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Why Thinking Like a Poker Player Will Make You a Better Content Marketer

Presented at the Content Marketing Show in London, July 2014.

Andrew Tipp

on 11 October 2014

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Transcript of Why Thinking Like a Poker Player Will Make You a Better Content Marketer

Why Thinking Like a Poker Player Will Make You a Better Content Marketer
Andrew Tipp
1: Data
7: Losing
6: winning
5: Strategy
4: Opponents
2: tells
8: Folding
3: Expectation
1. Who am I?
2. What's this about?
3. What's the point?
who am I?
what's this about?
Best UK agency for Content Strategy
Best UK agency for Digital Strategy (under 40 staff)
RAR Digital Awards 2014
Digital Content Development Manager, Suffolk County Council
(Hooray - go strategy!)
Rebuild in progress!
Content Strategist, Further Digital Marketing
What's the point?

Inspiration can come from anywhere - we can learn a lot by looking at how pro gamblers approach things like...
perceptions vs. reality
poker, data and content

Everything begins and ends with data

But with poker!
Er... poker?!
what is poker?
content marketing tells
Focus on what the available information
is telling you

expected value
keep it positive
shooting fish...
researching your opponents
types of poker player...
on the evolution of content strategy
what's the best strategy?
is poker all about
going 'all-in'?
smallball content?
The reality...
the late, great
chip reese...
Minimising losses
know when to
hold 'em...
what does that mean?
data tells a story
"A game of decision-making in the face of incomplete information."
- David Sklanksy
incomplete information?
= Incomplete
= Complete
Betting patterns
Speech fluidity
Hand gestures
Facial expressions
Physical behaviour
poker tells = insight
What are Google's tells?
Algorithm updates/penalties
Evolution of semantic search
Content gap opportunities
Make content decisions with positive expected value
All decisions have a long-term expected value
= negative expectation
= positive expectation
making +ev decisions
Creating a 12-month+ strategy
'Selling' clients long-term results
Focusing on the end game
Prioritising activity over strategy
Chasing quick wins to impress clients
Knee-jerking based on early metrics
Research competitors to find out where they're outplaying you

"An inexperienced or unskilled poker player, especially such a player who loses significant amounts of money."
what's a 'fish'?
Who are they targeting?
What's their strategy?
What content are they producing?
What formats are they using?
Where are they acquiring coverage?
= good
= bad
Create an original content strategy for every campaign

The 'calling station'
The 'rock'
The 'maniac'
The 'TAG'
Should you always play the same way? No!
"The most adaptable poker player will survive" - Darwin*
*Not real quote
All poker games are different - and so are all content marketing campaigns:

Don't rely on branded templates
Beware general best practice tips
Create unique customer profiles
Ensure strategies are tailored
Be prepared to adapt!

It's about the 'smallball' wins
Most of your wins
should come from
'smallball content'

Make incremental gains by following the 70/20/10 principle
70% = "bread and butter"
20% = door-stop sandwich
10% = experimental cooking
Avoiding big losses is as good as creating big wins

Optimisation battle!
Obama '08: video vs. photo
Result: video =
worse than photo ($60m!)

Learn about CRO from
Don't persist with content ideas that aren't
'winning hands'

know when to
fold 'em...
Reasons that we just can't let go of losing content ideas...
1. It worked before
2. It was in the content audit
3. The client's already paid for it
4. It was YOUR idea
5. It's the only idea!
Don't be a cowboy - be data-led!
Full transcript