What Content Marketers Can Learn From Baseball

7 Actionable Content Marketing Lessons

baseballContent marketers can learn important lessons from baseball. Like the Great American Pastime, content marketing requires the type of long term vision and execution that ensures your efforts don’t strike out but instead contribute to your overall marketing and business goals.

Here are seven content marketing lessons that baseball can teach to make you a content marketing champion.

  1. Baseball requires a manager. Someone must be in charge and make decisions. Actionable content marketing lesson: An editor-in-chief is needed to determine the overall direction, branding and tone of your content marketing as well as to ensure that your on-going content strategy remains aligned with your business goals.
  2. Baseball is a team sport. You need more than a single great player. Baseball requires coordinated effort from every member of the team. Actionable content marketing lesson: Producing effective content marketing requires more than an outstanding editor and/or a writer. An effective content marketing team often encompasses art directors and/or designers, area experts, professional talent (where applicable), technology support, video and/or audio specialists (depending on the type of content) and senior managers. Depending on your organization, it can also include third party suppliers such as agencies and consultants.
  3. Baseball is played every day. Unlike other sports where teams often have time off between games, professional baseball is played pretty much every day. Actionable content marketing lesson: You need to provide fresh content on a regular basis. To this end, it’s useful to have an editorial calendar to plan out production, scheduling and distribution of your content.
  4. Baseball entails a starting line up every day. You need to know who is playing for your team and in which position. Actionable content marketing lesson: Content marketing requires resources, both human and financial. Further, more than just having an editorial calendar, you need to assign the work to employees or external resources. Content creation doesn’t happen by magic.
  5. Baseball depends on a farm system. Each major league baseball team has a number of minor league teams that help them develop new, young talent. Actionable content marketing lesson: Provide the means to enable all of your employees to contribute to your content marketing. Encourage employees (and maybe customers and suppliers) to supply useful content by removing potential barriers. Have a copyeditor ensure that the content is well presented and reward contributors for their work.
  6. Baseball involves collecting singles and walks as much as home runs. You need a combination of different ways of increasing your team’s score. Actionable content marketing lesson: One major piece of content marketing isn’t sufficient. A critical mass of on-topic content is necessary to raise your brand’s profile and image. A mix of different types and formats of content are needed.  Consider providing a mix of evergreen, trending, curated, re-imagined and co-created content.
  7. Baseball has a long season. You don’t win a baseball championship based on one spectacular game. Actionable content marketing lesson: You must create a mix of content marketing to provide answers for the range of questions your different market segments have. Just focusing on a few keywords without providing the depth of content your target audience is looking for will not do. Remember that customers often start their purchase research online so your content must be available at their zero moment of truth (aka ZMOT) to ensure that your offering is included in their consideration set (Here’s an explanation of the marketing moments of truth).

Like baseball, content marketing requires good players, on-going practice and resources. It doesn’t just happen.

What other baseball related content marketing suggestions do you have?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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One Response to What Content Marketers Can Learn From Baseball

  1. Martin Lieberman says:

    Great blog post! I wrote something similar a year ago. Among the lessons I shared were these three …
    * You have to please your fans

    * Sometimes you have to steal

    * Small players can make a big difference

    For all nine of them (because there are nine innings in a baseball game, natch), check out my post here: http://ow.ly/ncrqa