Even Hillary Clinton likes influencer marketing

Dive Brief:

  • In three key battleground states, the Clinton campaign is running a marketing effort with video ads featuring YouTube influencers, according to an exclusive report in Variety.
  • The ad content features one of three YouTube stars making surprise visits to fans in each of the three targeted states: Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The campaign hashtag is #StrongerTogether.
  • The three YouTubers — GloZell Green, Todrick Hall and Sam Tsui — have a combined YouTube subscriber base of more than 9.4 million.

Dive Insight:

Few things are going to signal that influencer marketing has hit its full stride in the mainstream more than the recent move by the Clinton campaign. When even career politicians are making use of the format, it becomes clear it has demonstrable value across industries.

It’s especially telling that Clinton's campaign is tapping influencers in order to reach a very specific subset of voters — millennials in this case — in states that are seen as critical to electoral success. Variety reports that the #StrongerTogether spots are designed to reach voters who don't necessarily watch TV (typically meaning younger voters), and it will be unsurprising to see other politicians adopting similar tactics as more and more demos shift away from linear television.   

Presidential campaign advertising spend is notorious for being highly battle-tested, and the timing of this effort is significant. If the Clinton team just wanted to dip its toes in influencer marketing, the experimental phase would've happened long before the final two weeks of the season. It's clear that this is a final dedicated push to win over indifferent or on-the-fence voters, with Hillary for America's Director of Digital Advertising Jason Rosenbaum telling Variety, “It’s our campaign’s closing argument.” 

Marketers can glean what they want from Clinton’s influencer outreach, but to a certain extent this effort puts a sort of stamp of approval on influencer marketing as a valid technique for reaching millennials. 

Filed Under: Social Media Trends Video
Top image credit: Marc Nozell