We’re just days away from the start of the most important day of the year, the start of college football season! Whether you’re part of the Big 10, ACC, SEC, SoCon, NEC, or any other conference, a college football team can do wonders for bolstering your school’s brand and reputation. If you’re looking for opportunities to promote your football program then look no further than an alumni engagement program.
What is an Alumni Ambassador Program?
So, what is an alumni engagement marketing program anyway?
Pretty straightforward really.
In an alumni ambassador or alumni engagement program, your top alumni and biggest fans sign up to share your content to their personal social media account. It’s that simple really:
- Your college football fans join your content engagement program through their social media account of choice.
- You publish amazing content and share it with your advocates.
- They share that same content to their personal social media newsfeeds.
- You benefit from the additional exposure and content engagement.
At SocialToaster, we’ve had the opportunity to work with dozens of universities. These higher education institutions use their alumni engagement program to support several different initiatives. Everything from driving student enrollment, increasing Giving Day donations, and, that’s right, bolstering their school’s football programs.
How to Use Engagement Marketing to Promote Your College Football Team
1) Plan For Success
Success doesn’t happen by accident. If you want to get the most out of your alumni engagement program efforts, start by first determining your definition of success. Do you want to use your program to drive engagement? Or are you trying to sell more tickets? Is it a combination of different goals?
Determine what you want out of your alumni ambassador program, then build your program’s strategy around that goal.
Looking for a bit of inspiration? Here are some of the more common collegiate sports goals we see:
- Drive ticket and apparel sales
- Distribute football-related content
- Support fundraising and alumni donation efforts
- Recruiting new talent and/or new students
2) Recruit. Recruit. Recruit.
The more ambassadors in your alumni engagement program, the greater your potential program reach.The more reach, the more content likes, engagements, shares, and conversions that your program can earn.
At SocialToaster, we’ve found that the average advocate is connected to around 600 family and friends on social media. Which means that a program of 1,000 advocates can have a potential reach of 600,000.
That’s 600,000 potential football fans.
So, how do you recruit your first 1,000 advocates:
- Advertise the program during the game
- Promote the program through alumni and booster emails
- Showcase the program during a live event (a game, pep rally, etc.)
- Encourage your advocates to recruit their friends
3) It’s All About The Content
Strong alumni engagement is built on a foundation of great content. The better your program’s content, the more likely it is to be shared, engaged with, and drive user action (buying tickets for instance). Lucky for you, the topic of college football naturally lends itself to creating great content.
Here are just a couple of our favorite football content topics:
- Video of practices or skirmish games
- Athlete/Coach interviews
- Game recaps
- Fun team-related memes
Not all of the content has to be made by your team. Get your fans in on the fun by encouraging them to create user-generated content (UGC).
As a content type, fans are 2x as likely to share UGC posts, which makes UGC a fantastic addition to any engagement marketing content strategy. Leverage your advocates to create content that features their in-game selfies, tailgating activities, or their team spirit. Then share that content with your advocates.
Give Your Advocates That “W”
If you want to encourage program participation then consider layering a prizing or contest element onto your marketing efforts. After all, they are the ones that are choosing to share your content with their social media accounts, and your alumni love to show their school spirit.
Some of our favorite incentives include:
- Free tickets to key games
- VIP treatment
- Signed merchandise
Ready to Kick Off Your College Football Season?
With football season (hopefully) just around the corner, now’s the time to launch your school’s alumni engagement program.
Ready to get started? Send us an email, request a free demo, or give us a call at 855.62.TOAST today!