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OZ Trails NWA

Content Marketing

We helped drive awareness and enthusiasm for the world-class trail system located in Northwest Arkansas through the use of social media and strategic content marketing, which garnered national media attention to the region.

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THE SITUATION:

In late 2015, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) chose Bentonville, Ark. and the trail systems located throughout Northwest Arkansas as the location for the 2016 IMBA World Summit. Prior to this, Northwest Arkansas devoted significant time and resources to developing the trail systems. With the IMBA event in place, 2016 was the perfect time to show mountain bikers across the country that NWA is a best-kept secret when it comes to a biking destination with miles of world class trails. 

Ghidotti joined the team to brand the trail systems (branded as Oz Trails) and create national buzz leading up to the IMBA World Summit in November 2016. A media content analysis and interviews with dedicated mountain bikers showed that places like Colorado, northern California and Utah were among NWA’s biggest competitors. We also knew from our mountain biker interviews, that the tone and voice of the brand needed to be casual and fun – similar to how mountain bikers talk in real life. Research also showed that year-round riding would be a key differentiator for the trails given that many major mountain biking communities are only rideable three seasons out of the year. 

The crux of the campaign were four, high-quality videos featuring professional mountain bikers Tyler McCaul, Joey Schusler and Ryan Howard. The videos were filmed throughout the year, during all four seasons, to illustrate the ability to ride in Northwest Arkansas year-round. The videos were posted on newly created and branded social media portals (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) and immediately distributed to major mountain biking and outdoor publications with personal notes and trail statistics on Northwest Arkansas. 

THE APPROACH:

Ghidotti first met with Oz trails in February 2016 to discuss the brand concept. Our first video launched in May 2016 and the remaining three videos in August and November 2016. The final winter video was launched in January 2017. Local and national media were pitched during the launch of each video, and media relations efforts were made throughout the year to maintain good relationships and interest in Northwest Arkansas. 

Goals: 

  • Drive awareness and enthusiasm for NWA’s world-class trail system and high quality of life. 
  • Drive national media attention to Northwest Arkansas.

Objectives: 

  • Reach at least 500,000 people from all social media platforms over the course of the four-video campaign. This would be through impressions, new followers, likes, comments and shares. 
  • Reach riders in all major mountain biking communities across the country, including Utah, Colorado and Northern California, through social reach and media coverage.

Key Audiences: 

  • Mountain bikers across the United States 
  • Local and regional weekend warriors

Key Messages: 

  • Year-round riding 
  • World-class trail systems 
  • Casual, hip area with plenty of great restaurants, museums and, most importantly, pubs and hang-out places for riders

Strategies: 

  • Create new, branded social portals for Oz Trails on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and a continuously updated blog on Pinkbike.com that showcases the amazing technical trails and fun lifestyle of Northwest Arkansas. 
  • Use video content and social media platforms to leverage media attention for Oz Trails, the IMBA World Summit and Northwest Arkansas. 
  • Leverage online mountain biking communities via blogs and social posts. 
  • Implement a paid media strategy that boosts video content to target audiences around the country. 

THE RESULTS:

From the launch date of Oz Trails social media platforms on April 26, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2016, Oz Trails gained 7,900 followers. Together, the four videos reached 899,620 people (exceeding the goal by nearly 300,000) and generated 6,207 likes, 397 comments, 3,384 shares and 486,825 views. People from across the United States, including all major mountain biking communities, were exposed to Oz Trails. The engagement on each video was incredibly enthusiastic – the vast majority of commenters talked about wanting to ride Oz Trails.

Building on the success of this campaign, Ghidotti continued to work on the Oz Trails brand and launch additional videos. To date, there have been more than 1 million views on Oz Trails videos as well as media coverage from all major outdoor and mountain biking publications.

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