5 Tips for Engaging Soccer Fans Without Breaking Your Marketing Budget

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

By Jack Holt

world-cupWould you pay$75 million to get your brand in front of a global audience of 715.1 million people?

Eight sponsors of the 2014 FIFA World Cup have, including Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Hyundai, and Nestlé, and that means they’ll be part of the most widely viewed sporting event in the world.

While most brands don’t have that kind of budget, those hoping to engage World Cup fans during the event can’t afford to take a shot in the dark with their marketing. The problem is that many marketers don’t do the proper research or work to specifically identify and target their markets, even when the world is watching.

These advertisers are experiencing growing pains with social marketing because they rely on notoriously dated market research. Brands hoping to be a part of @FIFAWorldCup can’t afford to make this mistake.

Using Twitter and other social media platforms to research your brand’s personas allows you to move quickly and base your campaigns on data, rather than hunches. You can approach your campaign with a surgical plan, extract the data, and target your personas with precision.

Here are five ways to improve engagement with fans during the FIFA World Cup:

1. Use Social Platforms to Find Your Audience
Straightforward. Emotional. Simple. Rugged. These are the qualities that appeal most to wholesome @FIFAWorldCup soccer lovers.

How do we know that? By looking at data from eight weeks of @FIFAWorldCup’s top brand personalities on Twitter. The real-time pool of live users who talk about the World Cup on Twitter consistently is filled with males 25 to 34 with these personality traits.

2.     Segment as Narrowly as Possible
A shotgun approach to marketing doesn’t work for anyone. When you’re up against sponsors spending millions of dollars, you need to roll up your sleeves and start digging through your data. Find those one or two FIFA personas that match your audiences’ personas closely, then zero in on their brand personalities and unique media influencers.

3. Identify the Personality of Your Target Personas
The best media placements allow consumers to respond on an emotional level. That’s the magic part of the formula that compels them to share your content. Move past demographics, and look for the personalities of your target personas. Then, develop content specifically tuned to their preferences.

This requires some brand soul-searching, though. You have to be honest about the marketing match for tone and personality. If your brand truths stray too far from @FIFAWorldCup’s wholesome, rugged, masculine engagers, you should opt out.

4. Connect With Unique Influencers, Not Popular Ones
When searching for influencers to boost engagement with your brand, look beyond the obvious choices. Nike’sClint “Deuce” Dempsey rap video was right on track for brand tone and customer persona targeting, but Dempsey isn’t the most popular soccer player in the world.

Nike knew what it was doing. Though Clint Dempsey is only the No. 12 soccer player in the world on Twitter, when compared with just the target market of @FIFAWorldCup engagers, he comes in at No. 2. This makes him a unique influencer for @FIFAWorldCup’s target audience and far more valuable than the No. 1 celebrity on any other list.

Since @FIFAWorldCup engagers follow Dempsey at a much higher ratio than the rest of Twitter, Nike has ensured that the people it wants to engage will engage. The advertising dollars invested in this relationship will be far more effective than a more popular star with a different audience.

5. Find Unique Media Placements
Unique media provides the best ROI on your marketing dollar. It’s not about using a marketplace to place your video ad in atiny spot in the bottom corner; it’s about reaching out to second-tier blogs such as Grantland or Bleacher Report and getting prime placement. Neither of these blogs is No. 1 or No. 2 for traffic, but both score high on uniqueness for @FIFAWorldCup engagers.

Taking the time to analyze and target your marketing message is worth every research dollar. With the data available from social media platforms, there’s nothing keeping your brand from reaching its ideal audience. Leverage the data you have to find those perfect personas, and target them with just the right influencers, tone, and media.

Jack Holt is co-founder and CEO of Mattr.

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