New brand launches always send a crackle of enthusiasm and excitement through a team of marketers. The stakes are high, and everyone has their own view on not only what the brand voice should be, but who it’s speaking to.
So, we were eager to take the opportunity to get in somewhere near the ground floor with Football.London, a new website for football news, focusing exclusively on London clubs.
A fascinating pre-production meeting revealed that there was a very specific audience for the brand. Football.London exists to deliver a level of detail that national, and even local sports journalism often does not. This is for the kind of people who want to know their club in minute, cross-sectional detail at all levels from the youth age groups to the first team. The kind of people who have played too many football manager games with their club, striving to achieve the results that seem so tragically out of reach in real life. Football.London is about celebrating football geekery in all its glory.
To cater for the more discerning football follower, Football.London wanted to show that the people behind the articles were the same as the readership - Dedicated fans who love the game. So, we were asked to put the new team of writers in front of the camera, in situ in front of their team’s home ground. We asked each writer the same questions relating to their team, but as we went from one writer to the next, we were able to tell the person on camera what the previous writers had said, and so get a level of interaction between answers which we were able to use in the edit. The final videos not only introduce each writer but communicate that there is always a bit of needle between fans when it comes to differing opinions on the game. This was an aspect I particularly enjoyed, as I was keen to show a joy in the rivalries and tribalism that football inspires.
For this project, it was important to produce something that football fans could engage with, as growth in brand awareness will depend to an extent on developing a social media following. We asked the questions which we thought could stimulate the most debate between the writers, with a view to using social media polls to put the same questions to Football.London’s followers.
The key reason why this project was such a pleasure to work on is that the audience had been clearly defined. Before Ember’s involvement, lots of work had gone into thinking about where this brand would fit into the market and what kind of people they wanted to cater for. That’s a lesson for anyone in marketing - Your audience needs to come first. Only then can you think about brand guidelines, voice, distribution channels, and the type and style of content you’re going to use. Ideally, this should all be plotted in a marketing plan, where you show how you will match your efforts to your objectives.
With video, it’s particularly important to have clear objectives for what you’re producing, as the costs of production are relatively high. I’d love to see more organisations with a clear strategy, where they plan in advance what content to publish and when, with a clear driver or goal for each piece. That is the most effective way to build an audience and engagement with your brand.
Head to Football.London for full coverage of London's football clubs.