And so the big day has come. After what seems like an eternity of bold statements, power plays and possibly a little outside influence, Donald Trump will today finally be sworn in as the latest president of the United States. He will become arguably the most powerful man in the world, lording over the largest economy on the planet, and he got there using his unique, sometimes offensive, always eye-catching self-promotional style.
But on this historic day, looking at his already softened stance on many issues, what can we as digital marketers take from his rise to power, and what should we be looking at to learn what we should and shouldn’t do to reach, engage with and please our audience?
Back on the day his election victory was announced, I wrote about what Donald Trump’s campaign could teach us about digital marketing in general, but it’s worth taking a look at what has happened since, how many of his brash promises have been changed or conveniently swept under the White House carpet, and how the lessons we can take from it can be applied to our own digital marketing strategy.
Keep your promises
Mr Trump rose to power on the back of many bold statements and promises that appealed to his followers. Building a wall to keep out Mexican illegal immigrants and making Mexico pay for it? US Congress is now looking at how to fund it. Scrapping Obamacare? He now says he wants to keep its ‘strongest assets’. Prosecuting Hillary Clinton? Nope. Banning Muslims from entering the US? That’s not been mentioned again. I could go on.
The fact is that Mr Trump, who surfed to victory on the crest of an extremist, USA-first wave, has back-peddled on many of the promises he made. From a digital marketing point of view, this is obviously a big no-no.
If your online content promises to provide useful and relevant information to a visitor that will help them meet their challenges, you have to deliver on that promise. A compelling CTA that offers a useful eBook, whitepaper or demo needs to bring your potential customer to that very offer. If you promise that your goods or services will meet the needs of a customer, you need to stay true to your word and deliver the solution they expect. Otherwise your customers and supporters will flee, and your business will be left with a seriously bad name.
Don’t oversell yourself
Following on from that, it is important that you don’t oversell your business. While Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to ‘make America great again’ the jury is still very much out on whether this is something he can realistically achieve. He claims he will be the ‘greatest president in history for job creation’ but has made a potential economic enemy of rival superpower China, and has made less than favourable comments about the EU.
While saying your business is better than the rest and can provide what nobody else can is one thing, it is important that you back that claim up. Is your business truly the best? Or is that just hyperbole? Be realistic, tell your potential customers what you can do, and do it to the best of your abilities. If you provide a great service as a digital marketing agency, that should be enough – you don’t need to claim that you are more powerful than Google or Facebook.
Surround yourself with the right people
Upon winning the election, Trump immediately went about appointing his key background team and filling high-profile positions. Many friends and campaign financers found themselves being offered key roles, with an attorney general dogged by racism allegations and an energy secretary who doesn’t believe in climate change. But how wise were his decisions? How effective will they be? And what damage could they potentially do to Trump’s regime if it all goes belly up?
In your digital marketing agency, it is also wise to avoid picking the wrong staff to work with. We discussed what to look for and how to keep the staff who will increase the success of your business here, but in short, what you need is both drive and potential, rather than just old friends.
Spread love, not hate
One of the overriding characteristics of Trump’s campaign was his explosive activity on social media. Any and every critic of his stance, his politics or his appearance were immediately jumped upon and retaliated to, sometimes to embarrassing degrees and certainly not appropriate for a president.
This is something of note for all digital marketers in business. While negative comments or reviews are not ideal, they can be of great value and should be acted upon accordingly.
Retaliating with a ‘you don’t know what you are talking about’ approach to reviews on your site, review sites or social media, will only blacken your name further. Remember, the entire online audience can see how you react to and treat your customers, so act accordingly.
Online consumers nowadays are hugely influenced by reviews. Good reviews and citations should be rewarded with warm engagement and possibly an incentive to become a return customer or advocate for your brand or business, while bad reviews should be addressed politely and with a view towards positivity. This will show your dedication to providing the best customer experience.
Give a clear and complete message
While there is a scientific argument that Trump appealed to the masses with his sometimes garbled, incomplete utterances, it remains to be seen how successful this style will be when negotiating complex matters of diplomacy, and some fear this is his biggest weakness.
Though he mirrors everyday speech to appear as the common man, we are left very unsure of what his policies actually are, and how serious he is about them. Boldly stating that 11million illegal immigrants will be shipped out was not backed up by any sort of plan as to how that would be done. Similarly, his foreign policy has been called ‘unclear’ by the likes of Germany, while his initial insistence that he would repeal climate change laws has been changed to an ‘open mind’ approach.
What does he intend to do? How does he intend to do it? Does he know himself?
Your visitors, leads and customers, just like the US voters, need more certainty. They need to know that a certain action on your online content will bring certain results, and that each action they take will give a definite and logical path towards what they are interested in.
If a visitor to your online content shows interest in what you have to say, they should be offered a clear path down which they can go to find out more, should be given useful information relevant to their position on the buyer journey, and ultimately should understand what you can provide them and how it can be achieved.
If you are an inbound digital marketing agency and a visitor is interested in finding out how to increase their audience or boost lead generation, show them how you can do this for them, or help them do it themselves with clear CTAs, landing pages, product or service info, etc, at the right time for them. If your content is as good as it should be, they should be left in no doubt about what you can do, how you will do it, and what results they can expect if they choose to avail of your products or services.
(By the way, if you would like to find out how to accelerate lead generation for your business, join us at our inbound marketing workshop next week.)
Remember you work for your customers
Lastly, Mr Trump needs to realise that he has been put in a position of great power by the people, and that his duty is now to work for them, not for his own profit. While the Trump brand is now bigger than ever, his focus needs to be on delivering the best outcomes for his country.
For digital marketers, the same principle applies. Growing bigger and enhancing the position of your business is great, but real success comes in the form of satisfied customers. No matter how big you become, you still need to do the basics right, and deliver on what you promise. Customers are what bring you success, so keep them happy and that success can only increase.
It remains to be seen how well Donald Trump performs as president of the US, but if we learn from what he has done, what he hasn’t done, and what we feel he should so, and apply it to our own digital marketing strategy, we can become leaders in our own right.
To find out more about what Get Focused can do to help you increase website traffic and generate leads, book a call with us.