Barack Obama’s Ultimate Guide to Marketing: How he Used Internet and Social Media to Become President-Elect
Barack Obama’s election was historic not just politically – his use of the the Internet to promote awareness and create a loyal following will be the template which all future presidential campaigns will draw inspiration from.
History was created when Barack Obama won the race to the White House. Youth vote had a major role to play in the landslide victory, and the role that the internet – the living space of the youth – had to play in his success will be a subject for an endless stream articles such as this!
Barack Obama had a formidable opponent in Hillary Clinton, and during the democratic primaries, where the Obama campaign beat her hollow. A little into the campaign, social media quickly decided to support Obama, and there was no looking back for him. Hillary conceded, and from there it was on to the bigger battle.
Obama has been successful in realizing, releasing and capitalizing the true potential of the Internet. If there is any lesson for Democrats and Republicans after Obama’s huge success in mobilizing first-time voters and campaign funds, it is that no future campign will be able to slack off on a top-class internet marketing strategy.
Obama – or his campaign strategists – realized the fact that besides the public appearances, rallies and stump speeches that were necessary, there was another effective medium for connecting with the people of the USA and that was the Internet. No other presidential candidate has been able to realize this potential of the internet.
The official website, BarackObama.com is not just designed well, navigating within the site was a pleasure and information was easily accessible.
The presentation has been excellent; updates were continuous through the website. Updates on the website included links to videos, articles and appearances of Barack Obama. The website did not remain just a brochure website; it transformed into a platform from where anyone can make calls in support of Obama, volunteer, make contributions and even register the vote.
The my.barackobama.com section promoted the group of Obama only. One has got the freedom to set up one’s own blog or group within this website. The Flick& Videos has been integrated into this website. This has facilitated Obama’s team to take advantage of the audience that is already on the social sites.
“Were it not for the Internet, Barack Obama would not be president. Were it not for the Internet, Barack Obama would not have been the nominee,”
said Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post.
Social news and social media are essential tools, and living environment, of the youth. And where the youth are, that’s where marketing dollars should go. And in this case, campaign dollars went there too.
The social media network developed by the Barack Obama campaign created more than 3,500,000 friends for Barack Obama. YouTube, the largest online video streaming site, shows more than 134,000 subscriptions, and FaceBook shows more than 3,000,000 supporters.
The Barack Obama campaign presented a tech-savvy, intelligent face to their candidate – and the young audience loved it. Obama volunteers formed Facebook groups, there was the famous ‘Donate your status to Obama’ campaign in Facebook and Obama speeches went viral with the active participation of the geek-crowd.
Social news sites such as Digg and Reddit loved Barack Obama. Supporters tirelessly submitted positive news about Obama, dissed news about John McCain and Sarah Palin, and worked hard to promote positive Obama news on the homepages of Digg ad Reddit. Volunteers and activists started ‘get out the vote’ campaigns, offered advice – and it became a wave that carried a lot of the fence-sitters into the Obama camp.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
When you search for words “Barack” and “Obama” in any of the four search engines you will be stunned to have the presidential campaign website of Barack Obama to be the first in the list. This has been made possible by the team of Barack Obama which has carried out the Search Engine Optimization activities as effectively and efficiently as possible. The Splash page that greets the visitor to the website has details to be filled in. The contents of the website surface after one has filled the data. The data is used to send emails about Obama’s campaign. For each page there is a different title tag. There are descriptive Alt tag descriptions with most of the images. The header tags have also been used effectively. Thus the SEO tactics have paid good returns.
Pay Per Click (PPC) and Sponsored Listings:
Republican Fred Thompson has been the only other candidate to have used the strategy of sponsored listings or PPC. If you want to achieve your objective one has to make the optimum use of the resources that are available. In this case, Barack Obama has been able to use the use the maximum potential of his presidential campaign website. Obama and his team make the best use of the sponsored listings that are available to them. This availability could be through any source, be either bought or donated. Most keywords related to the presidential election campaign were captured by the Obama campaign. The only way any person could be ignorant of Obama is if he is staying on a remote island without any communication with anyone else.
Blogging is yet another tool of internet marketing strategy that has not been given as much attention as is required. Not so in the case of Obama’s election campaign, though.
The official blog is very well integrated with the website. Obama’s team constitutes of active bloggers who continuously post relevant and latest articles every day. Sometimes posts received more than 325 comments within an hour of posting. This reveals to what extent the blog is active and whether the people are watching and reading it or not.
It can be aptly said that Obama turned out to be the choice of America; but we can also say that this choice has been marketed effectively and efficiently through the internet. This presidential election campaign is sure to change the utility of the internet in the future not only to market the products and service but also running the election campaigns successfully.
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