Every Thanksgiving weekend in New Orleans, one of the country’s greatest college sports rivalries comes to a head at the Bayou Classic football game. For the 45th Annual Bayou Classic, FSC was enlisted as a key player in driving fan engagement and online ticket sales through social media advertising and live event coverage.
THEIR STORY – THE BIG GAME
The Bayou Classic features the Grambling State University Tigers versus the Southern University Jaguars. Since 1974, the highly anticipated annual event brings in fans and alums from across the Gulf South and as far away as California to celebrate in true New Orleans fashion for a week of events leading up to gameday.
Large enough to be housed in the Mercedes Benz Superdome, the game and its surrounding festivities like the Battle of the Bands create a huge impact on the city in tourism revenue.
THEIR GOAL – INCREASED TICKET SALES
Bayou Classic came to us in need of a strategy for increasing ticket sales to the main football game and its supporting weekend events. They wanted to sell out as many of the events as possible and position the 2018 Bayou Classic as the #1 HBCU event in the nation.
In addition to creating massive excitement and buzz around the 45th annual game, they also wanted to increase the number of downloads of the Bayou Classic mobile app.
We were up for the challenge!
OUR SOLUTION – CONVERSION BASED SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING
FSC created a strategic social media advertising campaign designed to generate awareness of the events, increase engagement, and drive conversions and ticket sales.
We used a multi-tiered marketing approach to create targeted Facebook ads and Instagram ads. Our social media ads were supported with ongoing social media management and giveaways during the weeks leading up to the Bayou Classic. We also provided live event coverage on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter during the weekend’s events to boost fan engagement and reflect the excitement and camaraderie of the entire weekend.
Our goal was to drive more qualified users to purchase event tickets, so FSC used paid social media best practices, including a funnel-based approach to ad targeting and delivery.
First, FSC served brand awareness video ads with the objective of reaching more potential fans. Video viewers were retargeted with a traffic ad designed to lead users to view more information about the events the Bayou Classic website. Users who visited the website were then served a conversion ad to purchase tickets.
Conversion ads were targeted to those that visited the Bayou Classic site within the last 30 days. For our conversions campaign, we used imagery and ad copy that created a sense of urgency to buy tickets. In a six-week time span, 50 purchases were completed from conversion ads only, and our 1 & 2 week countdown ads resulted in 117 additional purchases. Overall, our paid social and paid search ad campaign led to record attendance for the Battle of the Bands and the Bayou Classic game.
WHAT WE SAW – INCREASED FAN ENGAGEMENT
In 2018, Bayou Classic social executions saw an increase in impressions, engagement, and fan following. Drive markets like Birmingham and Atlanta responded positively to the campaign, and we learned that cities like Dallas and San Francisco offer growth potential for future events.
To drive brand awareness, engagement, and conversions with new and existing audiences, FSC shared organic posts across @BayouClassic74’s social channels. Frequent organic posting allowed Bayou Classic to stay top of mind throughout September-November leading up to the big event.
Consumers sought out our platform handles for information and connection to weekend, and FSC’s community managers interacted with fans to increase the strong feelings of excitement among fans and to answer questions about the events.
Our live event coverage offered our audience many options to engage with Bayou Classic, even if they couldn’t make it to the event in person. Facebook Live, Twitter, and Instagram Stories proved to be a solid organic strategy to get the fans involved, as well as a great way to get the sponsors’ names out in front of our audience again.
HOW CAN WE TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS?
Whether you’re interested in increasing audience engagement on your social media channels or you want to convert more of your social media audience into paying customers, we can help!