As the Game II looms near it feels appropriate to highlight a key win by the National Rugby League (Australia) from Game I State of Origin — and that “W” was from the League itself… winning fans’ second screen.
NRL’s Instagram Story from sunrise through to post-game celebrations was incredibly well crafted. So much so, I wanted to break down the successful elements to help inspire creators everywhere.
First off, to pique the interest of anyone deep in the Stories game, here’s the high-level recap from this story.
There’s a lot to unpack exactly why this story ticked the boxes of Instagram’s algorithm and flew off the circular top shelf of the app.
So buckle up and get inspired by the team at NRL.
An engaging 10s intro (high paced enough to keep you from feeling the need to tap next or swipe out) the Story starts strong with historical moments from Origin’s of past.
(note: shouting out Network 9 their broadcaster reminds fans where to find the footy tonight)
Putting Instagram Polls at the top of the Story helps drive active engagement. This inevitably tells Instagram your followers like not only this Story but also content from your account.
Another power move was cross-promoting their Snapchat Lens with a swipe up. Australia has a highly engaged audience of young-Snapchatters, so ensuring fans know they have AR (augmented reality) to play with shows precisely how well the NRL understands the importance of connecting with young fans on their level — an epic few frames here!
In most instances, I would always advise a client to rethink having 2 x 15 second videos near the top of a Story as any videos over 10s tend to see an average drop off rate of 7-10%+. This can be an engagement killer and lead your organic reach in the wrong direction. Not with the team here.
There are a couple of reasons why this 30s clip plays, it’s:
That 30 seconds flies by in the palm of your hands.
Similar to the top of the Story, the tactic of active engagement to bring your followers back into the narrative across a full day Story helps immensely in Instagram’s algorithm.
Across these 5 Snaps (20 seconds) only saw a 2.12% drop off rate — total! (that’s insanely good)
Promoting the future NRL stars is a key to the game’s long-term sustainability so it was great to see them drop in details on when and where the U18 Game was going to be available.
Again, this was also a subtle tie to their own OTT – NRLTV (great stuff!)
We’re getting close to game time now, it was imperative to remind followers of the actual task at hand.
Cue stadium specific stats to highlight the home state and stadium advantage the Maroons have built for themselves over the past 39 years of Origin.
Always a win with fans is getting them behind the scenes. A couple quick locker room shots (bonus points for having team specific GIFs loaded into GIPHY) as well as a few of the team entering Suncorp Stadium.
Right before the broadcast fires up the full line ups were pre-scheduled to go live on NRL’s Story.
This is probably overlooked for its value by most. The reason this is important is it’s a timely reminder that the NRL has fans covered on their 2nd screen for the whole evening.
As the final festivities got underway the NRL went all out on offering unique content specific to the channel as both teams made their way on to the field
For those on their second screens, it’s a very timely reminder to get your first screen tuned into Network 9.
Again, another high quality pre-made and scheduled video helped to kick off the game in real time.
So there are a couple of things worth mentioning here (and it’s these subtleties which are those 1%ers that add up over time).
Twitter used to be the only spot you could get live updates… not anymore.
I absolutely love what they’ve done here:
After the final whistle blows they do an excellent job again winning that second screen by making sure unique channel specific content littered their Story through to completion.
Putting the phone in the hands of the victors is adds to the moment for everyone.
National Rugby League Digital Team credits:
Cassandra Wilkins – Social Media Manager
Reece Carter – Senior Social Content Producers