Company: NewBay+ Marketing Services
Industry: Audio visual, integrated media
Contact: Joe Braue, VP Marketing Services
NewBay+ Marketing Services has found a way to seamlessly integrate traditional and new media opportunities and, turn the experience into a repeatable social media exercise that garners likes, clicks, views and shares for their customers and aggregates it all in one place to grow their own database.
NewBay+, part of NewBay Media, started in 2013 and is the fastest growing part of the company. As the marketing arm of the leading media brand in 5 core areas, audio visual is the area that NewBay is most dominant in.
In a phone interview, Joe Braue, VP of Marketing Services, says the goal of media companies is to provide their customers with advertising opportunities for print, online and webinar sponsorships. “The key for media companies, is to find a way to monetize our expertise differently. Our content creation and our knowledge of these (AV) audiences happily coincides with the age of the internet and content marketing”. Marketing Services puts those capabilities in the hands of their customers. “Social media is just another aspect of that,” Braue says. “As a media outlet, we are branded content. We offer our customers something to drive followers from our databases, utilizing content that is socially amplified.”
Braue was trying to figure out how to use social media to drive circulation – and use it to find additional info about readership and to deepen relationships with customer base. “Social media is a part of our audience, but the trick is discovering where is a more relevant and necessary part of our customer’s businesses.” Having experimented with the idea previous at BETT, the largest education technology show, as well as CES 2015 and ISTE, NewBay+ felt they had the winning formula to widen their audience base and, provide value to their own customers with additional traffic.
Traditionally, in the AV space, InfoComm International is the the most dominant show and focal point for marketing activity where the most marketing effort for customers goes on. “If you try to follow what’s happening during the show through a regular Twitter feed, it’s impossible. There’s so much garbage in it,” Braue said. “We asked ourselves if we could create a site where we can get significant amount of traffic, to get people to use it. By using social media, we created a viral environment. That thinking is directly in line with NewBay’s mission statement.
Content that connects
To connect our audiences to authoritative, informative, and compelling content, in print, digitally, and in person, and to offer unsurpassed value and innovation for our advertisers, sponsors, and business partners.
Capitalizing on what NewBay+ does best, Braue optimized on the known social media activity around this key tradeshow.
“A lot of companies were using curating tools, but we were one of the first media companies to adopt this idea. Customers, industry leaders, opinion leaders are all using social media during the show. We developed a social media hub to collect that information. It’s a great way to apply traditional media company journalistic characteristics and integrate it with social media and add value” Braue continues. “This is the place to go to find the hottest, weirdest, most fun tweets and know what “the” information is to pay attention to”.
The best promotion, according to Braue, is the actual content on the site. NewBay Media produces all the printed/online Show Dailies for InfoComm – another aggregate of sorts for print. By marshalling the NewBay editors to work collectively on the news of the pre-show, live during the event and post-show, it helped to amplify the newsworthiness. The content was viewed as industry-driven and thought leadership.
Customized for Christie
By offering a sole sponsorship of the aggregate site to Christie, NewBay+ Marketing Services helped to channel the growing activities surrounding InfoComm and, keep Christie front and center with the ability to add their own social media voice with a dedicated stream live on the site. Utilizing NewBay’s traditional media outlets to help promote the site, email, banner ads, newsletter articles and the like generated interest in the social media hub and along with it, gave Christie visibility as the sole sponsor. It also gave Christie the opportunity to tap into the social media spotlight to focus on a recent product introduction – the Christie Boxer 4K30 with a social media voting widget – “Who is the Christie Boxer”.
NewBay+ created a contest that focused on Lennox Lewis, who endorses the Christie Boxer 4K30. The goal was to create interest in the product at InfoComm and promote the projector and Christie’s own site. Contestants answered the contest via Twitter with tweets to @ChristieDigital and were eligible to win one of three iPads available for each day of the show. In total 75 entries were received.
Taming the social media firehose
“We held planning meetings ahead of the show to establish the goals, the must-sees, to know everything that was happening and take that plan into our social media efforts,” Braue explains. “We had a point person as operations control for the website and her job was to curate in real time as the firehose of social media came in.”
The role of the site manager was to make quick decisions on what to freeze – all news and information came in to a holding page. Braue continues, “We’ve got regular staff editors tweeting live from their mobile phones while they’re in sessions. The key is real-time decision making with direction from the curating editors. Social media lets you do that real time”.
By layering social media on top of their traditional business, Braue said the approach was additive, like radio and TV – a different sort of viewing experience than traditional media. As an integrated media company, NewBay+ has a different way to digest news, different from print and online experiences. “Print, people spend more time reading; online is a quick browse, see what’s happening where people will read it a little faster. Social media is in the moment – it’s a little bit OCD, but incremental and an additive way to consume content.”
System Contractor News (SCN) and AV Technology were the two publications immediately involved with the social media hub. The website used InfoComm2015.avnetwork.com to curate content from all the hot Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media channels being posted to the show. The site ran in May and June of 2015 and focused on the business and technology issues being discussed at InfoComm 2015.
Over 58% of the site traffic was via direct URL entry, browser bookmarks, etc., and 22.1% was tied to social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
“Almost 70% of the traffic coming to the site was viral – it was coming through people seeing the tweets, editors amplifying content and echoes off the site. We actually used social media to drive eyeballs and traffic to the site – part of a virtuous circle,” Braue says.
Lessons for others:
- Best practices for marketing include an integrated approach to traditional AND new media.
- Social media can amplify results – based on audience reach, an exponential ripple effect.
- Social media is a tool that, when integrated within a complete marketing strategy can extend opportunities within existing audiences and, create new opportunities of outreach in areas not previously addressed.
- Capitalize on your experience – the best content is what you know.
Submitted by: ASeymour, University of Waterloo
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