Election 2016: Who’s Winning at Content Marketing

By Ken Williams and Russell Pearlman

We’re a few short weeks away from Election Day. These are the days where people are really leaning in, forming strong opinions, and – most likely – counting down the days until the race is over.

Not only are the candidates making headlines, but they are also producing and distributing election-related articles, social media posts (especially Twitter), videos and graphics geared to either win over new supporters or energize existing ones. In short, both campaigns are engaged in a massive content marketing effort. We wanted to see who was “winning” this aspect of this unique election.

In the last month, we analyzed how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were faring on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. It’s fascinating how the data plays out.


Who posts more?

  • CLINTON: The Democratic nominee has about 904 posts, compared to Trump’s 777.

Who has a bigger audience?

  • TRUMP: Over 25.8 million followers across social channels tune in to see what Trump is putting out there, while Hillary counts a smaller 18.6 million followers.

Who sees more engagement?

  • TRUMP: The GOP candidate has had 38.7 million interactions on social media (via likes, shares, and comments) compared to Hillary’s 26.8 million.

Whose content has more traction?

  • CLINTON: In the last thirty days, Hillary’s channels have seen a 12.5% growth in followers, while Trump’s followers have only grown 9.1%.


So, who’s winning?

While our data shows that Trump has an advantage right now on social, the reality is both Donald and Hillary are robust content marketers.

Trump’s not spending quite as much money on his efforts, but he’s got a lot of social followers, and when he tweets at 3 am (which is not unheard of), he can receive over 20,000 likes by the time morning comes around. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton’s content is more sophisticated. She has a staff for Instagram, her own Twitter feed, and several outside organizations promoting her content. It adds up to tens of millions of anxiously engaged followers for both.


And actually…

Bernie Sanders may be the true content winner of Election 2016. The now-defeated Democratic candidate  generated 7,000 donations over a 5-day period in March after tweeting out an amusing photo. The content went viral, and thousands of followers tweeted, retweeted, and ultimately gave money to Sanders’ campaign.

Ultimately, the final few weeks of both campaigns will be fascinating to watch, and the content created and shared will likely be some of the most powerful of the election. We’ll certainly be keeping our eye out.

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