Issue #259

How Trump got elected (and how you can apply it)

Marketing Lessons from Trump

OK, I know how it is. These days, almost any combination of words with the word “Trump” sprinkled in there is going to get people’s heart rates up. I find it pretty hilarious, actually. 🙂

But, I’m not here to talk politics. Whether you like Trump or not, there’s things you can learn about effective marketing by watching him (and others) in the field of politics. Always remember this…

If you only learn from the people you like, your learning will be highly limited.

At Traffic & Conversion, I listened to a guy named Billy Gene talk about effective video marketing. Billy Gene is a guy who clearly has no problem being polarizing in his videos. He does it quite strategically and he does it to get attention for his videos.

Billy Gene talked about 4 clear ways to get people’s attention. But furthermore, these 4 things will effectively get people to engage and SHARE your content. Sure, it will piss some people off. Others will love you. But, they’ll all be talking about you.

Those 4 things are:

  1. Take a stand for them.
  2. Defend their heroes.
  3. Defend their beliefs.
  4. Attack their villains.

This clearly involves knowing your target market really well. Knowing what they love. Knowing what they hate. Knowing the characters in the narrative that represent those things.

If you come out, get their attention, and defend their heroes and beliefs, then they will be FAR more likely to share your stuff. Because they agree with you. And you are out there taking a stand for what they believe in. In effect, they’re using you as a way to make their point and prove their own rightness in the world.

Same when you attack their villains.

So, with that in mind, look at what Trump did during the last election. And what  he continues to do today. There is no more clear case of a guy coming in and defending the heroes and attacking the villains. In his case, of the Republican side of the country.

For instance, the Republican right perceives a very clear left-wing bias in the mainstream press. They’re tired of being called racists and other disparaging words. So, Trump comes out and attacks the press.

Trump also comes out and blasts socialism, abortion, defends religious people, etc. Think of it what you will, but this is all a CLASSIC case of defending the beliefs of his target market and attacking the villians.

In this next election, the left will blast Trump all day long. Because Trump is the personification of all things bad for the left, so he will be the target. He already is. Another classic case of attacking the villain and defending the beliefs.

So, how does any of that translate into something applicable for those of us in less controversial lines of work? 🙂


Know your audience. Know what they believe. Know what they stand against. Know the personifications of those things. And stand up for them and defend their beliefs.

In another more relevant case, a lot of people who follow the world of online marketing feel a certain disdain for online scammers and pushy marketers. So, guru-bashing can be a pretty popular thing. 😉

One last thing…

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that making effective content that does these things means that you have to be abrasive or mean and bash people around. You don’t. Some do it. Trump sure as hell does. But, you don’t necessarily have to do that. You just need to know what you stand for and be very clear about it.

– David

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