Daniel Sinclair @_DanielSinclair Building for young people. Not reading @danielsunread. Lurking behind likes and thinking about social media, communication, & China. Aug. 01, 2019 2 min read

An interesting campaign tactic that I haven't seen before: Tulsi Gabbard collected 750,000 YouTube views by super-cutting the CNN debates. They're selectively edited to boost her profile, but designed for mass consumption — not at all the typical debate highlight social posts.

Having viral videos relative to your typical viewership (especially longform) artificially inflates your appearance to YouTube's algorithm. These mass-consumed, copyright-violating supercuts are creating an algorithmic pull that her interspliced ads and true highlights are riding

By approaching their media strategy in this "one stop" approach, Tulsi's campaign is also in essence pushing supporters towards an artificial Tusli channel. They control the narrative, and algorithm. They really get YouTube — and it's ironic that they're suing its parent company.

Of the top 11 primary candidates, only 9 have YouTube channels. Most of those candidates do not understand YouTube, and it shows — it's a ghost town out there.

Joe Biden: 70,500 views in the last 30 days, with 775,706 total views and 6,643 subscribers.

Bernie Sanders: 367,650 views in the last 30 days, with 38,283,630 total views and 195,502 subscribers.

Andrew Yang: 578,190 views in the last 30 days, with 3,218,438 total views and 63,605 subscribers.

Tulsi Gabbard: 1,816,290 views in the last 30 days, with 9,495,434 total views and 60,875 subscribers.

Elizabeth Warren: 49,980 views in the last 30 days, with 1,746,548 total views and 6,717 subscribers.

Beto O'Rourke: 159,780 views in the last 30 days, with 829,849 total views and 5,101 subscribers.

Kamala Harris: 24,120 views in the last 30 days, with 1,073,856 total views and 5,429 subscribers.

Cory Booker: 43,110 views in the last 30 days, with 717,375 total views and 2,777 subscribers.

I miscounted. Only 8, or 72%, of the top primary candidates have a YouTube channel. And I'm... disappointed. All of you reading this could do better. I promise. I had more YouTube subscribers and views than many of these nationally recognized candidates when I was 15.

To understand how important YouTube is in this election, you need to understand the Free Brazil Movement. It brought 500,000 turnouts to state elections that historically turnout 20k. If you were a foreign adversary, you would be investing in YouTube today  https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanhatesthis/brazils-congressional-youtubers 

Not that any adversary needs to add any fuel to the YouTube fire, though. Already tapped out

Great piece from @kellymakena that captures a lot of what I see with respect to YouTube and politics. I don’t think it’s just a GenZ phenomena, though. YouTube is the most important metric for a 2020 campaign — many campaigns just don’t know that yet.  https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/20/20812826/youtube-politics-voters-presidential-candidates-sanders-yang-gabbard-podcast-interview-2020 

I would add that breakout longform content, like JRE or the H3 Podcast, also boosts a politician’s keyword and algorithmic distribution channel, like we saw from the Gabbard campaign. It’s a signal boost. Ride the show, then ride the UGC algorithmic distribution boost too.


You can follow @_DanielSinclair.



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