Fan generated content is a key tool for digital marketing strategies but few have a grasp of how powerful it can really be. Get it wrong, and you could tarnish your brand for a long time to come. Get it right, however, and you’ll have recruited a legion of brand ambassadors.
Digital Media Strategy is Key
There is much more to branding than simply the names and logos of your company: what people say about you is equally important.
There are no more vocal and passionate brand advocates than sports fans. These subsets of consumers are the most active on social media; Instagramming, Tweeting, Facebooking, blogging and chatting up a storm online.
Few digital marketing agencies have taken advantage of the opportunity to use user-generated content to build their brand. But there are some who have got it right. Here’s a few examples of different types of digital marketing strategy:
UFC’s Digital Marketing Campaigns Benefit from Twitter
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has become so synonymous with the sport of mixed martial arts that most people call it “ultimate fighting”. It’s consistently built its brand over the back of its fans for 20 years and has been at the forefront of using social media.
It requires all of its fighters to be active on Twitter and this has led to some exciting Twitter “wars”.
The sports promotion goes so far as awarding bonuses to its fighters for the best Tweets as well as for having the most followers.
The last time we checked, the ten most followed UFC fighters on Twitter are: B J Penn, Jon Jones, Mauricio Rua, Tito Ortiz, Vitor Belfort, Forrest Griffin, Wamderlei Silva, Quinton Jackson, Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva who has close to half a million Twitter followers.
For men like GSP and Anderson Silva, Twitter has helped make them international superstars and they’ve been branded by some of the world’s biggest sports companies, such as Nike.
New Jersey Devils Taking Digital Marketing Strategy to a Whole New Level
Ice hockey team the New Jersey Devils are taking fan interaction and social media to the next level, becoming the first professional sports teams to have a social media command center when they launched their Mission Control Center back in 2011.
At the center, 25 of the most dedicated fans of the New Jersey Devils online are entrusted to monitor and run the online chatter surrounding the team. This has provided a model for other teams to follow and has won several awards for being one of the most digitally and socially engaged brands of the year.
Louisville Slugger Launched One of the Best Digital Marketing Campaigns of 2013
Baseball equipment maker, Louisville Slugger, hitched onto the popularity of the St. Louis Cardinals becoming World Series champs and implemented a one-day scavenger hunt in the area. The goal was to use Facebook and Twitter as a medium for the hunt and increase the company’s presence online.
Louisville Slugger hid 45 baseball bats around the city of St. Louis and on Twitter and Facebook they posted clues to their whereabouts. This kind of campaign found the perfect audience in a city with deep baseball history where everyone was celebrating the recent Cardinals win.
The campaign was an overwhelming hit, taking Louisville Slugger’s Facebook followers from 755 users to 7,049. Their Facebook likes also jumped 143% while their Twitter followers jumped 161%.
The user generated social media marketing strategies worked for the teams and sports brands in questions, but they don’t work for everyone. The size of a team, the nature of the fans and the history of the club are all things that need to be taken into consideration when implementing these strategies.