Authenticity wins on the political Internet, and one of the best ways to communicate online is to take videos like real people (or at least influencers) do — on their phones!
All campaigns should at least try doing informal phone videos in their ad and email campaigns. If a candidate is uncomfortable in the format, keep that in mind, but while it’s a little unnatural for everyone, it can really pay off. Some tips:
Shoot vertical video. 90% of Facebook users are using their phones held in portrait mode, and vertical video fits this well. Bonus: Crop vertical video to 5:4 for a square-ish format that looks natural on desktop and mobile.
Create talking points. Give the candidate specific talking points to hit, and don’t be afraid of multiple takes. Encourage the candidate to state their name and office they’re running for, and to avoid using specific time periods so the video can be used at any time.
You get 3 seconds to get folks' attention. Viewership starts to fall off after 3 seconds. Don’t bury the lede; make sure points are made up front so that viewers have a reason to keep watching, like a newspaper article puts the point up front. From there, there's not necessarily a mandatory length you have to hit, but shorter is always better, all things equal. Whenever the topic naturally ends is fine! However, would really recommend against going over 5 minutes.
Maintain eye contact. Try not to shift your line of vision around too much.
It's all good! If something happens (a firetruck goes by, someone walks through the video, etc.) acknowledge it casually and move on! No need to get flustered or re-film unless it's really disruptive. The point is that it's casual.
A selfie or just direct-to-camera? Figure out if your candidate speaks more naturally when someone is filming her (i.e. she can look you in the eye and talk to you) or if she's better just holding the phone herself in true selfie style.
Make it a series. All creative is subject to exhaustion. Schedule a weekly cadence to shoot new videos and keep them fresh.
After the video is complete, make sure to upload it to your favorite social media platform, and add captions if the platform allows.
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