Here is Google’s Colin McKay (head of GR for Google Canada) take on the role of the Internet in election campaigns these days:
“The Internet is outstripping what would traditionally be considered tactical media.”
McKay’s observations come from Google research data that shows both the public’s interest in political websites and the shared social experience is having a significant impact on the way Parties campaign and how Canadians engage in campaigns.
Here are the numbers:
- 87% of Canadian households have Internet access.
- Canadians spend 41.3 hours online per month.
- Canadians now watch 28.9 hours of Internet video each week, surpassing television (which sits at 28.8 hours/week) for the first time.
- Canadians are ranked second in the world for YouTube video viewing.
- People look to the Internet for information on an election, candidate and issues 14.7 times leading up to election day.
It used to be that the Party and/or candidate’s website was an important element to inform voters within the last 72 hours of a campaign. However, McKay’s numbers suggest, a Party’s and candidate’s on-line presence is paramount to their success. An effective on-line strategy is a must-have and good, compelling content must be prepared from the start, and maintained throughout the campaign.
Bottom line: the Internet is the primary resource for voters’ information and has become the most important media weapon in any campaign’s strategy.
Here are two summaries of the social media aspects of the campaign that are rather good. Both are from the recent Policy Magazine: