Content Pays Off

If a brand doesn’t have a strong presence on the web, it simply doesn’t exist. Whether it’s shopping, researching, or communicating, we’re obsessed with spending endless hours online.

Dancing_With_the_Stars_(2012)_-_Samba_performed_by_Rati_TsiteladzeHave you seen the end of a McDonald’s commercial? Not only does the fast food restaurant include a link to its website, but it displays icons informing consumers they can connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Have you watched “Dancing with the Stars” on ABC? #DWTS is in the upper right corner during the entire show. Viewers can also go online and get a behind-the-scenes look of the live event.

A well-developed online strategy is more successful than basic advertising because it generates content: articles, blogs, forum messages, videos, and social media posts. As Nick Burcher explained in “Paid, Owned, Earned:”

Search engines match users with specific information, and developing content in line with search behavior can deliver a ‘free’ audience, reducing the need to use paid media to create attention.”

When brands produce content, it increases the chances it is going to be seen by a wider audience. Burcher shared this excerpt from Malcolm Coles’ Online Journalism Blog:

If you want to do well in Google for relevant searches, publish early, publish often, and put your keywords at the front.”

The hit ABC show “Scandal” is a force to be reckon with on Thursday nights on Twitter. #Scandal is consistently one of the top DVD_cover,_Scandal_season_4,_September_2014trending topics, making the show one that no one wants to DVR. Adweek stated the premiere in September inspired 718,000 tweets that reached 4.16 million accounts. As the L.A. Times noted, the show is a new-media phenomenon:

Without Twitter to boost its profile and then its ratings, “Scandal” probably would have been canceled. Instead, it’s held up as an example of social media prowess by networks and branding experts of every stripe, and its success further stokes the belief that somehow Twitter can save us all.”

Look at what GQ Magazine is up to these days. The men’s fashion publication is making it easier for readers to “Get the GQ Look.” The editors select items from the pages each month and make them available on a special section of their website.

Don’t forget about Jimmy Fallon! The host of NBC’s Tonight Show is a content-sharing genius. He often encourages his celebrity guests to take part in entertaining skits, like a lip sync battle with Emma Stone. After the show, the segment is uploaded to YouTube. The video currently has more than 34.2 million views. These viral videos are helping Fallon boost his ratings each night for FREE.

In case you haven’t realized, content pays off. Earned media carries more power than any other format.


Rooting for a Team is Tough

Whether the National Football League decides to bring a team to the United Kingdom is still up in the air. Either way, it is rough to cheer for any team if someone lives in London.


Games can only be found on a handful networks. Sky Sports airs the majority of the competitions, but it requires a subscription to cable or satellite — much like ESPN. The current contract, which expires after the 2014 season, consists of:

REGULAR SEASON: Two live prime time fixtures every Sunday kicking off at 6pm and 9.15pm, three Thanksgiving Day clashes, plus regular matches on Thursday nights.

PLAYOFFS AND SUPER BOWL: Live coverage of every wild card, divisional and Conference Championship playoff match, plus live coverage of the annual season ending Super Bowl.

SUPPORT PROGRAMMING: The NFL’s RedZone score update show every Sunday of the regular season available via the red button, NFL Total Access twice a week and watch out for news of exciting new regular season midweek coverage.”

Sky Sports also broadcasts the games played at Wembley Stadium and the NFL Draft. Unknown-1EuroSport, also a subscription channel, airs Monday Night Football. Channel 4, the equivalent of CBS, signed a deal last summer to show Sunday Night Football games, the Super Bowl, and the games played in London. Channel 4′s sports editor Jamie Aitchison said of the coverage:

The NFL has always had a connection with the Channel 4 audience and it’s fantastic that after the return of Sunday Night Football we now can tell the story of the whole season right up to its spectacular conclusion. The Super Bowl is an iconic event and alongside the live Wembley games we can showcase the sport in all its glory. We are proud to be the NFL’s sole terrestrial partner.”

Once folks know where to watch a game, they’ll have to get up early or stay up late. Sunday Night Football games typically kickoff around 8:00 p.m. ET in the U.S. — that’s 1:00 a.m. in London. If someone watches down to the final second, they’ll be awake until around 5:00 a.m. Good luck explaining to them in explaining why they’re drowsy to their bosses. Would they drink coffee or beer during the game?

Tailgating at Wembley Stadium

Did you know it’s illegal to tailgate at Wembley Stadium? If anyone wants to have a good time before a game gets started, they have to do so at a pub or food truck down the street since local laws prohibit grilling by cars. Not to mention, the vehicles Europeans drive are not big enough to haul a grill and cooler. The NFL holds a “formal tailgating party” about five hours before kickoff, but that probably just isn’t the same.


Sports Bar & Grill

The places to go out and watch games are limited. Not very many will stay open past midnight, and that’s before kickoff. If you’re ever visiting London and need to catch a game, you can stop by Sports Bar & Grill in Melcombe Place — it keeps its 15 televisions on until 4 a.m. on game days.

Boy! It’s tough being a NFL fan in Europe.