Wednesday, March 28 2018

Content Marketing and Baseball

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Happy opening day, baseball fans! In honor of my favorite non-holiday holiday, I’m sharing the distinct parallels between going to a Major League Baseball game and content marketing. Don’t worry, you won’t find any baseball terms being overused in a business setting in this article, so feel free to grab some Crackerjacks and a ballpark hot dog, sit back, and enjoy the game of successful content marketing.

It Can Take a Long Time

For some, going to a baseball game sounds more like torture than an exciting outing, just as writing, publishing, and marketing content seems long and tedious to many business owners. To the untrained eye, baseball often looks like one guy is tossing a ball to another man with a stick of wood. However, baseball games are long because they are ultimately about strategy. Starting with pitching, each team tries to lay the framework for future success through the end of the game, and eventually the 162-game season. The pitcher goes out to the mound with a mental roster of his opponents and plans to throw certain types of pitches to certain hitters.

Just like a pitcher throwing his curveball to a hitter known to swing and miss on low pitches, your content marketing must take an approach to research your target audience and deliver the content that will have the most impact. Taking the time to develop an in-depth content marketing strategy and stick to it, even if it doesn’t garner immediately exciting results, may be a tedious task, but it will furnish long-term success.

One Fan Gets the Wave Started

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of being at a baseball game and sitting in the section that starts the wave, you know it can take several attempts to get going. Yet once it gets started the whole stadium rises and falls in impressive synchronized rhythm, with each section anticipating their next turn. This large engagement of a stadium full of people is essentially started by one individual who pushed his or her idea to those nearby.

Content marketing, especially blogging and social media, may seem a waste of time if you have a small following. The only way to grow your followers and the reach of your brand is to keep pushing your content through various channels. As you produce relevant content for your audience, more and more people will read and share your Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, blog posts, and videos with their friends and follows. This creates your continuous wave of producing content and having it shared throughout the stadium that is your target market, leading to increased brand awareness, engagement, and conversions.

It Can Be Pricey

There’s no doubt that going to a baseball game can be an expensive experience. Knowing when to spend a little more and when it’s better to save your money can make the expense a great investment. For instance, those tickets behind home plate may run a couple hundred dollars. This looks daunting until you factor in that the price may include food, drinks, and a customer service attendant, not to mention the best seats in the stadium. On the other hand, you may pay $20 for seats in the highest section. You’ll have a view, though maybe not the best one, but you’ll also be paying $5-10 for every snack or drink you want. These add up fast, and while you’ll likely still pay less than the prime seats, you won’t have had near the same experience. Of course, you can also choose to not attend the game and watch from elsewhere. This is by far the cheapest option, but while it may be fun, you’ll never get the true experience of being at the game.

All of these scenarios can yield successful, fun outings: whether you pay a larger amount to enjoy a top of the line baseball experience or you choose a less expensive route. Your content marketing works the same way. You may choose to hire a professional content marketer to produce and manage a full service content marketing strategy for your business, allowing you to take a hands-off approach and enjoy the benefits. Or perhaps you want to do part of it yourself, and leave only the biggest or most technical projects to a professional. Then there is the option of taking on your content marketing by yourself. If done right, this can be a highly rewarding experience. However, I suggest caution as businesses often try to cut corners by hiring cheap writers who produce low level work as opposed to putting in the time and effort it takes for effective content marketing. Overall, content marketing, like a baseball game, will give you different experiences at different price points.

Participate, but Don’t Get Distracted

Participation in songs and cheers is a large part of the fun of baseball games. Few moments compare to the seventh inning stretch as the entire stadium rises to sing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game,” or when a big screen encourages the crowd to yell and cheer and they happily oblige. These aspects are what create the exciting atmosphere at a baseball game. Yet these individual pieces can lead to distraction from the overall goal: to watch your team play baseball and win the game. If you spend the whole game watching the big screen for the Kiss Cam and instructions to yell “Charge!,” you’re going to miss the action on the field.

Not paying attention to the game itself negates all of the time, money, and effort you’ve put into the experience, and undermines your reason for cheering and participating in the first place. It’s the same in your content marketing strategy; if you spend all of your efforts on one aspect, such as social media, you will miss the bigger goal of an effective and well-rounded content marketing strategy. The most important part of creating and publishing content is to keep balance between your various channels in order to achieve your goal, whether that is higher conversion rates, more brand awareness, or more engagement from customers.

Much like going to a baseball game, having a successful content marketing strategy will take time, money, and active participation, but the excitement of winning the game and achieving your goals makes it worthwhile. So to my fellow baseball fans and content marketers alike: Go crazy, folks! It’s about to be a long, fun journey to the goal line.

And go Cardinals!

Read 3208 times Last modified on Thursday, March 29 2018
Tara Seboldt

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