5 Content Marketing Lessons from Leprechauns

March 11, 2018

St. Patrick's Day Content Marketing

When you have a name like Sean Callahan, even though you’re as American as a Big Mac, people make assumptions.

They assume that you like Guinness. That you root for the Fighting Irish. And that you’ve written a children’s book about a leprechaun.

All of the above assumptions are true. With the exception of the last one — because I’ve actually written two books about leprechauns: Shannon and the World’s Tallest Leprechaun and The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow.

In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, which fast approaches, and in an effort to help content marketers, let’s take a look at these two leprechaun storybooks and examine the five lessons they deliver on content marketing.

1. Practice Makes Perfect

In Shannon and the World’s Tallest Leprechaun, the protagonist is a young Irish dancer. A leprechaun (the world’s tallest, at 5-foot-11) has granted her three wishes. One of Shannon’s wishes is to be a great Irish dancer, but the leprechaun, whose name is Liam, doesn’t simply grant that wish. He shows her that the best dancers get that way by hard work and practice.

It’s the same in content marketing. It’s unlikely that anyone will produce a blockbuster content marketing piece on the first try. Creating content that resonates with your audience and drives leads and revenue takes practice, a lot of it. It often takes a lot of failed experiments, too, to discover what works.   

2. Build Trust

In The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow, the main character, Colleen, doesn’t initially trust the leprechaun Roy G. Biv who appears on St. Patrick’s Day. He claims to have lost his rainbow and asks Colleen to share some of her prized possessions to help him rebuild that rainbow. When she very reluctantly “shares” the first item — a piece of red licorice — the leprechaun magically makes the red band of a fledgling rainbow appear.

The message for content marketers is this: You have to give to get. Share your best material, share your thought leadership to help your audience better understand the industry. By helping your potential customers, you’ll build trust, and they’ll be more likely to turn to you when it’s time to make a purchase.

3. High Production Value Is Not a Must

As one of her wishes, Shannon wants a pair of new Irish dance shoes and an expensive dress. But Liam insists that a great dancer doesn’t need great equipment to succeed. Instead, the leprechaun, who is a cobbler, merely shows Shannon how to fix her own shoes.

The message for content marketers: You don’t need the latest equipment or the biggest budget to make your content marketing perform. For instance, you can shoot engaging videos on a smartphone; a high-end camera is not essential. Similarly, content marketers can reach your audience organically — at no cost at all —  on a LinkedIn Company Page.

4. Rely on Your Team

In both of these leprechaun books, the characters don’t go it alone. By teaching Liam to dance, Shannon finds renewed confidence in her own dancing abilities and finally dances well enough to deserve the gold medal. In The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow, Colleen works hand-in-hand with the leprechaun to rebuild the lost rainbow.

For content marketers, the lesson is that surrounding yourself with talent is critical. You have to hire the best talent you can both internally and externally. To produce great content, you’re going to need to rely on excellent teammates and superb agencies and production houses, which are essential to producing great content that generates ROI.

5. Magic is Real

There may not be leprechauns in the world, but there is magic present in these books. There's magic when Shannon, filled with the leprechaun's lessons, wins the gold medal. And when Colleen, cooperating with her leprechaun, helps build a rainbow from scratch.

For content marketers, magic can be real. There is magic in a great idea. There is magic when your team brings its talents together to perform an act of alchemy by creating a video or other piece of content out of thin air that enchants your prospects, generates revenue, and maybe even wins an award or two.   

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