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Seven Tips to Take From House of Cards

Seven Tips to Take From House of Cards

February 20, 2014

You don’t need to stack the deck to win the content game. You simply need a solid strategy. Here are seven content tips from House of Cards. They’re yours to take:


1. It’s about naked ambition

Unless you’re a monk who meditates daily, you probably have a desire to achieve something in your life. Becoming an expert or leader on a specific subject matter takes time. And it requires the dirtiest of words…ambition.

Frank Underwood shamelessly confesses his truths with naked ambition on his way to power.

And that’s the thing…if you want to be seen as a leader in your industry, your content needs naked ambition. You need to connect in a way that shows off your killer instinct. It should showcase your drive and diligence in a humble way. Because you don’t climb to the top by accident. It takes time, patience, and a deep connection with your customers. And it requires being fully committed to creating consistent, quality content.

Naked ambition is what drives you. It’s the truth in your stories.

And…it often requires a dirty word or two – to keep it real.

2. Media gatekeepers don’t matter

Netflix created an award-winning series without any help from any major TV networks. This shows that you don’t need to be featured on a major network to get your message heard.

Kevin Spacey proclaims that we’ve learned the lesson that the music industry didn’t learn. We need to “give the people what they want. The audience wants the control. They want the freedom.”

You must give your audience what they want, when they want it – in the form that they want it in. No permission necessary. You simply start by creating your content. Your music. Your ideas. Your art.

Because when you release your art into the world, it’s about the value it creates. It’s about the connection it drives. And the impact it makes.

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3. Talk to your audience.

Frank Underwood may be cunning and ruthless. But when he looks at the camera and reveals his innermost thoughts, you can’t help but appreciate his honesty. His manipulative approach may be the opposite of what it takes to build a human brand. But his humility shines when he talks to his audience. Because you feel like he’s speaking to you. Doesn’t his eye contact and honest words just slay you? (He surely slays me).

4. Power is about (digital) real estate. 

Just as you need to build your political house on firm ground, your content strategy should come from a strong foundation. After all, creating quality content for your website is just like owning a home.

When you create a home that has fun, informative content, you maintain control over your media empire. And you possess ultimate power of your domain.

Whether you want to build your own in-home studio, get more views on YouTube, or connect with an engaged audience, your digital real estate is powerful. Use it wisely.

5. Storytelling is the future

Storytelling has all of the elements of slow media. It’s about creating stories that your customers crave. Whether you binge watch over the weekend, or you space out your consumption, it’s storytelling (not advertising!) that your customers want.

Stories are what wins hearts and minds every day. And it’s cost effective.

If you look at this infographic by Demand Metric, you’ll see that stories told via ‘content marketing’ costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads (disclosure: I’m part of the Demand Metric Senior Analyst team).

Stories are how you amplify your message and get more page views. It’s not rocket science. Rather, it’s how you skyrocket your brand. Rise to the top and resonate with content marketing.

6. Details are in the data

The new world of Internet tv is creepily interesting. Yes, this is the world we now live in. It’s a world filled with data.

And while the media can teach you a lot about how not to be social (or how not to be social), Netflix wins over Nielson ratings everyday. Because the information that we get online is “much more textured, granular…and valuable.”

It’s the details in the data that helps you make informed content decisions. And it’s quite necessary if you’re creating quality content.

7. It’s about art

Francis Bacon's Artwork Expected To Fetch Record Sale

House of Cards is the first online-only TV show nominated for an emmy. And it’s no surprise. Its surreal cinematography and top-notch acting illuminates the hypocrisies in the nation’s capital in a creative way. And don’t you love how some of the faces go dark in some of the scenes? It totally magnifies a character’s intensity.

Magnify the intensity of your business through quality content that entertains + educates your customers (pssst….you can do this by checking out my content marketing package).

What do you think? Do you get any inspirational tips from TV today? Please comment below.