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Topics: Fundraising, Selfie Videos, Video, Elise Stefanik, Testing, Week in Review, Podcast

Pilot - The Prosper Group Week in Review


Episode 1

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TRANSCRIPT

CAROLINE ALEXANDER: Happy Friday, you all. Welcome to The Prosper Group week in review. We're your hosts. I’m Caroline Alexander. I've been with Prosper Group for a little over a year now on the account side of the team.

Before that, I was an intern at the Kentucky State Capitol on the Education Committee. Then I worked for a digital political consulting firm, and now I’m here with Prosper.

But most importantly, I’m a UK (University of Kentucky) fanatic. Any sport time team with UK, I’m in it.

DAN HUBER: And I’m Dan Huber; I started my political career as a campaign volunteer and interned on Capitol Hill. A long, long time ago! Over the last 20 years, I've been helping campaigns and also tackling digital challenges in various ways.

So I’m excited to be here with you today and here at The Prosper Group. And, I’m a Marquette Basketball Fan. I don't know about you, Caroline, but I’m looking forward to March Madness. My team is not looking very good this year. How's UK looking?

CAROLINE ALEXANDER: I think it's the first time since 1910 UK has had this bad of a record, and it's just not looking good. It's very sad, but it's true though.

DAN HUBER: That's too bad. You know we're going to have the whole tournament right here in Indiana, so we got that going for us.

CAROLINE ALEXANDER: That's true. The one year my team is not in it is - when I live in the town that the tournament's in.

DAN HUBER: we probably wouldn't be able to go anyway.

CAROLINE ALEXANDER: that's true. All right, so today, you all are our guinea pigs - we are going to test this out for our new video content and just see how it goes. So let's get started on some things.

Over the week, our content theme has revolved around authenticity and video. Can you share more about the theme and where it comes from?

DAN HUBER: You know, coming out of 2020 video has been huge. I think part of that has been COVID; all the research shows that particularly in social media video is really where all the engagement's coming from. A lot of that has to do with a lot of things - it's easy to connect.

We saw from a fundraising standpoint that Bernie Sanders was very successful. Everybody's seen his videos about "I'm asking you for money one more time." We talked a little bit about that in our blog post this week.

Obviously, when he was still on Twitter, with President Trump, it was one of his primary platforms for communicating directly with voters and directly with people. So video has been huge.

As you mentioned, our theme for this week is be authentic, and really it makes it so much easier to connect with people when you're authentic. When you engage on a topic, and you're authentic, it provides credibility - it allows you to demonstrate expertise.

Really being yourself and doing that really helps you connect with people in a better way.

We saw something this week which we talked about on our social media. If you haven't seen it already, you really should - the judge cat video where the lawyer logged in and said, "I am not a cat, I'm actually here." It's pure joy, if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It went viral starting on Tuesday.

We looked at that a little bit. To me, that's a good example of something that's very authentic relatable. Those are some of the most successful things that we see in social media and from content in general.

Looking at it over the first 48 hours, there were more than 32,000 tweets related to it, and we estimated that the reach was over 1.7 billion Twitter users that may have seen it just from using Twitter. That doesn't even account for what it may have been talked about on television and whatnot.

One small tweet can really go a long way. We did a visualization; you should check it out. We'll make sure and include that and then the blog post we talked about.

Fundraising selfie videos and being authentic is a big piece there too. They have that DIY feel, do-it-yourself, and I think that makes a huge difference.

Circling back to what I was saying about Bernie Sanders, that authenticity as he was out there on the campaign and asking people for money went a really long way.

We have a couple of examples. We've worked with Elise Stefanik. She's seen a lot of value from (selfie fundraising videos). You've worked on that directly, I know, and then people like Jerry Carl, who is from Alabama, had a very successful year.

And really, it's low-hanging fruit. We talk about how people can tackle that even if they don't have a full-fledged approach or maybe are kind of a one-man-band. At this point, there are some ways you can get started with that (video fundraising). It all starts with being authentic and using your credibility.

You know, even further back, I think it kind of goes to this broader conversation of communication. For my generation, I grew up in the 80s under President Reagan, and afterward - obviously, I know I'm dating myself a little bit - but he was known for being a great communicator.

He was well-liked. Even today, there's a lot of people who really like him, at least the people on the right side of the aisle. There's a reason for that. It's because he was authentic, and people related to it.

Even as I think about George W. Bush, he had his colloquialisms that he was known for. That made him seem a little more humble and authentic.

I think that makes people relate to people, online particularly, their politicians, in a much greater way.

Then you think about where we're at now and why we're seeing such value. Your generation has grown up in the world of reality tv. Talk about the power of video to really tell a story!

I think of The Office, which has had a huge resurgence after starting 15 years ago. We have people with podcasts out there who were on the show; they're very successful.

It's this whole authentic approach to how we do things, reality tv, and I think this all kind of comes together and lends itself to the DIY approach that we've been talking about.

Also, this week we had the beginning of the second impeachment of President Trump. The house managers use the video from when people stormed the Capitol - they use that video to try and tell a story.

I think their audience was much more the American people than it really was the Senators that are trying the case. They're trying to use a narrative, and a lot of that also comes down to how you edit video.

So video is really huge. The power of authenticity is a big deal.

If you haven't already, I encourage people to go to our blog look at the DIY self fundraising video post that we posted earlier this week.

People are successful raising online when they're real and authentic. I would just say the less editing that you have to do, the better. It is because people know that that's the way things are.

CAROLINE ALEXANDER: I agree. We've seen, definitely, with Elise, people feel more comfortable giving five, ten dollars, fifty dollars to someone who's calling herself Elise. I'm here; I'm a real human; I'm not this official Congresswoman Stefanik - that you need to give money.

I think people feel more close to that and willing to donate money to that, so I agree.

So we also talked about the selfie fundraising videos on the blog and talked about a test and measure approach to digital. What exactly does that mean?

DAN HUBER: I think one of the greatest things about digital is just that. Testing and measuring: one of the unique things that digital provides us.

The traditional marketing platforms haven't really been able to deliver in the way that digital can. It's the ability to put something out into the world and, with analytics and measurement, pay attention to how it's performing and what the results of that are. So all of that coming together lends itself to measurement.

We encourage, wherever possible, to do A/B testing. If you're not familiar with (A/B testing), it basically means taking one thing and another thing, running them up against each other and seeing which one's more successful.

This one may cost more, but this one may not produce as well. Really understanding what you're paying, what your outcomes are. You can run (tests), even on "free" platforms like social media. Do one thing, see how that works, do another thing, see how it works, and comparing them in the end. See how that goes. Does that make sense?

Definitely trial and error sometimes. The thing is, when you're testing, you want to pay attention to what's the outcome I'm trying to get and not just quality versus quantity or the vanity metrics.

Did I get more Facebook followers? Did I get more Twitter followers? That's not always what you're looking for.

What you're looking for is: am I speaking to the people I want to speak to and achieving the goals that I have?

We're doing this video right now. I look at this as a test to see how we're going to do in our content marketing. This week if we get ten people to watch this video that you and I are doing from beginning to end, I'm going to call that a win.

CAROLINE ALEXANDER: Even if it is my mom.

DAN HUBER: Even if it is my wife and my kids. I'll make sure they have their own YouTube accounts so they can watch it.

CAROLINE ALEXANDER: There we go, there we go. Well, I think we've had a great week—all the work we've done and what we've gotten out.

Looking ahead, what should we expect next week from PG?

DAN HUBER: Well, this coming week's kind of a crazy week. In general, we have valentine's day coming up on Sunday. Presidents days this coming Monday. Tuesday is Fat Tuesday, so get your king cakes and make sure you spend time with your family. And then Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. So a pretty busy week.

And, you know, Marquette (basketball) plays in town at Butler here in Indiana on Wednesday. My wife and I are going, with our masks - socially distant. We're pretty excited about that.

What you want to know is our theme for the coming week. It's adding value.

We're going to talk a little bit about text messaging with blog posts that we have coming out. So, stay tuned for that.

And we're going to recognize some of our team members who are doing great things and lifting those people up as we are want to do.

And, as we always do, we're going to do more testing and measuring. I like to say always be testing.

What else do you have?

CAROLINE ALEXANDER: That's all I have for this week. I think we've got some great things coming up, though, so I'm excited!

DAN HUBER: Yeah, me too.

Well, we talked in our video post; we always want to have a call to action at the end. We're going to do the same thing here.

What do we want you to do? We'd like you to comment below, hit the like button, and if you like what you see, tell us more about what you want to see. We'll do the same thing next week.

CAROLINE ALEXANDER: Awesome, well thanks, Dan

DAN HUBER: Take care.

 

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