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The Arizona Cardinals score a touchdown with their social media content

The football team utilizes powerful analytics reports to create engaging content and campaigns

Professional sports teams represent some of the most-followed accounts across social media at large. From team news, jeering and gossip, to breaking trades, sports-related topics are almost always trending on social media. Playing in the ultra-competitive National Football League (NFL), the Arizona Cardinals recognize that social media is the fastest, most direct way to reach the largest number of people possible. Beyond widespread reach, their goal is to produce engaging and thoughtful content for their audience.

"There's so much content on social media, we don't want to contribute to the noise,” said Zach Galia, Director of Digital Content for the Arizona Cardinals. “We want to stand out and cut through the noise with content that's worth seeing."

Quick, easy access to multiple social media reports in one place

To understand the type of content their fans want to see more of, the Arizona Cardinals needed a way to analyze their social media posts across all platforms and gauge their audience's reaction. Previously, they would manually pull separate analytics reports from each individual social media platform, and create multiple reports with varying data. However, the team desired a solution that made analyzing reports faster, easier, and more organized — a way to pull all the data from every social media platform into one convenient place.

The Arizona Cardinals implemented Emplifi Social Marketing Cloud to quickly provide their business development and activation teams with easy-to-digest data on every piece of content. Using Emplifi's easy-to-understand dashboards with customizable views, they can quickly track key metrics across all their social media profiles, including for specific campaigns. They can generate presentation-ready social media analytics reports in seconds and export custom dashboards and visualizations.

"Emplifi provides us with quick, standardized reports that allow us to speak more intelligently about the data we're presenting to our business development and activation teams," said Galia. "During the season, the faster we can turn things around, the easier it is to make decisions."

The Cardinals' social media team has also been able to teach other internal teams how to pull their own reports, which has saved them ample time.

Analyzing reports to make intelligent decisions

With Emplifi, the Arizona Cardinals can easily drill down into vast amounts of social media data and better understand what content resonates the most with their audiences — and why — so they can optimize their efforts.

"The numbers behind every piece of content or post provides insight into what people are most interested in, which helps us make better, more informed decisions," added Galia. "With Emplifi, we can keep a finger on the pulse of what fans are looking for, what's working, and what's not."

Insights to help tell a tale

Whether in the middle of the season or throughout the offseason, Emplifi makes it easy to analyze multi-channel campaigns in real-time, all in one place. In 2021, the Arizona Cardinals started a historical video series on YouTube called "Cardinals Folktales." It also transformed into a podcast series, long-form articles, and photo galleries.

"The Folktales series has been the biggest, most robust campaign we've done, touching every digital platform we have," added Galia. "With Emplifi, we can see how it has performed on every channel, which has guided our decision-making moving forward."

The Cardinals have made some adjustments during the campaign based on the data Emplifi showed. With Emplifi, they can pull data throughout the series from every platform into one place for a complete picture of the campaign's performance.

Seeing a trend with the rankings

Emplifi's automated content labeling feature categorizes all of the Arizona Cardinals' content across multiple social media platforms. Labeling helps them see what content is resonating with their audience. For example, they started creating standings and power rankings graphics as a complimentary piece of content in their weekly strategy. However, with Emplifi, they were able to see that this continued to be one of their top three posts on every channel.

"Now, we ensure the rankings posts go out every Monday or Tuesday after a Sunday win," said Galia. "We also include data on the rankings posts in every report."

Increases in performance across the board

Since 2019, the Arizona Cardinals have seen an almost 20% increase in the average reach for each of their Facebook content pieces, an over 15% increase in overall interactions with their content, and nearly 18 million video views. The team also added over half a million followers across their social media platforms since March 2019.

The takeaway

Moving forward, the Arizona Cardinals want to continue to grow their audience and attract new fans by producing engaging content that will grow their audience and attract new Cardinals fans. Emplifi identifies the content Arizona Cardinals fans enjoy most, which guides the team's decision-making process.

"The more we understand about our audience, what they enjoy and what they like, the more we can give them the content they want to see," added Galia.

Do you need help accessing data on how your social media content is performing? If you would like assistance streamlining your analyzing processes, schedule a demo of Social Marketing Cloud with an Emplifi expert today.

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