Creating great content is all the rage now for anyone involved in social media trying to connect more people with their product and brand. So what does this mean and how did we get here? Great media content is not a new concept. Let’s use TV as an example since it has been around longer than probably anyone reading this blog right now!
What TV shows do you watch and why? What makes what you watch on TV a good show? It’s probably got some great actors, great story telling, great drama, great writing. Those are the things that make up great content. Stuff that is so compelling that you continue watch over and over and over again. There is a market here that websites such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Google Play and numerous other websites have tapped into – evidence of the fact that people want great content and are willing to pay money in order to watch their favorite shows or read certain websites or play certain games.
So how does this apply to sports? – great question. Sports have all the elements of great content; elements that are just waiting to be captured and distributed to the masses, something many organizations are already doing quite well. (I believe the professional leagues have done a great job with this, especially the NFL and the NBA. Both of those leagues have their own TV channels, official websites, and great content production both by the league itself as well as other media entities.)
My suggestion to college or other sport organizations is to use what you’ve already got in front of you to create content and just get going. Even if the production value isn’t great at first, it is what’s really being conveyed that will get people to watch. Next, make a plan of what you will be doing and with what purpose. If the purpose is to develop relationships with fans, great. If the purpose is to sell tickets, great. Figure out why you want to be online and be clear about that in all of your actions and communications.
Furthermore, with a few goals in mind you’ll need some tools to actually start creating content. Most schools have some sort of communications department that has some access to equipment and software, so use those connections to find the resources and hardware to begin producing content if you find yourself on a tight budget.
Finally, just get started. Start making videos, recording interviews, and writing blog posts with the “inside scoop” about what is going on with your teams. Show your fans that your athletes are people who have talents off the field as well as on the field. You can do interviews about what music they listen to, if they play an instrument or have some other really cool talent. This kind of content creation doesn’t really take a lot to come up with, it just takes time and dedication to doing it over and over again, getting better about consistency and quality of production, as well as a clear purpose about why. Once you get started, I think you’ll begin to notice how fun this type of work can be and how rewarding it is for you and everyone else involved. Plus, if you get good at it, you can begin to monetize those digital channels which can further your argument for investment in the social realm – that however is another blog post for another time!
Our world is becoming more and more digital everyday with no signs of slowing down. Here’s to working hard and doing what’s difficult on a daily basis.
PS. The Sports Video Group has a great website that I find very valuable in terms of learning how that side of the industry works. If you like, check them out here: http://sportsvideo.org/main/