The Resurrection of the Website

The website is the linchpin of any brand’s online presence.  Or, at least, it should be.  However, with the growing influence of social media, many companies have virtually abandoned their websites.  This is a bad idea.  While, it’s true, people spend a lot of time on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more, the only place on the internet your company owns the content it’s producing  is on it’s own website.

So, while having a strategy that pulls folks back to your website is key, it’s just as important to having an outstanding website for them to go to.

Here is one way of looking at it from an integrated marketing standpoint:

Think about it.  Most of us have visited websites where the information was old and outdated, links were broken, or the webpage was somehow “under construction,” which is a fancy way of saying it it’s incomplete.  That’s not even touching on websites that are poorly designed.  So let’s take a look back at Orlando City Soccer Club’s website, and see how they measure up.

Orlando City Soccer webpage home page

OCSC has a beautifully designed website that integrates both push and pull marketing.  Prominently displayed social media account links are present.  There is fresh content scrolling in the main news area.  Here they’re talking about player, Kevin Molina, being named to the USL team of the week and advertising the team’s next matches.

Fresh Conent -- molino

Immediately I see the opportunity to “Live Chat” in the bottom right.

Orlando City Soccer Live chat

There are offers to buy tickets, a Soccercast to listen to, an email list to subscribe to, and even an opportunity to volunteer.

volunteer sign up page

They also integrate print and email marketing along with a very active social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, even using Twitter to pull folks into their coach’s blog.

2014-06-08 21.35.50

In the story sections, visitors can share the content directly to their social networks and even comment right from the OCSC webpage.

Social media share buttons

Although the website has a lot of tabs, they are well organized and full of good, useful, and informative content.

coporate tab

gameday tab

news tab

Schedule tab

MLS tab  Tickets tab

store tab

club tab

I especially like their nod to their supporters clubs, the tab for Spanish-speaking fans, and the one highlighting the many youth programs, OCSC offers.

espanol tab

 

OCSC Youth Soccer webpage

I had to look hard to find any recommendations I’d make to the designers of the site.  When looking at the mobile version, no accommodations have been made for a mobile viewer.  This is a missed opportunity.

Orlando City Soccer Mobile version

Statistics show that mobile use of the internet is growing.

Orlando City SC should be taking advantage of this rising trend.

 

There are a lot of other important things to look at when designing and structuring your website.  Using Google Analytics is always a great step.  I’d also recommend using a site like crazyegg, which shows things like heat mapping, where folks are clicking most, how long they scroll down, where they leave your page, and so much more.

 

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Orlando City Soccer — building a brand through multimedia communications

Using multimedia communication is essential when trying to reach your customers.   Living in Orlando, I see many companies, large and small, who are using multimedia communication to integrate their marketing effectively.   This video shows a great example of a small business using multimedia communication effectively to build business.  In today’s multitasking digital landscape where it takes more touches to reach a customer, combining things like radio, TV, print, social media, web, email, and more will get your message to more people.

Orlando City SC logoI wanted to highlight a local organization that has used multimedia communication extremely effectively to meet their goals and grow their company.  I have personally seen their very active Facebook and Twitter pages, billboards, newspaper ads, email blasts, items handed out, and much more!  Orlando City Soccer is a great example of using multimedia communication to help grow your business and increase brand loyalty.

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) was founded in 2010. What began as the Austin Aztec FC in 2008 moved to Orlando with high hopes of becoming a Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion team. Being a huge soccer fan, I was immediately excited. After attending some matches during the inaugural season, I purchased season tickets.

With the desire to become an expansion team in the MLS, Orlando City SC has done a tremendous job at showing their organization to be vital to the fans and the community.

As a season ticket holder, I was put on an email list and receive emails directly from the club. This is a great tool to keep in touch with customers. While I don’t read all of the emails, I do read them regularly. A good subject line is certain to get my attention.

Orlando City Soccer emailss

They wisely, include targeted information in their emails, including ticket sales opportunities and even a link to their own podcast, which they call a Soccercast.  They rightly refer to the hosts as “Brand Ambassadors.”

Orlando City Soccer Soccercast

I’ve also received direct mail containing things like schedules, coupons, and flyers for special events.  One notable piece of print is their pocket schedule that folds and goes conveniently into your wallet.  They even included a few to share with friends.

Orlando City Soccer Print Ads Direct Mail

Orlando City Soccer Billboard Don Garber visitDuring the 2013 season, OCSC had flags of their players hanging from the lampposts in Downtown Orlando, and more notably, when MLS commissioner Don Garber came to visit Orlando in 2012 to take a look at the city as a possible option for an MLS expansion team, Orlando City Soccer rolled out the red carpet, and showcased their brand.

They put an ad in the local newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel.

My favorite thing they did was the series of digital billboard ads they produced, even incorporating social media by using fans’ tweets directly in some of the ads.

OCSC has a very active social media presence.  They Orlando City Soccer Twitter Billboard MLS visitare extremely active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.  One engaging campaign was Scarves Around the World.  Orlando City asked fans to take photos of themselves holding the Lions’ scarf when they traveled around the world.  These were then pinned, retweeted, tagged, and favorited on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

It was a hugely engaging thing for fans to focus on in the off-season.

Orlando City Soccer Club also gives away items to fans and ticket-holders.   2014 season ticket holders received the 2015 scarf pictured below.  They’ve also given away head-wraps to fans as they enter the stadium, branding them upon entrance.

2014-06-01 12.31.04Orlando City corperate sponsorsOCSC also works with corporate sponsors to give-away items at the stadium upon entrance.  Also pictured are various coupons and spirit-gear to help fans enjoy the match and remember the brand after.

Their brand voice is in-your-face and playful and the tone is direct.

When International soccer royalty, David Beckham decided he wanted to own an MLS franchise in Miami, Orlando City used the opportunity to poke fun at Beckham, MLS, and the process by tweeting these photos:

Beckham Orlando City #BuiltNotBoughtDavid Beckham Underwear Orlando City

Using the hashtag, #BuiltNotBought, OCSC showed their social media savvy.  They had used hashtags before when building the momentum these photos refer to during their campaign to receive an MLS expansion team.  #OrlandoBelievesInMLS was one that they used on Twitter and Facebook.  They also made YouTube videos, encouraging fans to sign a petition on their website and contact their representatives in Tallahassee.

 They even distributed bumper-stickers, showcasing yet another example of integrated marketing.

Orlando Believes in MLS

These are just a few of the vast and various examples of the way Orlando City Soccer Club uses multimedia communications.  Laying this groundwork was essential when they changed their logo last month.

OCSC New Crest

They got some free press when the local news covered their #PaintTheCityPurple campaign.

So, let Orlando City Soccer’s use of multimedia communication in building their brand be a lesson to all of us.  Integrated marketing is an essential tool to any business.  Reaching your target audience in multiple ways on multiple channels, gives you the best chance of strengthening your brand and engaging with customers.