I was watching a very insightful video by Rand Fishkin over at Moz.com where he is talking about a very common misconception of Content Marketing. He explains that people tend to think that the whole content marketing process happens in three general steps:

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1) You create great content

2) You share that content through social media and other digital marketing avenues

3) Hordes of people come to your site, read your content, and then convert

If you have experience in the Content Marketing universe, you know that things do not happen that quickly or that simply. Fishkin even says that, on average, a visitor will visit the Moz site over 7 times before they begin a free 30 day trial!

The part that I found very interesting was something that he mentioned toward the end: He compared Content Marketing to a team sport like soccer (or fútbol) or basketball. He said that assuming Content Marketing happens in this mythical way is like only valuing the person who scores the goal, or makes the basket. I found this very interesting, and so I wanted to flesh it out a bit more in order to, hopefully, explain the intricacies of content marketing in a new way. Now, I understand that this analogy has its flaws, and there are a number of other items I could use to compare content marketing too, but let’s focus. Let’s look at using basketball as the example.


Content Marketing is Like Basketball:basketball

There are a lot of parallels that you can draw between Content Marketing and basketball. In both cases:

  • There is always a lot going on. Lots of moving parts.
  • There are lots of points scored, or visitors to the site
  • In basketball, there are specific positions along with skills and attributes that make a player that is a good fit for a certain position.
  • In the same way, there are specific content marketing tactics that bring visitors to a site, each with it’s own role and capability.
  • But in both cases, they all contribute to the end result: TO SCORE!

In most cases, it takes a basketball program a while to gather the right resources to build a successful team. There are front office personnel roles that need to be filled, budgets that have to be established, practices to make sure that each player knows their role in they system.

In the same way, content marketing has to bring together all of the necessary resources to execute a great content marketing strategy. There are the people that make up the company, marketing budgets that must be defined, and careful planning as to how things like content creation, social media, SEO, paid search, and all of the other content elements work together to conduct efficient marketing efforts.

See? There are lots of parralels between these two seemingly unrelated topics. But the important thing to take away is that, just like the player scoring the bucket is not the only element in a successful basketball team, assuming that one element of content marketing is going to create instant success is a flawed way of thinking. We have to understand that the person passing the traffic to the ultimate conversion is just as important as the one that scores the sale.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me, and connect with me on twitter! @TylerYWBD