I love Barack Obama. I think he’s a great guy all round. His policies (mostly) fall in line with my beliefs and politics aside, he’s just cool. What I didn’t realise though is that the guy is a content marketing genius! I’ve followed his Twitter account for years and have always been impressed by the short yet concise, meaningful tweets that appear. He doesn’t try to pass all of them off as his own, either, choosing instead to sign those that he’s personally written with ‘bo’.
It’s not his social media I want to talk about though – it’s his website. It’s well laid out and all of the information is split into three parts. These are ‘Get Involved’, ‘Get the Latest’ and ‘Get the Facts’. This is great because a) it means visitors can get the information they want quickly and b) doesn’t force them to wade through lots of marketing collateral to do so.
What I really want to focus on is the ‘Get the Facts’ section. It’s self-promotional, obviously and I’m under no illusions that Obama has probably chosen the most favourable facts to show on his website – but still, it’s a great idea. Also – who out of us wouldn’t choose the best information to showcase?!
Why is it so good?
Firstly, the facts are split into sections – such as healthcare, tax & the budget, jobs & the economy, equal rights and women’s issues. You can get the information you want quickly – leaving no room for frustrated minutes or hours spent navigating the site.
Secondly, the information is presented in a very clear and straightforward way. Take this chart, for example:
The great thing about this chart is that it doesn’t lie. It’s like Obama coming out and saying look – I’m human. I don’t get it 100% right every month but overall, we’re doing a pretty good job. It’s transparent and says clearly what’s been achieved… as well as what would happen if Romney comes into power. Yes, it’s in his favour (why wouldn’t it be? It’s his website!) but it’s transparent, too.
Now it’s getting personal
Another great feature of the ‘Get the Facts’ section is that Americans see exactly how Obama retaining his position as President would impact them individually. To achieve this, it uses an interactive tool and – let’s face it – we all love a cool tool:
From this, users can choose their individual situation – then are asked questions like their gender, how many people are in their household, their age and if they have any children. From this (and other information) it generates a detailed brief on how their situation will change if Obama isn’t voted into a second term… or if he is.
This tool is emotive. Its content is tailored for every single user and shows them how Obama can help them improve their life – no-one else’s. That in itself is content marketing gold!
I could go on and on…
If you take a look at Obama’s website, you’ll see that I could go on for pages and pages (not just because I’m a fan, either). It’s a great site in many other ways, too, but I’ll save that for another post. For now, there are two clear lessons to take form this.
1. Accept the bad, promote the good
Be sure to acknowledge the bad within your content marketing, but don’t be afraid to highlight the good. Your existing customers and prospects will respect you more for taking this approach – if you simply ignored the bad and over-sold the good, they’d recognise straight away that you’re just trying to sell something to them.
Instead, position yourself as an honest, reliable industry authority by saying yes – the world’s not perfect, but here’s what we intend to do about it. We understand the issues and we’re adapting our solutions/products/services to solve them. Be it industry news content or whitepapers, this approach should be universally adopted.
2. Keep it personal
Don’ treat Bob in Yorkshire as you do Sue in Hampshire. Ensure your content speaks to the individual; tailored to their needs, their situation and their point in the buying cycle.