What My Gamer Husband Taught Me About Content Marketing

Mar 2017

What My Gamer Husband Taught Me About Content Marketing

There’s a new woman in my husband’s life.

Some bitch named Zelda.

Yes, Mr. Parker has been over the moon with excitement over the new Nintendo Switch gaming console since it was first announced last October, and his pre-order was one of the thousands that flooded Nintendo’s U.S. site back in January. While the days of lining up at GameStop at midnight are far behind him (been there, did that for Halo 2), he did take a half-day of vacation on March 3.

Yep, that’s when Zelda — also known as “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” — moved in.

These days our dinner conversations are filled with gleeful reports of the secret to defeating Guardians (using your shield to deflect their laser attacks back at them, in case you wanted to know), how a hang-gliding miscalculation hilariously landed his character on the back of a very surprised mountain goat (who then took him for a joy ride), and why those adorable chickens (cuccos) are arguably the deadliest characters in Hyrule (the name of the mythical kingdom where all this takes place, don’tcha know).

Actually, I find all this quite adorable. Must be love.

So yeah, my name’s Rachel, and I’m married to a gamer.

Having been the wife of a gaming enthusiast for nearly two decades now, I’ve learned a few things along the way … about, of all things, content marketing.

“What can we content marketers possibly learn from video games,” you ask? Oh, more than you know … 

You’re Gonna Die. A Lot.

I remember the first time Mike tried to teach me to play Halo. No matter how hard I tried to master the controls (“Okay, so the right trigger is ‘shoot’ and the X button is … what again?”) or how many times we backed up the level of difficulty (all the way to whatever the vid-game equivalent of “bunny slope” is), my character kept dying. Over and over and over again. Barely could I get Master Chief out of his space-hibernation-pod-thingy without some wimpy low-level bad guy taking me out of action.

I was just about to hurl the controller across the room when hubby pried it from my frustrated fingers and said gently, “It’s okay, babe. You die a lot in this game. It’s how you learn.”

That’s when it clicked. The point of the game isn’t to not die. Dying is just part of the experience, and afterwards there’s always an automatic respawn that lets you start afresh from the last checkpoint, a little bit wiser than before.

Takeaway for Content Marketers: If we play not to lose, we’re going to fail. We can’t creep our way through the content marketing landscape with “Don’t screw up” as our mantra and ultimate goal. If we do, the best we can hope for is regurgitating the same old pablum that everybody else is putting out there. Our content will resonate with no one, and our strategy will wither and die.

We have to be bold. We have to use the weapons at our disposal and march forward, ready to take on any miscreants who would block the way. And guess what? Not everything is going to work the way we want it to. We have to be okay with that, learn from our mistakes, and try again.

As Henry Ford once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” (He would have been great at Halo.)

Want to Level Up? Get Ready for a Boss Fight.

The “boss fight” is one of the most time-honored traditions in video gaming (for you history geeks, the concept goes back to a dungeon-crawl game called dnd, released in 1974).

It’s the final battle on any given level, against an enemy that is much bigger, much stronger, much harder to kill, and armed with far better weapons than anything you’ve faced before. If you’re going to get to the next level, you have to fight the boss … and win.

The odds of defeating the boss on your first try are slim to none. You’ll have to keep at it, trying different weapons, different approaches, and different defenses until you find the right combination. And yeah, along the way, you’re gonna die, a lot (see above). But once you wrest victory from the jaws of defeat, a whole new adventure awaits.

Takeaway for content marketers: If we stay on the same, comfortable level year after year, not only will we languish from boredom; we’ll also fall behind our more forward-minded competitors. If we’re going to survive — let alone thrive — we need to keep leveling up, and that’s gonna involve some boss fights.

Maybe your “boss fight” is getting your subject matter experts on board to create a thought-leadership series on your blog. Maybe it’s scoring a guest spot on a key influencer’s podcast … or starting one of your own. Maybe it’s making the leap into hosting your own conferences and other live events.

Whatever your own version of the boss fight happens to look like, don’t get scared — get prepared. Rally your team, your supporters, and your resources, make a plan and go to it. The next level awaits.

Pay Attention to Your NPCs

So, you have your hero (that’s you) making his or her way through a quest, you have the bad guys trying to stop/kill you, and then you have non-player characters (NPCs).

NPCs are the “extra” characters that complete the game’s landscape. They might be tradespeople, priests, sages, barmaids, or beggars. They can talk to you and you can trade items with them, but they don’t play a direct part in the action.

And NPCs can be vitally important. They can share vital pieces of information (such as the password needed for entry into a key location), they can give or sell you things you need (like armor), or they may send you off on side quests that will benefit your character in some other way.

Ignore NPCs altogether, and you might find yourself stuck on the same level for a long, long time.

Takeaway for Content Marketers: Inspiration for our content can come from anywhere, and it should. If we’re going to develop a unique voice that rises above the noise, we can’t focus only on what we read from industry gurus, news sources, and (let’s admit it) our competitors.

Integrating different perspectives from your personal life, from art and history, from pop culture — heck, even from video games — gives your content a unique richness that no one else can emulate. Seek out those outside “NPC” sources of inspiration and let them add color and texture to everything you publish.

Game On!

Even if you’ve never picked up a controller and wouldn’t know a moblin from a chuchu, you have to admit we content marketers can learn a few things from our brethren who fight the virtual fight against the forces of darkness. They know that failure is just part of the experience, allowing you to begin again, as Henry Ford said, more intelligently. They know there’s always a big, bad boss between you and the next level you want to reach. And they know that sometimes you get exactly what you need from the people you’d least expect.

And so, gamers of the world, I raise this bag of Cheetos and this Mountain Dew in your honor. May your armor be strong, may your speed be swift, … and may the cuccos of Hyrule go easy on you.

Content Marketing Coach

Find out why Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, had this to say about The Content Marketing Coach: Everything You Need to Get in the Game … and WIN:

“A simple yet effective guide to an approach that most businesses get flat out wrong. Do yourself and your business a favor and take a deep dive into this book. You won’t regret it.”


About the Author

Rachel Parker, Founder & CEO of Resonance Content Marketing

A self-described geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker has had a passion for content ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon (purple, please).

As Founder and CEO of Resonance, Rachel helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and author of the book The Content Marketing Coach: Everything You Need to Get in the Game … and WIN!
content_marketing_50 BizSugar Featured Author on Business 2 Community


  1. Great article! Link and Zelda have become quite a large part of my life recently as well. I am extremely impressed with the vast amounts of quality content in the game. There are seemingly endless quests in a wide open world where everything is accessible by climbing, swimming, gliding or simply running. I’ve put in nearly 10 hours so far and have barely progressed the main plot! There’s just so much to do and explore!

    I recently watched this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30jGWna4-Ns) on the making of the game. The creators said that the original release was going to be much sooner – some were even thinking early 2016 – but they pushed it back. The amount of work into this game shows and I’m so glad they took the time to make it great and not just done. It’s been a major contributor to the success of the newly launched Switch console (this was one of just a few games released with the launch; if the game was bad then the console would not have sold as well). That’s my key content marketing takeaway from BotW: When the stakes are high it’s important to take your time and get it right – hard work pays off!

  2. Rachel: For The Win! 😉

  3. […] This article originally appeared in Resonance Content Marketing. […]

Our Clients Are Saying

  • Produced ROI Result

    Form.io needed someone who could grasp the complexities of our product, capture the subtlety of our differentiating value propositions, and convey them in the right voice for an exacting customer audience…. Resonance delivered, by crafting a multi-faceted online content marketing strategy that drove traffic and conversion, producing the ROI result we were looking for….

  • Added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks

    Rachel took the overwhelm and stress out of writing content for my marketing campaign! When I approached Rachel, I was really concerned that I wouldn’t have the time to focus on writing copy for a lengthy marketing campaign that included sales pages, solo emails, newsletters and social media updates. Well, let’s just say I’m glad I hired Rachel because I couldn’t have done it without her support and expertise. I loved how she used my voice and words to craft content that helped me reach and attract my ideal client. As a result of working with Rachel, I added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks, hundreds of new social media followers and exceeded my sales and list building goals! You know your marketing copy is working when you hear someone say, “I see you everywhere”. Thank you Rachel for helping me not only get seen by my ideal clients but get paid!

  • Professionalism and Sincere Desire to Help

    I just didn’t seem to be able to find the time or the right words to explain what I offer and how my company helps people accomplish their goals. Rachel was able to ask me some questions, do some research and capture my voice while writing my website copy exactly as I needed it to be written.  Now, the copy on my website is much more professional than what I would have created and having this task handled by Rachel and Resonance freed up my time to complete other tasks I am better suited to do.

    It was a joy to work with Rachel. Her professionalism and sincere desire to help was apparent from the first communication until the final delivery. I will definitely use Resonance again and highly recommend their services.

  • Event Sold Out Two Years In A Row!

    Rachel worked with me on creating a content marketing calendar and content for the Big Social Media Summit (Big SMS) three years in a row. She is very organized and knows just the right amount of posts on social, email newsletters and content to send.  Her content marketing efforts helping us sell out our event three years in a row!  I am expecting the same for October 2014.

    Rachel was hired to write content for our email newsletter and content for our social platforms. In addition, she had a budget to do advertising on social media. She participated in the event live and after the fact to assure buzz was created before, during and after the event. As a result, our event sold out.

    When I work with Rachel, I have total peace of mind.  I know that she is on target, on time, reliable and delivers over and above the results I expect.

    I trust Rachel totally with her ideas on strategy, marketing and the content used to not only promote our events, but also post on my behalf on social networks. I have been doing social media for 8 years, and I hire Resonance to post on some of my social sites as it saves me time, and keeps my social sites relevant and current. They always post great, engaging content that gets my social properties likes, comments and shares.


  • Social Media Ranking Better Than Ever!

    We are so happy to have hired Resonance for our social media needs. We spend most of our time serving our clients and studying our field so we can provide the highest quality possible. We no longer worry about our social media, as we have total confidence in the wonderful work Rachel and her team have accomplished.

    Our social media is active, promoted, and is ranking better than ever! People often comment about what they see on our Facebook page. Resonance has added a creative, and artistic twist to our social media that is appealing and captivating to our audience. This has allowed me more time to work with my team and clients, so I can focus on service towards the people that help our business grow.

    I know there will be wonderful content on Facebook, and that Rachel will answer to posts, comments and questions as soon as a comment arrives. I am often impressed at how quickly she responds! Thank you Resonance! I highly endorse Resonance and encourage companies who need social media strategies to work with Resonance! You won’t regret it! 

  • One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

    My company had little or no time to spend on social media. Our needs were to ensure a steady stream of posts across three platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) by harvesting and re-purposing content from our own site and news streams. So I contacted Rachel Parker of Resonance Content Marketing.

    The result was two-fold. Not only did our ranks of followers grew steadily, the steady drip, drip, drip of content helped us train our personnel and direct their own individual social media efforts.

    Rachel and her team are extremely organized and open to discussion and new ideas. They deliver a rapid response to new opportunities — and an overall feeling of being on the same team. One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

  • Increased our likes and interaction rates

    Working with Rachel was a delight. Not only does she communicate very well, but she provided valuable insight about our social media platforms and followers. We have much better engagement with our fans and followers, which increased our likes and interaction rates.


  • Increased website traffic, New Lead Generation

    We were experiencing a lack of internal resources to consistently maintain the Ustream blog. So we turned to Resonance Content Marketing to write blog posts on current industry topics while maintaining a consistent tone with the brand. The result is increased website traffic, new lead generation from gated assets on blog, and better educated/qualified leads. And I now have more time to spend on marketing strategy with the confidence that the content we push out is extremely well written and engaging.

    Rachel is an amazing writer and has really managed to create engaging and relevant blog material on topics that aren’t always super interesting. On many occasions, she has been able to quickly turn around one-off requests and the results are always top-notch. She has also helped guide our content strategy based on her expertise in content marketing, which has been a huge asset to our team.

Free Tips
learn more...