A couple times a year I spend a day going over the analytics for all of our Old Hat sites. When it comes to OldHatCreative.com that usually leads to a discussion about the salad bowl game.
To be completely honest, I had never heard of this particular game, but thanks to Tricia, I am reminded about it every time I look at our analytics. Interested to know what it is?
Exciting stuff isn’t it?
As someone who makes a living working in web and the digital space and who blogs on a regular occasion, it is not easy to accept that the most relevant blog on the old hat site according to the internet is one about a made up party game. Not one about our work or our staff or even our clients, just a salad bowl.
I know I am far from the best blogger, but I try to write about things that are relevant to what Old Hat does as a company. If anything, it makes for an interesting case study. What Tricia managed to do was to find that long tail or that niche market where her blog can reign supreme. When I write about thanking our veterans or going viral or about our amazing staff and the awesome work they do or customer service, I am writing about things already saturating the market. There are other companies thanking veterans and talking about going viral. Don’t get me wrong, high quality and relevant content is still king, but finding that niche market can go a long way to telling your story and letting the world know who you are.
The next time you are blogging or trying to tell your story, think about your competition. Think about how many other people are out there talking about the same thing and then find a unique way to reach your audience. It may not be as simple as a salad bowl, but finding the niche market that aligns perfectly with your message will go a long way to coming out on top of that google page.
I LOVE fancy cards. I LOVE fancy paper. In fact, I have been known to spend way too much money at The Paper Source whenever I get the chance to go. (We don't have one in Oklahoma... which is probably a good thing). I get lost looking at all the letter press cards, the wrapping paper, just EVERYTHING. Now that its time to be sending out Christmas Cards, I wanted to share some of my fav's from some of the paper blogs I follow/ The Paper Source.
Not Old Fashioned like me and enjoy something more digital?! You're in luck!! We create holiday cards! Check them out!
We all get excited when an event we look forward to all year long begins to get close. We start thinking about it constantly, playing different scenarios out in our heads of the things to come. Yes, Christmas is close by, but that is not what I am talking about. The event I am talking about really isn't that close at all. We still have just under six months to go. So what's this event?! Well if you didn't figure out from my image above, it's Old Hat's Super Fan 5K.
My excitement was spurred by the new updates I am currently working on for the site. I run in the race every year and it is always a fun time. You get to dress like a goober and it's perfectly acceptable... see:
That's my dorky self... Anyways there are some really neat additions to the run this year, so be sure to check back on the http://superfan5k.org website for the new additions at the beginning of the year! Hope to see you there, so we can be goofballs together!!!
Movies have trailers, computers and phones have conventions, elections have campaigns, and websites have... well... yeah... let me get back to you on that.
So I was watching the new extended trailer for Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron (which I cannot wait to see)
And it hit me! When launching a new site, how do you get people excited about the launch? Here at Old Hat we created another site to countdown to the launch of a redesign. We posted on social media. We sent Duey (or gnome mascot) on a tour of the US. My buddy who is about to launch his new business site, held a fund raising volleyball tournament, shot a commercial last weekend, has a Facebook page that regularly posts updates, and is hosting a launch party. All of these things are great and help raise awareness for your brand. Only problem I see with the majority of them is that they limit your awareness to only your immediate circle of friends and maybe their friends.
Finding a way to reach beyond the obvious is always tough. It will be something that continues to be that way. Right off the top of my head, these are just some solutions I came up with:
Have a Hollywood movie feature your site in some aspect of their movie... Which is not going to be anything realistic for most people unless they are a screenplay writer.
Use TV commercials and radio... Just don't over do it and make sure it is not annoying. There are only some many FarmersOnly.com or ChristianMingle.com commercials a sane person can take.
Create another website to announce your upcoming site... This just seems really redundant to me. I think you would be better off building a temporary site on your current domain so people get use to typing it in, if you are going to go this route, but may not be possible if you are just doing a rebrand.
Advertise or post on Social Media... This is probably the cheapest way to do it, but also just gets ignored or blocked by many users, unless you create some sort of game or contest out of it, such as Fangage. A game or contest such as this will help get it out of your immediate circle of friends. The more fun and exciting you make it, the more it will spread. The key here is to gently let users know about your product [site], but just as a "Oh by the way" type of thing, as opposed to a "Beat a Dead Horse" here is our upcoming product [site] over and over again.
As you can tell it may be tough to get users excited about your upcoming site, but the more creative you are, the better the response will be. After the initial launch, it will be up to your individual website and its content to bring people back and get new users to join in. What ideas have you used with your past sites, and what do you have planned for your next site? Feel free to drop a line in the comments.
So last night I was talking to my best friend in Cali on a project I was doing for her. Just a little graphic to go in the back of her truck, nothing fancy. I sent her a proof of the image and she loved it and said how excited she was, which was really cool. I like to think I have some photoshop & illustrator skills from time to time.
Then we started talking about Old Hat and I told her, "If you think that was good you should see some of the work that our designers do", since I spend all my time here coding the websites and not really designing. Which got me to thinking about the coolest posters I've seen here, which is quite a few, but the first one that came to mind was the 2012 Florida State Football poster.
So just to admire it one more time, here is the timelapse:
Hope you enjoyed it all over again. I know this is a really short blog, but I really want to work on my current project, which is going to be a super sweet website when I finish. Hope you all have a great day!
Last year the college football team that won it all, had their poster designed by Old Hat Creative. The current number one had a new logo designed by Old Hat Creative. In fact, if you look at the current top 25 you can see it is littered with schools that work with Old Hat Creative.
All that could be between you and athletic success could simply be a poster design from Old Hat Creative.
Yesterday Old Hat was up in Oklahoma City for a Minor League Baseball convention. It ended with a party at Bricktown Ballpark, home of the Oklahoma City RedHawks.
It was nice to be among MiLB people at the event. I spent the beginning of my career working with mostly minor league teams on their websites. It was always interesting work. Minor league teams do some incredibly unique things with their marketing and even more unique things with their gameday experience. If I had a dollar for every web page I built with some freakishly large, quadruple stacked, bacon wrapped, food creation; I would have at least $30. These teams make use of what they have and work their tails off to deliver for their fans.
I was happy to be back amongst the MiLB people, and as Old Hat gears up to do work for them, I keep thinking about the similarities we share with the teams. We do a fewgoofythings at Old Hat. Things you typically would not expect from a marketing company and we always work our tails off for our clients. I am looking forward to working with the teams. Check out some of the photos from last night at Bricktown Ballpark.
If I could get away with it, that is probably all this blog would say. Constantly creating new and relevant content is a challenge. I blog one to two times a month and still struggle to come up with ideas that actually make sense to go on Old Hat Creative’s blog. Old Hat Creative is what I do for a living and I still struggle to write coherent and entertaining sentences about what I do. Life is interesting enough that I should be able to find a few interesting things to write about.
In the past, I have blogged about writing drills that I was taught at a young age and how I use(d) those to keep my skills fresh and sharp. You know? The whole sharpen your axe speech?
Those are topics that interested me and were easy to write about. I used to drill myself all the time to make myself a better writer, but lately my axe has gotten a bit dull. I still write for Old Hat when needed, but I am not doing what I should be to make myself better. Ahh, the comfort zone…
We all know about it. Whether it is in a relationship with a significant other or the relationship to a skill you once wanted to perfect. You get comfortable. You obtain a level of proficiency that surpasses most people and you rest on your laurels. We work in the sports industry and there are countless examples of teams getting in this comfort zone. See Miami Heat 2014 NBA Finals and GO SPURS GO!
And that is the challenge. Do you have enough motivation or desire to constantly be improving yourself, your craft or just sharpening your axe in general? It is not something that is easy to do. A lot of people get into this industry because they are or were athletes and finding this motivation was always easy when playing sports. “Oh that guy, kicked me in the shin last time… I am going to tear him apart this year.” Every game presents you with an opportunity to get one years worth of motivation, but when we get to the real world and out of athletics, it can be more difficult to find that motivation.
That elusive motivation that gets us to improve ourselves in areas others may not think we need improving. For me, it is not the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning; it is the thing that keeps you awake at night. Laying there thinking about how it happened and what you wish you would have said or wrote or done… that is what motivates me.
I am lucky to work where I work. I know that and try to remember that every day. The last few months have not been easy for me outside of work and that is not how I usually want to go into our busy season. I like to be well rested and have myself fully prepared for the busy season, but that did not happen this year. However, that is where the people I work with come into play. I am lucky to work here for the all the cool stuff we do, but I am also lucky to be surrounded by such good people. The people here motivate me to sharpen my axe. It can be as simple as Kelby forcing me to blog twice in one week. Realizing that at one point I would have no issue writing two good blogs in a week because I was always practicing is a wake up call. Deb calling me out on something I said and making me prove it or at least provide reasoning. This makes me better. It reminds me of the work that went into getting here and what it will take to continually improve.
Writing is hard and so is finding motivation. You will always find yourself falling into one comfort zone or another. How you pull yourself out of those is up to you and will go a long way in determining how long you stay successful or how successful you become. You can choose the attitude you take into a situation and ONLY YOU can choose what motivates you.
At Old Hat we like to challenge ourselves. Whether building a website that will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people, doing a video shoot sixty feet underground, or creating videos/posters that no one has ever seen anything like, we like a challenge. Clients are great at challenging us and we welcome any challenge you can lay at our feet.
Tomorrow a few large and high traffic websites will intentionally slow down their website and frustrate their customers. Now, the slow down may not be noticeable in some places but almost all of them will take the time to place a specific logo on their websites.
The reason that these companies are taking this step is because they are worried about the future of the Internet. Old Hat’s blog is not the place for me to launch into a political rant but considering my career utilizes relies on the Internet it frightens me. One day we could be forced to present our clients with two options.
Pay $XXX amount to Internet service providers so your website will actually load or
Do not pay Internet service providers and be prepared for fans/users of your site to have incredibly slow load times or possibly not be able to load your site at all.
Internet service providers could play favorites. In the sports world, rivalries can be heated and I would hate to think that someone from a teams rival school could slow down a website.
Last week, Old Hat launched our latest and greatest in our fan engagement arsenal. For any of you that are regulars on Facebook, the biggest trend right now is to take these quizzes to figure out "Which Character from Frozen Are You?," or "Which Country Artist Are You?," or "What Flavor of Gum Are You?"... These things spread like wildfire and are a great way to engage your target audience in what you're promoting.
Old Hat has now developed the sports marketing version of the "What Flavor of Gum Are You?" quiz. We launched the "How Aggie Are You?" quiz last week to amazing results. The response was stellar and only goes to show that these quizzes are a great way to build your brand and engage your audience. While your fans are taking these quizzes, you have the attention of your exact audience. The only people taking this quiz are your fans which are the exact people you're trying to reach to promote ticket sales, apparel sales or inform them of department initiatives. You can view this quiz HERE.
SPONSOR OPPORTUNITIES In addition to being a great opportunity to advertise to your fans, you may just choose to offer this as an opportunity to your sponsors to reach your fans. They can place an ad within the quiz or simply place their logo within it to help build their brand.
OTHER QUIZZES We can, of course, develop any number of quizzes beyond just measuring the passion level of your fans. Taking a page from what seems to be popular on Facebook, we have come up with the following ideas for quizzes we can create based on input (questions, answers, etc.) from you.
• What Current Coach Are You? • What Coaching Legend Are You? • What University Hall of Famer Are You? • What Local Bar/Restaurant Are You? • What Sport Are You? • What Moment in Our University's Sports History Are You?
BY THE NUMBERS This is the all-important information that shows the value of creating these quizes for your fans. Imagine the impact you can have with by utilizing these quizzes to reach the exact audience you're attempting to reach.
First 24 Hours 5,209 - Number of users who completed the quiz 12,156 - Number of users who viewed the quiz 562 - Number of users who clicked the ad within the quiz
76,416 - To date, the total number of Facebook users the quiz has reached (the most of any post on the 12th Man Foundation's Facebook page).
This means that of all the posts on the 12th Man Foundation's page, including posts of videos about the program, links to articles about their athletes and links to the new Texas A&M mobile app, this quiz reached more than all of those combined.
Your fans will love these quizzes. Your sponsors will love the exposure it gets them. Call us today at 405.310.2133 to find out more.