Digital Marketing Meets Fantasy Football: Strategies You Should Draft This Fall

Carnegie Higher Ed Aug 31, 2017 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

With the summer winding down, you may be doing tons of research on the best options and strategies for the upcoming fall months—not just for your digital campaigns, but for your fantasy football team too. The different roles that digital marketing strategies can play for your fall efforts and beyond can be looked at in similar ways as the fantasy draft. So as you think about the digital strategies you’ll draft this fall, I’ll offer some fantasy league insights into what you can expect to be top performers to help your institution win big.

Quarterback: So many fantasy drafts start here, as it is arguably the most critical role on your team. Thinking digital, the most critical player would be your website. So what can you do to ensure you’re drafting the best quarterback possible? Well, instead of passer ratings and completion percentages, think about things like dynamic content and website personalization. Your website can also provide a wealth of data about your visitors, who they are, and what marketing efforts are working. Finally, think about every page and experience with a conversion-oriented mindset.

Running back: The running back is often referred to as the “workhorse” of any team. With digital marketing, the workhorse is often Retargeting. Retargeting picks up where all your other marketing efforts leave off and ensures you’re staying in front of (stealth) site visitors after they’ve left your site. Today, different forms of Retargeting can be accomplished across all sorts of platforms, including social media, YouTube, and Google search results. Combine that with the ability to customize your messaging and calls-to-action based on the audience, where they were on your site, and the level of intent they’ve demonstrated, and suddenly the role of Retargeting goes from just a one-trick-pony running back to a top performer on your team.

Receiver: Your quarterback needs to be able to precisely target receivers no matter where they are on the field. Think of this like display advertising. How you can serve ads to the audiences you need no matter where they’re spending their time is advancing every day. Through technologies like affinity networks, look-alike modeling, keyword targeting, and IP Targeting, the ability to precisely reach a specific audience or individual is now possible through different forms of display.

Tight end: The tight end role has changed quite a bit over the past few years, and in some cases, this position is looking and performing more and more like a receiver. Social media is doing the same. Constantly changing in terms of how you can leverage it for your enrollment marketing efforts, social media is enabling you to reach and convert specific audiences more and more. From list-based strategies on Facebook and Instagram to lead generation approaches that can deliver inquiries directly to you, social media options play a significant role on your roster.

Defense: An incredibly strong defense can make or break a season. The same holds true for how you are ensuring you are performing in search results. You can have the best offense in the world, but if you’re not set up and equipped to respond to the other team coming down the field, then you’ll lose. On the organic side, Search Engine Optimization now goes way beyond simply making sure you’re there, and is so much about the user experience that happens from search results all the way through to your website. On the Paid Search side, it’s critical to have both a branded and unbranded strategy in place, all while keeping mobile performance in mind.

Special teams: When you think of special teams, you think of the players who play unique roles that can have major contributions. Carnegie’s proprietary digital services offer options that no one else can and have been delivering tremendous results for schools nationwide. Mobile Footprints combine geofencing and IP Targeting capabilities. Audience Select combines academic achievement criteria with household demographic data, resulting in extremely precise display marketing capabilities. And Carnegie ClarityTM is a website personalization and full-funnel marketing attribution tool that delivers the on-site experience your prospects expect and the marketing ROI you need.

Kicker: Finally, there’s your kicker. While this is often the last position chosen in a fantasy draft, kickers end up scoring a lot of points, and it’s a kicker who holds the NFL record for the most points scored ever in a career. The role that creative plays in terms of how your ads and landing pages look, what they say, and what they’re asking or encouraging your audience to do can be the difference between a won or lost game. Simply put, both a kicker and your creative should never be glossed over when rounding a complete and effective digital strategy/fantasy team.

If you take the time to do your research and think how all the different positions work together day in and day out, you’ll have the winning formula for a successful fantasy team or digital strategy. Carnegie offers plenty of resources to do more research on all of the different strategies your institution needs through our blogs and webinars.

As a Detroit Lions fan, I’ve often made a lot of fantasy football draft mistakes out of blind loyalty. Thankfully, the same mistakes don’t need to be made with your digital strategy fantasy draft this year. Although I’ll confess it now: I will be drafting Matthew Stafford as my quarterback again.

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