Beyond the obvious comparisons you can make between soccer in the U.S. and inbound marketing within its own industry (both being exciting up-and-comers in their respective markets, among others) there are quite a few similarities between inbound marketing and my beloved sport soccer. Mainly, I see the three main aspects of our digital marketing strategy (SEO, Social Media and Blogging) comparing very nicely to the three main sets of positions in soccer (Defenders, Midfielders and Forwards). Here’s how:
SEO and Defenders
Search Engine Optimization is a very analytical and rules-driven segment of inbound marketing. Very little creativity beyond defining keywords goes into SEO. Even though there seems to be little glamour in SEO, it is easily one of the most important aspects of any inbound marketing campaign. Defenders are thought of in much the same light in the soccer world. While they are obviously an integral part in the success of the team, they aren’t exactly the flashiest on the field. No, defenders are tough, no-nonsense players willing to dig in and get dirty in order to help their team win big! A familiar saying in soccer, as well as many other sports goes ‘Offense sells tickets, defense wins games,’ and the same can go for SEO!
Social Media and Midfielders
The social media aspect of inbound marketing allows for much more creativity and customization toward your business. Here you are allowed the opportunity to express yourself or your brand’s personality and really show off! Midfielders are
the same way! Positioned in the middle of the field (who would have thought with a name like that!), midfielders have the entire pitch (that’s what us soccer folk call the field) to move around in and are able to engage in a much more creative and free-flowing style of play. Midfielders demand a lot of attention from the fans not only because of this creativity but also their versatility on the field, acting not only as support in the attack but also on defense. The same goes with social media, as a strong campaign not only work to promote your company and its products or services, but it can also be used as a strong customer service tool, providing timely responses to questions and concerns that can be seen by all of your fans online! Midfielders and social media, the creative workhorses of their trades!
Blogging and Forwards
Finally, the act of blogging is very similar to the role played by a forward in soccer. On the pitch, forwards are meant to score the goals and generally create chaos for the other team’s defense. In blogging, the ultimate goal is to not only educate your reader, but also to generate leads and hopefully new customers. Now if you can’t consider that to be a major
“goal” for your inbound marketing campaign then I’m not sure what is! Beyond the end results that both of these strive for, blogging and forwards are also considered to be very creative and unique positions, allowing either the specific forward of blogger each to put their own stamp on the game! Just as a blogger may have a certain style of writing of specific area of expertise, forwards have different styles of playing and particular aspects of their game that they excel in!
The beautiful game, as the Brazilians call it, is much the same as inbound marketing when you really sit down and think about it. Both are free flowing, creative and unique pastimes that throw conventional playbooks aside and tailor their games according to the field and competition in front of them!