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Shannon Willoby

The King Henry VIII Guide to Killer Content Marketing

Shannon Willoby
The King Henry VIII Guide to Killer Content Marketing

If we must still say “content is king,” why not turn to a real king – King Henry VIII specifically – to teach us all about it? Yes, this blog post might’ve been inspired by a month-long, wine-fueled binge of all four seasons of The Tudors, but the controversial king knows more about content strategy and marketing than you might expect.

The following four points, inspired by King Henry’s personality and actions, will show you how to craft content that captures – and retains – your audience’s attention and stands the test of time.

 All hail The King Henry VIII Guide to Killer Content Marketing.

1. Identify Your Goal and Achieve It. Period.

Nothing could stop King Henry once he set his sights on something, and that type of laser focus is exactly why he was so successful. (Wife not producing a son? Get a new one!)

If you want the same fruitful results, first ask yourself what you want to get out of your content marketing efforts.

Could it be brand awareness? Customer loyalty? Lead conversion? Something else? (BTW, Contently notes that 84% of B2B marketers said brand awareness was a top goal.)

Once you’ve outlined your goal and set metrics, attack it with the same gusto as King Henry and his notorious, lust-filled, one-track mind.

Success is the only option when you’ve got that much drive.

2. Be Shamelessly Ruthless

If something wasn’t working for King Henry, he got rid of it. Whether it was a member of his court, a wife, a political policy or anything else, it was gone as soon as Henry decided it should be so.

Harsh in this context, but if you apply it to your content marketing efforts, you’ll have much greater odds at truly connecting with your target market.

  • Are your blog posts not getting many views or are people sticking around for mere seconds? Conduct research to find better, more targeted topics to write about. Or, take a look at your approach to formatting. Maybe you need to chop paragraphs so they’re shorter and easier to digest. Or, maybe you need to add more appealing images and gifs.
  • If your social media posts are being ignored, analyze statistics to determine if your content needs tweaking or if you should be posting at a different time.
  • If your emails aren’t being opened, do some A/B testing to find out what types of subject lines would score you better results, conduct a time-of-day test, or try playing around with the size and color of your “read more” button.

If your content isn’t meeting the needs of your audience, and you continue with your strategy as-is, all you’ll be doing is wasting your time – and the time of anyone who bothers to read it.

This is why it’s necessary, although not always comfortable, to put your content on the chopping block on a regular basis.

 And if you determine something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to order its immediate death in true King-Henry style. (Usually via one swift blow, delivered by axe.)

3. Remain Consistent

King Henry created a strong brand for himself. His court, wives, allies, and enemies all knew what to expect when dealing with him because he stayed true to his brand at all times.

But, he also understood the importance of an adaptable tone of voice. If he was trying to woo a new wife, his tone changed. If he was trying to get his way with a political ally, his tone changed. If he was upset with a member of his court, his tone changed – as it should.

Just like King Henry, your content needs a strong brand voice that encompasses the spirit of your company and stays consistent through all of your marketing materials.

Your brand voice won’t change, but your tone will take on many forms depending on whom you’re writing for and the individual situation you’re addressing.

Your tone lets you show empathy to an upset customer, allows you to add humor to a boring blog post topic, and helps your readers connect with your company.

4. Embrace Controversy

Meek, mild, mundane… these adjectives definitely don’t describe King Henry, and they definitely shouldn’t describe your content.

If you want your content to be noticed – and remembered – you can’t be scared of making waves.

Henry’s off-with-their-heads attitude toward wives who displeased him, as well as his shakeup of the Catholic Church, secured his ticket into the annals of history. His reign ended in 1547, but his legacy will live forever. The Evergreen King, if you will.

If you want to create the type of evergreen content that your target market will regularly read and return for, you need to find a way to make it stand out.

Maybe it’s not by beheading people or having them hanged, drawn and quartered, but maybe it is through challenging a popular opinion in your industry, introducing a new way to tackle a customers’ pain point, or developing a brand voice that actually entertains while teaching.

However you choose to convey your take on “controversy,” give it your own, brand-embodying spin. Doing so will help make sure it aligns well with your target market and keeps your content in their good graces.

Rule Content Marketing Like a Monarch

Don’t want your content marketing strategy to have the same shelf life as one of King Henry’s wives? Then you must make sure it is well-defined, serves a clear purpose, and matches your brand.

If you take the time to develop a strong strategy and rule your content with an iron fist, you’ll be the one who stays in control of its outcome.

This means investing time and energy into developing content that connects with your readers on a personal level. But it also means regularly analyzing what is working and what isn’t, as well as staying on top of trends.

King Henry certainly made his mark on the world, isn’t it time your content did the same?

What would you add to the King Henry VIII Guide to Killer Content Marketing?

Shannon Willoby

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Shannon Willoby is the director of content marketing for Scott’s Marketplace and editor in chief of the small business blog, The DRIVE.
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