Who’s Influencing the 2016 Election

I was recently asked by Momentology to provide commentary about who digitally is influencing the 2016 election.

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Momentology: (Referring John Oliver’s recent Donald Trump Rant) Are SNL’s head writers and John Oliver arguably influencing the outcome of this election? Or are viewers consuming this content primarily as entertainment?

Tom: The content is designed to entertain and persuade opinion but what it really does is spark conversation socially. Here is where the real impact can be made. For those candidates that can poke fun at themselves, it is an opportunity to further connect with potential voters.

For the campaigns with savvy digital marketing strategies in place, leveraging the conversation created to integrate their messaging can be a sound strategy, if the content is contextual and resonates with the intended audience.

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Momentology: OR are they watching SNL and Last Week Tonight and then using second screens to make election-based queries inspired by the content they’ve seen?

Tom: The key for the campaigns would be to not only invest in traditional search and paid media strategies but to also be agile to topical and social conversation.  Something like the Trump SNL ad will generate a lot of attention that other RNC candidates could quickly execute an SEM and Twitter Search strategy to further drive their persuasive messaging. 

Momentology: What does this mean for voters? What does this mean for candidates?

Tom: For voters they have an opportunity to voice their opinions and show their support. The key for candidates is that every mention and interaction is another signal for the campaigns to target to reinforce their position and drive action from voters in key primaries and the general election. 

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Momentology:
And can you point to any examples of candidates tapping influencers in this campaign? If so, who/when?

Tom: Hilary clinton tapped Lena Dunham of HBO’s Girls to create content on Hilary’s Instagram account as well as sharing content on her own account.



Bernie Sanders partnered with rapper Michael Render to interview the candidate on key subjects of interest and it has garnered nearly 2 million views.

Donald Trump is an influencer in his own right with his large social followings. He has also racked up a number of key celebrity endorsements such as Hulk Hogan, Dennis Rodman, Tito Ortiz, Mike Tyson and Sarah Palin. One influencer who had a direct impact on a recent primary was Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty Willie’s endorsement helped to fuel a hotly contested win in Louisiana.

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Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360

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