More than ever, it is critical for athletes to have strong personal brands. From endorsement deals to investment opportunities, robust personal brands open important doors. Effectively using social media can quickly grow an athlete’s personal brand. Developing engaging digital media campaigns is a proven way to grow a social media following. What steps should athletes take to create a successful digital media campaign?
Karin Kildow, founder of The Content Capital Group, has worked in digital marketing for top companies like Red Bull and LeBron James’ Uninterrupted. In these roles, Kildow has built the digital and social media strategies for hundreds of top athletes, including: Lindsey Vonn, DeAndre Hopkins and Richard Jefferson. Kildow says there are three steps for athletes to create a successful digital media campaign:
1. Know Your Message
Central to any successful digital media campaign is having a clear, concise message.
“I always think of it as an equation,” Kildow said, in reference to building a digital media campaign. “First, you have to have your message. What do you want to say?”
To figure out what you are trying to say, consider the outcome you want to achieve with your message. In other words, what do you want to happen as a result of the campaign?
To help shape the specificity of the message and how it’s posed, you must know who your target audience is. Who do you want to impact with the message? What do they need to hear about the topic? What is the best way to present it to them? To answer these questions, demographic research is critical.
2. Identify A Conversation That’s Already Happening
Once you know what to say, it’s important that the message is heard. But how do you stand out in a cluttered social media landscape?
Consider these statistics:
Everyday, 867 million tweets are sent
500 million people post Instagram stories daily
Over 1 billion TikTok videos are viewed each day
Thus, every social media campaign must fight through noise to be heard.
Kildow has a proven strategy to overcome the noise: root your message in another conversation on social media.
“You have to look at what is a fundamental conversation that is already happening online,” Kildow said. “That could be a big moment, an event, a holiday–something that you know people are gong to be talking about. A lot of times people try to create a new idea and then put it out into the world. Honestly, a lot of times people don’t care, because they’re not talking about that right now.”
3. Add Your Creative Twist
Once you have identified a relevant conversation to tie your message to, it’s time to connect your message to the moment creatively.
To explain this step, Kildow references a Red Bull campaign featuring Blake Griffin. At the time, Griffin wanted to highlight the message of his comedic skills. A conversation social media followers were engaged with was Overheard LA, which highlighted “sh*t LA people say.” Riffing off of this, Kildow helped Griffin add his own creative twist, by launching a “Sh*t LA People Say” video series.
“So, if you have a message, a time that people are going to be talking about something, and then add a creative twist to it, that is kind of a fundamental recipe for what’s going to work,” Kildow said.
The proof that it works? Red Bull’s campaign with Griffin not only went viral, but it won a Shorty Award.
Want more advice from Karin Kildow on how to build a strong personal brand? Tune in to Episode 8 of the Ruling Sports Podcast.
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