Five things content marketers can learn from transfer deadline day

At this point, transfer deadline day is a British institution – ranking alongside cheese rolling and morris dancing as a traditional yet perplexing feature of the national consciousness. The startling proportions it has taken on could have some lessons for content marketers

From interviews out of car windows to news presenters shivering in front of lower-league football grounds, deadline day is a peculiar ritual.

Yet its many eccentricities share surprising parallels with content marketing. Strap on your shin pads and do some preparatory lunges as we unravel the ins and outs of footballing transfer windows from a content marketing perspective.

Be aware of the competition…

One of the key duties of any football manager is to know what the opposition is up to. If the transfer window has seen an influx of strikers, managers have two options come deadline day – buy some strikers of their own to level the playing field, or purchase a defender or two to combat the new threat.

Content marketers also need to keep track of the competition. Consider the huge shift in social media usage over the last decade – Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat all went from obscurity to global prominence as users flooded to the new platforms, with content marketers following close behind. Content marketers must keep up with such trends, or else refocus to ensure they continue to reach the right people.

…but don’t panic

Although it’s important to keep pace with competitors, football is littered with examples of managers cracking under pressure and making rash purchases. Who could forget these especially ignominious deadline day blunders?

Content marketers face parallel perils if judicious insight into competitor behaviour morphs into rampant paranoia. For example, the growth of wearable technologies, virtual reality and automation all have significant implications for content marketing and will require serious thought and investment in the years ahead. But make sure you’re getting the basics right first, even if everyone else seems to be tearing away.

Create anticipation…

One of the quintessential aspects of transfer deadline day is the frenzy that UK sports media enters into over ostensibly small events.

At any other time of year, the notion of eighteen hours of rolling news updates to discuss whether or not Ipswich are likely to make a last-minute bid for a new defender would seem ludicrous. But on deadline day – courtesy of Sky Sports News, among others – it’s a matter of course.

Content marketers can only dream of such a clamour developing around their content. But the launch of Westmonster by Arron Banks shows that tapping into content trends can drive traffic in new ways, as discussed on Content Desk earlier this month.

Even if your content might not be as exciting as Ipswich’s defence, capturing the mood of the moment is a sure strategy for boosting traffic.

…but don’t ruin your credibility

Tantalising fans with new signings and failing to deliver is one way for managers to stoke the wrath of fans as the transfer window draws to a close – with Arsène Wenger one high profile case study in recent years.

Similarly, content marketers publishing a constant trickle of low-quality, low-value content will face repercussions from consumers. But while expletive-laden chants are the fans’ chastisement of choice in the world of football, content marketers who prioritise quantity over quality risk outright abandonment from disenchanted consumers.

Ensure team harmony

In the lucrative world of football, teams can be their own worst enemy: the temptation to excitably overspend is often overwhelming, even though long-term financial ruin and unharmonious appointments inevitably follow.

Content marketers can quite easily fall foul of similar problems. Don’t upset team unity in the dash to acquire clients and fulfill all of their content desires – ensure that commercial teams, writers, account managers and designers are working in synchronisation to guarantee long-term prosperity.

Editor's pick

Most popular