Somos ABQ 2018 Case Study
SOMOS began out of a deep, abiding love for Albuquerque. The vision is to illuminate every good thing we know Albuquerque to be, with an eye towards cultivating meaningful opportunities for community connection. Attendees were expected to leave SOMOS with pride of place. Though it was a one-day festival, the impact was to be felt year round. SOMOS ABQ was developed around the concept of a “block party” with many similarities to South By Southwest, where the city became a part of the character of the event. Attendees were to be exposed to new restaurants, artists, small businesses and people. Both the organizers and the Siarza team hoped that exposure would increase awareness of and traffic into local businesses in addition to creating a more close-knit community.
SiarzaSD first partnered with SOMOS organizers in 2017, the first year SOMOS ABQ had ever been held. Knowing there was a high chance it could fail within the first few years, SiarzaSD agreed to promote SOMOS ABQ for a chance to grow the event beyond its first year attendance and truly begin to establish SOMOS ABQ as an annual end-of-summer festival. SiarzaSD, with experience in marketing international festivals and winning PRSA Silver Anvil awards for event social media communication, implemented an integrated event marketing approach to the project. SiarzaSD empowered several past internship students of the company, as well as family and friends to staff the event. Once again, SiarzaSD was limited to ten weeks to research, plan, execute and evaluate marketing and communication tactics for SOMOS ABQ.
The goal of Albuquerque Navy Week was to introduce NAVCO to as many Albuquerque stakeholders as possible, with an objective to increase the number of events from 2016 (64 events) to 2018 (90 events).Another objective was to increase the impressions compared to the 2016 performance (3.2 million). The Siarza team reached 4.7 million. A third objective, to increase online impressions, was a large contributor to this number, with a 60% increase seen by the end of the campaign.
SOMOS ABQ was created to have an economic impact on Downtown Albuquerque through art, technology, entertainment, food and culture. SiarzaSD’s used its experience in event communications and marketing to position SOMOS ABQ the annual end-of-summer festival. SiarzaSD wanted to communicate SOMOS ABQ’s purpose, mission and vision to generate connection with the community.
SiarzaSD studied past events in Albuquerque and analyzed past client experiences. SiarzaSD’s niche is large-scale events in the Southwest, such as Fiery Food Show, Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest, multiple wine fests, and Brain Freeze, to name a few. SiarzaSD researched marketing tactics from millennial-centered festivals like the Electric Daisy Carnival, Lollapalooza, and SXSW. It was also important for SiarzaSD to analyze event marketing for similar festivals in other cities to cross-reference key demographics with key messages. SiarzaSD wanted to differentiate SOMOS ABQ from other events, which incited the idea to analyze the delivery of key messages by other events and establish a different tone for SOMOS ABQ marketing.
The Siarza team analyzed data compiled by Albuquerque Business First on past Albuquerque events to account for seasonal event attendance fluctuations and industry best practices with the highest ROI for event types similar to SOMOS.
HOW THE RESEARCH DROVE IMPLEMENTATION: The research undertaken by the Siarza team, in addition to their previous experience covering SOMOS ABQ, influenced the creation of the campaign’s objectives and strategies, dictated the recommended budget, and suggested the number of workers needed to staff an event of this size and nature. Research also determined the frequency needed to maximize reach through digital and traditional media channels, which influenced the Siarza team to explore additional advertising avenues than had previously been covered. Based on the work SiazraSD did for SOMOS ABQ 2017, the team was able to devise a strategy that accounted for difficulties seen at and leading up to the 2017 festival. Secondary research also proved to SiarzaSD once again that the project timeline was extremely limited.
SiarzaSD made extensive use of NAVCO’s MAR throughout all stages of the campaign. It was useful for contacting relevant parties leading up to Navy Week in addition to understanding why Albuquerque was one of the 15 cities nationally selected as a Navy Week host, which in turn affected how Navy Week was framed to an Albuquerque audience by SiarzaSD in its public relations efforts.
TARGET AUDIENCES: Knowing the target audiences are important to direct the outreach of the organization. The following target audiences are the core customers:
- PRIMARY AUDIENCE: Location: New Mexico, 18-24-year-old students, 28-40-year-olds with young families. Interests and Behaviors: Foodies, Downtown businesses, Young alumni of higher education institutions, Active people, Craft Beer Lovers, Art lovers, Fans of performance arts
- SECONDARY AUDIENCE: Festival/event goers, Income of $40K and above, Visit ABQ target (Out-of-state), Intrepid Travelers, Prudent Boomers, Families
PROJECT GOALS AND MISSION: Communicate the purpose, mission and vision of SOMOS ABQ. Storytelling: Generate a connection with the Albuquerque community through written and visual content. Engagement: Interact with audiences, Drive ticket sales. Reporting: Monitor performance and customer feedback using traditional social media analytics
OBJECTIVES: SiarzaSD team recommend the following strategies and tactics to create and execute an effective campaign:
- OBJECTIVE 1: Increase awareness of the purpose, mission and vision by reaching 10% more people than 2017 by the end of the campaign. STRATEGIES: Tell the story behind SOMOS ABQ and the organizers, Utilize new digital media placements for advertisements, Place stories in major news outlets that cater to previously specified target audiences.
- OBJECTIVE 2: Increase social media engagement by 10% YoY by the end of the campaign. STRATEGIES: Tell the story of the Albuquerque community. Increase day-of event attendance (total ticket sales) by 25% YoY. Interact with followers, Share testimonials from the previous year.
- OBJECTIVE 3: Maintain the reach and impressions of advertising with less advertising dollars from 2017. STRATEGIES: Analyze post performance on social media, Monitor and shift advertising according to analytics, Analyze email analytics to capture highest performing campaigns.
- Crisis Communications: Due to the growing concern of attacks on entertainment events, such as the mass shooting in Las Vegas that happened just two weeks after SOMOS ABQ 2017, SiarzaSD created a crisis communication plan to be put into effect should a catastrophic event have taken place during the festival. Thankfully, the team did not have to deploy it.
- Monthly Social Media Content Calendars: The SiarzaSD team was responsible for posts including testimonials to add a human voice, important event information, key community engagement opportunities (e.g. running a scavenger hunt, photo contest, and ticket giveaway for followers). FB and IG stories were used to run polls and to add variety. Live features were utilized for key moments throughout the course of the event itself.
- Monthly Social Media Advertising: SiarzaSD ran targeted social media advertisements on FB and IG to reach both past and potential attendees about attending SOMOS ABQ 2019. Target audiences varied by location, interests, and behaviors.
- Miscellaneous Advertising: For the second year of SOMOS ABQ, the Siarza team decided to further advance the SOMOS ABQ mission by advertising through the AdWallet platform.
- Press Releases/Media Relations: The Siarza team worked to contact news and radio stations, news outlets, content creators, and other media professionals who worked with key target organizations in an effort to garner both national and local media coverage for SOMOS ABQ 2018. SiarzaSD created a media hospitality area for help and equipment charging.
- Email Marketing: Using SOMOS’ email database from 2017, which included emails from past attendees, and a list provided by HoldMyTicket, integrated a list of 50k from previous events. The email campaigns included previews of the event meant to drive conversions and increase website visits.
- Utilizing Social Media as a Customer Service Hub: SiarzaSD was responsible for crafting appropriate responses to questions, comments and mentions involving event details, ticket sales, vendor registration, and day-of inquiries.
RESOURCES USED: Siarza partnered with organizations such as Yelp, the City of Albuquerque, and Bernalillo County. We utilized partnerships from Visit Albuquerque, UNM student services, National Weather Service and more. The SOMOS ABQ team employed a content developer to supplement the work.
BUDGET: Siarza had a labor budget of $7500 and an advertising budget of $10,000 ($9828.13 spent). $15,000 worth of work was completed, and the remaining balance was traded as a sponsorship.
CHALLENGES: SOMOS ABQ faced negative publicity for debt. The stigma of being a failure had to be overcome. Covering over ten city blocks, radios needed to be used to communicate during the event. Major communication issues with the client, as the team was still better understanding their operational plans.
OBJECTIVE 1 WAS EXCEEDED: The SOMOS campaign reached xx% more people than in 2017, with published Facebook content alone reaching over 1,323,904 people, split between organic and paid posts, with an overall follower increase of 63.66%. Organic Twitter content reached 86,113 people, with an overall 29.03% increase. Instagram saw a follower growth of 57.02%. The Snapchat geo-filter was seen by 176.9K
OBJECTIVE 2 WAS EXCEEDED: In 2017, SOMOS ABQ social media accounts saw a total of 37,357 engagements across platforms. Comparing this to just SOMOS 2018’s Facebook engagements of 44,948 (including reactions, shares, comments and clicks) brings an increase of 20.32% for similar periods leading up to the event, not including Instagram and Twitter increases. Overall, there was an organic engagement increase of 54.92% YoY.
OBJECTIVE 3 WAS EXCEEDED: SOMOS ABQ 2018 saw a growth in attendance of 67% up from SOMOS ABQ 2017 (15,000 event attendees compared to 25,000 event attendees).