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Yet Another Pokemon Go Article: Fad or Content Marketing Lesson?

OK, so if you haven’t heard about Pokemon Go, you have probably been under some alien influence over these past months. Maybe abducted, in which case please report to agents Mulder and Scully, I hear they have been resurrected by Fox TV.

But even abducted by aliens, or living under a rock, it would have been really difficult not to hear about the game that raised the whole planet’s blood pressure to the point of an impending heart attack. I really did not intend to write about it at all on our blog, but recently, the nature of one of our client ordered projects made me look more closely into articles and stories related to the phenomenon.

And surprise surprise! what do I find out there, embedded in Google search results? Hundreds and hundreds of articles invariably entitled: “Lessons content marketers should learn from Pokemon Go.” And before I even knew that Pokemon Go was a content marketing strategy, it suddenly became the latest thing you should be looking into, in order to succeed. And what a huge one, it seems, right? I mean, why not? Content marketers nowadays are so caught up in the moment, the latest online fad, the latest trend, the latest media sensation, trying to piggyback their products on any such meteoric apparition, that they hardly need to do anything else but browse the internet for things to copy.

Is Pokemon Go a Content Marketing Model to Follow?

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against using trends to shape your strategies. But, from what we are able to see online today, just any crazy trend will do. And this is something that may seem hidden to the inexperienced eye of an average internet browser. But if you stay online long enough and read all those content related pieces popping up every day, spamming your email, fighting for first Google page supremacy, you start observing a pattern. And this pattern doesn’t look too encouraging. It looks like real strategy, thorough research and professional planning are getting replaced by planning by the ear and following online mass hysteria projects.

So, today it is Pokemon Go. Oh boy, they do sell a lot of those… whatever they are. Rumors are Nintendo has been earning 12 billion in the first few weeks since launching the game,  and that more than 400 million people worldwide are playing it, although some real experts say this figure is not actually right. It stands to reason that the eyes of marketers all over the world start throwing dollar signs just like in those cartoons we enjoyed as kids. If they can do it, why can’t we? Why can’t we capitalize on the success? So an entire world of crazies follows up with foolish marketing projects they had no idea they were about to do a month ago.

pokemon go


Piggybacking on the Success

Even giants like Mercedes felt there is no shame in piggybacking the madness. And, hmmm, do you think Mercedes has thought for a second about the fact that the actual target customer that uses Pokemon Go (boys and girls in various pre-pubescent stages) would not really be interested in their car sales plans? No, for sure they didn’t, as all they were able to see was $$$$ signs everywhere around Pokemon spots. I am not sure where this leaves Mercedes and how much they have managed to increase their sales, or how much ROI they managed to get from this stunt. I don’t actually care too much.

Real Value in Thorough Planning and Strategizing

The point is: “not everything that flies can be eaten,” as my ancestors’ wisdom has it (Romanian proverb pointing to the fact that you should employ judgment when you choose to go with a particular option. Maybe the closest proverbial translation in English is: not everything that glitters is gold).

The way I see it, not every worldwide sensation can automatically be translated into a content marketing success.  I mean, yeah, they have been writing about it and trying to switch and twirl the topic until it fit their goals, but in truth, there is no real valuable lesson to be learned here, at least not for content marketers. Pokemon Go is a game that is really successful right now. But just like any fads, it will dissolve itself into nothingness in six months’ time. All that will be left of it will be hundreds and hundreds of online articles, tons of words written about how “clever” content marketers should seize the day and forcibly fit their own products, marketing campaigns, services into the model Pokemon provides. I guarantee you, looking back at all those words written for nothing will look ludicrous to people who can think with their own heads.

A new fad will show, as this is what fads do, they come, they take us by storm and they vanish or transition into something else. A new wave of content marketers will find them inspiring and start prophesizing a second coming of the content marketer’s age. And things will continue like this. Content marketing campaigns based on those artificially created trends will not last, nor can they yield constant, long-lasting results. As a content writer and experienced content manager, I believe that the real thing is based on real research, well planned strategies, well thought-of execution methods. Real value in marketing through content relies on quality and what you have to say about your industry. This is where you should focus your efforts. Boring? Maybe, to some. But to the real people out there who do believe that they need to be informed and look for quality over trends, you will be a goldmine, the real value provider. A real trendsetter is he who builds a reputation in time, through value, professional delivery, professional cooperation with customers. Not a trend-jumper who has nothing informative to provide.

Looking for help to put together your content strategy? Contact us today and find out how we can assist.

“A real trendsetter is he who builds a reputation in time, through value, professional delivery, professional cooperation with customers. Not a trend-jumper who has nothing informative to provide.”

Annie Ianko

Content Happiness Advisor

Annie has 18 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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