Learn Internet Marketing From Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is someone everyone’s heard of – her rags to riches story is compelling, and companies would do almost anything to get their product mentioned on her daytime talk show. Her 25 year media career isn’t over yet, and we could all learn some things about marketing from her.

oprah winfrey internet marketing

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Turn Yourself Into Something More Than A Person

No, I don’t mean a superhero – I mean a brand. Oprah has certainly created a strong personality brand around herself, and the fact that she has managed to do so so well is arguably a large part of the reason for her success. She’s reached legendary, almost mythical status in pop culture. The way that she’s managed to create such a strong personality brand is detailed in the other tips, but you should always keep this in mind: the cornerstone of great marketing is great branding.

Stay Authentic

Authenticity has definitely reached overused buzzword status, but there’s a reason that it became so overused in the first place – it’s important. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to air all of your dirty laundry in public, but it boils down to: don’t lie. Don’t say one thing at one point, and then say something else later. (This is also important in creating consistency – see below.)

You need to show enough of yourself that people feel some sort of personal connection with you, without making them think “Woah – that was way too much information.” This boundary will vary depending on your personal feelings, your audience, and your branding, but decide what it is ahead of time so that you don’t have to deal with a branding disaster later.

Be Consistent Across Multiple Channels

How many media channels does Oprah have ownership of? There is, of course, her television presence (formerly the talk show and now her cable network), O, the Oprah magazine, Oprah.com, and the Oprah Radio Channel. What you’ll notice if you look at each of those channels individually, though, is that the image, tone, topics, and overall branding is consistent. Consistency is important – it creates trust between you and your audience, and lets them know what to expect from you at each turn. Another lesson here is to create multiple channels for yourself, thus creating more exposure and more income.

To create consistency, write down all of the ways that you market yourself and/or create content right now. Check for consistency – did you just write a blog post about the importance of being grateful and then complained on Twitter about being out of chocolate? Bad idea! It’s a good idea to create one or two sentences that encapsulates your brand and keep that in your work area, so that you have something to check against before sending anything out. Does what you’re about to say complement those sentences, or does it negate them? If it negates them… think twice about putting it out into the world.

To brainstorm multiple channels, take your list that you created a minute ago, of the ways that you market yourself and create content. Blog? Twitter? Facebook? Double check to make sure they’re all there. Think about how you provide value with each of these – if you aren’t providing value to potential customers (or actual customers!) with these, then you need to revamp your strategy or scrap it entirely. And now, think of ways you can provide that value in a different medium – what about a podcast? Or a Youtube channel, updated with a useful video once a week? Methods like these, although they might take more effort than typing up a blog post, can gain you a lot more exposure and thus business than if you stick with one main channel of communicating with your audience.

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4 Comments

  1. Ryan Eagle

    Nice article, you can always learn from Oprah HAHA!

    1. Are you a fan of Oprah since the Acai period? ;)

  2. I think the point here is the analogy and not an article about Oprah. But with that said she is so amazing, opening schools in third world countries, helping people that really need help. She will go down in history as a staple for the human kind that is truly generous and loving.

    I think it’s a great analogy and if you put into your blog and social media marketing what Oprah has put into her own career you will have success.

    1. Your comment completely confirms my point: she turned herself into something more than a person, combine that with excellent PR and everybody now knows that she opens school in third world countries, helps people… When I’m told about people who are giving back to make the world a better place, I’m more interested to know the relative value (what percentage of their income) they are giving back to others rather than the absolute value (a cash value). It usually speaks for itself.

      To me, someone making a bazillion dollar per year and giving back $1,000,000 to help the poors is less generous than someone making $30,000 per year and giving $3,000 to their local church. Sure it will make less noise in the media, but people who are genuinly generous are not doing it for the media coverage or for “brand likeness”.

      I mean, both are being generous, but people should be able to take a step back and do not get caught by the hype, especially people working in the marketing field.

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