Six lessons from barackobama.com

lessons from obama site

Barack Obama is the first web savvy president.  As he seeks re-election, he is using his online presence and social media to engage US voters and drive traffic to his site.  Here are six lessons you can learn from his website.

1 – Look and feel – The visual appeal of the home page sets a positive tone.  For me, his home page is a like a firm handshake.  It communicates personality, emotion and a sense of determination.  And it also makes me feel welcome.

2 – Messaging — Clear messaging is the heart of any website.  Obama’s concern for people and their well-being is one of his key messages.  You read it in his program.  And you feel it when everyday Americans tell their personal stories.

3 – Storytelling – Storytelling is a great way to inform and persuade.  My favorite is about Margaret, an elderly African American woman, who tells why voting is so important to her.  There is even a page where people can add their own stories.

4 – Visual hierarchy – A visual hierarchy guides a reader through the page and makes sure the most important things get seen first.  Each page is designed so readers can quickly find and comprehend information.  No hesitation – just a smooth ride.

5 – Visuals – Good visuals can tell a story or reinforce a message. Here’s a visual that addresses unemployment.  Looking at the visual, you can quickly grasp the idea that the economy is improving.

6 – Navigation –   A good navigation makes it easy find what you are looking for.  The main navigation has three choices: Get the facts, Get the latest or Get Involved.  Click any of these and again you have three choices. While there is a lot of information, everything is clearly organized.  You never feel lost.

If you are looking to improve your web skills, study this website carefully.  Its storytelling, copywriting, information architecture and interaction design are second to none.  Don’t wait too long, this site will most likely be removed after the election.

Like this post?  Share it.  Written by Don Seidenberg.

Storytelling starts with a clear strategy

online storytelling

If you want your idea or message to stick, nothing beats a good story.  People relate to stories and gladly share them with others. President Obama uses storytelling to connect with voters in a personal way.

Storytelling can make your website more personal.  You need to start with a clear content strategy that defines your target groups, key messages and business objectives. Then build a story that connects those dots.  Here are two examples:

 Case study – To attract new clients, tell stories don’t sell features.  A case study is nothing more than a story that shows how your product or service solved a problem.  You can discuss the problem, the challenges and how your product or service made a big difference.

Career section of websites – To attract top talent, go beyond simple job listings.  Let workers tell their personal stories to new recruits in a video.  They can address issues important to future employees like career growth, corporate responsibility and diversity.

Potential clients and new recruits relate better to storytelling than corporate happy talk. That means there’s a better chance they will actually listen to your message.  In the coming months, President Obama will use storytelling in his re-election bid. This is an excellent opportunity to observe, analyze and learn.

Like this post?  Share it.  Written by Don Seidenberg.

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