ll spread your messages.

After you’ve signed up for YouTube, setting up a robust YouTube channel takes only a few easy steps (note that people can find you easily when you use your name for your username). To get started: Login to your YouTube account, click your username (in the top right corner), click “My Channel” and then click the “Edit Channel” button in the top right corner. For help switching to our new channels design, please visit our help center.

TIP: Consider an upgrade to a YouTube politician channel, which will give you branding options to help you customize the look and feel of your channel, the ability to upload videos longer than 15 minutes and to upload custom thumbnail images.

Here's how: After you sign up for YouTube, setting up a robust YouTube politician channel takes only a few steps. First, go to youtube.com/politicianchannel and fill out the webform. You will get an email in a few days once your channel has been upgraded to a politician channel.

  • Profile

    Profile Information

    Customize your channel’s Title, Description, Tags and Visibility in the 'Info and Settings' tab which will appear on your channel’s homepage.

  • Branding

    Branding Options

    Add visual elements to give your channel a personal touch that reflects your campaign message. Also, use a display banner on your channel to link back to various parts of your campaign website or donations page.

  • Featured

    Featured Videos and Playlists

    Choose which favorite videos or playlists you would like to automatically play when someone arrives at your channel, or simply select your most recent upload.

  • Channel Tabs

    Channel Tabs

    Your brand channel can support up to four tabs: feed (recent activity, likes, comments), videos, featured tab (optional, used for customization), gadget Tab (optional).

Understanding your audience: YouTube Analytics

Once you’ve started uploading videos to your YouTube channel, you may wonder who’s watching these videos and which videos do they engage with the most? YouTube Analytics tells you about your about your channel and video viewership demographics, the performance of your videos over time and can help you make create better video campaigns. For more information about YouTube Analytics, please visit our help center.

YouTube Politics Analytics
  1. Build bigger audiences Learn more about your audiences according to demographic, learn which videos are driving the most views and find out which websites or searches are driving traffic to your content.
  2. Engage more with audiences Keep your audience coming back for more by knowing how they interact with your content.
  3. Raise more money Find out which sites have embedded your video and audiences are driving the most views - and raising money - for your campaign.
  4. Make better videos Make your videos the best they can be for your audience by analyzing comments, favorites and video shares.