Voters make choice before they’re in the booth, by going online.


To understand the influence of digital media in the 2016 elections, Google along with political consultants did survey about voter behavior.


This election cycle, people increasingly were visiting social media sites before going to the polls. In the first two months of the year, the average registered voter gearing up for Super Tuesday researched the primary election online 85 times.1 And in just the last year, people have watched over 110M hours of candidate related video on YouTube.


voter behavior


People are spending 40% more time online than on TV.  

They know that digital platforms deliver far more advantage than traditional media.


In political campaigns, TV is still powerful especially for older target groups. But voters believe it provides too much spin, half-truths, and too little detail. Digital empowers voters to find the precise information and possibility to compare them.


One Republican said, “We’re more informed than we’ve ever been because of the internet.


Today’s voters are spending almost two hours online for every hour spent watching TV.

People are informed 24/7, thanks in large part to their smartphones. For political campaigns, this means today’s voters behavior can be easily influenced.




Almost 60% of elections-related searches are now coming from mobile devices, which is nearly 3X growth since the last presidential election cycle.


How are voters engaging online vs. with traditional media?


Sometimes it feels like we are trapped in a debate that pits traditional against digital, but the truth of the matter is, it’s not a zero-sum game. This goes for both political campaigns and brand marketing: TV is good for some things, and digital is good for others.


voter behavior


People will watch content that matters to them—regardless of length.


Voters generally distrust top negative political ads they see on television. Don’t get me wrong, they still make an impact.

But the 30-second or 50-second spot is not as persuasive as it once was.


One Democratic voter in our focus group put it, “TV ads don’t tell you enough. They’re a good starting point, but they’re not a good way to make a decision.


That’s why voters turn to search, news sites and YouTube to find the full unbiased facts for themselves.


What kinds of videos resonate with voters in general?


Online, viewers give you license to ignore the traditional guidelines that are often associated with campaign content.

It’s not just the 30-second, or the 50-second ad. It could be a six-minute, or even an eight-minute video.

 The most engaged voters are seeking out more information, not less. But political campaigns must influence voter behavior within the first 5-10 seconds or, like viewers do with television advertising for any type of brand they’ll move on.


Any other important takeaways for marketers?


Whether you’re pitching a candidate or company, you have to engage people where they are. Traditional media is on the decline, but digital is thriving. That’s where consumers spend most of their time. It’s where they look for facts and information.


The mix of business and politics has given marketers an opportunity to expand their communication channels. They can connect with consumers on new terrain, and get credit for it. According to a study, 78% of Americans say corporations should take action to address issues facing society. 88% believe that corporations have the power to influence social change. So brand marketers, you should get online and join the conversation. Your customers will thank you for it.