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Enthralling Social Media & Content Marketing Lessons From Game of Thrones

Enthralling Social Media & Content Marketing Lessons From Game of Thrones


“Winter is coming”, “The Iron Throne”, “Mother of Dragons”

These are just some of the famous “hooks” that we all know love from the popular American fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones.

Every year for 10 weeks, over 20 million viewers worldwide in over 173 countries tune to the show.

Game of Thrones (GoT) is HBO’s most popular show of all time and also the most pirated show on TV.

For those of you who are not too familiar with the show, I will give you a brief overview.

  • George R.R. Martin first published the book Game of Thrones on August 1st, 1996
  • The show was created by David Benioff and D.B Weiss
  • The first episode aired on HBO on April 17th, 2011 and it’s currently in its sixth season. 

However what’s most significant about the show is the viral success that it has had on social media.

Almost without fail year after year the show trends on social media, both Twitter & Facebook.

As a business owner, you can’t help but wish you could replicate that same type of social media success.

Game of Throne is proof that social media is one of the strongest marketing tools in our generation.

GoT currently has over 19+M Facebook likes and 4.7 M Twitter followers.

They have mastered how to effectively use their social media pages to connect with their audience.

Significant Lessons We Can Learn From GoT

“Nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising” 

The adage means that good advertising makes people aware of a bad product.

If your product is not any good, then it will be rejected by consumers.

A key lesson we can learn from GoT is investing your marketing dollars in products that are good.

Social media marketing is an integral part of HBO’s campaign for Game of Thrones.

They employ a mix of consumer generated buzz, over the top events and smart offline marketing campaigns.

This has contributed to making GoT an admirable digital marketing strategy.

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GoT’s Runs Offline Merchandize Campaigns

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GoT’s Epic Events

Whether you are a big Game of Thrones fan or not you can still learn a lot of social media marketing and content marketing tricks from this epic fantasy.

I’ll highlight some of them here:

Content Marketing Success Lessons From Game Of Thrones

1. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Your Intros

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Every episode of GoT starts with the epic theme song composed by Ramin Djawadi.

The sequence opens with a close-up of the sun and astrolabe surrounding of it.

Afterward, the camera moves and shows all the seven kingdoms and geographical landscape.

The intro is so powerful that it leaves an imprint in your memory, that it’s almost impossible to forget.

Most importantly the introduction of GoT tells a story that relates to each persona.

The same principles apply when it comes to creating content for your own audience.

A good introduction should:

  • Prepare the reader for the information they’ll gain from the article
  • Hook the reader into reading the article.
  • Make a statement that summarizes what the article is about.


2. Quality Content Will Always Win Over Quantity

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Game of Thrones airs 10 episodes every year, not eleven, not twelve, just 10 episodes.

But with each episode is packed with suspense, surprise and shock that grips audiences all over the world.

GoT is a great example of quality content versus quantity.

Too often we imagine that the more content we churn out the more readers/subscribers we will get.

As a business owner, your focus should be to produce content that will add real value to your readers.

Don’t get me wrong, publishing lot’s of content as it’s advantages too. One such example is it boosts your site’s traffic significantly as well as improves your SEO score.

It’s also no secret that quality matters as well. Here why:

  • High-quality content appeals to website visitors
  • Google’s search algorithms increasingly focus on people’s enjoyment of content as a factor for rankings.

Bottom line, low-quality content will most likely do more damage than good.

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Break The Rules

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Incest, violence and brutal betrayals are just some of the ways GoT shocks their audience season after season

Game of Thrones has a compelling story because they are not afraid to break the rules.

When it comes to creating content don’t be afraid to go against the grain.

An example of one such content marketing rule is only participating in online conversations that are in your company’s area of expertise.

If a topic is trending on social media why not join in if you have something useful to say.

This does not mean that you need to part of every conversation on every platform or website.

Sometimes it also helps to diversify your content messaging to include your upsells.

By doing this you will have broken another rule, which is, don’t mix education messages with sales messages.


4. Encourage User-Generated Content

GoT always finds creative ways to get their viewers involved with the show.

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A great story line is not enough and HBO knows this.

To make sure that the battle for the iron throne never goes out of people’s minds they find innovative ways to keep their audience engaged.

Fan art creation such as the one shared above is just one example.

Promoting and encouraging user generated content (UGC) can be a cost-effective strategy that builds a strong community of loyal followers.

Live streaming events, capitalizing on trending topics that your audience relates to and using popular hashtags can help your brand encourage user generated content.

Design contests through social media that will uniquely inspire your fans to create UGC.

You can award your contest participants with a unique coupon code to redeem discounts for offers on your websites.

You can also acknowledge your most engaged customers by sharing their content on your social media page.

5. Repurpose/Kill Content That Adds No Value

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Jon snow is alive and Ramsay killed his father Roose, were just some of the twists and turns of season 6 Game of Thrones.

Repurposing old content can help you resurrect traffic.

Just like in GoT, when you tweak content you can do so by just adding new information or presenting it in a new angle.

Creating evergreen content is a challenge because it requires great writing.

Your audience will always naturally prefer fresh content to older articles.

[pullquote]Content repurposing doesn’t just mean that you reuse an old piece of content again and again. True repurposing requires tat we alter it to make it fresh and appealing to a new audience. – Garret Moon of CoSchedule[/pullquote]

Through repurposing of old content, you can present it in a different perspective to make it fresh altogether.

Other times it’s actually better to get rid of old content entirely. That means killing old content.

Just like in GoT, sometimes we need to sacrifice the things we love, inorder to get the results that we desire.

The main objective of repurposing old content should be to add real value to the original.

Social Media Marketing Success Lessons From Game of Thrones

Make Brand Advocate Out of Employees

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Not only does GoT have a large social media following so does it’s cast members.

Most of the Game of Thrones cast members are active on social media and offer a peek into their personal lives off-the-set. This only serves as an additional publicity to the show.

This only serves as an additional publicity to the show.

Now, of course, you can’t demand the same from your employees but you can get them to share posts of company events and milestones on their individual pages.

Come up with creative ways to reward employees who are the biggest contribution to your social media marketing campaigns.

This encourages employee advocacy for your company’s content.

If you cannot make your employees share content directly to their individual pages then at least get them to retweet or share content from your official accounts.

Stay Consistent With Your Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing success largely depends on being consistent.

From messaging all the way to the branding of your social media pages it needs to remain consistent.

Own a color or a certain look and feel, be sure it’s present across all your social media platforms.

How your audience feels about your brand should be the same feeling portrayed on your profiles.

Staying consistent also means having a regular posting schedule.

GoT marketing team never fails to promote the latest news and happenings around the show, including maintaining a regular posting schedule.

By making an effort to keep your marketing message consistent you can help cultivate a loyal following.

The majority of consumers today use online media to research a brand before trying it out.

Your goal is to create and interesting online presence that will drive up conversions.


Over To You

If you are a Game of Thrones fan you’re probably eagerly awaiting the next season where all the major players are moving to Westeros.

And don’t forget “Winter is finally here”

GoT is a great example of how repurposing content from a book into a TV series can become a success.

As an online entrepreneur and business owner, there are a lot of lessons you can borrow from the success of the show.

Stay nimble, humble, keep customers service paramount and you’ll find yourself feasting with Kings and Crowns in this Game of Thrones.


About The Author


Catherine is the Founder and CEO of E-Technology Africa, a digital marketing agency based in Nairobi, Kenya offering social media, S.E.O, website, and app development services. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases your search visibility.

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