The March Madness frenzy is here. With millions tuning into the games each year, the buzz the NCAA basketball tournament once generated on the big screen has now been disseminated to the small screen.
In addition to the March Madness social channels, tournament content and commentary is distributed through each region’s branded social media sites. All of this provides a great way for the conferences to easily join the conversations already happening on social media, increase each team’s social audience, and engage those audiences with content that follows all of the action play-by-play.
Staying Social During the Madness
The best event marketing campaigns are a result of an excellent collaboration effort between a brand, a creative marketing team that understands its target audience, and the right tools to make it happen.
DKC Connect, an independent, full-service marketing and public relations firm, uses GAIN to manage their social media content workflow for the official BIG EAST Conference social media accounts.
For marketers eager to capitalize on the March Madness hype, there are a number of ways GAIN helps automate the process of continuously generating and sharing slam dunk content.
Let’s take a look at just a few ways DKC Connect uses GAIN to generate excitement for the BIG EAST’s #MarchtoMSG campaign on its social channels.
How DKC Connect Wins Big Using GAIN
Pixel-Perfect Previews of Video Content
GAIN allows everyone involved in the DKC Connect content creation process to see exactly how every BIG EAST post will look as they create and edit it for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For content approvers, post previews will display the exact text, any attached media, any post details like the publishing date, post tags, and any audience targeting preferences.
Approvers can also switch the post layout to see exactly how the post will appear on mobile or as an ad. GAIN supports full video playback previews so the agency can perfectly replicate the experience in social feeds and all approvers and/or stakeholders know exactly how fans are going to see the content before it goes live.
By implementing an automated content review process, DKC Connect can be sure each and every post that goes live is mistake-free and includes the right page tags and hashtags.
Video Post Preview on GAIN
The Live Video Post
Content Planning and Scheduling
One day of #MarchtoMSG posts scheduled on GAIN
GAIN provides DKC Connect with a full content calendar to manage their overall BIG EAST #MarchtoMSG campaign better. Content can be viewed weekly or in a 30-day view and easily rescheduled to a new day or time slot by dragging and dropping each post.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram content can all be viewed in one place, and calendar labels can be added to one or multiple days as reminders of key dates and complementary marketing efforts.
Automating Content Approvals
GAIN helps DKC Connect automate their entire content approval workflow by automatically notifying each team member, client, or stakeholder when it’s their turn to review content.
Instead of emailing files all around, the DKC Connect team can collaborate on all #MarchtoMSG content in one place, adding feedback and revising posts until each piece of content reaches final approval.
The BIG EAST by the numbers
The BIG EAST has successfully increased the visibility of its teams in recent years through the BIG EAST Digital Network (BEDN) and its social community. The BEDN featured 225 live events in 2015-2016, with an emphasis on the BIG EAST Championship events. It was also the first collegiate conference to be hosted on the FOX Sports mobile platform and FOX Sports Go, mobile apps that provide live streaming of games.
This is complemented with a highly active social media campaign to garner exposure for its teams and student-athletes.
Here’s a look at the BIG EAST network by the numbers:
- 10 Division A-1 universities
- Georgetown University, Villanova University, and Marquette University are just a few of the BIG EAST programs with the largest fan bases
- More than 50,000 fans attended Big East Conference quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship games in 2016
- Facebook — The BIG EAST has a Facebook fan page with over 20,500 fans and links to other pages such as Fox Sports and each BIG TEN university Facebook page.
- Twitter — The BIG EAST has branded hashtags such as #BIGEAST and #MarchtoMSG with its own 15,000+ followers.
- BIG EAST Social Stadium — This section on the website offers a unique social experience that combines social data marked with the #BIGEAST hashtag with exclusive official content in real-time that can be voted up or down, emerging the most talked about content to the top of the page.
Winning on social
Fans are turning away from traditional television to catch all the games and using mobile apps and social media channels. Even fans attending the live games are tuning into social media to share their game experiences.
These second-screen conversations have created a whole new flurry of social conversations around March Madness and increased social engagements for the teams involved across the country.When it comes to social engagements, the 2016 National Championship Game generated 56 million impressions across its March Madness social media accounts, up 112% from 2015. NCAA March Madness Live netted 3.4 million live video streams last year for the National Title Game, which resulted in 1.1 million live hours of video consumption, a 16% increase over 2015 and an all-time high for an individual game during the NCAA tournament.