3 Tips for Using Affordable Videos for Your Campaign

Only a few years ago, videos were a medium that only large, TV-focused campaigns could afford. That's all changed. Videos are incredibly captivating, and thanks to several new services, producing them and getting views is easier than ever before.

Here are our 3 tips for using inexpensive videos for your campaign.

1. Pick a service for creating simple videos. 

There are many options to choose from. 30Second Explainer Videos creates short, animated videos for businesses, but the Whiteboard style also works great for candidate campaigns. There are also several companies (RocketiumAnimoto / AnimakerShowbox) that allow you to create your own videos in-house, even if you don't have any experience with editing. These cater well to social media feeds.

2. Plug your videos into social media. 

Whether you are doing expensive, professionally-produced videos meant for television, or affordable explainer videos like the ones described above, you need to be advertising them on social media, particularly YouTube and Facebook. Services like HootSuite can help. Boosting the ads to your target audience is easy and, for local races, is one of the best ways to raise your name ID.

3. This can't wait until the last minute.

Developing your social video plan early will allow you to tell your story to voters over the course of several weeks. Plus you'll want to get registered as a political advertiser with Facebook right away. The process takes several weeks, so you'll want to start it at least a month before Election Day!

"Why I Chose HSG Campaigns"

"Eric and his team have helped us win several tough campaigns. The direct mail and campaign literature they produced was visually striking and effectively conveyed the messages and values we wanted to express to the voters. I highly recommend HSG Campaigns for organizations that want to have an impact in the next election."

—Rusty Hicks, Executive Secretary-Treasurer,
Los Angeles County Federation of Labor

What We're Reading

This week Dave is recommending "California: A History" by Kevin Starr.


"Raised in Wisconsin, I never had an opportunity to learn much about my adopted home state of California growing up. In 'California' Starr provides a solid, easy-to-read survey of the state's history from the early days of Spanish exploration all the way through to Jerry Brown's second administration. I definitely recommend it to my fellow transplants." 

- Dave

How Did Andrew Gillum Win?

Florida’s gubernatorial primary brought perhaps the biggest upset of the year, with Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum pulling off a surprise win that almost nobody saw coming. With polls predicting a 3rd place finish, how did Gillum manage to pull off victory?

1. He Created Clear Contrast: 

Gillum's story wasn't just inspiring, it set him apart. He's the son of a bus driver and a construction worker, the first in his family to attend college, and (would be) the state's first African American governor. Compare that to his main opponents, Gwen Graham, Philip Levine, or Jeff Greene, who all came from privileged backgrounds. And compared to second-place finisher, the super-centrist Graham, Gillum's strong progressive credentials gave Democratic primary voters a clear ideological choice.  

2. He Didn't Fear the Label: 

Earning endorsements from the likes of Bernie Sanders sets you up to be labeled a "socialist" by Republicans, but Gillum feared not. Progressives have long argued that staying in the middle doesn't win general elections. You can't win if you don't inspire the base. Enough Democrats felt comfortable with that argument to nominate him. Both conservatives and progressives will have ample reason to vote now.

3. He Brought in New Voices:

From what we can tell so far, the reason Gillum surprised pollsters is because he built a coalition of under-sampled voters - namely people of color and Millennials. Re-creating the Obama coalition, he boosted turnout and has obvious energy going into November.

"Why I Chose HSG Campaigns"

"I know firsthand the high-quality work HSG Campaigns has done in Los Angeles and across California. Eric Hogensen and his team have a talent for creative communications, strategic targeting, and innovative campaign practices. A Democrat running for office in California should definitely consider them for their campaign."

—Eric Bauman, Chair, California Democratic Party

“What We’re Reading”

This week Mark is recommending "The Physics of the Impossible" by Michio Kaku.

impossible book.jpg

"Have you ever read science fiction and thought 'man it would be cool to own some of those gadgets'? What if I told you that many of them are not only possible within the laws of physics, but likely to be developed? Michio Kaku takes you though classic science fiction gadgets, phasers, force fields, lightsabers, and many more, and explains how they might be developed. An amazing read for anyone who is curious about the future of technology and just how weird advanced physics can get."

- Mark

How to Message the Mueller Investigation

With a guilty verdict in the Paul Manafort trial and guilty plea from Michael Cohen the Mueller investigation is picking up steam and can no longer be ignored (despite what the President wants), so it is important to note how to message around it for upcoming elections.

1. Firing up the base: 

The Democratic base is rabid and ready to do anything that is against Trump. Any messaging that talks about the Mueller investigation is being eaten up. This is a prime opportunity to pick up volunteers and donors. People want to do something, so give them something to do. Tell young potential volunteers that they can get involved and actually do something that will put a stop to this mess.   

How the Wisconsin Governor's Race Shapes Up

The primary in one of the most hotly contested races has come to a close, and since we worked on it, let’s unpack the state of the Wisconsin governor’s race. There are many Democrats saying defeating Walker is major a priority, so this is an important one.

1. Tony Evers comes out of the primary in a position of strength: 

Evers emerges from the primary relatively unscathed, and he's a clear favorite according to the polls. One poll last month showed him defeating Scott Walker by double digits as the Democratic nominee. Walker has always been a polarizing figure in Wisconsin, the same cannot be said about Evers.  

The Top 5 Direct Mail Mistakes

As a firm that specializes in political direct mail, we've seen everything. We've seen some really innovative, clever, creative work. We've also seen some really bad mail, often driven by the candidates themselves. As we move into a busy election season, we want to share with you the top 5 mistakes campaigns make with direct mail so you can avoid them in 2018.

1. Including everything on every mailer

Consistency is great in direct mail. And when on a budget, it makes sense to repeat the core message. But if a piece is supposed to focus on K-12 education, don't include your plan for health care reform. Your mailer should tell a story, not all the information you can think of.

Debunking Myths from NY-14

The dust is starting to settle after a crazy primary night in NY's 14th district, in which longtime Congressman and high-ranking Democrat Joe Crowley lost in a primary to Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. With all the takes flying about, we wanted to add our perspective and debunk the myths about the results.

1. Ultra-liberal candidates are now going to win everywhere.

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement, when a self-proclaimed socialist wins a congressional primary, but NY-14 was hardly a trend. This is an extremely blue district that voted for Hillary by over 60 points. What happens here has little-to-nothing to do with the swing districts Democrats need to win. Having the right candidate for the right district is what is important.

Hot New Trends in Digital Advertising!

At HSG Campaigns, we're always looking for new, innovative ways to give our clients an advantage in the next election. Here are some of the exciting new things in the world of digital ads...

1. Sending display and pre-roll ads to your mail list

Geo-fencing allows campaigns to target people at their exact locations. It's a favorite tool of legislative advocacy, targeting buildings where decision makers log online. But it can also be used to target the homes of known voters. Imagine digital ads that mirror your mail piece, targeting the same homes as the ones on your mail list. We can do that now.