#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.

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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).

 


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.


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.