In the sports and marketing worlds, there’s no bigger event than the big game or the pro football championship – or whatever term you prefer to use when referring to the football game to be played in New Orleans on the first weekend in February while avoiding trademark violations. It’s perhaps the biggest television event of the year where fans and nonfans alike tune in, and interest is divided between the action on the field and the advertisements during breaks in the action.
A countless amount of airtime, news print and Internet chatter will be devoted to rehashing how the game was won and which ads made the biggest splash. Less will be made of how the teams positioned themselves to be playing for the championship, or how those advertisers grew to the point where they could afford the exorbitant price of air time during the game. Knowing that successful football teams and brands aren’t built overnight, here are a few football lessons on doing the little things that produce big results as they relate to content marketing:
The importance of a game plan
Football may be the sport where a cohesive game plan is most important to winning. For example, a team’s plays might be scripted for the entire first half. You may have already realized that you need to produce more content, but the next questions should be, “What kind of content do we need?” and “How do we present that content?” Good content requires a clear direction.
Creating a balanced attack
The teams still standing at the end of the football season have few noticeable holes, as the teams who have fallen have likely had glaring weaknesses exploited (see Minnesota Vikings, quarterback). In content marketing, no one approach will take you where you need to go. You could create all the compelling blog content in the world, but it might not do you any good if visitors find the content on your website lacking. Consider your website content, blog and social media strategy as part of a holistic approach to strengthening the content you produce.
Repetition and consistency
The teams in the big game begin practicing winning plays and strategy in the spring during mini camp, and then repeat from training camp through the end of the season. To help you keep output on your blog and social media consistent, develop a calendar that goes six or 12 months into the future that will help you remain consistent when you are lacking for ideas.
The ability to adapt
While we’ve already covered the importance of routine and repetition, the ability to adjust to what the opposition is throwing at you is a huge key to success in football. The same goes in the content world. Writing content that relates to much-talked-about industry news and using different strategies, like infographics, for telling your story can help keep your content fresh and interesting. While an editorial calendar and strategic planning sessions can lay the blueprint for content success, adapting on the fly to tap into current trends and storylines can help you develop championship-quality content.