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'We Look At Social As Part Of Our Overall Customer Experience'

We sat down with Meg Ryan, Senior Director of Marketing Strategy for the Atlanta Hawks

16Jan

Meg Ryan is the Senior Director, Marketing Strategy for the Atlanta Hawks. In this role, she is responsible for advertising, promotions, digital, social, marketing analytics and insights, unifying consumer facing marketing messages and all direct response channels for the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena. In this role, she has received awards from Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and other publications for leading the top sports social media account.

Ahead of her presentation at the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit this March 21 & 22 in New York, we sat down with Meg to talk all things digital marketing.

What social media platforms do you find most useful and how are you measuring your success?

The success of a social media platform is based on the content. Our goal is to maximize fan engagement by providing the right content for the platform. With that said, we don’t have a preferred platform. Once we identify the message/content that we would like to publish, we then distribute the content on the channel that will have the best response. For example, we know that our fans are more likely to purchase tickets through Facebook. If there is an opportunity to push a special ticket offer, then we will select Facebook for that message.

How does your output across the different social media platforms differ and why?

Our output varies from channel to channel. We know that fans consume content differently based on the platform, and we always start with the fan experience in mind. With that in mind, we vary our content based on how our fans interact with the platform, and the type of content that performs best on that platform. Our plans for each channel take into account: type of content (i.e. video, text, photo, etc), subject of content, time of day, frequency of post, desired result, and amplification. We do not look at our channels in silos. Instead, we look at social as part of our overall customer experience. This helps us identify opportunities to co-promote content or reward fans with unique content on a specific platform.

Why has content marketing seen such growth in recent years? How are you capitalizing on this?

Content marketing is growing due to the change in how consumers interact with brands and advertising, which is driven by changing technology and distribution platforms. Content marketing isn’t a new concept. Brands have been integrating their products in content for decades. The opportunity is now in the distribution. Brands are no longer limited to linear distribution channels. We have an opportunity to leverage multiple channels in an easy and inexpensive way that gives brands an opportunity to build a rapport and relationship with customers. These relationships are invaluable for brands.

What advice would you give to brands just beginning their content marketing journey?

The advice that I would give to brands just beginning their journey is to be authentic and fan-first. Fans will sniff out inauthentic content. Know your brand and know who you want your brand to be, and stay true to that course. Secondly, the content that a brand publishes should drive engagement and fan interest. Build content with your fans in mind and track your successes and failures.

How do you maintain brand loyalty and meaningful engagement in the over-crowded digital space?

Authenticity. We build content that is true to our brand. We work very closely with our corporate partnership team to build co-branded content that is fan-first and true to our brand. By sticking to our brand and focusing on the fan, we provide value to our fans and partners.

How crucial is the role that data plays in your decision-making?

Data is central to all of our decision-making, but we are not handicapped by the lack of data if a decision needs to be made. Specifically, we use data to optimize our current campaigns, pivot on under-performing creative, and test. Our business moves very quickly, and we need to be as agile as possible with our marketing campaigns.

You can hear more from Meg, along with other industry-leading digital marketing executives, at the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit this March 21 & 22 in New York. To see the full schedule, click here.

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