Politicians and their campaigns stand to gain more from live streaming video than almost any other content creator. We’ve reached the point today where if a candidate is not live streaming a ton of video already, they can appear to be behind the times.
In this article, we’ll look at a few of the top activities a political campaign should be recording with live video, how to make the live stream stand out, and what is required from a technical standpoint to make it work.
The first and typically easiest thing for candidates to live stream are their campaign rallies and stump speeches. This allows supporters to feel like they’re a part of the event even though they can’t physically be there. When supporters share the videos over and over the candidate’s reach can be tremendous. Just think about the value of being able to reach exponentially more people during a stump event than are physically present.
The key to a winning political campaign is delivering the candidate's message. Opening up every event to an unlimited number of participants is a priceless tool for modern campaigns.
The beauty of live streaming is the real-time two-way interactivity it provides. Candidates who don’t interact with their constituents or hold very few town hall type events are often criticized by their opponents, and their voters. Such criticism can be avoided, and candidates can foster a stronger bond with their voters, by using live stream video.
Candidates can hold live Q&A sessions, virtual town halls, or ask-me-anything meetings (AMAs), all from the comfort of their office, or the campaign bus. It doesn’t matter what you call it, the idea is to go live and respond to questions from the voters. The best part about live stream video is that the candidate has much more control.
A candidate or staffer can pick and choose the questions they’d like to answer, and if viewers get unruly in the chat during a live stream, they can be blocked or muted.
A huge part of a political campaign is door-knocking, or canvassing. One of the most tedious tasks on the trail, it’s also one of the best ways for a politician to meet with potential voters and earn their vote. Since the entire campaign team will be spending so much time and effort on canvassing, why not maximize its value?
By live streaming their canvassing efforts a campaign is showing the candidate in the best light possible, walking around the district and getting personal with real people. It also highlights the hard work that is being put forth by the candidate and helps them earn credibility in the community.
Candidates and campaigns frequently visit businesses, historical landmarks, local events, and other interesting places. These events are, for lack of a better term, terrific photo ops. They allow the candidate to tour the place, say a few words, and get a ton of great photos.
Really, it’s a lot like a field trip you would have taken in 6th grade. The places campaigns visit are usually pretty interesting, and why would you want to take still photos when you can bring potential voters along with you, through a live video?
Campaigns can take an unlimited number of voters on the “field trip” with them in a live stream. This type of content holds the viewer's attention and can show a lighter and more endearing side to the candidate.
There are a number of routes campaigns can go to get the best possible live stream experience.
Once those accounts are created the campaign will want to sign up for a good multi-streaming and multi-publishing service like Switchboard Cloud, which will allow you to instantly go live on all your platforms, simultaneously. Streaming to all of the big platforms will definitely increase viewership, as well as the potential number of votes.
Live streaming on the go can be a challenge. While the easiest way to stream live is through a smartphone, there are a few downsides to using one, of course. Getting a phone call during your stream can interrupt the video, and then there's always your phone’s battery life and cell phone signal to worry about.
A more reliable option is to use dedicated, professional video equipment like the live streaming backpack from LiveU, with a good video camera attached.
Regardless of which streaming solution you choose, a key factor to a good live video is clear audio. You want to hear the candidate clearly, so you’ll need to have a couple different kinds of microphones on hand. Even if you stream from a smartphone you can attach an external microphone.
You should consider a good shotgun mic, a wireless handheld mic, and a wireless lapel style mic that you can attach to the candidate. Also, be sure to have a good audio patch cable that will allow you to plug into the sound system at venues that have them.
All told, candidates can grow their campaign leaps and bounds by using these tips to broadcast their moves on the road. With the right strategy and good equipment, live streaming from the campaign trail can help deliver huge wins in November!