Established in 1960, Karting Magazine was the first magazine dedicated to junior motorsport and is now the UK’s number 1 magazine for karting. However, despite their strong roots, our client was slow to adapt to the online world and had limited social media clout.
Although Karting Magazine was producing strong content, it was proving difficult to increase traffic amongst the largely young and digitally savvy karting audience. Our challenge was therefore to connect with the wider karting audience in order to grow awareness of our client’s online presence.
Their missed opportunity
Whilst our client had registered social media accounts, these were not very active. However, given that karting is predominantly a young person’s sport and 76% 12-15 year olds are active on social media, it made sense to focus on growing a social following and post regular updates to appeal to this age bracket.
The need for change
Until now, our client had not seen the value of growing a social presence. Yet, with their younger target audience highly active on social media, it was essential that we develop their social channels.
Our extensive social media audit of Karting Magazine and its rivals revealed the biggest social sites in the motorsports sector are Twitter and Facebook, with Instagram gaining pace in third. We therefore identified that it was integral to target Twitter and Facebook initially, before expanding our reach to other channels once we’d established a formula for success.
From our social media audit of Karting Magazine, its rivals, and other motorsports titles, we had established a clear need to build a presence on motorsports followers’ most popular social channels: Twitter and Facebook.
We therefore designed and set up these social media channels to both represent the brand and promote the natural flow of fans and followers between the two channels. By experimenting with different types of content over the course of a month, we were able to evaluate what content performed best on what platform and determine which pieces our audience really connected with.
From here, we refined our formula until we hit the sweet spot. Having developed a weekly social media planner, we gave the team an easy to follow guide of what to post and when.
Specifically, we used Twitter to post the latest news and referred to the website for the full story. On both channels, we posted overtly interactive content to encourage engagement, from 'Shunt Sunday' (videos of crashes) to 'Object of Desire' (the kit karters lust after). Once we had gained traction and a loyal following, we kept building on our success and watching the numbers grow.
We then hit on a magic idea: now we have a strong social following, we'll launch the first ever Karting Annual Awards, host it on the website, and conduct the shortlisting and voting via social media. We adopted a unified approach with Twitter and Facebook and made sure we mentioned each karter, manufacturer, or club's social media handle whenever they were shortlisted in order to gain valuable retweets and reach a wider audience.
The number of sessions on the website increased dramatically when the social media campaign was first launched, with our reach climbing from 20,000 to 120,000 in just 6 weeks.
The final results speak for themselves: not only did we increase Facebook and Twitter fans and followers by 300% in 6 months, we also created the right social signals about the existing website, which now has double the traffic it did before the social media campaign. Referral traffic from social media was up by over 245%, whilst website sessions more than tripled during the social media push. Another welcome bonus was an increase in the magazine's digital advertising revenues and magazine subscriptions.
This 6 month campaign left Karting Magazine in a strong position to move forward with a solid social following and highly targeted audience to promote their content to.