Millions of people poured over NFL stats to determine which players would have a breakout season and which players to avoid when drafting their fantasy football teams this season. Hours were spent on mock drafts, all culminating to the big draft day decisions. While doing research for my team this year, I found myself wondering, “Do marketers put the same amount of time and effort into perfecting their digital marketing campaigns as they do their fantasy football teams?” The answer, unfortunately, is probably not.
That's why I decided to relate digital marketing to the ultimate obsession: fantasy football. Here, I detail vital football positions, comparing them to the most important aspects of effective digital marketing strategies.
The quarterback is undoubtedly the most important position on the football field; however, in fantasy football, that isn’t the case. Think of your website as the quarterback of your digital marketing strategy. Like a fantasy football QB, your website can be good, functional or downright bad. With good websites comes an element of reliability you need to be able to trust your website to entice viewers to click around and, ultimately, convert. You also need to depend on your website to handle increased traffic after launching lead nurturing campaigns or releasing new content. A slow loading site with bad images and poor content is sure to sink any campaign before kickoff.
The lifeblood of any fantasy football team are its running backs; a team can only go as far as the guys carrying the rock. Likewise, in digital marketing, your strategy is only as effective as its lifeblood: content. Digital marketing strategies hinge on producing relevant, enticing and search engine friendly content. How often are you producing blogs, industry related news, case studies and white papers? The answer should be just as often as you want your running back getting into the end zone.
Commonly known as the divas of football, wide receivers can put up huge fantasy numbers one game, and then disappear for weeks. The same can be said of your social media campaigns. One minute, Instagram is the coolest thing out there, and then BOOM! Another hot social media star comes and steals all the traffic. The key with wide receivers and, therefore, social media platforms, is to find consistency. A consistent approach to social media platforms will help limit the confusion as new platforms crop up. Keep your approach across social media platforms consistent, and any necessary transitions will be seamless.
As fantasy footballers know, you only receive points for how many catches, yards and touchdowns a player can accumulate, but fantasy teams rely on tight ends to provide great blocking and pass catching. There are many tight ends available in your fantasy football league, but only a few will provide actual value. This is similar to off-page SEO. There are hundreds of thousands of links you can produce for your website and content, but the same quality over quantity principal applies. You need to ensure you have quality content in place for others to link back to and a solid social media strategy that allows for others to share and like said content for your digital marketing strategy to be truly effective.
Everyone has to choose a defense, and it is extremely hard to choose one versus another. The Chicago Bears defense might get you 25 points one game, and then give up a huge game to Drew Brees, leaving you with -6 points the next week. PPC can be a roller coaster, as well. One day you are paying 25 cents for a click, and then the next day demand goes up, and you're paying $1. And like a fantasy football defense, PPC is something that needs to be managed properly and looked after in order to be successful.
The kickers are the unsung heroes of football. One kicker is the same as the next, right? Wrong! In many fantasy football games, the kicker can be the difference between a win and a loss. That's similar to responsive: If you organization thinks properly optimizing your website for whatever screen your viewers are using is a waste of time, it’s time to think again. See this free guide for more.
Fantasy football commissioners have all the power—absolutely nothing is decided without their approval. The number of players on your team, what positions they'll play and, most importantly, the point values you earn are all decided by the commissioner. Think of search engines like Google as the commissioners of your digital marketing strategies. If Google changes its algorithm, digital marketers quickly change how they are putting websites together and marketing products or services to please the almighty commissioner.
Some may say fantasy football is like throwing up a Hail Mary: You pick players and let it ride. I say with proper drafting, team management and waiver wire pickups, you can have a great deal of success. Your digital marketing requires the same dedication and then some. Don’t just pick some elements that sound cool and let the chips fall where they may. Take the time to do your research, find the right keywords and produce the right content, and you'll see the points (leads) rack up!
Bryan Cox is a Kuno Creative consultant with extensive experience developing holistic digital marketing programs for mid and large size companies. Learn more about Bryan on LinkedIn.
Photo Credit: Keith Allison