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Lessons from Obamas Search Engine Marketing Campaign
The 2008 campaign trail extended from coast to coast--and onto the World Wide Web. Barack Obamas team wielded search engine marketing as a powerful tool for getting across the message and getting out the vote. The result? Record voter turnout and a historic victory.
By contrast, the business world has a modest goal: convincing customers to buy. To achieve this daily victory, companies can take a page or two out of the Obama campaigns SEM playbook.
Hone the Message
Businesses can similarly track the performance of a search engine marketing campaign and apply their advertising budgets to best advantage. Online advertising enables businesses to adjust the campaign "live", experimenting with different keywords and messages in order to find the sweet spot of the campaign, somewhere between cost and effect.
Target the Audience
Businesses already rely on SEM to target interested customers, who have essentially qualified themselves by typing a search term. But Obamas brand management strategy suggests a broader application of search engine marketing. The Internet is a powerful medium capable of spreading negative publicity fast. Advertising on damaging search terms can help companies protect their brand and if necessary, control fallout from negative publicity.
Companies can follow suit, fostering a bond between their brand and customer base through creative interactive features. Clos du Bois vineyards, for example, hired a team of interactive marketing specialists to create an independent site that would let users share first-kiss stories. The forum was designed to create an association between romance and the Clos du Bois brand.
Obama managed to motivate some 69 million voters to support his cause at the polls, in part through his teams search marketing efforts. Businesses can use similar tactics to lay claim to their fair share of the market. Search engines offer a powerful marketing medium that political candidates--and businesses--cant afford to ignore.