Learn Online Marketing from President Barack Obama

Barack Obama is the most successful "new marketer" in history.

A twitter post by President Barack Obama announcing his recent victory, with the words "four more years" and an image of him hugging his wife Michelle, was the most shared twitter post of all time. This was the final example of what has been the total domination of the online space by the Obama campaign, with many lessons and examples of best practice that we can apply to our own online marketing. Here are some that stand out! 

Lesson 1 – Put Your Fans First

Put your fans first!  Throughout his campaign, Obama told his fans and supporters about important details first, before talking to TV or news stations.  For example he posted his election win on Twitter first (see below).

Lesson 2 – Use Powerful Endorsements

Throughout the campaign, Obama has used celebrities to endorse his campaign.  In particular, Bill Clinton has many videos on the Obama channel supporting Obama and discussing his policies.

We can use a similar approach, through testimonials and endorsements from key and well known clients and customers.

Lesson 3 – Tell a Powerful Story

The success of Obama has always been his ability to articulate a clear message and story.  Obama's website and youtube channel explain what he has done over the last 4 years, explaining his story of working inclusively and bringing the US back from the brink.

What's your business story?  Do you explain the journey of your business on your website?  This can often be done well and personally on your "about us" or "our history" page.  Take your customers on the journey with you.

Lesson 4 – Give Favourable Facts & Statistics

The Obama campaign makes a point of always explaining favourable facts and statistics in easy to understand language and pictures.  In particular, the "Truth Team", posted videos discrediting the opposing party with a focus on "getting to the truth" and "learning the real facts".  True or not, customers put faith in well presented statistics and figures.  Are you doing the same with your marketing materials?

Lesson 5 – Clean & Clear Design (YouTube Example)

Below is a screen shot of Obama's youtube page.  The simplicity is powerful.  In particular, note:

  1. A clear value proposition – "The Next Chapter Beings Today"
  2. Call to action – "Stand with PRESIDENT OBAMA"
  3. First Steps – Very simple, get the email and zip code and click on GET STARTED.

This all appears on the first fold of the web-page, without the need to scroll down.

Is your web-page clean like this?  Do you have a strong call to action, rather than many confusing messages?  This approach is crucial to getting a high conversion rate on your website.

Lesson 6 – Be Seen Everywhere

Obama can be found on all important social media channels.  Take a look at the long list of channels he supports below!

Lesson 7 – Make it Easy to Take Action

Here are some examples of the simple and easy to complete call to actions used on the Obama campaign websites.  The key here is to have a simple headline, then explain in a bit more detail (get specific), and then make it very easy to take action.  Is it as easy to take action on your website?

Lesson 8 – Get Attention through Humour

Will Ferrell declared on youtube that he would do anything to get you to vote (for Obama). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rGaE5je7vE

Typically, a fun and easy going approach in language and pictures on your website will help build your conversion rate.  Serious text with a lot of terminology turns users off fast.

Lesson 9 – Make it easy for your fans to spread your message

Obama's campaign has always been about grass roots action.  This can be super-charged online.

The campaign made it very easy for web-masters and users to share content about the campaign. The Obama site even has background images you can download to your desktop, mobile or iPad.  They also provide a way of adding a "quick donate" button to any webpage.

Can you help your fans, clients and customers to spread your business message?  What's in it for them?  Make it easy for your fans to share your content and give them a reason to do it!

Final Words

Obama may have had an unlimited online marketing budget, but the campaign shows examples of best practice that can be easily and cheaply adopted in our own businesses.   Remember these 9 lessons:

Lesson 1 - Put Your Fans First
Lesson 2 - Use Powerful Endorsements
Lesson 3 - Tell a Powerful Story
Lesson 4 - Give Favourable Facts & Statistics
Lesson 5 - Clean & Clear Design (YouTube Example)
Lesson 6 - Be Seen Everywhere
Lesson 7 - Make it Easy to Take Action
Lesson 8 - Get Attention through Humour
Lesson 9 - Make it easy for your fans to spread your message

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