The Oprah Winfrey Show went live for the first time on September 8, 1986 and became the highest-rated daytime talk show in history. The talk show host built an empire including a magazine, a radio show, a television network and a website that averages 43 million page views and 6.5 million unique users per month.
Oprah has figured out how to do what marketers only dream about—continuing to bring great content that builds and engages her audience. By the end of the 25-year run, she and her company knew what to do and have continued to build on the success of the show and her brand.
While The Oprah Winfrey Show has been off the air, the community is still there and still engaged with Oprah. These three lessons can help you to follow her and build a community that will outlast social media or the next big thing.
1. Become a Master Storyteller
Oprah did a lot of things well, but one is when she shared her own stories. She leveraged the power of storytelling to share and promote messages. It was in those moments when her audience was not only captivated, but they also empathized and embraced her. They connected to her and to the brand.
Think about your customers and consider what questions they have or what they want to know. That list will help you to start creating content for your blog and social channels, along with including a call-to-action.
Brainstorming is only the first part. Once you have those questions, start telling the story.
It can often be difficult to share stories through the written word. This is one of the reasons many businesses are relying on video to share the stories. Images and videos can share an entire story in what could take too many words. Consider all your possibilities for how to share your story, but make sure that the story is the most important part.
2. Endorse and Promote Others
While the show title was the name of the host, Oprah looked to giving others the spotlight. Her book club promoted obscure titles into best sellers. These books shared messages that were true to Oprah’s brand and messaging.
Another segment, “Oprah’s Favorite Things” exploded the sales volumes of small business, also known as the Oprah Effect. These were items that Oprah personally had tried and genuinely wanted to share with her community.
Think about your audience and what their interests are. Insights and analytics can give you a plethora of information about your users and what interests they have. It’s time to start looking at the bigger picture and seeing where your brand’s values overlap with another brand and when it is a great opportunity to partner and share. Marketers are often looking at competitors, but finding partners can expand your network.
When you start thinking this way, you’ll stop worrying about the 80/20 rule for your content and you’ll start appealing to the audience and sharing with them what’s important to the both of you.
3. Everyone Wins
One of the most epic moments of The Oprah Winfrey Show came in 2004, when she gave away cars to the entire audience attending her show.
People love to win. They feed on that impulsive high that says that they’ve accomplished something. With push notifications, users get immediate responses to our social media posts and achieve validation. Many users love the validation that comes from a brand sharing their post on their own social channels.
You want to get your buyer’s attention. Businesses focus on a sweepstakes or other giveaway event hoping to generate more likes on a page. While this is one way of doing it, you will find that once the contest is over, your engagement drops. To keep followers engaged is the next major step. This giveaway is one that people still talk about, but Oprah also was consistently giving away gifts to her audience. They may have come because she did giveaways, but they stayed for the content.
Content marketing focuses on the client and their needs. While it was on the air, The Oprah Winfrey Show consistently focused on the audience to provide them with a great experience and content that can help them. Your brand can do that to and build and strengthen your loyal community.