ChallengeSAPPHIRE Technology is a brand with strong presence and activeness in social media. SAROTA PR maintains the brand’s global profiles on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and the Steam platform. The total audience of the profiles is more than one million.
While social portals play a key role in communication, they impose certain limits and undergo frequent functionality changes. This applies in particular to the forms of the published contents and to the rules governing the organized contests. Due to those limitations, it has been decided to create the brand’s own, fully controlled global platform (an “owned media” platform).
The main tasks included creating the concept and designing and implementing a website with attractive contents centered around the SAPPHIRE brand, appealing to its new fans. The website concept had to be consistent with the existing image strategy and integrated with its communication ecosystem. Also, it was required to ensure high flexibility in implementing dedicated contest and promotion applications.
Furthermore, it was required to prepare a content stylebook, compliant with the interests and needs of the main target group of the SAPPHIRE brand, i.e. game players and PC enthusiasts.
Due to the nature of the project, the goals had to be set in a long time perspective.
SolutionThe first phase of the project was the preparation stage. It included chiefly a deep analysis of blog and social platforms of other brands in the computer industry. The analysis included among others the structure, functionality, types of contents published at selected websites, and the level of users’ interaction. The results of such research, together with the definition of the needs and objectives of the new platform, provided a basis for developing the whole project strategy and phasing.
The social aspect of the new platform is emphasized in its name, “SAPPHIRE Nation”. The intention of SAROTA PR was that being a member of SAPPHIRE Nation should create in the target audience an additional element of identification with the brand. The website layout and functionality was developed in collaboration with Internet graphic designers, UX specialists, and software programmers. SAPPHIRE Nation has got its dedicated logo used in the communication activities.
The website design envisaged a deep integration with the SAPPHIRE profiles on social portals, implemented through numerous links and widgets with content feeds. The aim of such integration is to obtain the maximum synergy between, and visibility of, the activities carried out in various channels.
The platform growth metric was defined as the growth rate of subscribers of the newsletter to be distributed monthly among all community members. The newsletter design corresponds stylistically to the SAPPHIRE Nation layout. The subscriptions are raised through a very prominent subscription form, also linked to in various sections of the website.
Because SAPPHIRE Nation is to be a platform for conducting contests and online promotions (e.g. connected with new product launches), tools for creating dedicated forms have been also implemented. Thanks to full programmatic control of the website, it is possible to implement non-standard contest engines and to fully customize the subpages to the requirements of each campaign.
The new platform has been integrated with the existing application “Card Selector 2.0” which enables the user to compare various graphic cards and select the one best matching the user’s needs. The application design has been coordinated stylistically with that of the whole website.
The Google Analytics tool, meticulously configured, enables exact monitoring of the users’ conversion and flow between the website sections. All those technical aspects provide a tool for the communication activities. The project strategy included defining the subject matter and style of the articles planned to be published at the website. The choices were based on the existing experience in communication with the brand’s target group, as well as on the results of the conducted research into other brands’ solutions (to the extent of certain most important aspects of the research).
The contents had to be unique and original, expanding beyond the most obvious motifs, but remaining consistent with the brand’s field. A lot of space has been reserved for experts’ and lifestyle materials, as well as for opinions that might give rise to discussions outside the SAPPHIRE Technology brand’s communication channels. The aim is to build the opinion-forming status of the website.
The specialists from the SAROTA PR agency have developed also the structure of a publication plan to be prepared monthly. To ensure adequate quality of the contents, they are created by experienced authors specializing in various fields covered by the communication strategy. The whole website is in English, so professional translators and proofreaders are involved in the project.
Before launching the SAPPHIRE Nation website, additional tactical assumptions were developed for individual brand profiles at social portals, including regular promotion of the new platform and previews of the contents published at it. The activities included also promotion of the hashtag #SAPPHIRENation, made available as a part of the website launch campaign.
EffectsThe SAPPHIRE Nation website, accessible at sapphirenation.net, was launched in May 2015. Until September 2016, the website published more than 90 original articles and the total base of newsletter subscribers exceeded 500,000. The website enjoys growing visit numbers and now constitutes a center of the SAPPHIRE Technology brand’s interaction with its community.
The platform provides a source of valuable articles exceeding the strictly product-related subjects. The agency has managed to build a network of high-quality content contributors and to effectively implement the regular publication plan.
SAPPHIRE Nation is a place observed by the media, bloggers, and hi-tech fans. The information published at the website are quoted on other technology-related sites and shared virally in the social media.
Moving the large contests and promotion campaigns from social media to SAPPHIRE Nation has eliminated the dependence on any changes in those channels and resulted in an increase of the number of activities per year. The largest campaigns were related to new product launches, attracting attention of tens of thousands of users thanks to the strategy of early announcements and anticipation building.
The future development of SAPPHIRE Nation will include adding new functionalities increasing the reach and significance of the whole project.
Follow us on LinkedIn.