Creating and distributing exceptional content can only help a brand build awareness if the masses can discover it. Simply sharing on social or in a newsletter can sometimes seem like shouting into the void. Without brand advocates, essentially brand loyalists with digital influence, how can you expect to reach the right audiences? How do you even identify if the audience you’ve captured is “right” for your brand’s goals?
Distributing content to advocates and having them create it for you is the way of the future. We’ve seen this countless times over the last year as we got a glimpse into the quarantine life and remote practice routines of some of our favorite athletes.
The team at Greenfly are experts in this new form of advocacy marketing. They work with brands to help them transform their top advocates into true brand builders. We recently hosted a conversation about scaling advocacy marketing and empowering your ambassadors with Andrew Patterson, Senior Vice President of Partnerships & Strategy at Greenfly. He was joined by three brand advocacy experts from organizations who are already ahead of the curve:
Watch their roundtable discussion below to hear how these three cutting-edge creative teams are leveraging the power of new technology to amplify their content through advocacy marketing. Plus, you’ll learn more about PhotoShelter AI and how it’s saving creative teams countless hours of tedious tagging work.
Pivoting in the Field
It’s no surprise to anyone that marketing, especially in the world of sports, has undergone some pretty major changes in the last year. Andrew noted two of these major changes:
“Pretty much across the board we’ve seen two things change this past year. The first is that creative has become so much harder to produce. People are remote, staff is streamlined and photoshoots have been logistically difficult and even more expensive. The second thing we have seen is the increased importance and necessity of digital content as more people are gravitating towards raw, unpolished, unprofessional content that’s also authentic and original,” said Andrew Patterson, VP of Partnerships and Strategy at Greenfly.
Andrew then asked the three panelists to expand on noticeable changes and highlight the pivots they were forced to make in a year of sports unlike any other.
For EJ Aguado and the team at Major League Baseball, the pivot was all about innovation and technology. They used Instagram Live and other platforms to bring the players directly to the fans. EJ explains, “the emphasis on athlete-driven content and direct athlete-to-fan engagement is something that was already coming but definitely a trend that got stronger last year.”
Changes in the sports landscape caused teams like the Golden State Warriors to find new and creative ways to engage their fans on social. Social Media Director for the Warriors Karen Ramming explains how the Warriors leveraged the social media handles for the Chase Center, the arena where the team competes.
“We actually pivoted our entire social strategy for our Chase Center handles, our arena handles. We decided that well, you know, if we have handles for the building, but we can’t have fans in the building then we will try to replicate that gameday experience on the Chase Center handles as much as possible,” said Karen.
The San Jose Sharks faced a big pivot of their own as the quarantine season kicked off. They were forced to host training camp at remote locations and worked to keep players safe and healthy throughout the process. During their quarantine training camp, the marketing team wanted to continue to tell the story of the players, but knew they had to focus on their lives outside the ice rink.
Patrick and his team worked to create engaging content and even produced a video series during quarantine from inside the players’ hotel rooms. According to Patrick, their team was “really focusing on player personality away from the ice, away from the rink” and the content team asked themselves, “what is that supplemental story that we can give fans access to?” Check out their teams’ social pivots on Instagram: MLB, Golden State Warriors, San Jose Sharks.
Delivering Content to Athletes, #FortheWin!
In the second portion of the roundtable discussion, the panelists discussed the best, fast and precise ways for getting content into the hands of their biggest advocates: the athletes themselves. With the power of new technology and streamlined workflows, the creative teams enable their athletes to represent and ultimately promote the brand as a whole.
Karen highlights that their players recognize the value of their own brands and keep coming back to her team for more. With the right tools, Karen and her team can easily search their archive and deliver the types of images the players want.
“We can ship them all the content in the world and they still want more. So that’s where something like Greenfly and PhotoShelter come in really handy because we get hundreds if not thousands of photos every game” says Karen.
Her team uses a combination of PhotoShelter’s Artificial Intelligence technology and Greenfly’s content delivery tools to get content out to players at lightning speed. Because her team doesn’t waste time tagging photos, they can deliver images to the players before the game is even over. Karen breaks it down:
“PhotoShelter has the RosterIQ, the AI tagging, and that’s naturally integrated with Greenfly so we just pull in all those photos and the players have them immediately after the game.” – Karen Ramming
When you give your advocates access to the content they want in real time, they can get the most out of their biggest moments, and in turn provide the most value to your brand.
For this virtual summit, we partnered with Voice in Shape, a creative agency whose mission is to “enhance brand communications through the power of visual storytelling and design.” As each of our summit speakers told their stories, Karina from Voice in Shape illustrated key takeaways. We loved adding this fun, interactive element to our event.
Check out the final illustration from this session below and join the ongoing #livechat about the Workflow Summit in our professional Slack community!