One of the greatest sporting event in the world is upon us once again. The 21st FIFA World Cup starts in exactly 8 days from today. 4 billion people are expected to watch the FIFA 2018 world cup this year. This behemoth figure provides brands and businesses with exciting opportunities to tell their stories and significantly amplify their reach. This year’s World Cup offers brands an avenue to connect with millions of consumers on a common topic.
The World Cup hype extends beyond the event itself. Football is an international sport with a massive, involved audience. This audience loves the game itself, not just the World Cup.
First, here are some quick insights about the 2018 world cup courtesy snack-media:
-The main companion for TV viewers during matches will be social media on their phones, not their friends (66% will be watching at home vs. 5% with their friends)
-Live TV is still the main viewing destination (85% will be watching on TV)
-Live action is the biggest marketing opportunity: nobody will be watching the highlights on delay (just 0.28%)
-44% of people will be making a bet.
-Germany are the favorites to win (backed by 40%)
-50% of fans are keen to watch games in a fan park.
-Social media has overtaken newspapers as a preferred source of World Cup news (just 8% will consult newspapers vs. 25% who will consult digital channels).
The FIFA World Cup is a time for fans to comment, cheer, swear and gist about and during games. The more obvious ways to leverage this is to create marketing campaigns as effective as those of official FIFA sponsors, by monitoring sponsors, non-sponsors, and your competition campaigns. What’s the rhetoric of their messaging? What are they doing? How are they leveraging the games?
Here are some ways your brand can take advantage of it:
1.CONNECT MORE EXTENSIVELY WITH CONSUMERS THROUGH DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
1.73 billion people use social networks around the world. When these people take an interest in major world events, those events become social as well.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers when it comes to social media, the more optimum tactic will be to start small and build sizably to create a digestible digital marketing campaign. Using your company’s assets, you can build a better online presence while connecting with customers during the World Cup.
Here are a few tips on how you can accomplish this:
Social media is about personalised communication. Trying to communicate with your all your customers with the same message in the same format will provoke a lot of non-interactions. Concentrate on reaching the specific brand personas that work for your brand. Assess which of these personas are into football and speak to them in a way that will resonate.
Meet them where they are.
Huge events such as the World Cup, top media outlets and publishers will be out of your budget. Examine your brand personas to discover where your customer is likely to hang out online. Discover those fringe networks of blogs, forums, and even sports bars. These outlets will be less expensive and give good value for money.
Tell stories that matter.
Social media user engagement is driven by personal interests. People tend to tune out everything on social media except posts that pique their interest. Having identified your prospective customers’ touch points, join in with genuine conversation.
As millions of people will be active on social media, the hard part for brands will be the implementation of an effective strategy that allows them to rise above the noise. The ploy is to use the power of storytelling to leverage emotion. Develop storytelling around soccer. It doesn’t have to be specifically about the World Cup.
It will be wrong to put out context-less product or service offers. Use what you know and what’s in the know to engage with customers in news and updates about the World Cup in a manner that’s enjoyable. Are your customers and prospects interested in relevant discounts/offers or thoughtful blog posts? Will they respond to calls to action or be repelled by them?. The key here is to study your ideal customers and their behaviour during the World Cup.
To make a keen impression, your content needs to take a measured stand on topics that appeal to your customers and prospects.
Expand beyond your followers.
It is crucial that you don’t just focus on the followers you already have or you’ll miss out. There are people out there who’d be interested in reading or sharing original content but don’t follow you. Use pertinent hashtags/keywords to reach users by topic. Research popular hashtags and write to them.
Your brand can reach a whole new audience if its able to penetrate the global social media demographic with this year’s FIFA World Cup.
By focusing on the micro, personalized details with a sense of the larger picture, you can capitalize on this event to gain more exposure.
2.ENGAGE IN OFFLINE ACTIVATIONS AND STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS
Effective marketing strategies usually take advantage of both online and offline initiatives to create a stemmed, multi-faceted approach. Face-to-face connections are still very valuable, as they have the power to form a deeper connection with the target audience.
The FIFA World Cup presents brands with the opportunity to build brand affinity and delight customers through memorable and shareable experiences through offline interactions. Adding an experiential twist and inspiring people to share their delight with friends and family can elevate your offline marketing efforts.
Just before the 2010 World cup, Vivo, in a bid to fend off competition and generate more brand visibility produced an online film 1284 featuring the iconic Brazilian football player, Pelé. It portrayed him doing something he had dreamed of doing in real life but never achieved – him scoring his last (1284th) goal of his career for Brazil. The film generated 2m views online together with large amounts of earned media across digital and traditional channels, proving that strategic partnerships with celebrities can be key.
3.MOTIVATE EMPLOYEES THROUGH GAMIFICATION
With much of the world set to be mesmerised by the football action this summer, Football’s grandest event will have an effect on workplaces as all the narratives on account of the world cup will make work seem less interesting.
The diversity of people who will be following the world cup is very intriguing. The World cup can be very stimulating because of its many elements that appeal to the core of human nature, and to our strong affinity for games, competitions, and narratives.
All these can be used to motivate employees. You can create a gamification event that takes advantage of the reasons that make the world cup compelling. Let your employees compete against their colleagues, company yardsticks or their own criteria. You can use the World Cup to create a mini-world-cup themed gamification contest that are fun and great for business.
Mixing gamification contests with the 2018 FIFA World Cup is a great way to mix the pleasure of the games with the business of work and also getting employees super involved and of communicating company targets and goals, together with the importance of team plays
Here’s how can go about it:
- Let each employee prioritize their favorite national teams at the World Cup.
- Decide on a metric for the week. The individual with the best score gets their first choice and so on, down the priority list.
- Track the games each week. Winners get a small prize: food, an outing together, time off. Organize joint viewing if possible.
- At the end of the group stages (second week), reassign teams based on performance.
- Choose the metric for the next week – and have each/ person get a new team to “sponsor” according to that metric
- Finally, one of the employees will win the World Cup. Celebrate by having a special prize for the winner.
Leveraging fan loyalty and passion during the FIFA 2018 World cup can help increase brand recognition and relevance. Although brands must make sure their strategies wholly intersect with the event if they are going to make the most out of the world cup.