Volleyball World Championship: what’s behind a successful influence marketing campaign!

One of the most appreciated social media marketing campaigns of October has been #conleazzurre, launched during the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014. To deeply understand how this campaign was born, we’re pleased to interview the creator: Luca La Mesa.

volleyLuca, tell us about this incredible story from the beginning…
In the last 4 years I implemented social strategies for sport organization at world level (Superbike Championship, AS Roma, Pirelli, Brazil Fifa World Cup 2014, Italian Volleyball federation, etc…) and I tried to include in this experience what I learnt from past campaigns: with my agency (Publisoftweb) I supported the Italian Volleyball Federation since its first social media steps and I thought that this World Championship could be the perfect chance to try with an innovative strategy. So I proposed to the Federation and to the Italian team captain Francesca Piccinini to launch together the campaign #conleazzurre. The idea was to engage with Italian supporters asking to publish a picture with something blue and the hashtag #conleazzurre to demonstrate both the support to the team as the interest for this sport.

During the campaign you used FindTheRipple to engage with influencers and measure the campaign results?
Yes, FindTheRipple has been extremely useful from the beginning of the campaign to discover the most engaging users in the volleyball world, but also during the campaign to monitor the results of the campaign we reached day after day.

most_engaging_authThe campaign was incredibly successful, boosting the event visibility beyond social media: the buzz started on social media, but then soon extended through mainstream media…did you expect it?
When you design ambitious activities it is important to have the final goal defined and to implement the correct actions to reach it. “Utilize SocialMedia to reach the old media” is a strategy that I always suggest but it is obviously difficult to realize. Without investments the number of news that you can have in TV or printed news is usually really low.

Which are the secrets to reach the goal?
My advice is to make a deep analysis of all the chances you have to make this activity a news attractive for press and tv. In this case I involved Dao Management, a company specialized in managing international athletes reputation, that manages also the image of the Italian team captain Francesca Piccinini, to inform them about this campaign, in case any other of their athletes voluntarily decide to participate with a picture in a Social Media. FindTheRipple platform has been essential to have a clear vision about the volleyball passionate social media users, the advocates that we could directly reach and other influencers that could be involved directly within the social channels. In the meantime I activated my network of contacts to involve actors, singers and other VIPs. I asked to the Italian Volleyball Federation to publish news about the campaign through their press office. But what really worked has been the active involvement of Francesca Piccinini, who engaged with social media users in a genuine and authentic way.

Luca, are you satisfied with this campaign results? most_mentioned_users
Yes, definitely. Clear results are visibility in terms of tweet volumes, community engagement and contribution to campaign and resonance on mainstream media. Buzz generated by VIPs influenced also National TV channels to change the show schedule obtaining great audience results. It has been also a great success for the reputation of Francesca Piccinini that has been the most mentioned user and the most amplified author, which isuser that generated higher engagement level.

Luca, what’s your winning mix and how did FindTheRipple contributed? 
I believe the success of this campaign could be summed up in one word only: “Emotions”. Every single piece of this campaign contributed to build and fire-up the community emotional experience, from key people engagement to valuable content sharing. Without FindTheRipple we could have involved our nearest contacts, but not the core of volleyball passionate. So I used FindTheRipple to discover micro-to-mid influencers within the topic “Volley”.

How many names did you contacted and what was the main benefit?
Time was really short, so I decided to focus on no more than 10/15 quality mid-influencers that according to FindTheRipple data where more keen on engaging and mentioning. On top of them other VIPs like Fiorello, Marco Mengoni, Luca Argentero and plenty of others got on board and together with the great performance of our team, they definitively drove the visibility peak that we reached.

most_amplfied_tweetsSo, can you say you experienced the ripple effect and the power of engaging with people influential on the specific topic (volley/sport)?

Sure! But it is not my guess, the “ripple effect” and the contribution of the niche topic-relevant influencers is clear looking at data. 128 millions potential views for tweets with the campaign hashtag by thousands of users, including lots of VIPs both from TV shows and sports. Analysing the 50 most engaging authors participating to the campaign, most of the contribution comes from 37 people from the sport/volley domain that generated more than 60% out of the total volume of RT whereas only 5 VIPs not dealing with the specific topic contributed to boost the visibility with around 30% out of the total volume. Users from the sport/volley domain surely constituted the most long-term result, those that I would work on for community building, because they are totally engaged with the topic, in-target and produced the greater output.

Would you use FindTheRipple again and why?
Yes I would, because it provided me with as many data to drive me in the influencers’ selection in a short time and for the measurement of the results that let me specifically assess my campaign and the people that mostly contributed to its success!

Luca La Mesa – Skilled and passionate for Marketing and Innovation. After his experience with Unilever  and Procter&Gamble he founded an agency focused on Social Media Marketing e and Innovation (Publisoftweb). Some of the main clients: Superbike World Championship, Pirelli, AS Roma, Volleyball Italian Federation, FIFA World Cup 2014 (with the Italian striker Ciro Immobile), Comitato Digitale Matteo Renzi, Cornetto Algida, Dove, Winner Taco, Mediaset. Professor of “Social Media Marketing” in John Cabot University, HEC PARIS and Rome Business School. Board of Advisor LUISS Enlabs. Mentor “Microsoft/Nokia”, “Wind Business Factor” and “Founder Institute”