Friday, December 11, 2015

Use Facebook Insights to your advantage on Blinkfire Analytics

Information is power and here at Blinkfire Analytics we know a thing or two about information. We gather information, process it and offer data to our customers in a visual way. This information is powerful because it leads to informed decisions, better social media marketing strategies and more profitable sponsorship deals.

A few months back we announced the possibility of signing in and claiming your Blinkfire profile using Facebook and we explained some of the benefits of doing so. One of these benefits is that we will have access to Insights, Facebook's analytics tool, and we can show you unified data about your social posts on Blinkfire. For instance, the number of impressions of a certain post or how many times someone has seen one of your video clips. This information will give you a more complete general overview of the engagement obtained on Facebook.

Soon we will add more features related to Facebook Insights and to our digital inventory valuation service. Stay tuned! If you are already on Blinkfire but you haven't linked your Facebook account (or the account for your team or brand) you can do it from your account settings.

As always, feel free to drop us a line if you have any question about what we do at Blinkfire Analytics.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

El Clásico and social media

There are not many rivalries in football (er, soccer) that can compare to that between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Any game between the two Spanish teams becomes a world-class event and, as such, it also has an important impact on social media and serves as a showcase for numerous brands and sponsors.

For the recent league match between the two clubs, held on November 21st, we created an event to track that media exposure and measure the impact of el Clásico on social networks.

We tracked the official channels of Real Madrid and Barcelona, as well as the channels of the players in both rosters. We also tracked the hashtags #ElClasico, used by FC Barcelona, La Liga and media companies, and #RMClasico, used by Real Madrid. Finally, we took into account all Instagram posts published on Instagram from inside the Santiago Bernabéu stadium.


Our tracking was focused on the day of the match, but also on the days before and after the big game. We got 74,986 posts from 38,673 different users. These posts had 124 million engagements, with 31,6 million just the day of the match, roughly twice the engagement of each of the previous days. That engagement fell to 8.6 million on the 22nd.

Our tracking takes into account the following sources:
  • posts from official channels (teams and players)
  • posts from fans using the official hashtags
  • posts from fans at the event location
As expected, official channels are the ones gathering the most engagements, particularly on the day of the event. It was also expected that posts from fans at the event location and the engagement obtained by them grew the day of the match. In this case we went from 19,106 and 25,283 engagements inside the Santiago Bernabéu on the days before the match to 653,090 on the 21st.

You can also see that the engagement from fan posts including the official hashtags fades as fans stop using these hashtags.

What about sponsors?

Sponsors for both teams are the primary beneficiaries of all this media exposure. According to our data, brands related to the event got social engagement valued in €9,403,429 (that's approximately $10 million or £6.6 million).

The brands with the most engagement were Qatar Airways, main sponsor for FC Barcelona, with a social engagement valued in nearly €6 million ($6.3M or £4.2M), and Emirates, Real Madrid's sponsor, with €2.2 million ($2.3M or £1.5M). Nike (€1.9M / $2.1M / £1.4M), Adidas (€896K / $949K / £628K), Beko (€594K / $629K / £416K) and Audi (€178K / $188K / £125K) also achieved significant numbers.

After reviewing these figures it is apparent  that El Clásico has a massive presence on social media and that it offers a very valuable visibility to the brands involved in the event. Blinkfire Analytics and our tools can track and measure that visibility, providing teams with more accurate data to negotiate their sponsorship deals and make sure they don't leave social and digital media out of the equation.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Bring me the face of Juan Mata García

Ah, new problems to solve.  We love 'em!  And not only that, but we love that when we solve a problem for one customer, because Blinkfire Analytics is built on a real time platform, we can easily then use it to solve the same problems for other customers as well.

One of our lines of business is helping agencies that represent players and help create and monetize their digital presence, especially when it comes to their endorsement value on social media.

One of the agencies we work with, ImagoSport in Madrid, who manages branding and communication for elite athletes such as David DeGea, César Azpilicueta, and Juan Mata, came to us with an interesting problem to solve.

Because social media was becoming more and more visual, it was becoming more and more difficult to find when their clients were appearing in images with the brands who sponsored their endorsements, because in many cases their teams did not mention them by name, @mention them, or otherwise tag them with something like a hashtag.  Could our engine be used to find their players using facial recognition?  and then use our BrandSpotter™ technology to find the intersection of the players and their brands?

It was funny they asked, because yes, we had been investigating this as well.

In this video below, you can see how we are using the Blinkfire Analytics Content Search tool to do an advanced search for whenever Manchester United posts with Juan Mata wearing an adidas logo.

The search results look like this and from here with our Semi-Pro or above license, you can see the faces and export these results to reports.

In talking with Carlos M. Sanchez at Imago, he had some kind words to say about our working together on solving problems such as this. “We at ImagoSport need current and accurate data on the presence of our clients on social media and their interaction with sponsors. Facial identification and brand detection technologies provided by Blinkfire Analytics allow us to track those interactions and know their potential economic value.”, said Sanchez.

We couldn't agree more and we're happy to provide it using cutting edge computer vision technologies such as we are with facial recognition coupled with our BrandSpotter technology.

We will have more and more cool things like this coming soon, so please stay tuned!

(and yes, Juan Mata García is his full name)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

We've added eSports to Blinkfire!

Not long ago we were telling you how much we like adding new competitions to Blinkfire. However, there's something we like even more: adding new sports! After traditional pastimes such as football, basketball, golf or tennis, we decided to take the leap to new technologies and added eSports or competitive games to our system.

The first videogaming competitions took place in the 1970s, but eSports have become popular in the last decade thanks to the boom of online gaming. Today, teams play professionally and sponsors are investing more and more money to reach their large base of followers.

According to recent data from NewZoo, eSports are growing at a 40% annual growth rate and they are expected to reach 765 million dollars in 2018. Half of that will be online advertising. Matches and competitions can be watched on TV and online streaming services and the number of viewers is close to 250M and expected to surpass 300M in the next three years.

The term eSports encompasses a multitude of different events, genres and games (real-time strategy games, first-person shooters, fighting games, etc.). At this moment we have added teams from one of the most popular current games: League of Legends, developed by Riot Games. DOTA 2, Starcraft II or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are some other prominent IPs.

But the truth is we didn't select League of Legends just because of its huge popularity. The 2015 League of Legends World Series were held in October and we used our tools to track the patterns and effects of the event on social channels.

We only tracked the semifinals and the four teams that reached this stage of the tournament, but it was more than enough to see for ourselves how extremely popular eSports are and how brands such as Coca-Cola, American Express, Monster or New Balance are investing in this unconventional sport. In just a few days our system gathered over 5,600 social posts related to this event (by hashtag or geographical location), from over 3,400 users, and with 8.7M engagements.

Seeing these figures, investing our efforts in eSports is a no-brainer, therefore in the following weeks we plan to expand our tracking to add the most important teams, players and sponsors of this new and exciting industry.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Buying stadium signs in the post-television era

The Cubs didn't quite make the World Series this year, so yet again we Chicagoans will have to say "wait 'til next year".  However, one company that won't have to wait until next year is Toyota, who this August sponsored the marquee on the front of Wrigley Field, perhaps foreseeing the run up to the NLCS.  We have no idea if that was luck or a good bit of fortune telling, but one thing we do know:   a LOT of people take selfies in front of said marquee, and that adds up to a lot of earned media exposure for Toyota.

Social Media allows for Digital Exposure Outside the Stadium

This sign is on the outside of the stadium, so you can analyze all the TV footage you want and you aren't going to see this sign much.   Even if it was, we've started to notice some patterns that make sense for sponsors to study if one is considering buying stadium signs in the post-TV, social media era, and some considerations for pricing if you are selling sign real estate to sponsors.

Using our new Content Search and performing a search like "cubs toyota" allows you to tally up the many different publications that include the sign, including teams such as the Cubs themselves or other teams like the Pirates and Reds, players such as Dexter Fowler,  MLB, or media companies such as the Chicago Tribune and SI.

Search results for "cubs toyota"
From this we are able to garner a number of interesting insights, the first being that this is ALL earned media - the sign sponsorship is the campaign, and there are no specific activations on the part of anyone for Toyota.

Second, Instagram continues to be the channel that generates the most earned media value (over 54% of the total value) when it comes to selfies and other fan posts, as well as posts from the official channels.  If you aren't tracking Instagram as part of your social media valuation process we don't believe you can even get into the ballpark (so to speak) of an accurate valuation.  In October Facebook generated approximately 29% of the total engagement, and Twitter generated a bit over 16%.  Not surprisingly to most, Google+ continues to provide negligible value from an audience perspective.

Incidentally, the Cubs also sold a Budweiser sign on the back of Wrigley Field, essentially sponsoring the Bleachers, which displays similar properties:

Yes, there's still value inside the stadium

Now, yes the Wrigley Field marquee and bleacher signs are outside the stadium, but what about inside the stadium?   Where should one buy?  Where should one sell?

The answer:   the backdrop where people take selfies.  Ok, well all of these examples below are bona fide John Oliver examples of #notaselfie, but let's say "where people pose for pictures" - because it turns out that's also where teams in their official channels take lots of pictures.

There's a lot more where that came from.

All of these fan posts in aggregate add up (and you can use our tools to do this automatically for you!) but it's the posts from the leagues' and teams' official channels that really add up.

This post by the MLB carried over $25k in earned media value for Budweiser

And the Mets themselves generated over $75k in earned media value for Budweiser as well in October alone:


So, the moral of the story here is twofold:

1) Sign buying can generate material earned media value for your brand, especially if you happen to pick stadia of teams which get to the playoffs! and

2) Buy signs where people are going to take lots of pictures - iconic marquees or places in the stadium where people are going to direct their cameras.

Of course, you yourself can study trends like this using Blinkfire Analytics.  Contact us to find out how.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cristiano, Messi and the accidental endorsement

Last week we wrote about the Barcelona Effect and used as a example a photograph posted by the Catalan team that had given very valuable exposure to Avia Energías, SD Eibar's main sponsor. This can also happen with the social channels of important players and sometimes they accidentally endorse brands that are not sponsoring them.

For instance, Cristiano Ronaldo has been one of the top Nike athletes for years, but he plays for Real Madrid, a team sponsored by Adidas. In fact, the best-selling Real Madrid shirts are those bearing the name of Cristiano. That means that he's generating income for Adidas while sponsored by their direct competitor.

It's relatively common for the Portuguese striker to share images on his social channels where he gets valuable exposure for Adidas. This image shared on Instagram by Cristiano on October 12th has earned over one million Likes and more than 8,000 comments. Adidas would have needed to pay about 489,000 euros to buy that kind of social visibility!

Something extremely similar happens with Leo Messi. He's sponsored by Adidas, but plays for FC Barcelona, sponsored by Nike. Once again, Messi's social channels are full of visual impacts for Nike, as in this photograph posted on Facebook that has been shared 9,700 times and has received over 8,000 comments and over 600,000 Likes.

Of course, neither of them mentions the rival brand or use their official hashtags, but they can't avoid sharing the logo they wear daily when training or playing. Our brand detection technology spots said logos in both images and videos and calculates the value of that exposure. The alternative to our service is reviewing hundreds of social posts one by one, which is slow, expensive and remarkably inefficient.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Content Search is now available!

You know we love announcing new features, especially when they are as useful as the one we are unveiling today: our new Content Search feature. This used to be an internal tool for our engineering corps, but we realized that it could be extremely useful for our customers to find branded content, especially visual content in images and video - so after showing it to many of you, we've made a few tweaks here and there, and made it generally available under the "Explore Blinkfire" link on your sidebar.

You can find the new search feature here. By default you will just get a bar where you can search for athletes, brands, leagues... and combinations of all those elements. For instance, if we search for "Messi Adidas" we will get results where both Leo Messi and Adidas have had any interaction through mentions, hashtags, visual mentions, geolocation and text mentions. If you are not logged in you will only get the first 10 results (hint, hint - so if you aren't logged in, log in!).

If you have acquired a Blinkfire license you will be able to use the "Advanced Search" link to get many additional search and filtering options. That means you can search for keywords and also filter the results by content type (if it includes images, videos or just text), by author type (posts from players, brands, teams, media companies or leagues) or even by sports.

This Advanced Search allows users to filter results by date, by specific author, by social channel (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) or by the brands that appear in them, among other possibilities.

Let's say we want to get the Instagram pics shared by Arsenal in October that interact with Emirates Airlines and we want to sort them by their social engagement. You would just need to set up the search options as showed in the image below:

Apart from these options, you can also select if you want to get the results displayed as social cards or as a table.

Social cards view
Table view

Useful and simple, right? If you want to know how this new Advanced Search and the rest of features offered by Blinkfire can help your team or brand, just get in touch with us. We'd love to hear from you!

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Barcelona Effect

Here at Blinkfire Analytics we are always surrounded by graphs and data. That makes us discover interesting or curious trends quite often. For instance, a few weeks ago we noticed the effect that FC Barcelona has over the social channels of the teams they play against.

The blaugranas are the most followed team of both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. They've got 87 million fans on Facebook, 21 million followers on Instagram and over 31 million Twitter follower among their several accounts. Only country rivals Real Madrid is close to those figures.

From the beginning of this season we have noticed how the teams playing against Barcelona in La Liga have seen their social followers rise, no matter if they win or lose. Athletic Club gained 1,855 new fans on August 23rd, the day they faced Barcelona. Do you see those huge spikes in the previous days? That's when both teams played against each other in the Spanish Supercup. Athletic got 8,945 and 11,212 new fans those days.

Athletic Club (0-1) FC Barcelona

Málaga lost 1-0 when they visited the Camp Nou, but they got 2,602 fans. They are usually below 1,000. The other spike in their graph corresponds with their mastch against Real Madrid.

FC Barcelona (1-0) Málaga

History repeated when Barcelona visited the Vicente Calderón stadium to play Atlético de Madrid on September 12th. Atleti, the third most popular team in Spain, got 37,234 new fans. This time that positive trend lasted for a few more days because of the first game of the Champions League.

Atlético de Madrid (1-2) FC Barcelona
The same thing happened during the following weeks against Levante, Celta de Vigo or Las Palmas, with significant follower growths for those teams.

FC Barcelona (4-1) Levante UD
Celta de Vigo (4-1) FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona (2-1) Las Palmas

Sevilla FC gained over 4,000 new Facebook fans when they played (and won) against FC Barcelona, but that spike is clearly overshadowed by the one on August 12th and 13th. On August 12th they fought for the UEFA Supercup against... guess who? That's right! FC Barcelona.

Sevilla FC (2-1) FC Barcelona

However, what is really interesting about this 'Barcelona Effect' are not all these new followers, but the exposure earned by the sponsors of those teams. Last Sunday Barcelona faced SD Eibar at the Camp Nou. The modest basque outfit has right now about 99,000 social followers, while FC Barcelona is close to 155 million.

With that in mind it's easy to conclude that the social exposure earned by Avia Energías, Eibar's main sponsor, is way, way lower when compared to that of Qatar Airways, Barça's jersey sponsor. So what happens when FC Barcelona shares photographs where their rival's sponsors get a visual mention, such as in the example below?

The above photograph was shared by FC Barcelona on Instagram last Sunday and has got 354,254 likes and 586 comments so far. If Avia had had to pay for all that social exposure they would have needed to spend €160,000 approximately. This is just a very small sample of the insights that brands and teams using Blinkfire Analytics can benefit from.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

We've added the UEFA Europa League to Blinkfire!

We love adding new leagues and tournaments to our system. We have 46 professional sports competitions already and the latest was the Europa League, the successor to the old UEFA Cup.

We already had the most important European soccer leagues (like the Spanish LaLiga, the English Premier League or the Italian Serie A) and also the UEFA Champions League, the most prestigious European competition, so adding the Europa League was the next logical step.

This means that you can now access all teams taking part in this competition and check their social channels. We'll need a few days to add the data for each roster, but we'll try to have it done as soon as possible.

Friday, October 2, 2015

You wanted events. You got events!

One of our most requested features has been to apply our technology of image and video brand detection analytics directly to a specific event, race, or game.    You asked for it,  you got it!  Did we steal that?  Never mind, you are too young to remember.

So, yes, although you can always use our real time system to generate reports for a specific time period in the past (we're still working on generating them for the future) - what if you wanted to track specific events that have their own social Twitter and Instagram accounts?

Or, what if you wanted to put a specific geofence around an area of your event and track all the tagged posts from all companies or fans that happen in that area during that time?

What if you have some specific social media searches (say, on a certain hashtag) where you think a picture of your brand might show up and you want to track the exposure from fan posts?

All now supported.   Let's look further at this event we've been using so far in this post.

So, as you may have deduced, we tracked the US Open Tennis event in Flushing Meadows, NY.   From that, we were able to generate some pretty interesting insights in both how fans interact in and around the venue, and how sponsors get exposures.

First, one of the things we saw was that fans tend to use official hashtags at the beginning of events, but they tail off toward the end.   This "hashtag" fatigue isn't something we see during a one day event, but it's not unexpected for two week long event.

As the event gets more interesting, and leads up to the final - it's the post from the event's and player's official handles that get the most engagement.

This is not really a surprise, but the fans inside the event itself (and have location services turned on) is dwarfed by the number outside who are following the event.

Engagement from "checked-in" users

The sponsor sign placement that got the most earned media value in social, was on the wall behind the players, as most photographers took pictures head on.

There were also a number of sponsors who did a great job of getting their athletes to put their brand front and center.   Check out this post by Novak Djokovic and his Head bag, placed strategically where the camera could pick it up front and center.

These are just some of the insights that can be gained from monitoring brand earned media value during and event.  And of course, video is supported too.

In addition to these new visual valuation reports (that really rock, IMHO) you can still browse and discover content, consistent with how it works in the rest of Blinkfire Analytics.

As with all of our reports, export to PDF and Excel is supported for ease of sharing within your organization.

Events are available as an add on to an existing Semi-Pro or Pro subscription level, and are priced according to duration and size of event.  Please contact us for more details.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sharing is Caring: some new widgets for you

Quite often, we get asked by publishers and bloggers to be able to use our content in their publications.  Generally we love to get the word out about the unique things we are doing with computer vision, machine learning, and social analytics, so we welcome this.    That said, still pictures don't really do our product justice.

With that in mind, we're taking the first step by allowing anyone to now share social cards from Blinkfire Analytics, through making linking and embedding easy.

For instance, if you wanted to embed a social card of Oscar and have his engagement numbers update automatically as they go up up up, simply hover over the ellipsis on the card, and choose "Embed this post" like so:

and then you will see this:

On these embedded widgets you can mouse over our content on your website and get updated engagement stats.

Likewise, you could just share one of these Electronic Arts branded links directly by choosing "Direct link to this post" :

Link to EAFutbol Item

which links to a page that is easy to share in emails and looks like this:

This is just the tip of the iceberg on our Developer API plans. Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime, share away!

Monday, August 31, 2015

When it comes to shirt sponsorships, size doesn't matter; but placement does

Today sponsorships are just another element in any soccer team jersey, but 40 years ago it was something frowned upon. Do you know which was the first soccer club that dared to do it in a European league? It was the Eintracht Braunschweig, from Germany. They placed the logo of popular liqueur Jägermeister on the front of their shirts. The German football association denied the club’s request, but the team just replaced their traditional logo with the Jägermeister stag. Pretty clever if you ask me.

The first English team that had a shirt sponsor was Kettering Town, from the English Southern League, that was sponsored by Kettering Tyres. When league officials ordered them to remove the brand's name from their uniforms they removed just the four last letters and said that "Kettering T" stood for Kettering Town. The league didn't buy it and the club had to remove the rest of the brand's name after being threatened with a hefty fine. Just one year later jersey sponsorship was approved in English football.

Jump ahead to 2015 and we face a very different reality. Sponsorships are now a major revenue source for sports clubs throughout the world. Even those clubs that remained reluctant to "defile" their shirt have finally given in to the bulky figures brands are offering. Advertising is no longer limited to the chest of the players. Some teams place brand logos on the back of their shirts, on their shorts, socks or even on training kits, as we told you last week.

Atlético de Madrid - Plus500

However, the front of the shirt still has a prominent role and it is not by chance. It is, by far, the part that gets the most exposure, both on television and social media. This is something we have seen first hand here at Blinkfire Analytics. One example: last season Atlético de Madrid carried on the back of their shirt the logo of the investment platform Plus500, while the front of their shirt was for Azerbaijan: Land of Fire. This season Plus500 appears on the front of their uniform and they are getting far superior engagement figures.

If we take a look at the data of the last week, Plus500 is the 7th brand with the most engagements on social media, right there with apparel providers like Adidas, Nike or Puma and with powerful sponsors such as Qatar Airways (FC Barcelona), Emirates Airlines (Real Madrid, Arsenal, Milan, PSG...) or Yokohama Rubber. This Japanese brand, the new main sponsor for Chelsea, is another example of a sponsor with a huge positive trend.

Atlético de Madrid - Plus500

And if we take a glance at the data in the Financial Services category of our Brand Leaderboard, Plus500 leads the chart as the brand with the most engagements in the last 30 days, ahead of Barclays, English Premier League sponsor, or even BBVA, Spanish La Liga main sponsor. In this same chart we can see another example of a jersey sponsor that has been getting lots of impacts in the past weeks: Kutxabank, new sponsor for Athletic de Bilbao, winners of the Spanish Supercup against FC Barcelona.

Atlético de Madrid - Plus500

Sports sponsorship is an investment. Brands pay sports teams in exchange for exposure. Appearing on the chest of top level players isn't cheap, but the media exposure brands get from this is huge. At Blinkfire Analytics we detect and value part of that exposure, the part that happens on social channels. Valuation methods used by clubs and brands to measure that social engagement are inaccurate, inefficient and not in real time. BrandSpotter™, our brand detection technology, identifies logos in images and videos shared on social media and calculates the value of that content. Does your brand need a tool like this to negotiate their sponsorship deals? Contact us!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Value of Training Jerseys for Sports Sponsors

We get to see a lot of trends at Blinkfire Analytics (and if you are a customer, you can too!) - but one that continues to stare us right in the face is the value and exposure sponsors get by being printed on uniforms used for training.   Increasingly, rights holders are selling sponsorships of their training shirts, and this is now significant for a few reasons:

The game used to be 90 minutes or 3 hours, but now it's 24 hours

What we mean by that, is in the past, the only time that fans were really exposed to teams and athletes was during the actual game, whether on TV or in the stadium.  Now, largely enabled by social media, we are seeing what the team is doing not only during the game, but before, after, and on their days off.  We see players in training, and we see them relaxing.

For instance, if you happen to be a Liverpool supporter, there's no shortage of 24x7 pictures and videos of the team at training.  In this example, these players are sporting their training bibs sponsored by New Balance and Garuda Indonesia, who are separate sponsors from their main jersey sponsor of Standard Chartered. This was the first time Liverpool has ever sold such a sponsorship,

but these posts get a lot of engagement, and it's not a passing fad.  In fact, in many cases these training posts get more engagement than in-game photos.

Practice shirt sponsors used to be local, but social media has enabled them to be global

The NFL has had sponsors on their pre-season jerseys since 2011. Really?  Yes.   However, because the only people who ever saw them were the people who went to training camps, many were largely local sponsors, that didn't command a material sponsorship value.   Now, with most teams publishing training camp pictures to global audience, the game has changed.

Certainly, these global brands like Pepsi and SAP run the risk of getting picked up by the media associated with somewhat negative stories,

Oh No

but where we really see this used to a team's advantage is when teams like the Minnesota Vikings put their sponsors, in this case, Verizon, front and center in the posts they publish, which is an excellent best practice for actually activating these training jersey sponsorships.

The Vikes 

Important to note in the above examples when you look at the engagement and values -- increasingly most fans go directly to their favorite teams, leagues, and players for sports news instead of engaging with the media companies.  Again, social media has enabled all teams to become publishers themselves, and in many respects taking the media companies out the equation and enabling direct sell sponsorships into media.

Okay, so what's the big deal?  Is this really a material issue for clubs?  

Yes, indeed, and they know it.  Manchester United, for example, originally had a deal with DHL for £40mm but bought back the rights because they knew they could sell it for more, which they did to Aon as part of a larger sponsorship deal.  Chevrolet is ManU's main shirt sponsor, but in a recent 30 day period, our systems calculated that Aon actually had a larger earned media value!  (although, to be fair, ManU recently went on a summer US tour that appears have been prominently sponsored by Aon)

Glory, Glory, Man United

And yes, those numbers are millions of US dollars.   That is, if Aon wanted to buy social media ads on a Cost per Engagement (CPE) basis, that's what it would have cost them on the respective networks to get the same number of engagements (likes, favorites, shares, retweets, loves, etc) that they got organically through ManU's distribution.

So whether you think sponsoring training shirts is just a normal every day occurrence (like in soccer) or is a gateway drug to the ugliest Winnipeg Jets jersey you've ever seen (C'mon SI, my grandma can use Photoshop better than that!) - there's no denying that the clubs and leagues that can pull it off tastefully will create a new material revenue stream that scales with the world on a 24x7x365 basis.

Friday, August 14, 2015

No Hashtag? No Problem.

You don't have to look far these days to see a hashtag.  Hashtags are all over television commercials, billboards, we've even seen them on soccer jerseys, and even end zone paint.  Marketers have been using hashtags for quite some time to track their campaigns.  There's no shortage of tools that can track them.

However, they rely on the humans actually tagging their content the right way with the right hashtags.  Hashtags made a lot of sense when the social web was mainly text based, but really becomes an afterthought in many campaigns these days.

Are we seeing the death of the hashtag?

Case in point:  the recent #StraightOutta campaign-turned-meme in concert with Beats by Dre-that was activated by having a number of athletes tweet a picture of themselves with a graphical overlay riffing on the cover art of N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta Compton" and then providing a way for anyone to follow suit through a tool to generate one for themselves as a way of cross promoting the movie release.

However, the athletes in question used hashtags inconsistently, or not at all.

Take for instance, one of the most prominent athletes in social, LeBron James, who posted on both Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with the hashtag #StraightOuttaAkron but with the correct mention tag of @beatsbydre.

When what he was probably supposed to do what JaVale McGee did, which was separate the #StraightOutta tag, from where his is from, Flint, Michigan.

or what Thierry Henry did with just a plain #straightoutta

And then Dwayne Wade posts on Instagram with no hashtag related to the campaign at all:

Our point being, dear readers, is that all these posts have value (that are going up up up each day!) but if you are only looking at textual hashtags on social, which has become a visual medium, you aren't tracking your campaign reliably. The visual execution of the campaign is fantastic, and easily trackable if you have the means. We have the means.

What we mean when we calculate value, is that if you were to execute this campaign by purchasing the engagements in each of their respective network auctions (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) - depending on how you targeted the campaigns, it would cost you about this much to equal the organic traffic on a Cost Per Engagement basis.  (We'll get into our different valuation methods available in a future post here, really soon).   But it can be very material when you add it all up.

Of course, getting back to the point of this post, if you were only tracking your campaign hashtags in text, you wouldn't even be able find most of the posts in this screenshot below, let alone add up the value!

Alright.  Enough.  Basta.   I gotta go out and see Straight Outta Compton.