It’s probably no surprise to hear that content marketing and Scrabble aren't so dissimilar. To a certain extent, achieving great success in either requires a little bit of luck. Plus, they both require a pro-active attitude, a head for words and the courage to go where no-one has gone before. Ok, that sounds a little dramatic, but you get the gist!
In fact, the two have so much in common that there are many ways in which content marketers can take inspiration from this much-loved board game. Here are five to get you started...
Balance is vital in Scrabble. Experienced players will tell you that having a balanced rack of letters (ideally with four consonants and three vowels) is really important if they’re to land that all-elusive quadruple-word score.
It’s key in content marketing, too. Brands need to strike a balance between all sorts of things – stock and flow content, word-based and visual pieces, serious and light-hearted topics... In fact, it’s key to creating content that appeals to people at all stages of the buying cycle.
2. Strategy is a must
Serious Scrabble players often start forming a strategy in their minds as soon as their first word hits the board. They must consider three main things: space (across the board), distribution (how to use their letters) and content (the words that’ll gain them a high score).
Building a strong strategy is important for content marketers too; whose space comprises their publishing channels (social media, guest blogs, their own site etc.). Distributing the right content across the right platforms must also be considered, as should the quality/variety of the content itself. For example where an infographic might produce a return from one part of the target audience, an insightful whitepaper might work well for another part. In either case, the quality must be top notch.
3. Planning ahead can be beneficial
In content marketing, planning ahead can be highly beneficial – but allowing a little contingency is vital. Knowing what, when and where you’re going to publish content is really useful, as marketers can support their wider activities with thoughtful, valuable content. In Scrabble, planning ahead can help players make the best use of the space and their rack.
Leaving room to react to any unforeseen events (like a breaking news story, which can be news-jacked) is crucial too, as with Scrabble players – who have to learn how to react to their opponent filling a space they wanted to use, or receiving a difficult letter.
4. Having courage pays off
In in the worlds of both Scrabble and content marketing, courage is a priceless attribute. If a Scrabble player receives an X or a Q, for example, only the courageous will make it into an opportunity to bag a really high score –rather than a chance to panic.
If a content marketer receives a really controversial idea from the wider marketing or advertising team, one that could really pay off, courage will be vital in making them simply go for it. Not all risks are worth taking, admittedly, but some are and it’s down to bold content marketers to identify those which fall into the latter category.
5. Innovative thinking is key
Being able to out-smart competitors with innovative, unexpected moves is critical for both content marketers and Scrabble players – especially if they have been dealt something they didn't expect themselves. Being landed with a rack full of vowels is tough for any Scrabble enthusiast, but it’s all about thinking outside the box – or, in this case, the cookie tin (one of the few words that uses four vowels!)
Their content marketing counterparts must constantly produce innovative content that stands out from the rest, too; tackling areas others haven’t in the past. Otherwise, they’re just reinventing the wheel – and the world already has enough of those!