The lead up to the November presidential elections started around this time last year, and it may be one of the most socially-powered election seasons of all time. Not only are social media users engaging with political candidates, they’re using social to make donations and changing the nature of whole campaigns. However, according to Google, it’s a two-way street, and social is also influencing voters.
Online video has become a major force for both voters and candidates. Google’s data indicates that people have watched more than 110 million hours of candidate- and issues-related content on YouTube; 100 times the amount of time it would take to watch all the election content from the major networks like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.
A big part of the interest in election related content is the search for micro-moments. Any small happening can turn into a viral moment for a campaign, which spawns the drive for more engagement and further search.
As campaigners and politicians pivot the debates to different issues, there are spikes in engagement around certain topics. Since this time last year, there has been a 224 percent increase in video search relating to refugees. Searches for immigration are up 51 percent, and searches for gun control are up 27 percent.
Google also noted that searches for election-related content on YouTube have nearly quadrupled since last April, when many candidates threw their hats into the ring.
Predicting the movements of users is a great way to tailor your content strategy, even if you’re not running a political campaign. With the Iowa caucus on the horizon Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both created videos in anticipation, knowing users would take to YouTube to learn how to caucus. If you take a proactive approach to your campaign, it could be well positioned to take advantage of other micro moments.