Commentary

Former NFL Falcons Player Helps Brands Score Touchdown From Social, Search Referral Traffic

William-Overstreet-FalconFootballWhen asked to provide the New York Giants and New England Patriots with some advice for Super Bowl XLVI this weekend, former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Will Overstreet said "the Giants should put pressure on Tom Brady to make him nervous, and then the Patriots need to keep the Giants off Tom Brady by stepping up the defense to make a few plays." The Patriots also can't let Eli Manning "throw it all over the field," he said.

It's that type of strategy that led Overstreet to develop an analytics package that allows brand marketers to analyze data. He created the company -- Voices Heard Media -- several years ago, but recently began providing more sophisticated tools.

Voices Heard Media developed an interactive platform to help keep visitors on Web sites, Facebook pages, blogs and more, increasing interaction through questions and answers, polls, and contests. Users are encouraged to share experiences, results, and recruit others to join in.

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This week the company released an analytics package designed to track interaction, engagement and statistics. The stats are collected through polls and contests on sites like Fox Sports, AOL, The Huffington Post, HGTV, Food Network and others that enable users to share events and content. Users can now insert a CPM rate to see the number of visitors to a specific poll, Q&A or other content contributed to the return on the investment.

Through a graph, brands can visually see the amount of interactions that allowed the brand to serve a specific number of ads. The reporting shows which questions consumers vote on, the ones driving the most traffic to other sites, and whether or not they asked questions back.

Brand marketers might change the goals for each campaign, but they need to start off with the same basics -- measurable metrics around social media and marketing. "If I'm playing the Patriots this weekend, then I have a basic game plan and strategy to win the game," he said.

Overstreet realizes that keywords in search queries tell brands a lot about the intent of the person searching for information. Each query reveals a tone and a little bit about their personality, likes and dislikes. And while each person might shed a little insight into themselves, aggregating social media signals and search keywords can help marketers better understand how consumers individually and collectively view a product or brand.

Brands that rely only on social network comments generate, on average, 1% engagement, Overstreet said. "We found interaction between the brand and the consumer can drive 10% or more," he said.

Overstreet, a former Atlanta Falcons linebacker, went back to the University of Tennessee to earn an MBA in finance on the advice of a doctor that he move on from football after three major shoulder operations. A stint doing radio and TV broadcasting helped him understand the importance of the need for brands to become more personal in their one-to-many communication -- whether through search or social marketing through sharable content in widgets.

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