9 Content Marketing Gems Hidden Within Game of Thrones

I was more of a Tetris than a Dungeons & Dragons type of kid.  I never really got into Lord of the Rings and found that goblin man more than a little creepy.

But I’ll be the first to admit I’m fully entrenched in Game of Thrones.  Why?  Because it’s badass.  And also because it always — always — surprises me.  Red Wedding, much?

Red Wedding

Now, I have a long history of comparing content marketing to seemingly unrelated popular culture: TV shows (and more and more TV shows), movies, holidays, you name it.  The point is this: Content marketing is such a fun and creative field that you can draw inspiration from almost anywhere to rock killer content — even if it may seem completely oddball or off the wall.

So, since we’re all rehashing each week’s GoT episode with our colleagues anyway, I figured it made sense to dig up a few content marketing gems from the Seven Kingdoms.

Here’s a look at a few best practices from the show that you can apply to your content efforts (*spoiler alert*):

Content Can Come Back From the Dead

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Like many of the rest of you, I really wasn’t feeling it when Jon Snow died.  I know you’re an eccentric, but really, R.R. Martin?  BUT, for once, Milesandre proved herself useful (and not just totally nuts) and brought him back to life.

Content Marketing Gem

If your content’s not performing as expected, don’t (necessarily) panic!  Search engines change often, and it takes time for content to mature and get top rankings on a search results page.

For one of our clients in the manufacturing sector, we have noticed recently that evergreen content has been performing exceptionally well (anywhere from 15% to 800% year over year!), making the case for the merits of waiting patiently for content to come back to life.

You Win Some, You Lose Some

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I wasn’t the hugest fan of Ser Jorah in the first place (she’s just really not that into you), but the guy certainly didn’t deserve to get hit up with a gnarly case of Greyscale!  Who does?

Content Marketing Gem

It sounds pretty trite (especially when compared to a flesh-eating disease), but it really is true that, in the world of content marketing, you’ll win some and you’ll lose some.  Let’s say you poured countless hours into a content strategy that you were sure would get you the results you were looking for (organic traffic, leads, conversions, whatever).  But, it didn’t.

Use the flop as a learning experience and move along — your time will be better served starting fresh.

Go Big or Go Home

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If there’s one person who embodies the “Go Big or Go Home” mantra on GoT, it’s the Mother of Dragons.  When she’s not mastering Dothraki (presumably without even the Rosetta Stone!), Daenerys is pretty much owning it wherever she goes, be it Yunkai or Meereen or anywhere else.

Content Marketing Gem

Studies show the average American consumes 33 gigabytes of media per day.  What does that mean?  There’s some pretty steep competition when it comes to getting people to read your stuff.  Take a cue from Khaleesi and step it up with your content efforts to truly engage your audience.

It’s Entertainment, Right?

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I don’t know about you, but my favorite part of GoT is, by far, the direwolves.  I mean, really.  Does it get any better?  (Sidenote: I hope it warms your heart as much as it did mine to know that Sansa adopted her direwolf in real life.)

Content Marketing Gem

There’s a reason why sites like BuzzFeed generate an insane amount of unique visitors: They post the hell out of photos of cute things like puppies and kittens!  At the end of the day, readers want not only to be informed and educated when they seek out your content; they also want to be entertained!  Remember to give them something to smile or laugh at and chances are they’ll come back for more.

How Many Faces Are There, Anyway?

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If there’s one thing I can say for Arya, it’s that the girl rolls with the punches.  And I mean that literally.  How many times must a person get whacked with a stick before she’s given her eyesight back?

Content Marketing Gem

When it comes to content marketing, it’s absolutely crucial to remain flexible and adaptable to change.  Google changes its algorithm a whopping 500 – 600 times a year — the point being that a content strategy that proved to be effective one month might not necessarily the next.

Too Much of Anything Is Never a Good Thing

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Ah, Tyrion.  Enough said.

Content Marketing Gem

Some of my fellow content marketers and I sometimes joke that, after a while, editorial calendars all start to look the same.  As in, you do so much writing that you start to write about the same or similar topics without even realizing it.

The key is to realize when the well is running dry and look to other places for blog post inspiration.  Creative examples might be to check out the questions readers are asking on Quora or LinkedIn Groups, collaborate with internal (SEO, social media, etc.) or external (PR, etc.) teams to bounce ideas off one another, or research the highest shared blog posts for a particular topic or keyword set.

Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer

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The Hound.  Cersei.  Joffrey.  Ser Illyn Payne.  How many times do we hear Arya recite her so-called “kill-list” throughout the show?  The girl’s out for revenge!  But what’s so interesting about it all is that she develops an almost closeness with one of her would-be victims.

Content Marketing Gem

It’s not news that the digital marketing landscape is a crowded place.  To stay one step ahead of the competition, it’s critical to keep tabs on what they’re doing, what they’re writing about, what they’re talking about on social media, etc.  Competitive analysis shouldn’t be the focal point of your content strategy, but it should be factored in.

Look to the Past for Inspiration

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I don’t know about you, but I’m always pretty creeped out when Bran and his posse of magic children and three-eyed raven come on the screen.  But after an entire season of wondering just what, exactly, he’s doing in that underground tree dungeon, it was pretty refreshing to see him start to revisit the past for insight into the future.

Content Marketing Gem

While it’s never advisable to rely on past content marketing strategy and tactics to drive future direction, it can be beneficial (and is recommended) to dig through top-performing posts and see how you can build on those successes.  You might, for example, create new content that leverages similar material, as you know it resonates with your audience, or you might repurpose some of that old content into newer assets.  The point is not to forget about it!

Winter Is Coming

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The whole “Winter Is Coming” threat has been looming large throughout all of GoT.  But I believe I speak for everyone when I say WHERE IS IT?

Content Marketing Gem

Whether or not winter actually ever arrives on GoT, it’s in the back of everyone’s minds for sure.  In the world of content marketing, it’s similarly a good idea to avoid becoming too comfortable with the here and now — as the landscape can change in a moment’s notice and you need to be ready to adjust your content strategy accordingly.

TL;DR

Game of Thrones isn’t just a popular fantasy series for the biggest dorks among us; it’s also loaded with content marketing gems that can help you rethink and reshape content strategy now and into the future.

“The team @ KoMarketing Associates clearly understands how to effectively utilize all methodologies of search engine marketing and builds powerful programs to achieve outstanding results. The team they have constructed is not only professional but fantastic to work with.”

— Chad Beasley, Vice President at Delivery Agent

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