Digital revolutionizes sports

sports and digital

Has it ever occurred to you just how many professional organizations have a digital presence in the 21st century? With the explosion of digital marketing and social media within recent years, sports teams are no longer relying on old ways to promote their organizations to the public. That’s right, they too have gone digital!

As an avid Instagram user, I cannot help but notice the overwhelming number of sports teams I found while simply searching their team name into the search bar. After some research and searching on Instagram, it seems as if every single NFL team has an Instagram account that is updated frequently. These accounts are great for fans because the organizations post relevant pictures and updates on their players and news surrounding the team. Essentially, it makes the fan feel as if they are part of the team by being able to track players and hear the latest news about the ogranization. The accounts also post schedules, scores, and other relevant information for fans. Like Instagram, Facebook is another way sports teams are using social media to increase awareness and build a relationship with fans. But Instagram and Facebook aren’t the only way sports teams are using digital: they are also encompassing blogging, Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click, content marketing, and even mobile applications.

In today’s digital age, virtually anyone can create and maintain an informative blog that engages users and makes them want to come back for more helpful information. Blogs cover almost any topic imaginable: cooking, DIY work, health and fitness, travel, video games, sports, etc. Focusing on sports, various teams and clubs have used blogging to show the human side of  the sport and show the hard work that comes with it. Arsenal FC, a professional soccer organization, utilized a blogger outreach program to help generate positive publicity among their online community. The program worked with great success, showing other organizations that blogging can be an effective tool to build awareness for fans.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is perhaps one of the most important aspects of digital marketing today. SEO is what helps any website rank high in the search engine results page, thus allowing people to see their website first. If a sports team, coach, or nutritionist is not ranked highly on the SERP, it can be extremely difficult to get traffic to the site, making for a less effective campaign. However, if used well, SEO can be a powerful tool for any organization looking to become or remain a digital powerhouse.

Pay Per click advertising has become huge online, allowing companies to generate more traffic to their website through promoted ads. Essentially, they pay to have an ad show up on the side of the SERP so that users don’t necessarily have to search directly for their team. This is great for sports teams looking to increase revenue through ticket sales, merchandise, or services offered to the fans.

Content marketing is basically creating valuable and relevant content to attract a specified target audience. Content marketing is great because it not only builds awareness, it also creates additional links to your website, thus increasing traffic. Most of all, content marketing is a way to keep your fans and users engaged and interested so that they keep coming back for more.

With the advent of the app store a few years ago, mobile applications have exploded onto the scene. Companies and teams continue to push out apps that are relevant and engaging to the user. Apps can now allow fans from all across the world to stay in touch with their favorite team, no matter where they live. Apps can include highlights of the game, interviews with players, images, and even wallpapers. Furthermore, most of these apps are free for users, requiring no investment, so if  you are unhappy you can simply delete the app.

Digital continues to show how versatile it can truly be! It continues to allow companies and organizations to do things that were never possible before smartphones and the internet. Digital has increased profits and continues to build brand awareness for companies all across the world. It is clear that if a sports team wants to be as effective as possible, it must have a digital presence in the 21st century!


Digital ad spending to surpass TV!

ad spending

Has digital come so far that it will soon surpass TV ad spending in the coming years? I had never thought about just how immense digital advertising was becoming until the other day when a guest speaker presented in my digital marketing class. He made the point that digital was going to surpass TV ad spending by 2019! After hearing what he had to say, I wanted to find out more about ad spending and see how the numbers looked for myself. The numbers that I came across made it clear to me that digital marketing continues to explode and offers completely new opportunities for young graduates who wish to pursue some career in marketing.

After searching numerous articles, there was no universal date that digital was projected to overtake TV. Some articles projected 2016, while others projected 2017-2019. While the numbers on ad spending may vary at this point, all of these dates reveal the fact that digital will overtake TV in just a few short years! According to an article on Adage, U.S. advertisers spending on digital marketing should overtake TV in 2016 and reach around $103 billion in 2019, representing 36% of all ad spending. It is clear that TV ad spending is nearing the end of its reign. According to the Wall Street Journal, Comcast saw a 4.6% decline in ad revenue across its cable networks last month, Time Warner reported flat domestic revenue a few days ago, and Discovery Communications revenue only increased by a measly 1%. With TV being one of the most expensive forms of advertising, many companies are shifting towards digital to return a profit.

Another noteworthy statistic has shown that marketers spent 6% less, or about $577 million on making upfront deals with cable TV networks. So why is this trend continuing to occur? One reason might be because of the fact that consumers are now spending more time on their desktops, tablets, and smartphones instead of watching TV. I can personally vouch for this when I am at college because of the fact that cable is not free for students in the dorms. As a result, I find myself always on my laptop and finding things to watch on my computer instead of going out of my way to watch something on live TV. Furthermore, media proliferation means that there is more ads to buy and that a recovering economy stimulates confidence in technology. These ads also use much more sophisticated targeting techniques unlike television. There is no hassle to go through with scheduling, so marketers can run the most effective campaign to reach their target audience.

Marketers are continuing to focus on digital ad spending as it offers unique opportunities that television simply cannot offer! Not to mention that it is cheaper and much more targeted than TV. While it may not be clear as to when digital will take over TV, one thing is certain: digital will soon take down the giant that has reigned for over 60 years.



Twitter drives car sales

twitter car sales

Can social media actually influence people to buy cars? I have always wondered if it was possible for a social media platform to drive someone to actually purchase a car. As an avid Instagram user, I can say that I follow a few car companies like Mercedes-Benz and Audi. I have a genuine interest in their cars and by following them on Instagram I can see new models, features, and other relevant information about their cars. While I may never have the money to purchase one of their cars, a wealthy man or woman who does may actually become influenced into purchasing one of their cars solely based on the automakers social media efforts to promote their cars. This is even truer due to a recent study that has shown that Twitter marketing has driven $716 million in car sales!

The study was conducted by a company called MarketShare, a marketing analytics company that has partnerships with global brands like Twitter. MarketShare measured the direct and indirect effects that Twitter had on auto sales for around 20 volume midsize and luxury compact cars that made up for 34% of annual U.S. sales in 2013. The study concluded that Twitter drove this immense amount of sales through positive brand mentions, Twitter ads, and the Twitter activity of the automakers themselves. So how often are these companies relaying the message about their cars? It is estimated that automakers push out over 65,000 daily tweets about purchasing or researching a new car. The beauty of this effort is that only people who want to follow these companies choose to follow them or not follow them. So, automakers can push out relevant content to people who are actually interested in buying one of their cars. Audi showed a great example of this when they teamed with the show “Pretty Little Liars” to help the launch of their low priced A3 model. Audi used various efforts like running ads between commercials and then giving followers clues to what would happen in the next episode of the show. The effort drew hundreds of thousands of interested followers into participating and resulted in 487 million social impressions on Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook! This campaign shows how immense an online presence can be in digital age of marketing.

Acura was another company who embraced Twitter to attract new customers. Acura was the first auto brand to use an in-tweet configuration tool for a vehicle. The tool allowed followers to build their own TLX sedan within a tweet. The brilliant marketing effort by Acura led to extremely high engagement and sharing output. This effort was so successful that Acura plans to use it again and many other companies will most likely adopt the same strategy in the near future.

The new rules of marketing are clearly evident in the fact that companies are utilizing various social media platforms to drive sales. None of these campaigns were ever possible before social media. Companies are becoming ever more creative as they shape and re-shape their strategies to effectively reach their target audience through digital campaigns.