Celebrating art in the heart of downtown Iowa City. Read on to learn how Sculpt has helped grow MidWestOne's Rock the Chalk event four years in a row.
MidWestOne Bank has 45 locations in 5 states across the country. MidWestOne Bank’s headquarters has been an Iowa City institution since 1934, taking residence in their historic building at 102 S Clinton Street. In 2016, they completed an extensive historical restoration of their headquarters building as well as completing construction on their operations center, One Place, both located in downtown Iowa City. To celebrate their reinvestment into Iowa City the bank decided to host a family-friendly chalk art festival for all of Iowa City.
Sculpt helped formulate a marketing strategy to spread the word about the inaugural Rock the Chalk celebration on social. After a successful execution of the 2016 Rock the Chalk festival, we were tasked with making Rock the Chalk 2017 bigger and better. The expansion of the festival allowed for more artist spots. We not only wanted to double the amount of attendees, but the number of artist spots that were filled.
Our campaign approach in 2016 was all about awareness. We wanted people to become familiar with the event, come to the festival, and then become an advocate for years to come. MidWestOne Bank had recently opened their new Iowa City location at 500 S Clinton Street, and wanted to draw people to guided tours of their new building. The theme for this year’s Rock the Chalk was “Home Sweet Home- Iowa City,” and we created content to evoke this theme.
We were able to draw over 2,000 people to the event, had over 25 artists participate, and our Facebook event had 1,593 responses. We set Rock the Chalk up to be an Iowa City staple for years to come.
In 2017, we knew we wanted to make the event bigger and better. We had dedicated campaigns to encourage artists of all ages and abilities to apply to be featured artists at the event.
Instead of posting solely from MidWestOne Bank’s page, we created and grew a new page just for the Rock the Chalk festival. Posts would publish on the Rock the Chalk page, the MidWestOne Bank page, and on the Rock the Chalk 2017 event page where event responders were notified each time we posted an update.
This year, we also took on full-coverage of the event, posting all-day updates, hosting preview Facebook Lives, creating timelapse videos of artists working on their squares, and responding to fan comments and questions throughout the day.
By remixing content from the last year’s event coupled with a focused paid targeting strategy, we garnered 63,573 engagements on our posts. Most importantly, we were able to grow the attendance of the event from around 2,000 in 2016 to an estimated 5,000 in 2017, doubling their goal. Participating artists increased from 25 to 61. The Facebook page had 2,570 responses, and the Rock the Chalk page grew to 404 fans organically in three months.
While their marketing team focused on event production and logistics, we helped build an engaged social media audience that cared, shared, and showed up. Through social content and community management efforts, we nurtured advocates who will spread the word, sign-up as artists, and come back year after year. It's safe to say, Rock the Chalk is an annual Iowa City tradition that's here to stay.
Working with Sculpt allowed me to focus solely on producing the highest quality event I could. Knowing that they were working strategically on our behalf to attract both artists and attendees made my job as the event producer so much easier. They stayed in close contact with me throughout the process so we could shift gears on promotion as needed and the results were phenomenal.
Sculpt has led the paid and organic social media strategy for MidWestOne and Rock the Chalk since 2018. The audience for both have experienced double-digit annual growth.
Experience the 2019 campaign: