Real-time campaign activation around a televised event can seem intimidating, especially with events as huge as March Madness or the Masters. Facebook alone has 86,000,000 active users who are interested in football, baseball, or soccer. So where does a brand even start?
First, you need to have a goal in mind. Most brands approach this kind of activation with upper-funnel goals: to drive brand awareness. Get a message in front of your target users during an event, since it is pretty likely they are not time-shifting and later fast-forwarding through commercials.
With your objective in mind, you can begin the social media advertising planning process. The main items to focus on are:
Know your audience: Who are you trying to target? Is it your usual audience, or are you now expanding your reach to speak to new customers? If targeting outside of your typical audience, be prepared.
Pick your platform(s) of choice: Carefully choose a social media channel based on your goal and target audience. Don’t stretch yourself too thin by trying to be on every platform. Make sure you’re on the channels that are relevant to the people you want to reach.
Twitter rolled out a feature perfect for short video clips called Amplify, which allows advertisers to upload videos to monetize their content. After doing the uploading, advertisers can choose content categories they’d like to run pre-roll ads with, as well as audience targeting. Then their pre-roll will be added to the videos that are most relevant to their target audience.
Facebook and Instagram are also amazing platforms for video. Facebook is the most-visited social media platform while consumers watch live prime-time TV. In one study, 85% of users said they visited Facebook more than any other social media platform while watching TV.
Plan ahead: Knowing ahead of time what teams are playing, key players, their jersey numbers, etc. can be super-helpful in a real-time activation.
Draft your content: Get pre-approval from legal — and the client brand, if you’re an agency — by drafting content with blanks for specific events and players during the game to enable a quick turnaround. Also make sure to use trending topics and hashtags whenever applicable.
Have a team ready for last-minute decisions: Be prepared to make changes rapidly to counteract any potential negative sentiment or performance — whether by adjusting your target audience or speaking to users differently. Thankfully, you’re dealing with one of the largest focus groups on the planet, so you can instantaneously see results. Have a team of decision-makers handy to gain approvals on the fly!
Many of our advertisers have seen success with rolling out “teaser” content ahead of a major event. Let fans know you’ll be with them all the way through the emotional roller-coaster that is a sporting event.
Ultimately, when it comes to real-time sports marketing, be bold! You’ll be in a highly competitive marketplace, so you may have to bid higher than normal. You’ll be talking to the same consumers as many other brands, but your brand’s campaign will stick in their memories if you take chances and think outside the box. You can keep the momentum going after the event wraps up, continuing the lift your brand saw during the game.