The White Walker Approach to Killer Content Marketing

The White Walker Approach to Killer Content Marketing

Whether you’re a Game of Thrones super fan or you’re only vaguely aware of some HBO show about dragons, it probably won’t be a spoiler alert to say that the White Walkers are the baddest of the bad guys this side of the Narrow Sea. In a nutshell, the White Walkers are like pure evil covered in freezer burn, bringing cold, death and zombie horses with them as a long winter draws closer in the fantasy world of Westeros.

So it should come as no surprise that it’s tough to find redeeming qualities in the White Walkers. They seem pretty intent on killing every living creature in their path, so I get it. But if you cock your head to the side and squint at this idea, you may be able to see some attributes in the White Walkers that you can adopt in your content marketing approach. I’d advise skipping the actual undead carnage stuff, though.

The White Walkers don't mess around. Photo: HBO
The White Walkers don’t mess around. Original photo: HBO

 

Here are five reasons why it wouldn’t kill you to have a White Walker on your content marketing team:

1. THEY’RE MASTERS OF TRANSFORMATION

White Walkers know all about content transformation and content reuse. Sure, in their case, the content happens to be people and those people are being transformed and reused as zombie warriors of winter, but hey – it seems to be working.

In your case, maybe an idea worked well as a video or a white paper, and maybe it could be repurposed as an infographic or a blog post or something new entirely. As a master of content transformation, always be on the lookout for ways you can take one content idea or resource and reuse it as a new version of itself to increase its power and give your audiences a new experience.

2. THEY MAKE THEIR MISSION SHAREABLE

Everyone knows successful content is shareable content. The White Walkers have got shareability covered – it seems like every new “customer” the Walkers earn can’t wait to “tell their friends” and have them join in the undead experience. The White Walker method may not be as clean as a share button or a retweet, but it’s clearly making an impact.

For our non-zombie readers, remember to think shareable when you’re developing your content plans and resources. Brand-centric content dribbling out from your company’s feed isn’t exactly going to excite too many people; creating something that’s interesting and useful and then inspiring your audience to share that content can help make sure your content program stays alive.

3. THEY EXECUTE BASED ON STRATEGY

While everyone south of The Wall is busy fighting over who gets to sit on the Iron Throne, the White Walkers are staying true to their mission, with their every action drawing from their guiding strategy. The Walkers are clear on how they’re approaching the Game in the long term, and their execution (granted, of everything in their path) is always deliberate and done with their ultimate goal in mind.

Outside of Westeros, data show that B2B marketers who have a documented content strategy are far more likely to consider themselves effective (66% vs. 11%). For B2C marketers, more than 70% do not have a documented content marketing strategy, leading to ineffective programs overall. So it seems like marketers across the board who take the time to build then execute a strong content strategy have a better chance of achieving their goals. It’s easy to be tempted into hitting the ground running and churn out content that feels ‘cool’ or content that your CEO or client asked you for without putting much thought into it. If you want a truly successful content program, you’ve got to invest in your content marketing strategy and make your execution purposeful at every turn. As marketers, we all work hard, and you want your efforts to be meaningful and contribute to reaching your overall goals.

4. THEY EFFECTIVELY DELIVER THEIR MESSAGE

The White Walkers know what they’re doing and who they’re dealing with. They want to surprise (if not delight) and leave a lasting impression with their audience, and their visual tactics in particular are grippingly effective.

Know your audience well enough to know how to surprise them and earn their attention. Introduce them to new ideas, serve them content in new ways, inspire them to consider new business approaches – but in order to do this, you need to know what’s going to make an impact. Sometimes you may need an in-your-face approach; other times you may only require a simple, quiet visual.

5. THEY’RE RELENTLESS

The White Walkers aren’t stopping or slowing down for anybody or anything (except maybe for dragon glass). Both in their push to expand their army and their mission to make this a winter to remember, the White Walkers are relentless in their pursuits.

The content marketing space is developing and growing more sophisticated all the time; don’t let anything stop you from meeting your goals and growing as a content marketing professional. Keep striving to increase your knowledge, build your skills, and create new partnerships that will make your content marketing better and make you a better content marketer.

Do you think you have a little White Walker in your approach to content marketing? Let me know what you think.

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