Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about how content marketing is like football.
It’s football season, and even though I’m not a football fan, I do love autumn, and at least here in the U.S., autumn and football tend to go hand in hand. You just can’t have one without the other. So that got me thinking … what are the connections between content marketing and football?
You Need to Strategize
The stereotype of the dumb jock remains alive and well, but in fact, football players don’t just go onto the field to throw things and run into each other. They have to strategize. They go in with a plan and stick to that plan. If things change, they need to adjust their strategy, sometimes at a moment’s notice, in order to defeat their opponent.
The same goes for content marketing. If you just randomly push out content without a strategy, you’re not going to see the results you want. Your competition will gain the upper hand, running to the proverbial end zone for their touchdown while you languish several yards behind, unable to catch up.
There’s Plenty of Distraction
Football players have to play with stadiums full of people screaming their heads off. Sometimes they’re screaming for you, sometimes against.
That’s not including the cheerleaders cheering them on from the sidelines, the refs yelling out calls, and the coaches yelling instructions, advice, and encouragement from the sidelines. Through it all, they have to decide what to listen to, what to ignore, and how to focus on the job at hand.
Content marketers face similar challenges. Every piece of marketing content we create needs to compete with every other piece of marketing content out there. Getting our audience’s attention, and then convincing them that our content is worth their time over all the other content out there, is no easy feat.
Like football players, we also need to decide what noise to focus on and what to ignore. It’s as easy for us to get distracted by all the noise as it is for our audience and we need a way to determine which pieces of content are worth our time and attention and which ones are not. The worthy content can inspire us to produce better content for our own small businesses while the subpar content can only waste our time.
The internet also has no shortage of haters. Like a stadium full of fans of the other team, they can distract you and make you feel like you’re less than worthy. Like football players in such a situation, we need to push past them and ignore their ill will because it can only bring us down.
Develop Your Fan Base
Football teams don’t try to get everyone rooting for them – but they do try to ramp up their fan base and get them excited for games, especially the big games.
Content marketing should be the same way. Content that tries to appeal to everyone usually ends up appealing to no one. But content aimed at a specific audience can have a powerful effect. When done right, it can engage your audience and cement their loyalty, all of which can translate into a significant impact on your small business.
You Might Not Like the Rules, But You Still Have to Play by Them
Every football fan has experienced the frustration of yelling at the screen (or field) when a ref makes a bad call.
Content marketing isn’t much different. Search engines like Google and social media sites like Facebook make the rules and they’re continually changing them. For example, Facebook recently listened to the demands of their user base by making it harder for companies to get their posts and ads in front of them. The big companies with enormous marketing budgets can still afford to get in front of their audience, but Facebook’s changes made it harder on the rest of us.
That said, ranting and railing at Facebook (as everyone has done at some point) doesn’t do any good. Instead, we need to adjust our strategy and find ways to adapt – just like football players have to adjust their strategy when the other team does something they weren’t expecting or a game doesn’t go as planned.
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