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Case Study – NFL Draft for HERO Sports

CASE STUDY

NFL DRAFT

HERO Sports is a mid-sized sports publisher best known for its comprehensive coverage of FCS football but with ambitions of competing with the big boys and girls. With a modest marketing budget, and without a high-authority domain or media rights, how does a company like HERO Sports dominate searches related to a major media event like the 2020 NFL Draft over massive publishers like CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, NFL.com, and others?

HERO Sports
Draft Tracker

WE GOT THIS

The Challenge

In just three days, HERO Sports needed thousands of pieces of original content optimized for search, including custom graphics, for the most competitive topic in sports.

Content Automation Goals

  • Be First to Publish
  • 50% Organic Traffic
  • Unique Article For Every NFL Draft Pick (256)

AUTOMATION

Proposed Content Solutions

To beat larger media publishers on search results pages, HERO Sports needed to create search-optimized high-quality content at superhuman scale.

Here’s how HERO Sports worked with Data Skrive to solve this challenge:

  1. Analyzed Trending Topics (automated)
  2. Identified Competitive Opportunities (automated)
  3. Generated Written Content (automated)
  4. Designed Custom Graphics (automated)
  5. Published To Website (automated)

Data Skrive successfully answered the HERO Sports challenge with a completely automated process.

Automation Flow

WHAT WE DID

Tactical Solutions

Analyze
Trending Topics

The Data Skrive platform mined search trends and historical data from a variety of sources to anticipate which topics and keywords were most relevant to fans.

Design
Custom Graphics

The platform created hundreds of unique draft articles and developed a graphics component capable of producing a unique header for each. These graphics were then leveraged as social media assets.

Identify
Opportunities

Data Skrive analyzed which keywords were being saturated by competitors and identified overlooked high-volume terms for which HERO Sports could rank.

Publish
to Website

It didn’t make sense for HERO Sports to automate hundreds of articles just to have a team member manually post them to its site. Instead, Data Skrive created an integration directly into the HERO Sports CMS that enabled articles to be published automatically in real-time.

Create
Automated Content

By ingesting data (stats, names, teams, etc.), Data Skrive interpreted information, assigned it a relative value, and composed high-quality original content at scale for the 2020 NFL Draft.

SEO Success

PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING

The Results

HERO Sports can only compete with large sports media publishers by being faster and more effective. Faster through the use of automation. While other sites were frantically writing content, HERO Sports was enjoying a threefold increase in web traffic. And more effective in automatically optimizing each article for search, including featured snippets, as seen below.

Draft Results

HOW YOU LIKE THEM APPLES

Search Dominance

Below is a screenshot from day one of the 2020 NFL Draft showing HERO Sports as the top story ahead of NFL.com, CBS Sports, and Sports Illustrated for “LSU NFL draft tracker.”

Draft Tracker

Day 1 Analytics

NICE!

Day 1 Results

In a single day, HERO Sports tripled its average organic traffic. The implications are triple the ad revenue and triple the impressions without requiring additional resources to cover the largest sporting event in the world on April 23, 2020.

Day 1 Results

WOW, THAT'S FAST

Speed to Publish

HERO Sports may be a smaller player in the sports media landscape, but you would never know it by the breadth of content produced for the 2020 NFL Draft. When approaching the HERO Sports challenge, Data Skrive understood the need to be faster and more comprehensive.

The chart below validates the comprehensive approach. By automating a wide breadth of content, HERO Sports benefited from underserved fan bases sharing the automated content to their social networks.

Two details are worth noting:

  1. No single page accounted for more than 5.27% of traffic.
  2. Searches generated significant traffic for players outside of Power 5 schools.
Day 1 Pages

Day 2 Analytics

EVEN BETTER

Day 2 Results

After two days of publishing automated content, HERO Sports continued to see a dramatic increase in organic traffic. April 24 saw a threefold increase over the first day of the draft and a six-fold increase over the average day that month.

Day 2 Results

MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY INTER-FACE

Breadth & Efficiency

After two full days of NFL Draft coverage, HERO Sports lost any speed advantage automation offered because big-time competing publishers had finally played catch-up by writing articles individually, which saturated draft topics. Automation enabled HERO Sports to produce hundreds of search-optimized articles for the second day in a row. They doubled the previous day’s sessions, and nearly 95% of traffic was organic.

Day 2 Organic

CONTACT US

Have questions? Contact us to learn more

Email
info@dataskrive.com

Address
846 106th Avenue NE
Suite 103
Bellevue, WA 98004
USA

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