“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
Yoda, Legendary Jedi Master and All Around Wise Guy (in a good way!)
Truer words have rarely been spoken so succinctly. It’s really amazing how much of a hold Star Wars has on the larger pop culture consciousness.
The Star Wars universe is filled with imagination, wonder, adventure and wisdom, and it’s why the series continues to be celebrated and perpetuated. From new films to the recurring Star Wars Day on May 4 (“May The Fourth Be With You”), it’s a force to be reckoned with.
This got me thinking about how universally applicable Star Wars’ wisdom can be, even when it comes to the work we do in communications.
Case in point: The zen, Buddhist-like Order of the Jedi. It just so happens they have a Jedi Code that can be a particularly useful rubric for content marketing.
1. There is no emotion. There is peace.
This is not what it seems at first. I’d argue that peace comes from full control over (or acceptance of) emotions, rather than a lack of them.
In other words, brands must meditate on what strikes an emotional chord with their audience to calmly and confidently meet those needs via content.
2. There is no ignorance. There is knowledge.
It’s all about preparation. You wouldn’t pitch a journalist without reading their stories beforehand. Similarly, you wouldn’t dive into a content marketing effort without doing your research on your audience. (For example: Who are they? What are their interests? What social platforms do they prefer? What are their purchasing habits?)
You have to start by listening, not speaking. Armed with this knowledge, brands can craft a smart, focused and effective content marketing plan.
3. There is no passion. There is serenity.
As with Jedi Code tenet No. 1, I propose the notion that serenity represents a full control over passion. Like a Jedi yields the Force to move objects and exercise influence, so too can brands conduct research, surveys and polls to find out what their audiences care about to develop a strategy.
There is serenity in knowing your audience and their passions before trying to engage them.
4. There is no chaos. There is harmony.
To optimize your content efforts, you must constantly analyze your data, mine for key takeaways and adjust accordingly.
In its raw form, data is chaos. So, before you begin any program, you should always establish benchmarks and goals against which you’ll measure your success. Data tells a story – you just have to find it.
Harmony can also apply to having all of your communications efforts running in sync – from having cohesive messaging and visuals across platforms to consistent branding and coordinating offline marketing efforts.
5. There is no death. There is the Force.
Long story, short: Don’t give up. Sometimes your content marketing efforts work, other times they don’t. Your audience is never static, and their likes and dislikes will shift.
By trusting in your brand, analyzing your data, optimizing your strategy and always checking against your benchmarks, you will find success.
Here’s a nifty shorthand you can use: When working on your content strategy, ask, “What would a Jedi do?” And really do it – don’t just try.