The NFL draft, which happened April 23rd through April 25th, played out in an unprecedented way. For the first time in its history, the draft was done virtually.

And while the media and NFL fans were focused on top picks in the first round, there were some fans wondering what team would draft former USC swide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.

Some football enthusiasts have been following Pittman Jr.’s career since his college days, but there’s a growing fan base who has gotten to know him primarily through his YouTube channel and social media presence. Through his content, Pittman Jr. has developed an audience of people interested in behind-the-scenes insights into what it's like to fulfill a lifelong dream of going pro.



Content builds connection

These fans will want to know more as Pittman Jr. goes through the transition from college to the NFL, playing for the Indianapolis Colts. People who are not necessarily fans of the Colts will pay attention to what the team does this year because of their interest in Pittman Jr. They may even buy Pittman Jr. jerseys and other Colts merchandise. Pittman Jr.'s built-in fanbase increases his value to the team, which can play a part in his future salary negotiations.

Pittman Jr. knows that deeper connections with an audience is the first step in turning many of them into a potential customer base. And he's not the only one; these days, a lot of pro athletes are building deeper connection-focused brands through the content they’re publishing.

Even after their time is over with a particular sport, they will have the ability to generate revenue through a dedicated fan base. They’ve created a community that will follow them to whatever ventures they decide to pursue.

Content should demonstrate value

These days, the consumer is smarter and wants more. The days of running advertisements and hoping that sales increase are over. Increased sales happen through continuous nurturing of your audience. Content must demonstrate the value of what you offer — good sales copy is not enough. This is especially true now that the consumer may be out of work or leery of spending.

The way Pittman Jr. and other professional athletes are using content to nurture their fans is a brilliant long term marketing strategy.

LeBron James does this with his Taco Tuesdays posts. It’s a way to connect his fans to the personal side of LeBron James and build a deeper connection off the basketball court.

Six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady took this to another level with the announcement of his 199 Productions company . This announcement happened via his Instagram page. Brady describes 199 Productions as "a global multi-platform content company to develop original premium content including documentaries, feature films, and television shows.” This is a company specifically focused on content creation.

Connection leads to increased sales

The content your business produces is what builds your audience online and ultimately leads to increased sales. When you publish the type of content that helps your consumers, it multiples your efforts.

Creating content has to be more than an item on your to-do list. It has to be more than posting every leap year. It should be a priority in your marketing and growth strategies.

You don’t get the sale just because you presented the customer with fancy copy. Your consumer wants to see how you can solve a pain point in their life. They want to see what your business does that actually works.

One way to demonstrate that is through content that provides upfront value. Content that introduces elements of storytelling and builds trust. Your content makes your business more valuable and it’s the reason pro athletes, celebrities, and influencers are using their content in the ways they do. There’s a lot we can learn from their use of content marketing.


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