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David Locke Keynote: Extending the Moment – SLC|SEM Digital Marketing Conference 2015

Sep 3, 2015 / by Andy Eliason

The afternoon sessions started off with a keynote from David Locke, the radio voice for the Utah Jazz.


You may note that the words SEO, SEM, digital marketing, or even marketer are not listed in his job title. In fact, the very first thing he said was that he’s not a digital marketer, and, for that matter, this was really his very first “semi-PowerPoint.” So what is he bringing to the table?

Well, he did make KFAN the highest rated sports station in Salt Lake City for men between the ages of 25 to 54. The show peaked in 1998 when it ranked first on both FM and AM radio with adults 25 to 54 in the country.

Now as the radio voice for the Jazz, he has gone beyond his contracted 80 or 90 games a years to work that requires his attention pretty much 24/7/365.

He’s a broadcaster and a communicator, so that’s what we’re going to look at here. And we’ll start with his general rules for broadcasting and interacting with a community.

1. Fail, and Fail Often

If you wait to know all the ins and outs of every platform before you start using them, the window for its usability will be missed.

As a quick corollary, while it’s important to be willing to fail, if you find that you’re not actually good at it, or that there’s no payoff, or that there’s no interest, then you need to stop.

And then see if you can fail a few times at something else.

2. Be Consistent

You have to do this all the time. Whatever you’re producing, however you’re creating, you have to do it regularly and predictably.

3. Creating Content

It has to be consistent and expected. It should be creative, unique, and fill a void.

Making Your Mark

David told many stories about the challenges that come with his current workflow. While his contract only requires so many games, he’s been podcasting every day and has almost reached 1,000 episodes. That takes real consistency, and there has to be a community to make it worthwhile.

So he says not to stop there. Yes, he has a podcast, but after every game he posts a blog titled: Empty the Noggin, where he just drops all his thoughts on what’s going on and what just happened. These are some of his most-clicked-on assets – and they’re absolutely spilling over with grammar and spelling mistakes.

Extending the Moment

This kind of content strategy comes down to a concept of “extending a moment” or making a memorable or engaging moment last a little longer.

This was a concept he used with something he called a Postcast. It was just an extension of a post-game show that a lot of people either wouldn’t hear or might miss or just might want to hear more than what the time slot allowed.

He also started something he called Bonus Coverage. This was just simple, low-tech videos of behind-the-scenes stuff that most people who don’t get to be the radio voice for a professional basketball team would be able to see. It was simplistic, but it fed a craving and filled an open space in the market.

And it made the moment – the win, the loss, or the incredible season – last a little bit longer. It gave them a reason to come back and engage with the content more. (Which, if Cyrus is to be believed, is an important ranking factor.)

David went on to mention the tools that he uses to build his audience and community, which amounted to most of the standard social networks. The thing that was of particular note was the reminder that Twitter is not just about broadcasting information to others. This is a tool for gathering information.

It’s a thought that many marketers forget. The simple fact is that if you want to build a community of interested people, you can often do it better by asking a question and seeking information than you can by always trying to prove that you’re the one who has all the answers.

Finally, David wanted everyone to understand that the lessons he learned before Twitter, Facebook, and all the other Social-Networks-of-the-Moment became the go-to tools are still valid. Which is to say that:

1. The Great Radio Rule still works

Tell them what you’re going to do. Do it. Tell them you did it. Tell them you’re going to do it again. Do it again.

2. Stay in your lane

You got opinions on a lot of things. Most of them are probably valid. Most of them don’t have a place in your content because you risk segmenting or alienating your audience.

3. Don’t fade or be a trend

A lot of tools, platforms, and formats pop up as the latest and greatest thing. If it doesn’t seem like it fits with your model, or if it feels like another trend or fad, you may want to avoid it.

4. Can you maintain it?

You have to do what you say you’re going to do. If you don’t know if you have time to manage yet another social network, don’t tell anyone you’re going to get started with it.

Extending the Moment Can Feel More Personal

In the early days of social media, David talked about how he could reach out to an individual Facebook user, wish them a happy birthday, and earn a listener for life. Social has lost a lot of that 1-on-1 feel and marketers are trying to reach the masses, not the one.

Providing these extended moments can offer a chance to re-establish that feeling, because you can keep your customers or community thinking about you and reaching them with new forms of content that means more to them.

Building on Those Moments

Finally, David showed what he called the “passion moment progression.” This was a reference to those major spikes in traffic that websites get right after a special event or a major new product or something else that really hit that sweet spot for them.

Of course, those spikes never last, and the numbers come back down. But if you’re able to successfully extend the moment, it won’t go back down quite as far. You’ll have given a lot of new people a reason to stick around and see a little more.

Topics: SEO Blog Content Marketing Video Marketing

Andy Eliason

Written by Andy Eliason

Andy Eliason has been writing in the SEO industry longer than is technically healthy. He once considered counting all the words he has written over the years, but decided that such an endeavor could only end in tears.

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