Objective:Use multiple online platforms to create Pedal The Plains brand, push share-worthy content throughout the social web, create buzz about the inaugural ride with the goal of raising awareness and interest, and increase registrations for the 2012 and 2013 rides.
Strategy:Publish an ongoing stream of interesting content, interact with existing social hubs, and utilize fan-generated content as much as possible. Promote the ride as a mutually beneficial endeavor for cyclists and local plains communities—guests get a chance to see a part of the state that they may not have visited before, and local communities will see a tourism boost during the week of the event.
The Team:OnSight Public Affairs, Denver Post Foundation, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and Governor Hickenlooper’s staff.
Challenge:OnSight was tasked with branding and developing an online presence and social media plan. Having worked with the USA Pro Challenge previously, OnSight knew the challenges of branding and promoting a cycling ride. As a new event, Pedal the Plains provided another list of obstacles, such as:
- How do we entice people to cycle in a region that has an agricultural landscape?
- How do we turn this event into a tourist draw that highlights the culture of rural communities in Colorado’s eastern plains?
- Built Pedal The Plains website using customized WordPress and branded with logo, colors and language.
- Developed and managed social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and blogs.
- Created an extensive Social Media Roadmap, which provided guideines, content ideas, timing and posting best-practies, as well as a sketch of target benchmarks for the weeks and months leading up to the event.
- Prioritized responsiveness on social media to individuals posting questions, items that could be shared or responded to by the existing community (e.g., requests for carpool coordination), and posts to promote sponsors, participating towns, and partners for the event.
- Created blog series called “The Plain Pedalers,” where participants submitted daily updates and posts, giving the public an insider’s view of the ride.
Outcome:Pedal The Plains became not only a story in the paper for the public to read about, but an interactive experience for riders, as well as spectators and non-participants.
- Website had 32,927 unique visitors and spent an average of more than four minutes on the site.
- Email list grew to 2,249 subscribers and had an average open rate of 48.2%.
- Social media platforms engaged 1,629 followers.