We’ve been watching with fascination as the US presidential election race unfurls; as Clinton and Trump take the leading roles in what has to be one of the biggest marketing stories of 2016.
As the process moves into the home stretch, it seems that there’s no way to escape the headlines, whether it’s Trump’s controversial global warming comments leaping to the fore, or Hillary’s email scandal being forced into the limelight, the world has been watching with bated breath as we understand more about these two individuals – one of which will become the most powerful people in the world.
US marketing agency, Internet Marketing Inc, reported that $1.2 billion will be spent on digital marketing during this presidential race. A slightly higher budget than that of the average SME here in the UK. However, even the most humble SME looking to inform their content marketing campaign can learn a few tricks from the strategies of Clinton and Trump. Here are a few that we’ve picked up on our online travels…
1. Authenticity rules, ok?
Building a social presence is a must for any brand in this day and age, large or small. It is a way to get your brand out in front of potential customers and engage with current ones by revealing a little of the personal side of your business. The very essence of social is intimate and unscripted – it’s a way to humanise your brand and connect with your audience. Consider Clinton’s very first Snapchat of an ice-cold drinks bottle labelled ‘Chillary Clinton’ – choosing to inject a little humour into your brand is never a bad thing when it comes to engaging the masses.
Trump’s supporters would argue that his authenticity is beyond question, his comments and opinions are loud, proud, unfiltered and unscripted; this is the reason for his meteoric rise to become a contender. Yet the Huffington Post argues that “real authenticity is not measured by the amount of … outrageous things you can say to appeal to your target audience, make tomorrow’s headlines or make people laugh. To be authentic you need to be self-aware.” A lesson that can neatly be applied to your social media efforts and the voice that represents your brand.
Stay away from offensive or alienating comments, use humour to demonstrate authenticity, and be aware that the voice you use on social is the voice that represents what your brand is all about.
2. Experimentation is the name of the game
Both presidential candidates have demonstrated a commitment to experimenting with social platforms despite the very high stakes at play. Mashable noted back in the summer that Clinton was “slaying” social media and that in the space of just one week in the summer, her team initiated “a Spanish website and Twitter account, a Facebook Live of staffers reading the case names of more than 5,500 lawsuits associated with Trump, a Snapchat filter trolling the Republican National Convention and a social media tool called ‘Trump Yourself’ that allows users to overlay Trump’s most controversial statements on their Facebook profile pic”.
What we can say for Trump is that when it comes to the rules of social media engagement, he tears the book up and throws it away. Much as he does to the rules of conventional wisdom. Yet his social following has gone through the roof. In August, Forbes pointed out his Twitter had topped 10.7 million – 25% more than Hillary’s 8.1 million – and that he was tweeting more than four times the amount she was. He too, is working across platforms including Instagram and Periscope, and makes a point of commenting on real-time events to stay visible and current.
Experimenting with different platforms until you find the one that works for your business is critical for social success. Don’t be afraid to try different approaches in order to get results.
3. Speak to your audience
Trump knows his audience well – just as well as you ought to know yours as a brand. He is seen as speaking to and for white working-class America, addressing the thoughts, fears and pain-points of this demographic. In response, Hillary’s targeting of women, African-Americans, the LGBT community and pretty much every other demographic that Trump has managed to offend proves that playing on the emotions of your audience can have clear results.
Knowing your audience is the number one lesson in content marketing 101. Define your target audience so that you can focus on creating great content that they actually care about.
Need a little help with creating that content? Contact M2 Bespoke today find out what we can do for you.Ben Hollom
October 6, 2016