#Horsepower: How the Denver Broncos Play the Social Media Game

I may be biased, but some of my favorite social media accounts are run by the Denver Broncos.

The NFL and its teams are all spread out across social media platforms, utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat. Social media allows NFL teams to engage their fans on a daily basis, providing footage of practice that day, interviews with players, interviews with coaches, and more. More than ever, fans know what is going on with their favorite team in real time. Because the NFL teams use social media in this way, the fans feel involved and more invested in their team. They even have the opportunity to engage with their favorite players on a personal level.

All of this leads to increased engagement from their fans. Today, when people watch TV, they are often also on their smartphone, tablet, or computer. Being on social media allows the NFL to capture their attention outside of just the television.

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Facebook

Here’s what I love about the Broncos’ social media accounts.

 They know how to use their platforms correctly.

Often, social media users think platforms are interchangeable, but they really aren’t. People use different platforms for different reasons. Facebook is still king of social media, but Twitter and Instagram are growing in importance, and from a branding perspective, Snapchat can be pretty invaluable. While the Broncos sometimes share the same posts across different platforms, each platform also has unique content. This is important because having different content on different platforms ensures that your followers are following you everywhere. It provides different angles to your brand.

 

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Instagram

 They focus on their people.

Fans care about the players on the team, and the Broncos do a good job of focusing on their players through their various platforms. They share articles and photos about the players and coaches. And the Broncos don’t only focus on current players, but players from the Broncos’ rich history, like John Elway and Coach Kubiak back in his playing days. They share every aspect of the team – including the mascot and the cheerleaders.

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Snapchat

This area is where the Broncos’ Instagram and Snapchat shine. They show-off the unique personality of their players, like Von Miller’s unique style and Emmanuel Sanders’ dedication to the fans. It’s especially great when they feature the fans – making them a part of the Broncos team as well. Their Snapchat stories show off daily life for the Broncos. They snap the players at practice, and interview them and the coaches. They have players “take over” the platform, giving their feed a shot of personality. Both of these platforms are great ways to engage their audience, especially their younger fans.

They are all about their brand, and make updates where they’re needed.

Of course, if you look at the page, Broncos blue and orange is everywhere. They tout the history of the organization. But even more interesting now is their creation of a new hashtag. The Broncos used the #UnitedinOrange in 2015 and before that, but they have a new hashtag out – #Horsepower. To me, this hashtag suggests a reinvigorating of the brand. They already have unity with their fans – now they’re about moving into the future. With #UnitedinOrange, the Broncos were gathering strength. Now they’re on the move, and so the brand has to be as well. The Broncos demonstrate that it’s important to evaluate your messaging, and make sure it’s still what you want to be projecting.

Their content is regular and frequent.

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Twitter

The Broncos know how to give hungry fans what they want – more and more information about players, upcoming games, and strategies. Each account posts several times a day, and the content is relevant. They live-tweet/post during games, ensuring that fans who aren’t able to make it to a television can still participate and know what is going on. They also post a lot of video – showing incredible plays and what is going on in practice. Because they are posting frequently about what their fans care about, the Broncos are able to drive a lot of engagement on each post.

There’s a lot to learn from the Broncos and their social media accounts, especially regarding the specific use of social media platforms. Consider their social media playbook, run through a few plays, and you too can be a social media champion.

Go Broncos!
Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Kirsten is proud to wear that #18 jersey, and has her fingers crossed for a great season for the Denver Broncos.



The Power of the Personal Story (and how to secure your own stories to highlight your brand)

I admit it – I’m a fan of The Voice and a few other mindless talent shows on television.  Sometimes I find myself choked up, all because of the heart wrenching stories told about the lives of the contestants.  Logically I know why they pick the most dramatic story lines – but emotionally, I’m hooked.

Turns out there is nothing like a good story.

A recent Forbes article titled The Power of Story explains, “. . .we are wired for interpersonal connections and put more stock in ideas that result from personal contact than from hard data.  Essentially, we internalize stories much better than we do facts.”*

In marketing, when others say good things about your products and services the message has much more credibility and longevity than mere description.  It takes work to procure real stories, but it’s worth it!

Always be Mining for Stories

Encourage friends, neighbors, family and staff members to share stories that reflect your organization or product in a good light. Remind them often, especially staff members. Follow up with unsolicited notes of thanks and social media posts to see if there is a lead and a willing storytelling participant.

Give People Something tScreen Shot 2016-08-01 at 9.44.50 AMo Talk About

Create a community event that encourages storytelling.  For one of our hospital clients, we created a community birthday party.  We invited all 10,000 babies that had been born in the community over the past 60+ years to come and be recognized. Lots of photos were taken, both pre- and post-event, and the community conversation about how the town has changed was robust.  It was a very positive image booster for the hospital and we shared photos in their community newsletter, social media outlets and print.

Another fantastic example is Heathrow Airport in London. They are using their 70th birthday to gather stories, encouraging anyone to share memories of time spent at the airport over those 70 years.  If you get a chance, it’s a GREAT read.

 www.heathrow.com/Stories

These types of campaigns encourage people to connect to a brand and to reflect on the ways that brand has impacted and influence their lives. By invoking nostalgia and encouraging people to reflect on their own memories connected to that brand, the outcome is positive feelings towards that brand.

Photos are Key!

We are all drawn to photos – especially ones with faces in them.  Professional or candid, make sure you have a photo to go along with the story.  Like they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Be Transparent about Your Intentions

Don’t overplay or underplay what your intentions are.  If you have a story and a photo, be clear about the types of media you plan to use.  Don’t tell the storyteller it will only be a print ad and then later they see themselves on a billboard.  Keep the storyteller involved and make sure to give them the opportunity to approve materials.  Then stick to your word, otherwise the positive engagement could turn into a negative one.

I hear all the time that people don’t read anymore, and while I think that’s true to a certain extent, I do believe that we still like to read, hear and listen to a good human story.

The Power of the Story, published on Forbes.com

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregsatell/2015/08/22/the-power-of-story/#77bdf25e5c95

 

Jackie O’Hara, Owner/Account Executive/Strategist

This summer, Jackie has enjoyed listening to friends tell stories around the campfire, working on home and yard remodeling projects, and sneaking in a few rounds of golf with her husband (the real storyteller of the family).

 



Heat things up with great headlines

Nothing cranks the heat up like being asked to write an ad headline, tagline or new campaign slogan. Essentially, you’re being asked to deliver your client’s brand message in 5 words or less—and make it something that motivates people to want to read on and take action, please. Just thinking about it makes my face flush.

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy the challenge. But I don’t take the words of David Ogilvy, hailed as the “father of advertising,” lightly when he says: “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Now you understand the rising blood pressure and red face. To make it easier, I follow a few rules and apply a trick or two. If my headline doesn’t fulfill at least one of these, I know my coffee break has to wait.

1. Does it make an instant impact?

The best headlines, slogans & taglines show personality. They’re clever and maybe even shock or surprise. Take the healthy, real fruit drink alternative, Bai. When launched in 2014 the ad agency went to town creating slogans that were so racy they even had articles written about them. Billboards in Time Square simply showed a picture of the bottle with the following slogan:

Tell your taste buds to stop sexting us

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Other headlines included:

Flavor that goes all the way on the first date,” and, “Wet. Juicy. Ready. But not in that way,” and, “Naturally sweet. Unlike most men.”

The one that survived the test of time and is on their products today, is:

“Flavor so fresh you want to slap it”.

Talk about instant impact.

2. Does it make your brain do a flip?

A great technique for writing clever headlines is to simply take a cliché and turn it on its head, or apply it to a new situation. The July 2016 issue of O Magazine has some good examples. In an article on no-cook summer recipes, they use the following subheads:

Grain and Simple

Sandwich Generation

Salad Swap Meet

Fit to a Tea

3. Does it make you want to read on?

Not all topics are easy to promote. For example, colonoscopies can be a hard sell. A good trick here is to play on words but also get across the expertise of your client, as in:

Our cardiologists never miss a beat

Or you can go for shock combined with a message of “we care” as the Gastroenterology Associates of Colorado Springs recently did with:

Up Yours, and we mean that sincerely”

Now maybe it’s your face that’s turning red.


3Lynn U. Nichols, Copywriter/Publications Specialist at Jet Marketing

In her spare time, Lynn enjoys reading, running, kayaking and staying young by hanging out with her teenage boys. 

 



Giving Back to Your Community is a Great Marketing Strategy

These days, it seems like everyone is participating in some kind of cause-based marketing campaign. Some pretty famous brands center on causes, like Livestrong and Product (RED). Box Tops for Education have long brightened our cereal boxes. Other brands like TOMS and Warby Parker have built a business around a cause. Even the NFL outfits their athletes in either pink or camo (depending on the month) for breast cancer awareness and their Salute to Service for veterans.

Cause-based marketing is a partnership between nonprofit and for-profit organizations for mutual benefit. It intends to bring awareness and fundraising to a good cause or nonprofit. This might sound like a lot of work, time, and money to spend on charity rather than on your own business, but there are a lot of good reasons why you might consider a cause-based marketing campaign. It’s an excellent way to build a reputation for your company and to create trust.

Your customers probably prefer a company that is associated with a cause. Almost a quarter of American shoppers usually buy one brand over another for this reason. Not only do customers care about causes, it’s also a lucrative field slated to continue growing. That’s a great big piece of market for you to get in on. And, despite the influx of cause-based campaigns, consumers remain very receptive to them.

Your employees also prefer to work for a company associated with a cause, especially one that relates to their community. It shows an investment from your company in your community – right where your employees live. People want their work to make a difference.

Cause-based marketing engages both your customers and employees, showing them that you care not only about them, but about the communities where they work and live. You’re not only doing good, you’re building a brand reputation.

So, how do you get involved in cause-based marketing? There are a couple things to consider, and it’s best to be strategic.

First, consider your company, your mission, your values, your audience. You want to be involved in a campaign that benefits you and the nonprofit or cause you partner with.

Any campaign you get involved in must feel true to your brand – consumers can see through gimmicks designed to pull their heartstrings and get their dollar. You want to keep and grow your customers’ trust. Don’t lose it by jumping aboard the cause-based train without careful thought.

Second, consider your range. Your company may be small and local, or vast and global.

For Jet Marketing, it makes sense for us to be involved locally.  We are involved with WomenGive, an organization that supports local single mothers with childcare scholarships as they go back to school. Our team members support WomenGive individually, but we participate as a team. As Jet is largely made up of women, this makes sense for us. It appeals to all of us working here, and we get to support our community by participating.

WomenGive
Jet hosted a table at the WomenGive luncheon, bringing together other women from our community to learn more about the program.

 

Far from just being trendy, cause-based marketing is a strategy that you can use to grow your brand and support your community. These type of campaigns promote your name, build trust around your brand, and motivate both your customers and employees. Making a difference in the world can also make the difference for your brand down the road.

Reach out to Jet whenever you’re ready to get started.

Sources: http://www.causemarketingforum.com/site/c.bkLUKcOTLkK4E/b.6448131/k.262B/Statistics_Every_Cause_Marketer_Should_Know.htmhttp://adage.com/article/agency-viewpoint/marketing-hot-pay-good/293537/
Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Kirsten comes from a background in nonprofit work and is excited to learn more about the places where nonprofit work and marketing connect.



Finding Your Inspiration

Driving on an empty road at bright sunny day

On a recent road trip as we were coming up over the crest of a hill, it struck me how flat the land was ahead of us. It seemed like you could see forever, and the shapes on the horizon formed a distinct pattern against the blue, cloudless sky. There was no one ahead of us, no one behind us. Everything seemed so still and vivid, even hurtling down the road at 70mph. I captured the moment in my mind’s eye noting the pattern of color, light and texture it revealed to me.

You never know where design inspiration is going to strike, and sometimes it doesn’t even make sense in the moment. But later you reflect on that vision, and something sparks an idea. Maybe it’s not a direct correlation, but it’s the experience, the memory, and all of a sudden you can’t get your ideas out fast enough.

Designers often spend countless hours curled up behind their computer screens, cranking out ad after ad, poster after poster. When you have an established brand, with experience, it just becomes second nature to roll out different pieces of collateral for that client. But it’s different when all of a sudden you have to come up with a brand new look or idea. Where do you go for inspiration? Sometimes it’s other designs, or magazines, or even looking around online. But some of the best ideas come when you least expect it—the trick is being open to that moment, or inviting a recent memory to return when needed.

Here’s what helps: Getting away from the computer. Doing something totally different. Breaking out of your routine. That’s how you recharge and refresh. Whether it’s going to the bookstore, an art museum, taking a quick road trip, or just simply going for a walk outside, do something that shifts your perspective. In design it’s like everything else in life, you have to slow down and breathe it all in. . . or you may just miss it.

So when you’re hurtling down the road at 70mph, make sure to take in the moment, and hopefully flashing blue and red lights in the rearview mirror won’t interrupt your inspiration.

ER headshot  Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

During her free time, Erin enjoys hiking and biking the local nature trails.



Organic Ways to Engage Your Customers via Instagram

Instagram Graphic 2

There is a lot of talk surrounding the changes that Instagram is making to their algorithms and advertising. We aren’t sure yet how those changes are going to affect how we use Instagram as a marketing tool, but for now, let’s get back to the basics of simply engaging your customers and perpetuating genuine interest in your brand.

The thing about Instagram that isn’t changing is that it is an opt-in marketing tool that isn’t perceived by users to be primarily marketing. Twice as many Instagram users regularly engage with brands than Facebook users. It is also one of the few social media platforms where it is possible to create awareness for free, for now.

Since 2012, Instagram has had a 115% increase in organic (without paid ads) marketing reach, while Facebook has had a 63% decrease. Instagram also has 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook.

One last statistic – only 38% of marketers are using Instagram, while 93% use Facebook. So now is the time to jump on board.

1. Give them a reason.
Give your audience a reason to follow, like and share. There are a few ways to do this. To really generate activity – incentives are key. Prizes work wonders. It gives people a reason to follow your brand and share your posts.

As a user, having your post re-posted is like winning a gold medal. By reposting user photos, you are further engaging them and increasing brand loyalty as well as giving others reason to use your hashtag when posting.

2. Have relatable and creative content.
Humor and inspiration are two popular methods. Exceptionally beautiful or unique photos will generate shares as well. Users will tag their friends and will organically grow your following.

Have a consistent look when possible and of course use images that appeal to your audience. Find a way to make everyday content artsy – that is the fun part.

3. #hashtags.
Yes, they might be overused and somewhat obnoxious when there are 30 (this is the maximum) for one post. But they are important for being searchable and to drive engagement. Choose a unique hashtag to be your own that is as simple and as fitting as possible.

It is also important to use other relevant hashtags on your posts to make your post show up in searches – generating followers. Posts with 11 or more hashtags statistically get the most engagement.

4. Make the most of your posts.
Send your Instagram posts to your other social media platforms to get maximum engagement out of each photo. Be sure to post on the weekends – the most effective days to post are Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Lastly, be sure to have a link in your bio section to drive your audience to your target content.

These are just the basics – the possibilities are certainly endless on Instagram. Get creative and take advantage of this free platform while it is still free.

Source for statistics: https://selfstartr.com/why-brands-should-embrace-instagram-instead-of-facebook/

Katie O’Hara, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Katie loves Instagram because of the creativity and art it has added to social media. She also enjoys using it to grab her favorite moments and put them in pretty little squares. @kokatieo



The Top 5 Reasons Training for a Half Marathon Made Me a Better Marketing Professional

We all have images in our heads of being a champion at something. For years I wanted to be a “runner.” I had these beautiful pictures in my head of what that would look like; tan skin, flowing hair, running like a gazelle through the mountains, or the crowd cheering wildly for me as I sprinted across the finish line to victory.  The problem is I am not a gazelle, and when I run, it looks more like that chubby neighborhood kid chasing down the ice cream truck, frantic and unsuccessful. Oh, and did I mention I also hate running?

Despite this strong dislike towards running, I started running casually as a commitment to a friend.  Since I am one of those people who like to jump in and overcommit right away, I proceeded to sign up for a half marathon.  Whoops! I immediately regretted this impulsive decision as I began to Google half marathon training programs.  I had thoughts like, “Who has time for this? How can I run and still have time to work?  What if I am not fast enough?  How could my legs possibly carry me that far?  Can I get a refund?  I hate running! ”  However, I still held on to that crazy mental image of me running across a finish line and I just couldn’t shake it.  I didn’t know it then, but I had been bitten by the running bug before I even took a step!

That’s how I came to write this blog on how training for half marathons has made me a better marketing professional.  Here’s what I learned:

1) Goal Setting Big and Small

The best way to get somewhere is to always know where you want to end up. Having a clear, definable goal with a deadline helps to keep you on track and stay focused when the path gets muddy.  Sign up for that race, schedule that client meeting!

It also helps to set lots of small goals that add up to a larger accomplishment.   When training or executing a marketing plan, I don’t look at the total number of tasks there are to complete in a project. Instead, I focus on the run- or tasks at hand- for that day and how they fit into my weekly schedule.  By focusing on these smaller more immediate tasks I am able to accomplish more without feeling overwhelmed. Achieving lots of small goals consistently over time always add up to a big win.
Where are you going?

2) Pick a Plan (and stick to it) 

Once you have a goal, you need to put a plan in place so you can be successful. Get a plan that maps out your routes every day so you get in the necessary miles and are ready on race day. Similarly, I love to write up a good marketing plan for a new project.  It helps get me motivated about the project ahead and sets up clear expectations for my team and myself.
What does your map look like?

3) Find your “people”

One of the ways to help keep you on a path to success is to have a support community in running and in business.  Find a mentor or go to coffee with a professional peer and bounce ideas off of each other. There are always people who have gone before us, so use their experience to give you an advantage.
Who are your people?

4) It’s Ok To Rest

Know when to take a break or walk! Believe it or not, your gut can tell you a lot more than just if you’re hungry.  Listen to your gut-if you need to step away from your desk or take a break, do it! When we are exhausted and frustrated we are more prone to getting injured or making mistakes. We do our best work when we feel energized and inspired.
How do you refuel?

5) Visualize crossing the finish line

I never lost the image of racing across the finish line and crowds cheering me on.  When training got tough or monotonous, I clung to that image. Why?  Because the goal was crystal clear to me. I knew what achieving that goal looked liked, sounded like and felt like. What does achieving that goal look like to you?  Can you visualize it?  Is it the perfect pitch to a new client?  Launching a new brand with great success?

Sometimes in the day to day of marketing we forget to visualize the finish line, we forget that we need support and the plan can go off track. When I run I have lots of time to think. I often reflect on the unexpected parallels between running and being a successful marketer. Training for a half marathon became one of the biggest opportunities for growth both, personally and professionally. I realized that I already had many of the necessary tools. I just needed to put them into action, literally one step at a time.

Lindsey Corcoran, Account Manager at Jet Marketing

During her free time, Lindsey enjoys long runs in the beautiful Colorado outdoors, followed by a good nap.



Value of the Face-to-Face Meeting

A certain commercial has stuck with me for more than 25 years. Here’s the plot: a boss gathers all of his sales reps to let them know that a long-time customer had fired them earlier that day.  Their boss informs them that the client said, “he didn’t know us anymore,” and was tired of just getting a fax.  The boss proceeded to hand out airline tickets to every member of the sales force and announced a new plan to hold a face-to-face meeting with every one of their customers.

The message of that commercial is powerful. Fast forward to 2016.  It’s no longer a fax, it’s email, Skype, GoToMeeting, texts, tweets and posts.  Turns out it is even easier than before to think you are connected to your customers and to avoid (probably unintentionally) the face-to-face.

Having been in business in some fashion or another for 34 years, I know the value and importance of building relationships with customers beyond the virtual world we so often live in. At Jet, many of our clients aren’t found across town, but across the state and beyond.  So while we need and use all the modern conveniences of email and FedEx, we also make intentional efforts to build relationships which might require the occasional road trip and plane ride.

Jet ensures that our customers know who we are through site visits. There’s no better way to get a sense of the organization you work with than to meet with people face-to-face. This month I’ll be visiting some of our very valuable clients.  I’ll gas up the car, make a few hotel reservations and get out the suitcase (which upsets my dog more than my husband), and hit the road.

On these trips, I like to meet with multiple groups at an organization – to hear the CEO’s perspective, to meet with the communications team and talk about specific projects, and to meet with the heads of other departments and hear their point of view. Then depending, I take whomever is available to lunch, dinner, drinks, whatever.

It’s an opportunity to simply say “thank you” — but it’s also a great opportunity to talk about the health of the organization and see how we might help in new ways.  The average amount of time a client stays with an agency is 3 years. I like beating those odds, and I think the best way to do that is to connect on personal stuff first, business stuff second.

These site visits are also a great way to get a sense of what is going on locally. There is no replacement for seeing first hand what is happening in a local market.  I try to catch the local radio stations, check out the billboards and pick up the local publications. Sometimes I check out the local competition or visit with residents in line at the local coffee shop. It’s important knowledge that you can’t just get online.  It’s being involved in and part of your clients’ community.

Granted when the weather is nice, it’s more enjoyable.  But like the post office says, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” (source:  “National Postal Museum: FAQs”. National Postal Museum. 2011)

In the same way, Jet Marketing is committed to our client partners, no matter where they are.

Jackie O’Hara is the owner and co-founder of Jet Marketing.

 

 



Lessons learned on my bike: How to create a great marketing campaign

When developing content for a new campaign, it’s easy to want to jump into the juicy stuff right away—writing headlines that reach out and grab and picking graphics that delight and pop. But it’s best to step back and consider the big picture. Who’s your audience? What are your goals for the campaign? What messaging will you use to carry it through? What calls to action will you make to measure your success? This may sound like basic good sense, but it’s something those of us who have been in marketing for a while can forget to formally do.

It is a little like mountain biking, something I love to do. Sure, I can hop on my bike and lose myself in the immediate—dodging rocks and taking curves that lay right in front of me—but I’m a better biker when I look ahead and see where the trail is going and figure out how to maneuver not just the first hurdle but the next and the next after that. That way when I get there, it’s a smoother ride.

Imagine what I can do when I pull out a map of the entire trail. When I do that, I know when to save my energy for an upcoming big climb, or where I can expect to get wet crossing a stream. Knowing the challenges of the ride are like identifying the components of a marketing campaign—what tools will you use to make it a smooth ride? Will print ads, web banners, social media posts, lobby posters, testimonials, billboards or radio and television ads be a part of the campaign, and to what capacity? How will you tie them all together to support your client’s brand message? Finally, how can you best repurpose content to save your client money?

Now that the plan is figured, and my boss makes it official by putting it all in SmartSheets and sharing it with the client, I’m ready to ride. Give me that blank screen and let me gaze off into the distance. I’m about to write some copy that will hopefully make my clients feel like they are riding an epic single-track downhill—complete with yips and shouts and a little bit of air.

3Lynn U. Nichols, Copywriter/Publications Specialist at Jet Marketing

Lynn came to CSU for a Master’s in Fine Arts 20 years ago and never left. Access to great mountain biking trails is one reason why.