The end of the month brings with it one of the biggest sporting events in the world: the Super Bowl. The first Sunday of February marks the 49th edition of this event, in where the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots will battle it out to see who wins the coveted title.
For those of you who are a little unfamiliar with the event, here’s what you need to know:
- After Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl is the largest day for food consumption in the US
- It is among the most watched television broadcast in the US
- Last year, it garnered 111.5 million viewers, making it the most watched TV program in US history
- It ranks third in the most watched annual sports events in the world
Additionally, the Super Bowl is famous for its ads, in where brands can spend outrageous amounts of money to broadcast their commercials. But it is not only in ads where they are spending. Social media plays a huge rule in the advertising game as well.
All these facts though mean one thing: the Super Bowl is a HUGE opportunity to show off your brand, even if you are not in the United States, and one you do not want to miss!
Promote your promotions on Social Media
Restaurants, are you listening? I’m specifically talking to you. No one likes to watch a game without food, especially on a day like Super Bowl Sunday. Having a special offer or promotion or discount what-not is a great way to show your interest and support for the Super Bowl, even if you are not in the US or know anything about American Football. It is still watched by millions of people, even by people here in Vancouver. So, whether it is a BOGO (buy one, get one free) or some killer deals on delivery and take-out, promote it on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Remember, it is one of the busiest days for food after Thanksgiving, and since it is going to be on a Sunday, a lot of people are going to order take-out or hold parties in which they will need food. Posting it on your social media sites will allow people to share your specials and communicate it with others previously unaware of your product or service.
In the example above, we can see a pizza place that is offering a discount on their orders for the Super Bowl. Relevant hashtags such as #NFL and #Vancouver are included, to refer to the event itself and the location of the offering, a great move for local SEO. Notice the offer is not only text, but is accompanied by an image that is related to the event. This is not rocket science – any skilled content marketer with a knack for design can pull this off.
Note: You want to do this ahead of time, at least two weeks in advance to create the right buzz.
#Hashtags matter – even offline
Whether you are using existing ones or creating your own, hashtags are extremely important for you brand’s visibility online and subsequent identification. Pre-existing hashtags are not only good your SEO, but in making your posts more visible and easy to find. As I mentioned in my post of SEO tips on how to #growonline, using these types of hashtags are important even if they are not currently popular or trending such as #SEO, #onlinemarketing or #socialmediamarketing. They keep your audience connected, and make it easier for potential customers to find you. Then, come the trending hashtags, which in this case would be words like #Seahawks and #SuperBowl. Finally, is the campaign hashtag, which will make your business stand out and differentiate itself from the crowd. The most famous example was that of Esurance, with their #EnsuranceSave30 hashtag.
Hashtags are now taking a central role in advertising not only on social media, but offline it as well. In last year’s Super Bowl commercials, hashtags showed up 50% more than the year before. A combination of campaign slogans, brand names and just general industry-specific hashtags were used. This shows the tremendous transformative power hashtags have in advertising campaigns to drive and connect users with a brand.
Give the people what they want
A lot of brands feel like they cannot jump in on the Super Bowl because they are “too boring” or “too different”. This could not be more wrong. Every brand should jump in. Finding where you can merge the two, and be successful at it is the art (and where your social media marketing team comes in).
Even if your business does not have anything to do with sports or American football, does not mean you cannot participate in the event. Directly or indirectly. Giving people content related to the Super Bowl, is another way of participating in this event. Sharing recipes, decoration or game ideas on Pinterest is a good way to relate to Super Bowl-ers. Other examples include polls, tips of the event, which do not cause major criticism or require much expertise. Remember, people like to follow brand on social media that seem relatable and real, and show interest in their interests. Blogging about the Super Bowl, creating boards on Pinterest, or any other content marketing tecnique can be a great way to gain attention.
Social Media is less of a risky investment
I cannot stress this any further. Every year, companies spend millions of dollars trying to get commercial airtime for their brand on the Super Bowl. The same thing goes on social media, but on a lower risk, and with less restrictions. You do not have to ‘buy’ your spot on social media, but make sure you stand out. Trying to stand out on social media and let your business’ name be heard during the Super Bowl can be great strides in terms of exposure for your brand.
While some of them can seem to be successes, the returns later do not seem to promising. One example of this is RadioShack’s Goodbye ‘80s commercial, aired in the previous Super Bowl. Initial reports were very promising, with lots of people saying it was a master stroke and a great way to promote the dying brand. Today however, the picture does not look very rosy for RadioShack, with news headlines saying that it’s Super Bowl ad made it go bust.
Social media campaigns do not require million dollar investments, and are designed for events that happen in real-time, like the Super Bowl is. Twitter is a great example for this. The pace at which it moves makes it easy to connect with other users and share experiences as they are living it – during a commercial or half-time, or throughout the game.
When it comes to advertising at one of sport’s most important events of the year, you want to score with social media. More than half of the ads last year contained hashtags, and this year I expect the numbers to rise. If you are looking for help to create a Super Bowl campaign that reaches users on social media and #growonline, look no further. Our social media managers will help you organize a campaign to build hype on your brand and gain momentum online.