How YouTube Creators Are Empowering Our Youth To #VoteTogether
Savana Vagueiro da Fonseca, Project Director at Portal A, is a guest contributor for #VoteTogether
As an immigrant to this country, and having experienced the naturalization process, I am personally passionate about advocating for voter rights and inclusive engagement. So when the Creative Alliance asked our team at Portal A to help out with #VoteTogether, their effort to change voting and election day by making it more celebratory, fun and inclusive—yeah, we’re throwing parties at the polls—for the 2018 midterms, we saw a unique opportunity. I was thrilled with the opportunity to match my personal passion at work with helping #VoteTogether promote civic engagement to a young audience.
Portal A is a digital studio that creates original entertainment and branded content for a new generation. Some of our work is for brands; some if it is pure entertainment. We collaborate with top YouTube Creators and digital talent who know how to make compelling video that will resonate with their large audiences on platforms such as YouTube and Instagram.
The work Portal A creates tends to be watched and shared by younger audiences, for Millennials and Gen Z, as marketers likes to say. It’s no mystery that, despite being the largest voting group in American society, the youngest voters among us aren’t motivated to cast their ballots.
That’s why working with Civic Nation on #VoteTogether was such a unique opportunity for us. Our team of digital natives knows how to speak to the new generation, and we understand that they’re eager to hear from the people they love watching—YouTube Creators. We know that they’d rather watch something on YouTube than on network or cable TV. We know they prefer to hear from their peers than talking heads or polished celebrities. In fact, a recent study commissioned by Fullscreen shows that 44% of young people, ages 18 to 34, trusted a recommendation from a Creator over the 36% who tried out a suggestion from a traditional celebrity. And we know that the way they speak is different from older generations.
This knowledge is never more valuable or powerful than when it’s put to good use. We’ve seen plenty of “get out the vote” efforts among YouTube Creators and we love that the Creator community is civically engaged on all sorts of important issues. What’s rare, though, is the opportunity to work on a topic that pretty much everyone can get behind.
The need for Americans to exercise their constitutional right to vote is non-partisan; it’s actually one of the few messages you hear from politicians of all stripes. And that’s exactly the kind of issue we have wanted to support, especially around a midterm election, which tends to get far less “get out the vote” attention than the presidential races.
And for the effort, we handpicked three special Creators—with a total social reach of over 3.5 million—to make it happen: Nabela Noor, Nichole Jacklyne, and Snitchery.
Nabela Noor is a first generation Bangladeshi-American, a self-made individual who at just 27 has built a brand and business. Not only that, she started, funds, and runs a nonprofit called Noor House. Currently in early stages of development, the organization provides shelter and educational resources to seven Bangladeshi families in its care.
Beauty and life-hack content Creator Nichole Jacklyne has a large audience spanning across her two dedicated YouTube channels. Her primary channel predominantly focuses on family-friendly fun content including slime tutorials and expanding into videos about the ASMR phenomenon as well as challenges.
From makeup tutorials to tattoos and a wide range of lifestyle content, social media star Snitchery has dazzled her fans with all things beauty. Snitchery, who IRL goes by her given name Eleanor Barnes, treats her work as an art platform, and through that art has generated a loving audience that sees her as an artist. We agree wholeheartedly. She’s proving that makeup is a creative outlet, and Instagram and YouTube are her galleries. With the majority of her audience demographic between ages 18 and 34, she is able to target the younger generation of voters #VoteTogether is aiming to engage.
By leveraging the powerful and influential voices of the Creator community, we were able to tap into the younger generation and promote voter participation. Even more importantly, all three Creators shared genuine enthusiasm and excitement to be a part of the campaign. This level of pure authenticity is what audiences seek and desire from Creators. A recent study performed by Gen.Video reported 83% of millennials found authenticity as an important factor when it came to deciding which influencers to follow.
We’re excited for the midterms on November 6th, and know that our efforts to support Civic Nation and #VoteTogether are resonating with next generation audiences. And they’re so much more than that; they’re the next generation of voters, but also, many of them will become our leaders—and speaking to them now has been an honor and a privilege. Thank you, Civic Nation, for letting us be part of this pivotal moment in our nation.
Please consider hosting a party for the upcoming elections. Learn more at votetogetherusa.org/host-an-event.
This article was first seen on Civic Nation’s Brand Voice channel for Forbes