Marketing

A well defined, defined and executed print and digital advertising sales strategy is the difference between a magazine being published or remaining a business plan. The A.E. Engine sales team has years of experience in delivering compelling, effective, results-oriented platforms for its clients. Our advertising strategy extends beyond a traditional print to include ROI-based programs, custom publishing, content marketing, event marketing and interactive digital and social media integration.

Quickly Influence the NASCAR Conversation

These days, just putting your mark on the side of a race car isn’t enough. If you want to really be a part of the NASCAR conversation – especially online – you’ll need content.

The Coming in Hot package allows companies to do just that. By partnering their brand with Eric Estepp on Out of the Groove, they can drive the conversation in the online fan community and truly activate their partnership with the race team. And not only that, but they can accomplish all of this FAST. 

That’s exactly what Charge.Me did to announce their latest project with driver Chandler Smith.

Coming in Hot videos are designed for those few days heading into the race weekend. You’ve got your paint scheme wrapped, your fire suits squared away, but how do you get your branding directly into the online conversation?

Charge.Me was able to activate their partnership with Chandler in just 48 hours. Conversations began on Wednesday, the interview was filmed on Thursday, and the video went live for fans on Friday afternoon.

With just a little discussion and scheduling, Charge.Me was able to pull in over 43,000 views on YouTube before the green flag even waved at Knoxville Raceway. For perspective, the raceway itself only seats 20,000 fans.

Chandler was able to speak directly to fans, and they responded with overwhelming positivity –

Coming in Hot videos utilize specially blocked schedules that not only allow our clients to act quickly, but also to provide them with several options to best tell their story to the online fanbase. In addition to the driver interview episode above, options for Coming in Hot sponsored segments, dedicated episodes, and paint scheme reveals are also available.

If you need to activate your race weekend campaign FAST, Coming in Hot is your best option for reaching the online NASCAR fanbase.

Inside the A.E. Engine & Out of the Groove Content Marketing Platform

 

Overview

The A.E. Engine & Out of the Groove platform is a way for NASCAR fans to engage and stay up to date with their favorite online community across media and devices. The platform combines YouTube, social media, podcasts, email, mobile news, and even the classic NASCAR Pole Position Magazine. Fans will be able to consume and interact with content from their favorite creators anytime and anywhere they want.

The way it works starts with each piece of the platform producing its own unique and authentic NASCAR content, whether it be a feature article or a YouTube video or a podcast episode. Those unique pieces then all connect to each other, providing fans with endless options to engage with the community as they want. Listen to the podcasts and you’ll find out about the weekly viewer’s guide. Read the viewer’s guide and you’ll find out about the YouTube channel. Watch the YouTube channel to find out the latest cool story in NASCAR Pole Position. All of the pieces connect.

The platform was created to answer the needs of our clients for a complete NASCAR marketing package. The platform allows our clients to reach the toughest audiences in modern media – the young, always online crowd – and not only reach them once, but to touch every piece of content they engage with in the space. These are not programmatic buckets of eyeballs, the platform allows our clients to directly support the authentic, creative content that the NASCAR online audience loves.

OOTG on YouTube

 

Eric Estepp’s Out of the Groove YouTube channel leads the way on the platform. Out of the Groove is the #1 NASCAR news and talk show on YouTube. Eric’s audience, the Groovy Gang, tunes in every week to stay up to speed and be part of the online conversation. Drivers and VIPs stop by all the time, including Jordan Anderson, Matt Kenseth, Hailie Deegan, and more.

With over 140,000 subscribers and videos nearly every day of the week, Out of the Groove is the perfect starting point for the NASCAR online community.

Check out these awesome episode examples:

Learn more about Out of the Groove and YouTube here: https://polepositionmag.com/ootg/

OOTG Podcast Network

The Out of the Groove Podcast Network is an ever expanding collection of NASCAR podcasts, each one offering unique content and individual, authentic voices from the NASCAR community.

The “NASCAR Weekly Podcast” features YouTubers Eric Estepp, Danny B Talks, the Iceberg, and Black Flags Matter every week live on YouTube. Each episode they interview NASCAR drivers and VIP, as well as spotlight important creators in the online community. The audience participates live in the chat room as the hosts review the last race in-depth, and then give their takes on the race to come.

The “A Lifetime in NASCAR” podcast features NASCAR writers and historians Aaron Clay Burns and Ben White taking a look at the current events of the sport through the lens of the past. They share anecdotes from their lifetimes covering the sport, including the King Richard Petty demanding an audience over one of their articles, and what it’s like hanging out in Japan with none other than Dale Earnhardt.

The network continues to expand, and new shows will be premiering soon. The network format allows our partners to reach the entire NASCAR podcast audience consistently each month, no matter how large the network grows.

Click here to find out more about the podcast network, and listen to a recent show here: https://polepositionmag.com/ootg-podcast-network-media-kit/

OOTG Weekly Viewer’s Guide

One of the most exciting pieces of the platform, the Out of the Groove Weekly Viewer’s Guide is Eric Estepp’s takeover of the digital magazine formerly known as ROAR! But it’s not just the name. As Editor in Chief, Eric is making big changes across the board.

The format of the magazine is now custom built for mobile platforms, with responsive content on any iOS, Android, tablet, Mac or PC. All of this is done without any compromise to the premium magazine experience, and further adds even more ways for our clients to engage directly with the readers. Advertising, and all messaging for that matter, also utilizes dynamic design, animation and videos. This will allow the magazine to interact with fans in a new and exciting way.

The content is also changing, with Eric working directly with the writers to create exclusive cross-media content bridging the weekly viewer’s guide together with YouTube, podcasts, and more. But don’t worry, everything fans loved about ROAR! will not only remain, but be expanded even further. The viewer’s guide will still be the easiest, most convenient way to get a bird’s eye view of the NASCAR online community, but will also feature even more creators and influencers from around the NASCAR community.

Learn more about the Weekly Viewer’s Guide here: https://polepositionmag.com/out-of-the-groove-viewers-guide/

 

A.E. Engine NASCAR Marketing Platform 

All of these exciting new digital content channels are also fully integrated with the rest of the A.E.’s NASCAR marketing engine. Our clients are already working with us on activations across the Out of the Groove platform, the Driver Partnership Program, Trackside Events, and of course, NASCAR Pole Position, the officially licensed NASCAR magazine.

NASCAR Pole Position will also be integrated with the Out of the Groove platform, featuring content offering more ways for fans to engage with the sport online, spotlights on the best NASCAR creators out there, and more content on the cutting edge of NASCAR, like iRacing and esports.

Learn more about the entire Platform here: https://polepositionmag.com/media-kit/

To discuss ways to engage your brand on the Out of the Groove platform, please contact Craig Baroncelli at [email protected]

K-Seal and Jordan Anderson at Daytona: Content is King

Having been a supporter of NASCAR media since 2018, K-Seal understood the valuable role that content played in the success of a NASCAR marketing campaign. When they decided to increase their investment in the sport, they not only chose an authentic representative in Jordan Anderson, someone who has personally used their products before, but a driver who has built his own brand around creating the same kind of engaging, fan-focused content that K-Seal has been creating in NASCAR for years.

The media campaign we created for K-Seal and Jordan Anderson was therefore designed to maximize these strengths of content and authenticity.

Traditional Press

The first step, a week out from the race, was the press release.

YouTube Influencers

The same day the press release was making its way through the NASCAR media ecosystem, Jordan personally appeared on Eric Estepp’s Out of the Groove YouTube show.

Jordan’s conversation with Eric, the most popular NASCAR YouTuber with over 100,000 subscribers, also led into the next piece of the campaign – the paint scheme reveal.

Branded Social Media

By now the race was only a few days away. This kicked off the next stage of our campaign, and Jordan showed off his specialty of engaging fan content on social media, unleashing a daily drumbeat of photos and videos covering the journey for his audience.

Content like this.

And this.

And also this.

And it all finally culminated with his last content before the race.

And that should have been about where our story ends. Nothing left but to tally up all the TV time from the race. And thanks to Jordan’s unique strategy of incorporating his YouTube friends, our content campaign for K-Seal was already set to cruise past their estimated target of 2.5 million impressions.

Rolling Storylines

All in all, it was a highly successful content partnership between Jordan Anderson Racing and K-Seal. At every step of the way, we made sure K-Seal was incorporated into the content and made a part of the show. And the audience was no random bucket of internet eyeballs, all of the content was focused on authentic NASCAR fans who recognize and engage with the sponsors who power their sport.

The End? Not even close.

If you’ve been following along with Jordan Anderson Racing lately, you might have guessed his journey was going to go farther than a few million impressions. You might have read about his new crew chief in NASCAR Pole Position, or you might have seen his tweets about a new partnership with AM Racing. You might have even picked up on some of his strategy from his interview on Out of the Groove.

Certainly that’s what NASCAR fans were finding when they rushed to their computers and started frantically Googling “Jordan Anderson” on Friday night after his spectacular second place finish. His final stretch battle with race winner Grant Enfinger was enough to send his story viral.

This was a perfect storm of exposure. This highlight video and other stories sat on the front page of NASCAR.com for three days thanks to rain delay. Further, it was the biggest three days of the entire season, with everyone who came to the site for times, channels, and so on all greeted with the blowout highlights from Friday night.

The hard numbers on these videos are fantastic, with every viewer spending a long time with the branding, every video getting over 80,000 views, and there being dozens of these highlight and interview clips out there.

But more importantly, what was the impact for K-Seal? The final numbers for the weekend were around 16,000,000, over six times the initial goal. But who are those people? These were all NASCAR fans. Normally we talk about them in clinical percentages, the 94% of fans who identify their favorite driver with their sponsors and so on. But K-Seal’s partnership with Jordan Anderson Racing got to see this supportive community in action.

Fan Engagement

Following Jordan’s stunning performance, fans rushed to social media to show their support. Not just to Jordan Anderson, but to his sponsor, K-Seal.

“Thank you for supporting Jordan,” one says, “thank you for coming into the sport,” says another. One even goes so far as to say “I’ll be buying K-Seal tomorrow hoping it stops a small head gasket leak on my truck.” And no, that kind of direct conversion isn’t unique. Some even reached out to Jordan directly to say the same.

This is the power of a NASCAR campaign built on authenticity and content. K-Seal helped create a huge amount of engagement and excitement online leading up to the race, and had laid a perfect foundation of media for when their moment went viral. And all of it was focused on a fanbase that wholeheartedly rewards this kind of investment in their favorite sport.

Ongoing Value

And the campaign continues, with pre-orders already under way massively successful for the limited edition diecast, along with a continued content campaign in the next issue of NASCAR Pole Position. The 1:24 diecast will be available online, and the 1:64 diecast will be sold at Walmarts around the country starting in October – all featuring the spectacular K-Seal paintscheme.

Final Impressions:

  • Web: 10,000,000
  • Social: 2,500,000
  • TV: 3,500,000
  • TOTAL: 16,000,000

Why Our Clients Are Opting for DCN Content Campaigns in 2020

The year is barely under way, and already our clients are booking up their campaigns with DCN content creators. Since last Spring, we’ve been working not only with our partners but with our own properties to integrate the full suite of contemporary digital media into our campaigns, from YouTube to influencers to podcasts.

We’ve seen many examples of our clients integrating their brands into YouTube content, including fully branded segments and fan-focused special features. Our partners have worked with the DCN to activate their NASCAR team sponsorships, or even find all new race teams to work with.

We’ve worked with the creators ourselves to catapult our digital magazine to a whole new generation of fans, deliver special behind-the-scenes features for fans at home, and provide a unique meeting point for the community to gather in person. Most recently we’ve added gaming and podcasts to the rosters, with even more on the way each month throughout 2020.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why our partners are so eager to incorporate DCN into their 2020 campaigns:

  • Access to New Audiences and Communities – While enormous, many of the most engaging online communities are supported almost entirely with fan contributions! These communities are highly welcoming and ready to return your investment into their passions.
  • Cutting Edge Content – While magazines and event activations are crucial to a good full spectrum campaign, they don’t always get your CMO excited. Incorporating DCN creators puts your brand far ahead of the curve from your competitors and ensures your campaigns are maximizing every advantage.
  • Integration, not Interruption – Hey, when’s the last time you bought something off a banner ad or pre-roll commercial? We can’t remember either. Don’t annoy customers by interrupting their experience when you can work with content creators to be totally integrated – make your brand a part of the show!
  • Authentic Endorsement – DCN creators are selected and vetted from among the most experienced and credible members of their community. They aren’t here to read a script and forget about you, they’re creative professionals delivering premium content that authentically tells your brand’s story.
  • Practical and Affordable – We’ve all seen articles about mega-celebs charging a quarter million dollars for a single Insta story. That’s not the reality of content marketing. We work with every day small business owners to help match them with their fellow entrepreneurs from the content business. They aren’t looking to exploit their fame, they’re seeking investment partners for their online communities.
  • Actionable and Evergreen – Influencer meetups put your product in the hands of fans right now. But they also form a lasting memory. A sponsored video puts fresh content on your company’s social media feed right now. But it also lives on in the algorithm, continually discovering new customers. DCN campaigns aren’t just giving you immediate return, they’re also laying a foundation for your continued endeavors.

How will your brand be integrating new media content like YouTube, influencers, and podcasts in 2020?

Find out more about working with the Digital Creators Network on your next campaign.

Start Your NASCAR Media Marketing Engine

Distributed Content – Getting Everyone on the Same Page

One of the first tasks A.E. Engine helps our partners with is untangling all the different channels they’re currently using for their marketing campaigns. Digital budget, print budget, and activation budgets are each separated and red taped off from each other. We see this in creative departments as well, with publishing on one track, social media on another, video on still another. And all the business time and money ends up going toward managing and coordinating these disparate pieces, rather than where it should be going, toward driving successful outcomes and returns.

The modern media ecosystem, however, operates on Distributed Content. This simply means that rather than there being separate audiences (TV viewers, Magazine readers) that you reach with specific campaigns (TV budget, Print budget), there is only one audience (The Community) that you reach with a singular content campaign distributed across all of the channels the audience engages with (Print, Video, Social, Activations, etc.).

When all channels are combined behind a singular content campaign, the results from each channel “echo” to the other channels, with each successive ping pushing the user farther down the funnel. Let’s take a look at how we create these distributed content campaigns for the NASCAR Community in what we call our Media Marketing Engine.

Media Marketing Engine – Many Voices Singing the Same Song

A.E. Engine helps our partners tie their campaigns together across the full spectrum of media channels available for reaching the NASCAR audience. That includes through NASCAR Pole Position, ROAR!, Eric Estepp’s Out of the Groove, NASCAR Trackside Sampling, social media, and email campaigns.

NASCAR Pole Position

Our flagship publication provides premium, insider content covering all things NASCAR, including drivers, fans, esports pros, and influential personalities.

ROAR!

The viewer’s guide for the modern NASCAR fan provides a twice-weekly digest of the most important information, trends, and storylines before and after every race.

Out of the Groove

One of the most popular NASCAR creators on YouTube, Eric helps drive the weekly conversation around the sport.

NASCAR Trackside Sampling

Fans line up early to get their hands on the latest products from our partners, along with our signature complimentary totes

Social Media

Keep the conversation going online with a daily drum beat of sharable content and giveaways for fans

Email Campaign

Every issue of ROAR, along with important updates from Pole Position and our partners, go out every week to over 50,000 core fans

Full Spectrum Campaigns – How to Drive the Conversation

In the engine above, our partners are able to deliver premium content across the entire NASCAR community, thus quite literally driving the conversation of the fanbase. A sponsor might create a commemorative cover in NASCAR Pole Position magazine, conduct an interview with the driver on Out of the Groove, and stage a fan meet-and-greet at our Trackside Sampling events. Each piece of the engine is finely tuned to its exclusive content strengths. The magazine is of premium production value, built to be kept as memorabilia, while the video interview is trendy and topical, built to touch on the hottest topics in the community, and so on.

Each piece of the engine drives the users further down the funnel. Social media sends them to the video, which sends them to the live event, which sends them home with a copy of the magazine. Or you might see the magazine in Wal-Mart, read about the YouTuber, subscribe to their channel, and end up at the live event. Every piece of content has a clear call to action, and no matter which individual call to action that a user might answer, their destination is always another touchpoint with our partners.  Anywhere you might go to have a conversation about NASCAR, be it social media, the newstand, or YouTube, our partners are there delivering their message and their content direct to the NASCAR community.

Media Engine Case Studies:

 

Distribution Leads Content: Design Your Campaign to Maximize Strengths

 

Digital vs. Print Campaigns

One of the fundamental principles of media development is that distribution always leads content. You’ve likely heard of this concept before as “the medium is the message.” It simply means that whatever form of media or distribution you’re using will determine the most effective and impactful type of content you produce.

If you’re making a pop song, avoid making it thirty minutes long. If you’re making a feature film, stick to three acts and a two hour runtime. Likewise, when it comes to developing a modern marketing campaign, it’s wise to ensure that both your print and digital content is maximizing the unique strengths of their respective distribution.

The chart above lays bare just how foolish the entire “print vs. digital” debate has been. It’s not a choice between the two, and neither is more effective than the other. They each have unique strengths that lend themselves well to certain types of content. If they aren’t working for you, you might be doing it wrong.

Have you been spending time and money on long-form, in-depth digital content, and wondering why it isn’t burning up social media? Are you making quick, newsy content for print and wondering why no one is passing it around, spreading the word? Your distribution is not leading the content, your medium is not guiding your creative and editorial message.

Print & Digital Campaign Case Studies:

 

 

 

Full Spectrum Media Campaigns

As you can see in those examples, not only are Print and Digital not in competition with each other, they are at their most effective when working together. The brand message comes through clear and powerful on each channel because the content has been tailored exclusively around that channel’s core strengths.

Just the same as digital content trying to meet print content objectives is ineffectual, a digital campaign that isn’t tied to a print campaign is inherently weaker than it should be. Together they are more powerful, and each successive channel you integrate, activations or social media for instance, provide more advantages, more reach, and more return. Going all-digital or all-print is just plain missing out.