Don’t Be Content With Your “Content”
People talk about leveraging content like content is something new. While communicating ideas has been around forever, the mediums we use to communicate those ideas have changed. We should not only be looking at how to leverage content but also how it can survive in a world where everyone is fighting for your attention.
Statistics and Logistics
The world today is craving video content at a rate we have never seen. In fact, over 200 million people in the US alone now watch digital video content. Nearly two-thirds of US citizens are obsessed with watching video content online. Statistics show that in 2017, online video will account for 74% of all online traffic, putting more importance on capturing and leveraging video content. Believe it or not, just using the word “video” in an email subject line can boost open rates by 19%. That is a very significant increase, all from framing a message correctly. But the most surprising statistic of them all is that 59% of executives in America agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video. Executives like myself are more focused on video content than ever.
But why is video content so popular? Why is video content the way to leverage our ideas? Well, I think it’s a richer experience since the video we see contains audio and written text, on top of the actual action. Since the format is much more robust and ubiquitous, it allows us to encompass all types of content. 63% of sports fans are interested in subscribing to an all sports over-the-top channel or OTT live broadcast, while 65% of the younger span millennials are consuming sports content on a mobile device. This explains why ESPN has been on a mission to push digital content, although there are others who do it better. Barstool Sports’ Twitter page has beaten ESPN’s page in social media engagement in recent months, despite having around 5% of the followers that ESPN does. This goes to show the importance of leveraging unique content, especially in sports.
Past vs. Present
Putting this into perspective, how are present-day sports teams taking advantage of the digital content or mobile video? The PGA Tour, for example, partnered with Twitter to live stream more than 70 hours of coverage from 31 tournaments this year. With this partnership, Twitter will stream 60 to 90 minutes of the early morning coverage on Thursdays and Fridays for PGA Tour Live subscribers. Some sports teams and organizations even involve their fans in the content creation process. Clemson University has its students guiding their social media and video content, with great results so far.
Online Sports Broadcasts
This is not Twitter’s first venture into live sports. Last year, Twitter hosted Thursday Night Football games, which Amazon happened to have purchased the rights to for this upcoming season. Whereas Twitter had paid $10 million to stream 10 games with an average viewership between two and three million, Amazon paid $50 million and will make its games available to Amazon Prime subscribers, leveraging it in a subscription for their service platform.
Major League Content
Similarly, Major League Baseball and Facebook recently finalized their partnership to stream games on a weekly basis. One Major League game will stream each Friday night on Facebook and will be accessible to everyone on the platform via the official MLB page. MLB and Facebook are leveraging the participating teams’ local broadcasts in order to expand their reach even further among sports fans.
First Step: Provide Great Content
There are many ways to leverage content, but I’m here to tell you that the best way to do it is to provide good content. Document everything.
Several online and web providers think they have some sort of monopoly or corner on the market, but as the last two decades of digital media has evolved, you will find that the mediums will change once again. Whether it’s Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or even LinkedIn, whether it’s a personal site or peer-to-peer communities, one rule will always be the same: content is king.
Above Average Leverage
The way to leverage content is to come up with a great idea like the PGA, MLB, NFL, and NHL that will then transcend the decades and succeed across all mediums. And it is our job as sports marketers to understand how to monetize that content. Use your content to stimulate a lively conversation. Even if there is an argument about the content you post, you still are expanding your reach even further. Leverage the great content you have already to get more eyes on your brand or product. That’s my objective: to make a lot of money, help a lot of people, and have a lot of fun leveraging content in sports.
By: Dave Meltzer
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