The Iowa State football program had a historic fall in 2020, both in terms of on-the-field performance as well as their coverage and communications strategies around the team’s successes.
Central to those strategies was getting photo and video content to Cyclone student-athletes via INFLCR, who then shared that high-quality content across their social media channels.
We spoke with Iowa State Football’s Director of Player Personnel, Derek Hoodjer, who shared insights on the team’s approach to content and social media presence over the last year.
Iowa State football’s creative team led the Big-12 Conference in content uploads to INFLCR. Walk us through your content process: how does your team capture and produce great content?
“It all starts with Coach Campbell allowing the team incredible access. On gameday the team will capture content pregame thru postgame. Afterwards, original photos will be uploaded to INFLCR while others will be edited and uploaded for the athletes to decide to use whichever they want. Video clips will be edited for social media use and posted as soon as possible.”
“An athlete can also request any content they want like a specific play from a game. We believe our job is to serve our student-athletes, and take great pride in doing everything we can to provide them they content they want.”
In just over a full year, your football athletes have logged over 20,000 INFLCR app sessions, downloading and sharing over 4,000 individual pieces of content during the 2020 fall season. Can you describe how your athletes have embraced the idea of sharing more content and building a digital brand on social media?
“Our student-athletes, like the vast majority of this generation, have long been active on Social Media. Because of that, our desire to help our players develop and build a digital brand that can positively impact their lives moving forward has been a welcomed goal.”
“Number one, our student-athletes understand the value of having a meaningful brand. Number two, our student-athletes have been extremely motivated to learn and improve in their social media branding.
Because of these reasons, we have collectively (staff and student-athletes) maximized content creation in order to provide opportunities to build our student-athletes brands around multiple areas of their life, not just on-the-field but also in the classroom and in the community.”
This fall, Iowa State FB athlete social media accounts had some of the biggest growth metrics in the Big-12 among INFLCR partners. What kind of messaging are your athletes sharing that is growing that community interest and engagement on social?
“Of course, the historic season and record setting performances certainly helped, but it is more than just one specific message that the athletes were sharing that has helped the interest in Iowa State football grow.
The culture inside of our locker room is a really special environment, and sharing the relationships that are fostered within that culture in addition to the success we have achieved on the field and in the classroom has driven engagement.”
Along with the athletes, Iowa State football’s official team Instagram account was Top 5 among Big-12 schools in follower growth during the fall season. What approach did your social media team use to grow your official team account following so effectively?
“In a season when recruits, many fans, and most importantly some of our athlete’s families couldn’t attend games, Coach Campbell wanted to find a way to help make sure they didn’t entirely miss out.”
“In providing more content to our athletes there was more content that was readily available and easily accessible by anybody on the content team to be used on social media alongside edited and produced content.”
Is there anyone on your staff that you’d like to highlight in helping achieve these strong stats?
“First of all, none of these stats would be possible without Coach Campbell’s approach to social media and insisting on getting as much content to our athletes as possible.
Getting it to the athletes wouldn’t be possible without Michael Saltus, Dillon Minshall and Natasha Novak, who spend countless hours capturing, editing, uploading, and tagging the content to get it to our athletes as soon as possible.”
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