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Scott Brown beat Martha Coakley on YouTube, too

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By now, everyone knows that Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in yesterday's special election to fill Ted Kennedy's seat in the U.S. Senate. With 100 percent of the precincts in Massachusetts reporting, Brown won 51.9 percent of the vote to Coakley's 47.1 percent. Independent Joseph L. Kennedy received 1 percent.

What isn't as well known is that Brown trounced Coakley on YouTube, too. As of last night, the 58 videos on ScottBrownMA's channel had 774,314 total upload views. By comparison, the 59 videos on MarthaCoakley's channel had 102,389 total upload views.

ScottBrownMA's channel had 950 subscribers, while MarthaCoakley's channel had 116 subscribers.

If you drill deeper, the most viewed video on his channel was "Scott Brown's response to Coakley attack ad." It had 130,339 views and 703 text comments. By comparison, the most viewed video on her channel was "Every Vote Matters." It had 45,567 views and no text comments because "adding comments has been disabled for this video."

If you click on "Statistics & Data" underneath both videos, you'll see that Brown's video was embedded on a number of blogs, media sites, and his campaign website. You'll also see that no one embedded Coakley's video -- not even her own campaign website.

Finally, click on the "more info" in the box to the right of these videos and you'll see there are 78 words in the description of Brown's video, compared to only 13 words in the description of Coakley's video.

Is there a lesson in this for you?

Well, you need to get your videos discovered, watched and shared -- whether you are in politics or you have a product, service or issue that people care passionately about. And disabling the comments on your YouTube videos doesn't seem to be a great way to engage people.

At SES Chicago 2009, Dan Siroker, Co-Founder of Spreadly, talked about his involvement in the 2008 Obama presidential campaign as Deputy New Media Director, Obama Presidential Transition. He highlighted some key lessons learned in how using analytics helped Obama win the presidency. Ironically, it appears that the Republican Brown learned these lessons, but the Democrat Coakley didn't.

Siroker also described his latest project, Spreadly, a social affiliate marketing product. Spreadly is the marriage of social media marketing (using Facebook and Twitter, for example) and affiliate marketing to give people incentives to talk about your product. So, you don't need to be in politics to apply these lessons.


Social affiliate marketing and analytics by Dan Siroker, co-founder, Spreadly, at SES Chicago 2009

You will have a chance to learn some additional lessons at SES London 2010. On Wednesday, February 17, Kate Kaye, Senior Editor of ClickZ News, will moderate a sesson entitled "Social Media Meets Party Politics."

How will digital strategies and tactics popularized by the 2008 U.S. presidential election translate to the 2010 election in Britain? Will Internet marketing have an impact in this year's British election as great as it did in the U.S. in 2008? How do the approaches taken by Labour, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats differ from what we've seen elsewhere?

Kaye will help answer those questions in a discussion with representatives of those three parties' digital campaigns. Expect a lively, free-flowing discussion about how the parties are using search and display advertising, social media, and other digital tools, techniques, and platforms - and how they're measuring the results of their efforts.

So, this is big. The upset victory by Brown teaches lessons even on the other side of the pond.

I should disclose that Search Engine Strategies is a client of my agency. But, neither Brown nor Coakley are clients.

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