Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals. Social media marketing includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising.
Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. Customers are already interacting with brands through social media, and if you’re not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you’re missing out! Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, work towards creating devoted brand advocates and even driving up leads and sale.
Easton is the world’s leading manufacturer of baseball and softball equipment and the most iconic brand in these sports. Headquartered in Thousand Oaks, CA, Easton Baseball/Softball Inc. manufactures bats, ball gloves, apparel, bags, batting gloves, helmets, catcher’s equipment and related accessories. The Company’s commitment to innovation and game-changing technologies drove its growth to the No. 1 position, including the introduction of the first true aluminum bat in 1972. As a result of this commitment to research and development and its storied brand heritage, Easton has long-standing relationships with the Little League World Series, professional sports organizations and NCAA collegiate teams.
Through the use of social media marketing Easton continues to show why they are a world leader in the Baseball/Softball industry. After extensive research into their consumer markets, the results revealed that their target audience looked at them as “Easton is my dad’s brand.” Easton Sports needed a fresh new way to position and brand their sport verticals under one umbrella. Realizing their social media branding and marketing wasn’t reaching its potential they hired the digital marketing expertise of Stephen Lease.
“At Easton I was at the forefront of a new brand launch. I led and managed the Digital Brand and E-commerce Marketing Team. I was responsible for the launching of over 30 product lines per year. I created multi-channel campaigns and directed the execution of each launch, liaising with our planning, fulfillment, customer service, product, and grassroots teams, plus our professional athletes. I was also in charge of creating, maintaining and reporting my department’s forecasting, budget, and profit and loss statements. My team and I focused on comprehensive branding and digital marketing efforts including multi-channel campaigns, branding, direct response, websites, landing pages, mobile, online advertising, Amazon, social media channels, communications, call center scripting, e-commerce, SEM, PPC, SEO, and most other three-letter acronyms.” Said Mr Lease.
Looking to use new avenues to increase return on investment, conversion rate and mobile revenue, Easton (with mr Lease) approached “The Good”, looking to resonate better with their target market of the 15-year-old elite baseball athlete and grow direct to consumer online sales. Easton engaged The Good to produce their initial user experience audit and data analysis, called a Stuck Report™. The report highlighted challenges that were barriers to consumers purchasing from Easton. In addition, Easton went through The Good’s Conversion Growth Program™ customized for Easton’s specific online growth goals.The program identified and put into place a variety of user-experience improvements based on consumer feedback, as well as user-testing and decision-making based on data analytics.
The initial research and resulting report on Easton’s website revealed that most online shoppers within the target market were visiting the site on a mobile device. However, Easton’s site was not mobile friendly or built with responsive design in mind. Utilizing the insights of the report and as part of the Conversion growth program, The Good worked with Easton to establish a mobile presence by creating a mobile friendly version of their website, directly engaging their target audience which resulted in a 659% increase year-over-year in mobile sales. Combining Easton’s product and competition league knowledge with The Good’s user experience design, The Good designed a bat finder which allowed the consumer to make a few easy selections with drop-down menus to research and find the best product for them. This resulted in a much quicker path to purchase, increasing ecommerce revenues 240%.
Through the use of their social media campaign “ignite conversation”, they launched videos on their multiple social media platforms including YouTube and Facebook, one example of this is their viral video series “Ultimate Batting Practice” (attached). In doing this they were able to attract a younger view point and also engage them through confusion, wondering if this could actually be achieved. The video started many back and forth discussions on if it was real or fake, enticing their audience to share the video thousands of times which saw it amass close to 850,000 views, therefore ensuring their social media campaign was a success.
Lessons for Others
Paid social advertising is extremely beneficial because of it’s a highly cost-effective way to expand your reach. If you play your cards right, you can get your content and offers in front of a huge audience at a very low cost. Most social media platforms offer incredibly particular targeting capabilities, allowing you to focus your budget on exactly the types of people that are most likely to be interested in your business.
Industry: Sporting Goods
Name of Organization Contact: None, none
Authored by: Nick Shailes
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Youtube “Ultimate Batting Practice”
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Easton Case study
Little League World Series