Everything nowadays revolves around digital. We all need to be mindful of how we communicate with our website, mobile platform and even advertising. It all comes back to how you reach out to your audience … and it has to be in the places where they can see it.
With that, I’d like to ask for a little fan feedback. How much have you noticed any of the following things that have been going on in the past couple weeks? It’s a big city, and there are plenty of eye-catching things going on around us, but let us know if you’ve seen:
- Digital billboards – A total of 10 digital billboards have been carrying ticket and schedule information for GSU football since July 3. Working with multiple outdoor digital advertising companies, our marketing department has digital billboards around the metro area in key locations to carry our football information. They’re at spots OTP like North on I-75 to Marrietta, on I-85N past Norcross, heading South to Union City on I-85 and East to Lithonia on I-20. They also go through the connector (five of them from Buckhead to East Point) to give us a good coverage around town. Have you seen them? One static billboard (read: old-fashioned, non-electronic like when I was growing up) will be going up next week and running until early October.
- Online advertising – There has been an online season ticket push through AJC.com that has generated some strong click-thru averages in the early weeks. It’s encouraging among those who are not already ticket holders, but if you are a ticket holder, have you noticed it? Keep an eye out next week on the Atlanta Business Chronicle as well (and a few print ads in the Chronicle and AJC football preview issues).
- Social media outreach – If you follow or like any of the GSU social media accounts, you probably had to be out of the country last week to not see some additional engagement. The uniform unveiling was a smashing success if numbers are your measuring stick: we had about four times as much traffic to the site for the same July week the previous year and Thursday alone had about as many views as a typical home football game day. That’s impressive. And much of it came about because of the unique way we let the fans drive the process. We’d love to do more things like this, so feel free to send me a note if you have ideas on other ideas we could try. (Sidenote: My favorite part was getting more than 65 retweets when ESPN College Football’s official Twitter account tweeted about us. That’s nuts.)
On that last one, many times we often think of it only in terms of how many tickets it sells and trust me, we’re not the only athletic department in the country (or this state or even this city) that looks at ticket sales daily. Getting a half-page, above the fold picture spread on the front page of the AJC sports section would cost a pretty penny if we advertised. That social media could play a part in making that happen shows where we are in today’s digital world, and we want to thank you, our fans, for helping with that one. Kudos to you.
But I personally think that’s only half the story. What we do is also about engagement and thinking about the long-term relationship with our audience – you, the fan. Of course, I want us to sell more tickets, don’t get me wrong. We all need that. But, I want our great stories or cool videos and special moments to be shared content. Our student-athletes and coaches are busting their [insert favorite colorful word here] to build winning teams and I want to get as many people to know about them and follow them and eventually come cheer for them. That starts with getting their message out and putting it where people can see it, and then pointing them to the right place with all of our digital ads.
Anyway, please take a minute and email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or tweet us or post on our Facebook page on how we’ve been doing lately. And let us know what else you’d like to see. We have a content plan (not just for game notes and recaps, but feature stories and new series) that we hope will help spread the good word about GSU. And this blog is called Inside GSU Sports for a reason, so we hope we can give you some of that “inside” look, when we can. The hard part is finding out what you want to see, so let us know.
— Jerry Trickie