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Google Reaches Out To Presidential Campaigns

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Google is holding lectures giving tips to political and advocacy group consultants, showing them how to better use all of Google’s services in managing their messages. According to the Los Angeles Times, Google packed 80 consultants into a lecture hall earlier this month, and conducted an hourlong seminar showing:

  • Which types of videos resonate on YouTube
  • How to improve search engine rankings
  • Use Google AdWords to reach an already interested audience
  • Google Alerts to stay on top of news for your candidate or topic
  • Google Analytics to provide data on visitor behavior
  • Get campaign materials on YouTube’s YouChoose chanel
  • Read John Battelle’s The Search as a guide
  • Integrate keywords into your website

A recap of the seminar is at the conference blog.

Naturally, Google is hoping to gain some of those campaign advertising dollars. Online advertising in the last presidential election was practically meaningless, just $12 million out of $4 billion spent in 2004, but with that expected to double to over $8 billion in ‘08, Google is hoping to show campaigns their money is better spent online, and hopefully, on Google.

Google signs were everywhere during the two-day event this month. A Google Lounge with lava lamps and rock music offered attendees free use of half a dozen Web-connected laptops. Schrage delivered the keynote address. And at its seminar for consultants, “Making the Most of Google in 2008,” the company offered, next to the free travel coffee mugs, copies of a two-page “Google Product Guide for Politics.”

“The Google network allows you to do very interesting things with targeting, with messaging, etc., in a way that you could never pull off with a 30-second TV spot,” Derek Kuhl, who is leading a New York-based political sales team that will have three or four people, told the group.

The consultants scribbled notes as they sipped coffee, then peppered the Google employees with questions, seeking details such as the average length of videos on YouTube and the length of the approval process to buy ads on search results.

“They were out essentially selling a product: Use us,” David Haase, a consultant with Mindshare Interactive Campaigns in Washington, said afterward. “They’re trying to become the gold standard.”

More at TechMeme and SEL

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