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Volume 24 No. 117
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Motorsports Marketing Forum: Finding An Audience For Social Media Stories Is Important

An afternoon theme of “storytelling” in motorsports yesterday started with a “Storytelling through Social and Digital Media” panel that featured Weber Shandwick Exec VP & Managing Dir of Social Media Stephanie Agresta, Cie Games President & CEO Justin Choi, Taylor VP/Digital Strategy Jackson Jeyanayagam and Buddy Media co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer Jeff Ragovin. An early theme was the goal of finding an audience. Ragovin said, “At the end of the day it’s about developing content. Content that is engaging and that people want to share. You have to think about how you’re going to give them something to make them say, ‘This is cool, I want to hear from you.’ Not everyone wants to hear from you.” But it is not just about throwing up content, “it comes down to understanding who your core is and developing a strategy around it.” Choi noted that companies should not look at social media through a funnel, saying, “Facebook is a communication channel. It’s not a miracle brand. It’s not a silo. Share your content everywhere -- Twitter, YouTube, TV, everywhere.” Jeyanayagam: “If you look at some of the best brands in the world, they are starting to generate good content and then leveraging their influencers to push that out. The idea of brands publishing content, which takes many forms, is where we are going. I could see a world where media companies, who are usually looking for advertisers, maybe in the future going to Red Bull and saying, ‘Can we buy space on your digital network or mobile app?’” Agresta: “But all that takes resources. You can’t just get into publishing. And some brands that do this, they hire two people and think it’s going to be a publishing company. One key is not to be looking at this through the marketing department of a company, but also through customer service and research and development. There are a number of areas within an organization that can benefit from this and too often it’s purely through the marketing department.” Choi: “If it’s done right, it’s still extremely cost effective to market through social media … because Facebook is not charging you.”

* Choi: “If you want people to share it, say it. When we say ‘share it,’ they are far more likely to actually share it."
* Jeyanayagam: “Giving up control and crowd sourcing content and getting consumers opinions on your products. That is a real benefit to social media. I think big and large brands are afraid to do it. Smaller brands feel they have nothing to lose. The big brands have difficulty doing this.”