Brand in Focus – the NBA

The NBA logo, aka Jerry West via the NBA’s Twitter page

The NBA logo, aka Jerry West via the NBA’s Twitter page

With the NBA Draft this past Thursday night and my Minnesota Timberwolves owning the first pick of the draft (Karl-Anthony Towns), this feels like the right time to put NBA branding in focus!  The NBA’s branding efforts across social media have driven a nice niche for the sport, most specifically on Twitter and Vine.  Let’s dive right into it and start with the NBA’s own web site.

NBA.com ... please clean this up

NBA.com … please clean this up

For a company that does well for itself on social media, I don’t understand why the NBA’s web site always feels so cluttered and confusing.  The screenshot above was taken less than two days ahead of the NBA Draft and it is just a mess.  You have ads on the sides – which drives me bonkers across the web – and not enough focus on the one event that is in the immediate future.  I’ll save you the trouble of what scrolling down on NBA.com looks like – links everywhere, columns and rows that don’t blend nicely.

The one other item that I noticed is that the NBA has the Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ counts on the top of their page, but to find all of their social media pages, you have to drag your mouse over the “More” link towards the top right and a pop up of social media sites is provided there.

Let’s move on … quickly … to where the NBA is doing solid work and driving real engagement with its fans.

Twitter:

With 15.5 million followers on Twitter, the NBA is doing a tremendous job of promoting its brand on the network.  The NBA passes along news from around the league, RT’s pertinent information from team pages, NBA players, and finally, sister Twitter feeds that have been set up over the time – @NBAHistory, @NBADraft, @NBATV and more.  A generic search on Twitter for “NBA” gave me a compilation of all of these elements:

NBA on Twitter

The league has truly embraced Twitter and has somewhat “forced” its TV partners to follow suit.  My personal Twitter feed is full of NBA news and notes from around the league no matter what time of day or night it is.  The NBA received 100’s of RT’s and Favorites when it posts its own content and is directing followers to many other pages as well with its RT efforts.

The efforts by the league’s Twitter team has also done a fine job of carrying over engagement with fans on Twitter’s Vine platform …

Vine:

With 1.1+ million followers on Vine, the NBA is blowing other US professional sports leagues out of the water on the micro-video network.  I don’t think anyone can argue that the NFL is the #1 professional sport in the US right now and they only have 350K+ followers, while MLB has over 330K.  Essentially, the NBA has three times as many followers on Vine vs. the two leading professional sports here in the US.

Need more proof on the NBA’s branding efforts on Vine, well, I actually wrote about this a few months ago – click here.

Facebook:

27 million plus fans have Liked the NBA’s Facebook page and the engagement coming from these fans is immense.  While I see a lot of duplicative effort and cross-posting between Twitter and Facebook, the NBA typically receives thousands of likes and hundreds of shares on each Facebook post.  Note that this isn’t a once a day posting either, there are a handful of posts typically coming on a daily basis from the league to their fans.

I did notice one area of improvement to recommend … it looks like the page owner’s gave up on the milestone dates after 2011 per the screenshot below.  Please, fill this in!  I truly enjoy the history lesson that brands provide when they fill this in and maintain it adequately.  The NBA does a nice job of referencing championship teams in the timeline, but also major milestones in league history.

NBA on Facebook

Instagram:

While winning on the three prior social networks referenced above, the NBA seems to have some work to do if it is going to maintain a presence on Instagram.  With the deep following on Facebook, it would make a lot of sense for the league to consider going deeper on Instagram over its time and energy on Pinterest (see below).

The NBA has 8+ million followers on Instagram and the landing page screams “Help!”.  I’m not a big fan of how bland the landing page here is.  I have really enjoyed seeing brands create a banner that rotates images on the landing page and what you see below is a pretty basic, white landing page.

NBA on Instagram

That said, the NBA is clearly embracing the video features on Instagram, uploading a number of videos for the NBA Draft throughout the days prior, as well as snippets from the NBA Finals that just wrapped up a few weeks ago.

While I believe the league’s page could be cleaned up a bit, you can’t argue with the results, as most uploads are receiving hundreds of thousands of likes and hundreds of comments.

Pinterest:

Relative to other social media platforms, the NBA ‘struggles’ to build a highly engaged audience on Pinterest.  The league has slightly over 13K followers on the platform, well behind its other pages and networks.

However, I do like what the league has done on Pinterest and it might be better suited taking this style and approach over to Instagram.  If the NBA were to take the “off the court” approach that it uses on various boards and board covers on Pinterest over to Instagram, I think it could be a real winning formula.

NBA on Pinterest

Overall Summary:

The NBA is clearly doing a lot of good across social media.  However, there are a few, small tweaks worth considering in their digital marketing efforts to help build a strong brand image with (potential) fans.

Positives:

  • They have really built a nice niche on Vine
  • Consistent content is being sent to their followers on a daily basis
  • Driving engagement with fans through the use of images and video

Improvement Areas:

  • Pay attention to the details and nuances of each page – for example, keeping the milestones up to date on Twitter
  • Leverage its Pinterest approach on Instagram and maybe even consider dropping Pinterest given how far behind the NBA’s following is relative to Instagram

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the NBA’s social media efforts?  Where would you like to see the NBA make improvements?  Let us know in the Comments section below.

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 6-7-15

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

As we enter Summer and people head to the shore, I figured it was a good time to dedicate a #SundayMusings to the top Summer branding news entering the season.  The following stories caught my eye over the past few weeks.  What campaigns or brand positionings have caught your eye for this Summer?

#1 – “To Kick Off Summer, Miller Lite Stages a Mini Awards Show on Twitter” – via AdWeek.com

Premise: For the second consecutive year, Miller Lite is using the turn of the season to invest heavily in its Twitter advertising.  For $200K, Miller Lite was the ‘promoted trend’ on Twitter for a day, using a tweet with the hashtag #ItsMillerTime – a refurbished marketing message from advertising used years ago by the brand.

Thoughts: Aside from providing the cost behind what it takes to advertise on Twitter, there was a second nugget in here that piqued my interest; Miller Lite is NOT tying this Twitter campaign to a television ad.  The move to online advertising is real folks …

#2 – “7 Days to Building a Stronger Brand This Summer and Beyond” via hub.coxmedia.com

Premise: Many businesses rely on the Summer months to drive sales/revenue.  This write-up helps you think about ensuring you have done enough to drive brand resonance.  This was the start of a seven day series of write-ups regarding branding your business to further drive sales.

Thoughts: I thought this was a great idea to promote the free e-book being offered and to continue driving people to download their material.  I don’t think there is too much groundbreaking material here, but I did want to call out the 7th tip, “Be patient”.  In short, “cosign”.

#3 – “Marmite readies ‘summer of love’ campaign with flower-power logo design” via MarketingMagazine.co.uk

Premise: Marmite has filed a patent claim on a logo for the brand that includes the tagline “Summer of Love”.  Unilever has not provided any further information at this time, but the brand looks to pivot with a new campaign, logo, and tagline.

Thoughts: Had to go across the pond for more Summer branding news.  Have you ever tried Marmite?  The ‘love it or hate it’ motto/mantra seems to be very true.  I tried it on vacation once and let’s just say I fell into the latter category of that motto.  However, people swear by it.

#4 – “Target Branding 2015” via CargoCollective.com

Premise: The Target logo is nice and simple, but also rememorable.  Peters has created a new ad campaign for Target taking this theme to another level with vibrant images.  However, the red and white colors remain firmly in place.

Thoughts: There are a number of images from the various Target ads/campaigns but they all stay true to the Target logo.  I particularly like the ones that have the red polka dots that seemingly go over the person or object also in each piece of creative.

What do you think of these ads?  Too much?

Tweet of the Week:

I’m not going to lie, I laughed out loud when I saw this tweet from Captain Morgan.  Maybe it is a New Jersey thing, but I loved the hashtag #SunsOutRumsOut.  We have a winner for the best Summer branding hashtag of 2015!

Hope you enjoyed our Summer branding #SundayMusings!  Now go outside and enjoy the start of the Summer!

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 5-10-15

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding! (Photo credit: ZDNet.com)

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding!
(Photo credit: ZDNet.com)

We are focusing our efforts on mobile in this week’s #SundayMusings.  With the recent announcement from Google (Mobilegeddon) and its impact on web sites and search results, it feels like a good time to keep an eye on all things mobile.

#1 – “How to Ace the Google Mobile-Friendly Test & Score 100%” – via Moz.com

Premise: Google has begun to further roll out its mobile-friendliness rankings within its search algorithms.  This write-up focuses on the mobile test itself by Google, but also includes links to several other Mobilegeddon write-ups that were put on Moz.com.

Google’s mobile checking Chrome extension will rate your site and provide feedback on areas that may need improvement.  The write-up also goes into the five components of the mobile score and quickly what each represents.  The team at Moz wound up doing their own test across 4K sites to see who did well and who scored poorly on the new algorithm.

Thoughts: What caught my eye on this article vs. the many, many others regarding Mobilegeddon was the willingness to put together real-life examples from around the web and quantifying those results.  A well deserved “kudos” to the team at Moz that went through this effort!

Have you tested your site’s mobile ranking?

#2 – “Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm A Week Later: Was It Really Mobilegeddon” via SearchEngineLand.com

Premise: After all of the uproar, did the change in Google’s algorithm drive significant change in mobile search results?  According to this write-up and the coinciding mining, the answer is ‘not really’.  Tracking results from others around the web (links included within the story, including the work done by Moz) the author finds that while changes have been seen, they are not as significant as “feared”.

Thoughts: Similar to many stories seen on the news these days, Mobilegeddon was ramped up as a colossal event that would shake the world to its core (OK, maybe that is even a bit much), only to find that the changes in search results have been impacted, but not turned upside down.

#3 – “Notes From A Mobilized Marketer – It Isn’t The Young That Value The Smartphone The Most” via JeffHasen.com

Premise: Jeff cites research from Pew Research Center that states that the older you are, the more you value your smartphone.  The vast majority (82%) of those 65+ in age say their phones give them freedom.  That’s just one of a dozen or so headlines from the past few weeks included in this “musings”-like write-up.

Thoughts: While I tend to agree that as I get older, my phone becomes more prevalent, I don’t know if I think that is because I’m getting older as much as it is the fact that my phone is getting better.  What are your thoughts on this?

What really caught my attention here is actually the news that Meerkat jumped ahead of Periscope and was first to launch its app on Android devices, while Periscope remains an Apple-only product.  If I didn’t love Twitter and Vine so much, I would make a much bigger deal out of this, but come on Periscope … we’re waiting!

We’re going to move away from more news articles this week and embed a few items of interest.  First, take a look at the SlideShare below on Wearable technology and its role in mobile:

Next, I found this YouTube video (on DigitalTrends.com) and thought how true (and sad) this is in our everyday lives:

Tweet of the Week:

Have you seen this story yet?  A woman was in a hostage situation in Florida and placed an order to her local Pizza Hut with the emergency message for help.  Truly amazing that she was able to get this through, the employees were smart enough to act on it, and the situation didn’t escalate.  It’s a crazy world we live in these days.

That’s it for this weekend’s #SundayMusings.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3-29-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - St. Patrick's Day Edition (Photo credit: ILoveShelling.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – St. Patrick’s Day Edition
(Photo credit: ILoveShelling.com)

Today’s #SundayMusings with Shore Branding is going green … for St. Patrick’s Day branding news!  Here are the top branding and/or digital marketing stories that caught my attention over the past few weeks revolving around the luck of the Irish and St. Patrick’s Day.

#1 – “Liam Neeson Narrates This Gorgeous Tourism Ad for Ireland Timed to St. Patrick’s Day” – via AdWeek.com

Premise: A 60 second ad to help promote visiting Ireland with Liam Neeson as the voiceover.  The ad itself also carries the #GoGreen4PatricksDay.

Thoughts: What better way to start a St. Patrick’s Day #SundayMusings than a visual trip to Ireland?  Fantastic ad with iconic landmarks from around the world, plus the natural beauty of Ireland itself.

The hashtag probably could use a little work though.  Throwing in the “St” probably would have helped make it a little easier for others to remember / use the right phrase. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3-15-15

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to the latest #SundayMusings with Shore Branding!  This week’s stories highlight the latest and greatest news as we head into 2015’s SXSW conference in Austin, Texas.  Are you traveling to SXSW this year?  If so, let us know what you think.  Below are the news stories that caught my attention …

#1 – “New Fitness Brand Radius Keeps SXSW 2015 ‘in shape’” – via MobileMarketingWatch.com

Premise: Fitness and wearables will play a large role in this year’s edition of SXSW in Austin and Radius will be looking to lead the way.  Radius, from NBCUniversal, works with RadiusFitness.com on personalized workouts for desktops and mobile devices.  The brand will be hosting and promoting itself throughout the festival.

Thoughts: Through sponsorship and branding at charging stations and through hosting across the festival, Radius is just one of a large number of brands looking to capitalize on SXSW’s popularity.  The brand is going to have to break out the big guns if it is going to want to break through the clutter at the event.

That said, it does make perfect sense for a brand that focuses on one of the hottest of hot topics – wearables – tries to make its mark at SXSW this year. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3-1-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - The Valentine's Day Edition! (Photo credit: blog.templatemonster.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – The Valentine’s Day Edition!
(Photo credit: blog.templatemonster.com)

 

We are closing out February with a Valentine’s Day #SundayMusings – taking one last look at the branding and digital marketing news from brands and companies as they relate to Valentine’s Day.  Here are the holiday stories that caught my eye heading into and through the month.

#1 – “Love Across the Twittersphere” – via blog.twitter.com

Premise: The Twitter blog dives into some Twitter Analytics and how “love” is spread across the network.  Sweden comes out on top as the most “in love” country around the globe.  Twitter also takes a look at some of the most commonly used hashtags across the calendar year.

Thoughts: The Twitter blog is a great bookmark to see the latest and greatest from the site.  It hits on current and relevant news, holidays, sporting events and more.  I’m not sure what level of humor vs. sadness I find in the hashtags across the span of a calendar year.  (OK, it’s funny) [Read more…]

Pin of the Month – Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl Advertising by the numbers. Infographic by Engagor

Super Bowl Advertising by the numbers. Infographic by Engagor

Our February “Pin of the Month” wraps up our NFL and Super Bowl coverage this month.  Building off of our Super Bowl Ad Review, our “Pin of the Month” summarizes the overall impact of Super Bowl ads and which brands got the most out of their investment.  The infographic above was created by engagor who measures social customer experiences and engagement. [Read more…]

Pin of the Month – Social Media

January's "Pin of the Month" on Social Media Pin originally from ticsyformacion.com

January’s “Pin of the Month” on Social Media
Pin originally from ticsyformacion.com

Happy 2015 everyone and welcome to another year of our “Pin of the Month” here on ShoreBranding.com.  January’s “Pin of the Month” takes a look at several key social media numbers and statistics across several of the key players in social media.  The infographic itself was found on Pinterest and originated from this article.

So what exactly are we looking at here?  As we enter 2015, the numbers across the more popular social media networks continue to amaze.  With numbers and figures from multiple sources, let’s dive into some of the facts seen in the above infographic, specifically those that caught my attention: [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1/4/15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Happy New Year / 2015! (Credit: wallpaperput.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Happy New Year / 2015!
(Credit: wallpaperput.com)

 

Happy new year everyone and welcome to the first #SundayMusings of 2015!  I hope everyone had a great, safe holiday season and that you are ready to make 2015 bigger and better!  Why not start with the top stories that caught my eye in branding and digital marketing as they relate to entering the new year?  Done and done …

#1 – “The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2015” – via Forbes.com

Premise: “Content marketing” continues to grow.  The author has spent time in the past putting together predictions and outcomes of content marketing (links within the article).  Now he takes a look at how content marketing will shift/progress into the new year.

Thoughts: A few of the highlighted trends caught my eye, specifically #2 – “Content marketing will become inextricably linked with social media marketing” and #5 – “The reputation of guest blogging as a content marketing strategy will be repaired”.

It is hard to argue with #2, as this trend continues to grow seemingly month to month.  However, #5 is an item that is important here on ShoreBranding.com.  We have openly embraced guest posts in the past, but willingness to do so weakened in the second half of 2014.  Again, if you are interested in being a guest writer here on the site, please just let me know via our Contact page (or reach out via email / social media). [Read more…]