Thank you for considering Webolutions and the American Lung Association in Colorado for a 2014 Webby Award for Social Media, Events Category.
Run the ‘Rocks is an annual 5K run/walk. It is a fundraiser for the American Lung Association in Colorado. It is the only timed 5K at Red Rocks. Red Rocks is best known for its historic natural amphitheater in the foothills outside Denver.
For the 2014 event, Webolutions designed and implemented an Internet marketing strategy that included home page banner advertising on high-traffic websites, search and display advertising through Google AdWords and a heavy emphasis on paid and organic social media, especially Facebook.
Webolutions designed the overall social media strategy, managed all advertising campaigns, created the categories and publishing plan for all content and served in an active advisory role for the nonprofit’s internal resources who published the content and interacted with the online community.
Award Applicant: Webolutions
Webolutions is a full-service Denver marketing agency with roots in website design and digital marketing. The company celebrates its 20th “birthday” in November, 2014. Webolutions actively manages social media community development and advertising for a number of local and national clients in a broad array of verticals. As part of the agreement, Webolutions accepted remittance for the majority of its services in the form of sponsorship. Webolutions became the event’s first-ever Inspirational Sponsor.
Client: American Lung Association in Colorado
The American Lung Association in Colorado offers practical help to people living with lung diseases, educates kids about the dangers of smoking, pushes for more smoke-free workplaces and works to reduce air pollution.
Award Criteria – Content
Because of limitations in the client’s budget and corresponding ability to generate its own content, and its overall inherent online structure and funnel, the content strategy depended heavily on curation. Webolutions researched and worked with the client to identify sources that were trustworthy, noncompetitive with the nonprofit and whose content would add value to the lives of the targeted audiences, which Webolutions also worked with the client to specifically define.
- Best Foods to Eat Before a Run – livestrong.com
- Information on Lung Cancer – webmd.com
- Weekend Weather Forecast – weatherbug.com
- Why 5K’s are Awesome – runnersworld.com
For seven weeks prior to the event, Webolutions contributed a weekly inspirational message on its own blog. These posts were shared to Webolutions own social media audience as well as through two installments of its monthly enewsletter, which reaches over 7,000 people and enjoys an average open rate of over 40 percent.
Additional sponsor content included:
- Sharing photo image link from Capstone Photography
- Gift Certificate to Racine’s Restaurant for Survey
- Results from Hallucination Sports
- Thanking the American Lung Association
- Packet Pickup Discount from Runners Roost
- Goodie Bags: Chipotle, Pizzeria Locale, Whole Foods & Yougurtland Cherrywood Square
Webolutions designed and managed promoted content and display advertising strategies for Facebook.
Tapping in to the competitive nature of participants to generate additional fundraising, Run the ‘Rocks social media content included highlights of the most successful individuals and teams.
Event participants were successfully prompted to share their photos and through their own social media outlets for fundraising.
Webolutions met its goal of fielding the largest team at the event and, at this writing, sits as the third-largest fundraiser for the event. Much of the organic social media fundraising and exposure Webolutions achieved came through a Facebook group it maintains called Webolutions Revolutions. This is a group of active community leaders who wish to occasionally get together to engage in team activity. All gatherings are centered on healthy physical activity.
These efforts were complemented by image-based content the client could easily create in the course of preparing for the event. This provided participants with a newfound level of transparency and deeper connection to the event and its implementers. Examples included:
- Photos of volunteers working
- Educational Information Sharing
- Workers working in running gear
- Photos of running route / map
Award Criteria – Creativity
Creation of Permanent and Marketable Social Media Assets
Prior to 2014, the social media presence for Run the ‘Rocks was comprised of:
- A Facebook Group
- Advertisements through third-party media providers, e.g. The Denver Post
- A small number of Facebook posts included in unsponsored organic content within the larger content plan for the American Lung Association in Colorado’s Facebook Page
Leveraging Existing Online Community
The first audience targeted for likes and followers was the aforementioned pre-existing Run the ‘Rocks Facebook Group. That group numbered 786, almost all of whom immediately liked the new Facebook Page upon request. The Facebook Group was thereafter used as an additional social media outlet for event communications.
Outreach to Niche Social Networks
Webolutions found a number of Denver and Colorado Front Range runner’s groups organized on Meetup.com, and participated with the client in outreach through the network. This was extremely successful in recruiting large groups of people who increased the social media audience and activity around the race and who are likely repeat participants.
Social Media Outreach to Prospective Sponsors
Webolutions worked with the Client to identify tasteful, effective and zero-cash-flow options to leverage LinkedIn to identify and contact decision makers at companies identified as potential event sponsors.
Award Criteria – Engagement
To fuel its Inspirational Content series, Webolutions created a Facebook-based Inspire Others initiative. A Woobox app was installed on the Run the ‘Rocks Facebook Page and received a number of user-generated stories about “why we run.”
- The newly-created Page grew to 1,678 likes in two months. Total race participation was approximately 1,800.
- Engagement Rate in the first month started at 3.5 percent and grew to 6.2 percent.
- The Average Organic Reach of the 3 month campaign was 1,391 daily reach
- The new account grew to 289 followers in two months without advertising support.
- Engagement Rate Average over the three month campaign was 2.41 percent.
Award Criteria – Overall Experience
Permanent improvements to the event without recurring costs include:
- A broader social media presence
- Much greater awareness of the event on social media
- Permanent, marketable assets
- Much improved acumen on social media marketing
- An immediately-accessible, ongoing community
- Increased touch points which will generate greater retention and referrals
- Provided new demographic and psychographic information about audiences
- Made this audience aware of client’s overall and additional work, efforts, events, etc.
Metrics (2 month period)
- Drove 1256 clicks to website (multiple destinations) through Boosted Posts at a total ad spend of $242.43
- Drove 3631 clicks to website through Facebook Advertising encouraging registration; total ad spend $500
- Combined overall – drove 4887 clicks to website in three months
- Drove 861 engagement to posts through Promoted Tweets; total ad spend $384
- Drove 778 clicks to website through Twitter Advertising encouraging registration; total ad spend $385
- Total Engagements & Clicks towards Run the ‘Rocks in 3 months: 1639
Thank you for considering Webolutions and the American Lung Association in Colorado for a 2014 Webby Award for Social Media, Events Category. For more information, please contact Mike Hanbery, Director of New Media Strategies, Webolutions, (303) 300-2640.