How does a no-name politician without any campaign budget (or even their own website) get better notice online than a rich incumbent? Putout some original video in the social media space. Feeling inspired to test out a grass-roots video seo plan with the biggest of challenges (and frustrations), I produced a video interview series with some members of a local political party, the McHenry County Democrats; and created a YouTube playlist for all my interviews. Now they show up on the top of the listings in YouTube for not just keywords with hot political topics, but even under the names of the much better funded political opponents.
This was actually meant to be a non-partisan effort. The McHenry County Republicans were also offered the same video interview series, but they refused, telling me that they were content with just putting out their own repurposed television ads for their websites.
As we know, repurposed television ads by-and-large will not get any traction on the web, and especially not on the social media space. That's because you need real content, real conversations! That seems to have been completely lost on most politicians in my home state of Illinois, where all of the congressional candidates in the most hotly contested races are only putting up their own television ads in YouTube.
Local politicians extremely far behind with online video marketing
Now, my example is very far from an ideal video seo campaign for any politician, even a local one. I had to corral the Democrats at a fundraiser dinner just to find enough in one place to do the interviews, and try as I might, they didn't want to do any more video interviews or event recordings. As a video SEO expert knows, you need to put out lots of content, not just one clip. However, one unique video clip can still perform a lot better than a competitor with no unique clips. Especially when you can have each single clips of all of the party candidates show up in a playlist, which builds link popularity for everybody in the list.
What's ironic is that what I'm doing is what my local newspaper, The Northwest Herald, should be doing, but isn't. Even though they have their own YouTube channel, they didn't bother to put up a single video with any interviews of the local political candidates. For a newspaper that does put out a lot of local high-quality video content on its own website, they do some extremely bad marketing in the larger search engine and social media space.
Local Video SEO goes to mainstream media
A friend pointed out to me today that my video interviews have been picked up by the Chicago Tribune, and are now being featured on their website in their Voter Guide section. So when people are selecting candidates in their area, they can watch my video interviews with them right in the same screen.
So even though I was unable to convince my local political parties on the benefits of online video, I'm glad they're now being circulated by the mainstream media to educate others, and hopefully do at least a small part to help them make an informed vote.