How I Learnt Content Marketing from Sylvester’s Rocky

How I Learnt Content Marketing from Sylvester’s Rocky
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Sivakumar

Last updated June 24, 2016


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If I can learn, you can too!

Of course, the whole world knows Sylvester Stallone and his inspiring movies. But among all his films, I’ve learned most from his “Rocky” series. Yes, like most of you, I’ve watched it over 10 times – and interestingly, it inspired me to learn content marketing and strategy.

And now, I’m one of the Top 100 growth hacking influencers - @steveharrry

And it’s not just this – 40% of my marketing tactics are what I’ve learned from the movies that I watch.

Rocky is a character that motivated me to keep getting ahead. You’ll be amused to know that I’ve watched the series intently, frame by frame, just because I knew I wanted to implement those strategies in my life and career!

And now, I bring you the content marketing tactics that I learned from Sylvester’s Rocky series:

What is content marketing

1. Every Content Piece Needs Supporting Elements

The supporting characters in a story, play, or movie are crucial to its plot. Don’t you agree?

Adrian, Mickey and Paulie are characters designed by Stallone to support Rocky while he achieves his goals.

What I’ve learned

Any post requires a strong backbone to receive traffic and stand tall.

It may be the images you choose, the infographics you design, the videos you create, or any other marketing tool. But remember – these supporting elements must convey the message consistently and help you attain the growth rate that you expect.

Visual Content

2. Variation Draws Attention

In the entire series, the plots look similar. They begin with the announcement of the fight, then show us the practice sessions and finally end with Rocky’s victory.

But Stallone’s variations in the screenplay, as well as in the body, have succeeded a great deal in making us look forward to each movie.

What I’ve learned

Attract your target audience by showing variations.

For Example:

People are drawn towards interactive visual content such as infographics, slideshares and GIFs.

It’s true!

Walls of text put people off and that increases your bounce rate. So make sure you add plenty of relevant GIFs, inforgraphics, or videos. You can also present your content as an interactive guide.

3. Go The Distance

Here’s a dialogue snippet from one of the scene. This scene shows a conversation between Adrian and Rocky before a heavyweight title competition:

Rocky quotes

What I’ve learned

If you feel the content is worth sharing, you must promote it through social media, influencer marketing, e-mail marketing, and other ways you can find. Give life to your content, and let it go the distance.

There is no such thing as losing – you either win or learn. Be positive, there is always one more place that needs your content, and one more chance to learn.

Going distance

4. Practice Makes You Win

Practice is the only thing that made Rocky win – you notice that throughout the series.

What I’ve learned

Practice is the greatest way to achieve desired goals.

Track visitor behavior, work on your content strategy if there is a need, practice various methods of content distribution, and finally, learn from your mistakes.

Rocky Practicing

5. Ask For Support

Rocky asks his friends for support – before every fight.

What I’ve learned

Your business progresses because of the various symbiotic relationships you’ve formed.

Building a community is absolutely important. Help your community, receive feedback, and stay in touch.

Trust me; the community will not give up when you need help!

6. A Great Headline Is Half The Battle Won

In the first part of the series, Apollo decided to pick Rocky for the competition – and his manager approved of his decision, appreciating his smart thinking.

Why did Apollo Creed chose Rocky? It’s because of his nick name, ‘Italian Stallion’ – he knew the media would make it immensely popular.

What I’ve learned

I learned to choose the right headlines for my pieces. I take special care of this, because it’s always easy to attract your audience with killer titles.

And here is the real conversation between Apollo and his manager:

Apollo creed Versus Italian Stallion… Sounds like a damn monster movie

Get inspiration for awesome headlines here!

7. Never Back Out

Rocky stood face-to-face with his opponent to win – he was never willing to back out.

Hit hard

What I’ve learned

Never worry about competitors’ strategies, content marketing tactics and whatever else they bring. Learn to compete with them like Rocky – don’t ever back out. You’ll have to take the hit and keep moving.

8. Never Grow Complacent

In the third part of the series, Rocky lost his heavyweight title to Clubber lang because of his over-confidence and lack of practice.

Rocky got hit

What I’ve learned

I’d say this is the best thing I learned from the Rocky series – never settle – or your competitors will beat you to the ground. It is extremely important that you keep your content consistent.

9. Adopt New Strategies From Time To Time

In part 3, Rocky confuses Clubber Lang in their revenge match, with the help of the new moves he learnt from Apollo.

You can call rocky a southpaw.

What I’ve learned

Adopt a new style of presentation and distribute your content at right time. It will change the audience’s perception about your brand. The quote below holds good for content marketing.

Sales quote

10. Keep Up With The Trends

I’ve watched closely how Sylvester Stallone did so while making every Rocky movie.

What I’ve learned

Your audience follows trends. You should too, to achieve best results. Check out these infographics that talk about 2015’s content marketing trends.

  1. 2015’s Biggest Content Marketing Trends
  2. B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2015

11. Use Your Strengths

In part 6, Rocky didn’t have the speed to win, but he could punch. And he believed he always had a chance.

Rocky punches hard

What I’ve learned

Your strengths are sufficient, if you know how to utilize them.

If you don’t have a good enough budget to do paid marketing, you can focus on influencer marketing and also get traction through social media!

There are many sites and tools out there to help you with content marketing.

12. Pathos Is Powerful

Rocky lives in every heart because of the emotional appeal.

What I’ve learned

Storytelling works best on social media. Appeal to people’s sense of trust and to their other sensibilities. In fact, there is a science behind the role of emotion in marketing.

Emotion Vs Data

13. Give The People What They Want

Everybody loves a happy ending. Every part of the Rocky series ensured that.

What I’ve learned

Give people the kind of content they’d like to read and share with their peers. Before you think about your competitors, keep in mind that you should focus on your target audience to acquire loyalty.

14. Novelty Is Necessary

In the beef fight, Rocky’s uniqueness was evident – he used this new strategy to break his competitors’ ribs.

What I’ve learned

Figure out new, unique methods of reaching your readers online.

15. Don’t Ever Worry About How Big Your Competitors Are

In Rocky 4, when Rocky met a gigantic opponent (Dolph Lundgren) in Russia, he was never worried because he had the guts to face him. He instead focused on improving himself to face the big opponent.

Rocky faces big opponent

What I’ve learned

I’ve stopped worrying about my biggest competitors and started concentrating on my content – I now see what elements I can add or remove to generate valuable material for my readers.

16. Learn From The Gurus

I simply cannot forget how Mickey, Rocky’s Manager, motivated and empowered Rocky to guide him towards achieving his goal. Go find your gurus and learn from them.

What I’ve learned

No matter how good you are, you need a mentor to guide you and the keenness to learn from him/her. Stay patient, keep an ear open for learning, and keep growing.

17. Experiment Wildly

In part 6, Rocky brings out the beast within himself. He gives all that he has, never trashes his wildest ideas, and ultimately feels greater and lighter.

What I’ve learned

Ever thought of trying the wildest marketing tactics? Never hesitate. Give your 100%! Even if it doesn’t work, you can learn and move on.

18. Be A Mentor

We see Rocky as a mentor in parts 5 and 7(creed). He taught Tommy Gunn part 5, and Apollo’s son in creed movie, due to his gratitude.

Rocky mentoring creed

What I’ve learned

It is good to give back something to your community – because everyone will remember you, and your content will spread due to word-of-mouth.

Conclusion:

Remember “the eye of the tiger” – conquer challenges and break through barriers. – If I can learn, so can you!

Eye of the Tiger

About the Author

Growth hacker, Blogger, Social Media Marketer, Content Strategist and SEO content manager @ Simplilearn


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