5 Things Game of Thrones can teach us about content marketing

Jul 6, 2016
Content Marketing

If your office is anything like ours, lunchtime conversations over the past month have been consumed by Game Of Thrones reactions, discussions and fan theories. The television series has achieved record-breaking international success and the high production values, symbolic creative direction and amazing CGI animation, have struck a chord with our video production aficionados.

Yet it is the multiple characters strategically competing for power and public support that have our strategy folk’s chins wagging — leading us to notice five distinct parallels between content marketing and fighting for the Iron Throne of Westeros.

1) To truly succeed, you have to persist

We’ve written before about how content marketing takes a long time to show results and is a slow burn process. If you haven’t got the guts to stick at your strategy for at least 18 months, you’ll fail to see the results you desire.

No one understands the persistence and commitment to your cause required for building an audience of loyal followers more than the leaders in Game of Thrones. Some of the characters who have been working towards their goal for several years now are only just beginning to see progress, yet they show no sign of giving up any time soon.

2) Never underestimate the power of a good strategy

With Tyrion Lannister’s obvious physical disadvantage, and born into a family of undesirable characters, for several seasons his prospects looked grim, to say the least. However, this character has an upper hand his competitors lack — a strong strategic perspective and a vision for long-term goals.

In the “brand” world, a reliance on an intelligent strategy produces the same remarkable results, with the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs finding brands who use a documented strategy are more effective in nearly all areas of content marketing. An effective content marketer knows brands don’t necessarily need the biggest budgets or the largest team of staff to achieve content marketing success, as long as they have well-researched strategies directly tied to business goals.

3) Reviving what you thought was dead can lead to great results

Many brands feel the pressure of posting quality content frequently, feeling as if they need to produce a constant stream of new original content to meet the demand of their strategy. Most of the time these brands forget they have quality content assets already sitting in old files, probably undocumented in a content audit. Sometimes all this “old content” needs is a simple edit to become more effective and drive traffic to your website (no dark magic from the Lord of Light is required).

4) You win over crowds with consistency

While the characters who are quick to follow the latest trend or leader have struggled to achieve their goals (I’m looking at you, Littlefinger and Margaery), those who have stayed true to one consistent message are those who have achieved the highest level of success. 

What marketers can learn from this example is that audiences appreciate a consistent message, especially when the communicator can deliver on their promises. Consistency is the way content marketing uses an editorial approach to build trust with the audience. By appearing in the same place at the same time, delivering quality content over an extended period, businesses can build the kind of brand loyalty with their customers that’ll have them declaring “Mhysa” at your feet.


Image: Game of Thrones season three episode 10  Game of Thrones season three, episode 10

5) Winter is finally here — and only the prepared will survive

For years, people of the north have foretold “winter is coming”, and likewise content marketers have been predicting a change in consumer behaviour, taking audiences away from traditional outbound marketing and towards inbound marketing. Like winter’s long-awaited arrival, finally we are starting to see this predicted shift in the marketing sphere become a reality — evidenced by the demise of many traditional media outlets that have been forced to close due to a dramatic drop in advertising revenue. More and more, the marketing and advertising industry is realising they need to communicate to consumers in the way they want to receive information, and those who take this approach are more effective than any others.  

With this in mind, brands need to stay ahead of the change and develop original content marketing strategies before they get frozen out like the newspapers and television providers before them. In marketing land, content sits upon the Iron Throne and marketers need to adapt to the new landscape they exist in.


If you’d like help crafting a content marketing strategy to put your brand on the Iron Throne, contact Lush  – The Content Agency. We’ll help you to grow an audience of loyal followers.