Organically growing an online community of gaming spectators to maximise awareness and engagement of the first Esports Industry Awards.
Fast Web Media was brought into the late-stages of the first Esports Industry Awards. With under two weeks until the live-ceremony was due to commence at The Brewery, London and via an official Twitch Stream, the Fast Web Media team was tasked with elevating exposure of the event via social media, as well as improving and expanding the existing communications strategy from a consultancy perspective.
By using solely organic social tactics, the goal was to expand the following and engagement received via the Esports Industry Awards’ social profiles , building up a dedicated audience for the live-stream of the ceremony over Twitch. This importance of maximum social exposure was not only crucial for the awards itself, but also for a number of high profile sponsors who sought to see viable results in terms of brand exposure and recognition.
Fast Web Media were introduced to us via a partner of ours at very late notice prior to our 2016 show. The short time scale to produce the desired results did not phase the digital team, as Fast Web Media came in and helped enormously with an all-encompassing marketing and social media strategy.
Social media was a central part in promoting the awards, particularly Twitter due to its on-the-beat publishing nature. The strategies in place aligned to two separate roles of social media: increasing brand awareness and community building prior to the awards, and live-Tweeting throughout the entirety of the awards night.
To rapidly and organically increase growth rate and interaction with the social accounts, it was key to converse with proclaimed esports icons to attract the attention of their fans and followers. Having already secured some notable names in the world of esports, such as Ali A and KSI, along with celebrity A-listers David Haye and James Buckley, it was important to piggyback off this and promote the attendance of the guestlist.
Offering a continued narration of the lead-up and execution of the Esports Industry Awards, Twitter was chosen as the dedicated profile to unfold the awards live as they happened. This offered a secondary option for those who may be unable to tune into the Twitch broadcasts.
In the run-up and particularly on the evening of the awards, audience participation was greatly encouraged from watchers around the globe by using the hashtag #EsportsIA. This universal hashtag not only encouraged conversation and union between the worldwide esports community, but also ensured the Esports Industry Awards achieved local trending status on Twitter.
Twitter is renowned for its ability to offer timely responses to customer service enquiries, and has long been used by a number of brands to quickly react to questions and queries from the public. Along with this reputation, and with the demographic in mind, it was important for the Esports Industry Awards to be able to provide responses to inbound messages - no matter what the day, or the time.
The Twitter account of the awards boasted quick response rates, by dedicating a staff member to the account 24/7. Push notifications to each device the individual would be logged into meant that constant monitoring was not a necessity, but all inbound messages would be responded to on average in under 5 minutes.
Challenges & Solutions
As with every awards ceremony offering live-audience participation, there is additional pressure to ensure all incoming Tweets are moderated and responded to accordingly, as well as making sure the dedicated Esports Industry Awards account was the first to reveal the winners of the awards.
Between awards and speeches, to keep morale up in the venue itself, live-screens in the venue would display a collage of inbound messages that encompassed the hashtag #EsportsIA. This opened an opportunity for attendees to see their messages and images on the “big screen.” To ensure all displayed messages were impartial and appropriate (e.g. free from profanity), Fast Web Media had to dedicate an individual whose sole job it was to moderate and approve incoming messages.
To increase the ease and speed of this, Fast Web Media was able to team up with social wall provider TweetBeam to provide an algorithm that automatically dismissed messages containing a complex list of “prohibited” words and phrases. When award winners were announced, it was the responsibility of the social team at the awards, led by Fast Web Media, to quickly and efficiently distribute images of the winner accepting the award.
The process of receiving the photographer’s SD card to uploading and editing the image for social would simply not be quick enough, so prior to the awards the design team at Fast Web Media created simplistic image overlays that could easily be added to images by an otherwise inexperienced designer through the Adobe Illustrator tool.
In the days following the event, Fast Web Media absorbed as much of the ensuing traffic as possible, offering outreach to a number of media outlets in order to increase the overall reach of the event.
A bespoke digital video brochure and report pack was created to document the event success for sponsors, highlighting statistical achievements of the awards using a range of analytical reporting programs in order to ensure accuracy and offer increased insights into the audience.
Organic social media promotion was continued, serving the audience of the @EsportsIA account snippets and video footage for them to re-play. This not only meant that YouTube and Twitch views continued to grow, but also that the event remained current and not stale for the duration until the next ceremony.
In the two week period while Fast Web Media solely managed the Esports Industry Awards social accounts, the account was 192.3% more active, serving more content to build the reputation of the awards as a figurehead in the esports industry.
Profile visits to the @EsportsIA account increased by 3,071.1%, spiking a substantial increase on exposure for both the awards and sponsors. Along with this, the content was viewed on average 164.3% more, which benefited particularly during the promotion of the live Twitch stream which received 6,000 concurrent viewers throughout the awards.
The ethics of the awards were largely centred around bringing together the gaming community, and as audience participation was a significant part of the social strategy, mentions of @EsportsIA increased by 1,850.5%.
Fast Web Media boast an amazing, diligent social team and would come highly recommended. Roll on the 2017 awards, where our partnership will be bigger and better than ever…