What Donald Trump Can Teach Us About Content Marketing

Dec. 28, 2015. Character portrait of Donald Trump giving a speech. Bigstockphoto.com

Hey everyone!

Today’s blog covers a very, very important trend that’s manifested for 2016 (and yes, we can partially thank The Donald for it).

Did you know that 2016 is the year we get to collectively kick corporate brand ‘speak’ and political waxing and waning to the curb? #DTrump helped this trend manifest. …

By the way, if you haven’t signed up for my 100% free, live Masterclass on Winning the Game of Digital Direct Content Marketing, you can sign up for a spot at the end of this email newsletter.

During my research for the Masterclass, I came across an article from The Guardian that quoted mar-com agency owner Jane Geraghty (EMEA, Landor). Here’s what she had to say:

“2016 will be the year of simple truths, simply told. … Like him or loathe him, Donald Trump is a good example of how consumer expectations are changing. There appears there is a growing sense of relief that we can talk in simple terms – opaque corporate speak and political language are dying! We’re going to see a wholesale rejection of marketing jargon. The brands that succeed will bring a sense of simplicity to their communications 2016 is the year of honest simplicity.”

I was relieved when I read this, and I’ll bet you are too. I believe that writing content for your customers, fans and followers is tough only because we’re not ourselves when we’re writing. Worse, we don’t even know exactly who we’re writing to!

When you’re writing an email to a friend, you don’t feel that way because you’re confident in who you are and you know exactly who you’re writing to.

I want you to feel like that when you’re creating your written content marketing materials.

Remember, your customer list and your email list is composed of people, of unique individuals. Start to bring more of your personality to your content.

There are two key takeaways from the quote above that you can integrate into your own content marketing today:

1 – Did you know that today, plain text emails with personable, friendly subject lines are by far the most opened and read? Plain text just means there’s no fancy header image, color blocking, big bold headlines that are advertising something (no branded email template). I totally get that you want to have all communications from your company branded – you spent a lot of money on that look and feel. But to your target customer, a branded, templated email screams “this came from a company wanting to sell me something!”

TAKEAWAY: Consider using plain text as your new email template and when you sit down to write your email newsletter, get in the headspace that you’re about to write to a good friend. If you do, you’ll be far more likely to create that elusive emotional connection.

2 – Write like you talk. This one should come as a relief. … It’s finally okay to write like you talk at work (assuming you don’t work at a newspaper that is). You don’t have to adhere to AP Style, or any other manual. This doesn’t mean you can be sloppy and have mis-spelled words or grammar errors. It just means that your ideal customer (avatar) wants to read things from you that sound like they were written (by a person) just for them. Give your writing more of a conversational tone and less of a formal, corporate tone. Many brands have style guides and approved verbiage, and that’s okay. You can use that, just be sure to make the overall tone and feel of your writing personal, as though it came from YOU.

TAKEAWAY: Whether you’re doing a Facebook post or creating social site content, writing your company newsletter or creating content for your website, your target avatar wants to hear from a person — if you’re the face of your brand, that’s you. If you’re not, figure out who is the face of your brand and make them your ‘voice.’ Stay consistent with it.

I’m not sure who said this, but I love it: Money flows through people. The more personable, likeable and trusted you are, the more you’ll help your readers and fans convert to customers. Next week’s topic will help you build trust more quickly with your avatar through visual content like images and video.

The free Masterclass training, Winning at the Game of Digital Direct Content Marketing in 2016, is Wed. Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. Sign up right here:

Until next time, GO BIG!

KCO