We’ve all seen the funny Game of Throne’s SEO and content marketing memes that are littered across the web. While their humor captures us the most, there are valuable lessons to be learned by HBOs content marketing efforts and the shows overall story line.

So you may be asking yourself, ‘what does GOT and content marketing have to do with each other?’ Well the answer is relatively simple, the show is a success because it pushes the envelope and so should your content marketing strategy. Discover how these two seemingly unrelated topics can be used to create stellar content.

It’s okay to kill off some content


Much like the television show killing off major characters, killing off content can make for better story telling. Content marketing, when executed effectively, shouldn’t be weighty. Start off with a large number of content pieces and weed out the ones that may not be as important. (That’s not to say that the characters of the “Red Wedding” and Princess Shireen’s deaths were, okay. But, were they necessary? Maybe.) Killing off some of your frivolous and inconsistent content will help shape what your audience comes to expect from your brand.

If videos don’t make sense for your strategy, scrap them and create blogs and infographics instead and pretty soon your audience will start to expect infographics and blogs from you and not other things that can get in the way of your messaging.

Nothing Like Quality


As stated above, if content is weighty or just filler, scrap it and focus on the quality pieces or those that have the potential to be of quality. HBO creators don’t create marketing pieces for the sake of creating them. Consider their use of a dragon shadow as an advertising piece in a newspaper. The use was creative and of quality, the idea is to get your audience talking about your content pieces.

Quality content should provide your audience with a resource and/or information. Just like the latest batch of advertising offered by the folks over at HBO, you can refurbish content to work on a different platform. For example, if you have written a whitepaper convert it into a SlideShare presentation that offers up information in bite-sized, snackable pieces that consumers love so much.  Remember, it doesn’t have to be wordy, as long as it’s poignant. The use of infographics, videos, and SlideShare can achieve this goal.

Tell a Story


Your content should tell a story. Consumers want to interact with a brand. Story-telling is a great way to do just that.

Telling a story doesn’t always have to involve words, but can include images and visuals and in the case of the HBO smash hit, aromas and tastes. Game of Thrones marketers sent bloggers boxes with scents to awaken the aromas of Westeros and even hired a chef to create Westeros-inspired dishes that were sold across the U.S. While most content marketers don’t have access to that level of marketing, they are still capable of creating a brand story through visuals and social media.

Think Strategically


Are you strategic like Jamie Lannister? If not, maybe you should be. In the series, Jamie is a very skilled strategic thinker who deploys spies to identify weaknesses in his enemies. No, I’m not saying that you should be as ruthless as Jamie, but a little bit of espionage can go a long way. Identify weaknesses in your competitors’ content marketing strategy and fill in those gaps for your own brand.

Better yet, in a world of Jamie Lannisters, be a Tyrion. Take small and measured steps to create content that is noteworthy and thought-provoking. In short, Create content that gives your target audience information that others in your industry don’t.

The Element of Surprise


*A pseudo-spoiler alert*. In the season 5 finale, GOT decided to presumably kill off yet another character. Not many saw it coming. But, who really does see a death coming with this series and that is one of the series selling points. So much so, that other shows have taken to creating the element of (death) surprise such as ‘Scandal’ and ‘House of Cards’.

Nothing was more of a surprise than the return of Jon Snow, after his death at the hands of his fellow Night’s Watchers. Curse you Olly!

Surprise your audience by providing content that contains information they had no idea existed. For example, if your business focuses on arthritis treatment, give your audience a list of alternative solutions to pain management. This not only sets you apart from your competitors but can also build trust and can make you a brand to emulate.

Winter is Coming


This concept may be the most important. Preparing your content marketing pieces is very important. Take time during the week or months in advance to plan a strategy that you will employ. Content marketing isn’t some one trick pony element of marketing.  It requires a great deal of planning and execution. Set out a plan and try to stick to it. If you are going to focus on blogs, infographics, and videos, do just that.  If your planning isn’t practically fool-proof you may end up like Eddard Stark out in the cold or worse –SEO dead.

Game of thrones is a great series not only for its stellar cast and story line but because of the lessons that can be applied to content marketing efforts. Content marketing should be equal parts quality, strategy, captivating and resourceful. If you employ the Game of Thrones of Content Marketing you just may have a solid strategy. Remember SEO-Imping ain’t easy.


This post was originally published on greatcirclestudios.com. See the original here.