What “A Game of Thrones” can Teach us About Content Marketing [Spoilers]

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” ? George R.R. Martin

Photo courtesy of Nomadic Lass(CC ShareALike)

A Game of Thrones is without a doubt the most intricate stories to have been adapted for screen in some time.

But what makes it stand out so much isn’t the violence, sex and intrigue – we had plenty of that on our screens already.

It’s the brutal reality.

Of course, it’s set in a fantastical world – I know that, you know that, and that is what gives us some semblance of comfort. 

But when we really look at A Game of Thrones, I mean really look, what we’re seeing is a reflection of ourselves.

We see our own society staring right back at us.

As Damien Walter once wrote in an article for The Guardian

When we look up from the page we recognise those same conflicts in the world around us and in ourselves.

And what we see is a brutal truth: It’s survival of the fittest.

But what does fittest really mean? The strongest? The fastest? The biggest?

No, no and no.

The fittest are the innovative and subtle schemers, the ones who can adapt to new circumstances the fastest and the characters who take on leadership roles with an air of caution.  

Is content marketing so different, really?

With this in mind, let’s look at some of the lessons that the 5 major houses in A Games of Thrones  can teach us about surviving, adaptation and leadership.

14 Must-Have Free Tools For Start-Ups

I’m all about getting bang for your buck.

And if you’re a start-up, I’m sure you are too.

Well luck is on your side!

There are a ton of free tools for start-ups on the web, so you can easily save money now (when you need it most) without having to sacrifice the quality of your business. 

  1. Evernote

Evernote has got to be my number one recommendation for free tools for start-ups.

Why?

Because it works to organize the very basics of your  business.

It takes all those bright new ideas that start-ups spurt out on a regular basis (which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong!) and it organizes it all into one easily accessible place. 

And because it syncs across all of your devices (laptop, phone and tablet), you don’t have to worry about remembering where you put that note or idea. 

They’re not all Trolls and Haters: The Art of Handling Negative Criticism Like a Pro!

Negative criticism

Photo courtesy of Sarah Burke

Putting your writing on the internet for everyone to see, comment on and criticize isn’t an easy thing to do. It takes courage to face an audience and say: “Here it is. Here are my words. Here are my thoughts”.

We’re all afraid of being judged, and it’s really hard to hear that your writing isn’t up to scratch.

But even though we all know negative criticisms aren’t exactly fun, we have to remember that they are a huge part of the learning process.  

The Ultimate Guide to Sourcing Free Images for Your Blog

Sourcing free images

Photo courtesy of Sarah Burke

Sourcing free images can take a lot time and hard work. 

But we do it anyways, because we understand it’s probably one of the most important things to succeeding at content marketing for your business.

After writing excellent content, that is.

But chances are, no one will stick around long enough to read your excellent content if you’re just providing them with a huge block of text. 

Times have moved on. 

We’re much more easily distracted now.

Deadliest Catch

Photo courtesy of CJ Isherwood(CC ShareALike)

Good job, brain.

Examples Of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Customer Service On Social Media!

Photo courtesy of Ian Burt

We all know that criticism can sometimes be hard to take, but we also learn very early on that it usually makes for a stronger and better business. 

But today, the stakes have gotten even higher. 

Now, customer complaints are increasingly being channeled through the oh-so-public social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. This means that companies have to get on board fast, or risk the wrath of their unhappy customers’ complaints and criticisms going viral. 

study by Simply Measured showed that 30% of brands have a dedicated customer service handle on Twitter, with the average response to a complaint being 5.1 hours, and only 10% of companies answering within the hour.  

And the numbers are only improving as bad customer service on social media platforms continuously go viral. 

To help you figure out how handle customer service on social media the right way, I’ve compiled some examples of the good, the bad and the ugly so you can learn what you should and shouldn’t be doing!

“Hello? Are You There?” 3 Ways to Blog Like a Person

This is a guest blog post by Maggie Chuang.

blog

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com

In our increasingly cyber-reliant world, true personability is becoming harder to convey. A lot of exchange and transaction are increasingly taking place digitally, often without speaking at all.

Blogging is a wonderful tool to deliver humanity in a digital age. Its freestyle format lets length, content, and volume become entirely within your control. This freedom allows for the real you, the voice of your company, to shine through.

But if your blog entries consist mainly of product or service promotion, chances are you’re taking the risk of boring your readers.             

The Art of Storytelling In Content Marketing

Photo courtesy of Steve Czajka

Once upon a time, there was a lonely prince locked up in a tall tower. On his shoulders was the burden of the world (or at least, his business. Which kind of felt like his entire world).

Day in and day out the Prince would sit hunched over in the dark, shut in from the world, his nimble fingers working hard to produce content that would one day lead him to freedom.

Photo courtesy of Kara Harms

But the days soon turned into years, and he became so tired.

So one night, while gazing out of his window, wondering what he was doing wrong, he saw a shooting star pass before his eyes.

Feeling a little foolish, but like he had no other options on hand, he very quietly made a wish.

The Quick-Start Guide To A Successful Business Blog

This is a guest blog post by Michelle Nickolaisen

blog

Photo courtesy of Mike Rohde

You’ve probably been told that blogging is a must-do for your business – after which you nodded, put it on the list of things to do, and moved on to something else. But did you know that small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads than those without? (Source)

Today’s post addresses one of the most common problems business owners have with blogging: making the time from “just started blogging” to “actually getting customers and clients through my blog” as short as possible.

The key to a blog that actually sells your products and services? An editorial calendar.

Spam Alert! 9 Reasons People Are Clicking “Unsubscribe”

But if this true, then why are people still choosing to unsubscribe from certain emails?

Figuring out where you went wrong is the first thing you need to do to stop those numbers dropping.

And that’s why I’ve compiled a list of the top 9 reasons people might be unsubscribing from your emails (and how to stop them, of course!)

Why You Need To Be Creating Big Content Right Now!

Big content

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

Quality versus quantity is the question on a lot of content marketers’ minds right now.

It’s the same type of questions all over my news feeds.  

Which is better? Where should our priorities stand? If we have to create a huge quantity of content, where will we find time for quality content? What if I spend a lot of time on quality content and it doesn’t pay off? Will I have to pull 16 hour days to get this done? Will the quality of my regular content suffer? Will this make me lose customers? Is it worth the risk?

In summary: There’s too much to do, too little time, too little confidence.

But I’m here to try change your tune.

I’m going to convince you, with all the energy I can muster up, to start creating big content.