Take a Cue From 'Game of Thrones' in Content Marketing

Though you needn't worry about trials by combat or a brood of dragons, the quest to capture eyeballs can certainly feel like a struggle.

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By Jim Yu

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In Game of Thrones, everything comes down to a power struggle. With warring families, even siblings at odds, and clashing loyalties, the clamor for power takes center stage in the books and HBO series. Though marketers need not worry about trials by combat or a brood of dragons, their quest to produce quality content-marketing campaigns can at times feel like a considerable struggle.

It's about taking control of great ideas, harnessing that creativity into an executable piece of media and conquering the attention of the masses. So how does one successfully capture the public's attention? With this season's finale on HBO just hours away, I took some tips straight from Game of Thrones' mottos of the different family dynasties.

Related: 'Game of Thrones' Was Written on a DOS Machine

House Stark: Winter Is Coming. Arya Stark has some of the most impressive self-preservation instincts. We've seen her grow from a dress-wearing, mischievous little girl into one of the most strong-willed and resourceful characters.

For content marketers, that resourcefulness is crucial. One of the toughest aspects is consistently coming up with timely, relevant ideas. You can't simply stop publishing content when you're short of ideas. Instead make a habit of socking away evergreen ideas that can survive the barren "winters" of writers' block.

Whether it's an interesting tweet or comment, integrate story mining into your daily routine and save those nuggets of ideas for future content. Don't let the story mill run dry because even if the ideas are flowing today, winter is always coming.

Related: Quiznos Is Bankrupt, But It Made an Awesome 'House of Thrones' Mashup

House Lannister: Hear Me Roar. The Lannisters aren't shy about making their voices heard. Take Tyrion Lannister, for example. Whether it's slapping a petulant king in the face (twice) or delivering an intensely powerful speech at his trial, Tyrion knows how to make his opinions resonate. For marketers, producing quality content means little if it reaches no one.

Ninety percent of consumers today are completing tasks and consuming content using multiple devices, according to a Think With Google post. To be heard in today's noisy market, execute campaigns across all channels while maintaining a unified experience.

It's less about creating unique content for each channel (a massive resource drain) and more about identifying your best content and spreading it effectively. One example of a "Lannister-loud" brand is Starbucks. The iconic in-store experience is closely tied to the company's social media presence, mobile app and website, and Starbucks has built an audience of very engaged customers.

Check out this ultra-branded, socially powered "Say Yes to Summer" Frappuccino campaign: This kind of customer engagement results from a brand experience being seamlessly omnichannel. Focus on unifying the company's brand personality across channels, and soon the content's "roar" will grow.

Related: 5 Tricks To Brainstorm Like It's Your Job

House Tyrell: Growing Strong. Margaery Tyrell certainly embodies her house motto. At this point in the HBO series, she's a widow twice over and still poised to become a queen. Her actions are highly calculated, and though she's surrounded by chaos and unpredictability, she's always targeting a long-term goal. That's the type of attitude content marketers must have to keep the bottom line top of mind and ensure that their campaigns "grow strong."

Today's crowded market is as unpredictable as a Westeros wedding, but with every content decision made, be laser-focused on the end result: What value does this bring readers? What kind of engagement will result?

Lowe's is an example of company that's extremely purposeful with its content. The company plays directly to its strengths with content that's valuable to its target audience instead of constantly trying to go viral or casting too wide a net. Lowe's has cultivated rich channels on Youtube, Vine and its blog that always ties into its promise of helping the consumer "never stop improving."

Whether it's a video on revamping patios to a stop-motion Vine showing a clever gardening hack, Lowe's consistently publishes content that's high quality, easily shareable and that maps directly back to its end goal: drawing in new home-improvement customers.

With more than 7 million viewers watching the Game of Thrones lately, it's clear the series' popularity has been strong. Similarly, content marketing is no fad. It's here for the long haul, and if wielded it correctly, content is a powerful way to communicate with customers. It resonates because it brings entertainment, storytelling and social interaction to the forefront. Marketers who can channel creativity and passion into valuable, consistent, omnichannel content, will be well on their way to that Iron Throne, the kings' seat in the series.

Related: 10 Movies Every Entrepreneur Needs to Watch

Jim Yu

CEO and Founder, BrightEdge

Jim Yu is the CEO and co-founder behind digital-marketing platform BrightEdge

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