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Should You Play the Game of Thrones with Your Content Marketing?

If you live under a rock, it’s probable that you didn’t sign up for HBO so you could watch the hugely successful series Game of Thrones. However, we are willing to bet you heard about it, even under your rock. That is due to a number of things, including that the show was broadcast in more than 200 countries and territories, nearly 20 million people tuned in for the series finale alone, and the production budget was larger than the GDP of some countries. Oh, and also, GOT references dominated the vast majority of marketing campaigns out there leading up to the final season (8), and every custom T-shirt company on the planet debuted a “Mother of Dragons” tank top on its personal mom blog.

GOT certainly made a lot of money for the people involved directly with the production in addition to substantially improving the economy in Northern Ireland. But did jumping on the GOT bandwagon help internet and content marketers as much as they clearly expected?

The results are mixed, as they usually are when everyone in the country jumps on a trend together and tries to leverage public appeal for personal/professional advantage.

Let’s take a closer look at when and why you might play Game of Thrones with your personal content marketing:

  1. If you need email opens, play away.

If your business relies on email marketing, then jumping onto popular trends, even if you have to stretch, can be a good content move. In email marketing, the key step in the whole process is getting that initial open, followed, of course, by the interior click to your content. If a national interest like GOT or the Super Bowl helps get those opens and clicks, then by all means PLAY ON.

  1. If your brand is highly specialized, think twice.

Some industries have a sense of humor. Others do not. If your industry relies on intense professionalism and does not like jokesters, then you might suffer if you appear to be taking your topic too lightly. While “10 Ways Dothraki Weddings Improved My Brain Surgery Technique” might be amusing to some, on the whole it may detract from your professional reputation in the wrong setting. If you cannot count on your audience to have a sense of humor, then it may be GAMEOVER.

  1. If you need likes and shares to live, jump on board.

People who are passionate about a topic love to demonstrate their passion by sharing things about that topic that will surprise and entertain others with similar passions. If likes and shares are the lifeblood of your business, then jumping on board a trend like GOT could be a great way to get more attention for your content and your business. Of course, this relies on your ability to not offend the true fanatics in the space. If social media approval is high on your list of must-haves, then PLAY ON(but watch out for white walkers who will try to kill your content cold and dead).

HBO’s Game of Thronesis certainly one of the most successful entertainment franchises in history. Now that its record-shattering series finale is in the books, it has no fewer than five prequels in development, well over 100 licensees globally, and thousands and thousands of babies now bear names like Khaleesi, Arya, and Tyrion. If your content could benefit from this type of fandom, then play the Game of Thrones to win with your next marketing push.