Hillary Clinton's Video Marketing Strategy is Broken

This post is co-authored by Casey Henry and Meryl Ayres.

In April, Hillary Clinton officially launched her presidential campaign, and video played a prominent role. Her campaign team created a 2-minute announcement video, which they embedded on her launch website and shared on YouTube.

A New York Times article read, "It was not surprising that Mrs. Clinton chose to make her intentions public in a video circulated on social media." Given her affinity for up-and-coming tech and her 35-year-old, tech-savvy campaign manager, one could have predicted this strategic move.

Now, if view count is the sole objective in your video strategy, then YouTube is a great option. But what if generating leads is a priority?

Generating leads

The ultimate challenge of any burgeoning campaign is lead generation. Plain and simple. You collect people's information, you remarket to them, and you collect their donations. Not to mention the legions of volunteers who sign up through email.

On Hillary's campaign launch website, you'll notice an embedded YouTube video titled "Getting Started" about halfway down the page. Up at the top of her page, you'll see an effort to collect email addresses along with ZIP codes, shown in this short silent video:


So far, over 4 million people have viewed the YouTube video that was embedded on her launch page. That number represents tremendous reach and potential influence, but unfortunately, when it comes to lead generation, that number doesn't mean a whole lot.

The thing is, video has the potential to act as an extremely effective lead capturing tool. Let us explain.

"Video has the potential to act as an extremely effective lead capturing tool."
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If that video was featured prominently above the fold, it would receive more plays. And if that video included an immersive, seamless email collection experience, it would garner more leads.

Hillary's current campaign website

If you take a look at Hillary's current campaign website (shown in the short silent video below), you'll notice an even smaller YouTube embed hidden even farther down the page in a right-side column. Again, at the top of her page, you'll see an effort to collect email addresses and ZIP codes.


If you applied the two changes mentioned above, her current campaign page would feature a larger, higher video embed with an immersive email collection experience. To be clear, it would look something like this 20-second silent video:


Number crunching

In order to make some predictions about conversion rates for Hillary's campaign, we looked at public information about signup rates and donation numbers for Obama's first campaign.

In a post published on Optimizely's blog, we found that the average donation from a collected email address in Obama's campaign was $21. If you pair that with the fact that Wistia's email collectors placed toward the end of a video have a conversion rate around 10% (even better if the collector is placed close to the beginning), you can begin to estimate potential donation totals.

If you take the 4 million views that Hillary's original video has received so far and apply the average 10% conversion rate, that would amount to 400,000 collected email addresses. Now, imagine if each of those addresses gave $21 (the average in Obama's last campaign). That's approximately $8.4 million dollars in donations.

Given that Obama's average donation rate is about 7 years old, it's fair to assume that a current candidate would likely have a higher average.

So, let's say donations increase by 25% per email address. That new average amounts to $26 per email address. If the video could convert at 17% after some A/B testing, that would add up to 680,000 email addresses. With the increased average donation, you are talking about a total of $17.7 million dollars.

Looking ahead

Hillary's campaign is only 45 days old, and there are plenty more opportunities for additional videos and chances to collect email addresses. In Obama's first campaign, it was estimated that over 87 million people went to his website. Imagine the potential for capturing leads through video if the Hillary campaign received similar traffic.

If her videos had a play rate of 25% and a conversion rate of 10%, video could be responsible for $45.6 million in donations.

Once someone invests their time in watching your video, they are primed to take action, so make it easy for them. Ask clearly, ask directly, experiment with various approaches, and tweak accordingly. With some strategic adjustments, Hillary's campaign could be generating far more leads with video.

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