Golf’s Content Marketing Champion
As we gathered around TV screens, mobile apps, or twitter feeds to watch Patrick Reed defeat Jimmy Walker in a playoff at Kapalua this weekend, it seemed especially fitting that NBC and the Golf Channel air the annual tournament of champions.
After all, the biggest winner of 2014 was the NBC/Golf Channel partnership that hit content marketing out of the park. Wait a second… wrong sport.
The Hyundai Tournament of Champions invites all PGA Tour winners from the previous year, to duke it out for an early season win. Well, not to take anything away from Reed, or Walker (or even Canadian Nick Taylor, who looked promising early on), but the closest anyone came to a Grand Slam in 2014 was golf’s primary television network itself. (With 4 Emmy nominations to prove it.)
Scott over at Eat Sleep Golf explains all of the exciting statistics, but read on below to see how Golf Channel’s success is based on brilliant content marketing.
Understand Your Audience
2014 named Golf Channel the most affluent ad-supported television network, for total day and primetime combined.
Golf may have the advantage of a high average audience income (the highest, in fact, at more than $100,000) but—as we like to say when we get a good bounce—you’ve got to be good to be lucky. And when it comes to reading their audience… these guys are good.
Be Creative with Content
The Golf Channel proved just how well they understood television viewers back in 2003 when they combined a traditional sport and reality tv. 21 seasons later, The Big Break continues to prove that offering your audience the content they crave pays off. But their creative programming doesn’t end there.
Those seeking a personal story (all 2 million of them) loved Arnie, the 3-night event depicting Arnold Palmer’s career—including his savvy establishment of the Golf Channel itself.
Those looking for a little news (and maybe a little eye candy) tuned into The Morning Break in unprecedented numbers, nearly tripling the timeslot.
Those wanting the inside scoop on their favourite tour players (and a laugh) swear by funny guy David Feherty’s studio show, Feherty.
Time and time again Golf Channel has filled an audience void so that those high income viewers never need to channel surf.
Arguably the best move Golf Channel made in 2013 was to offer live streaming for mobile devices with the Golf Live Extra app. (We aren’t all free on Major Sundays.)
Since Golf Live Extra was launched, over 183 million minutes of golf programming have been streamed—proof that mobile access was a critical niche among Golf Channel viewers.
One of the best features of digital marketing (and one you’ve no doubt heard here before) is the ability to measure what works and what doesn’t.
For Golf Channel, mobile proved to be magic. The next thing we knew they had a total of four mobile apps filling an avid golf fan’s every need.
- Golf Channel Mobile offering the latest news, videos and photos from golf
- Golf Live Extra streaming live footage for the latest events
- GolfNow allowing you to book your next tee time (and save money) on the go
- Golf Channel Academy providing the latest tips and tricks from the pros
Innovate Like a Champion
To be this year’s winner of content marketing campaigns, follow Golf Channel’s lead.
But don’t assume an audience, no matter how stable or affluent, will keep coming back. Audiences evolve and you need to continually innovate in your products, services and communications to attract, engage and retain their interest.