We’re down to the final four teams. This weekend, the Cardinals will face the Panthers, and the Broncos will take on the Patriots, to see who will move on to Super Bowl 50.
Nearly 200 million viewers worldwide are expected to “watch the championship game on February 7, with more than half of them being in the United States alone.”
As a marketer, just imagine how it must feel to know that your brand has reached more than 100 million viewers!
Just take a look at the success (or lack thereof) of other professional sports organizations, and it’s not hard to tell that the NFL has really played their cards right when it comes to marketing itself over the years. This is what makes them the perfect organization to model your own marketing campaign after!
Here is Sweet Rose Studios’ list of top content marketing tools that the NFL used perfectly to promote their brand. Fortunately, they’re tools that you can use, too!
1. Home Field Advantage
Your website is your brand’s home. Whether you’re providing a service or selling a product, your website needs to be used to your advantage to score your next conversion.
The key to an engaging website is to keep it clean, modern, and easy to navigate. Frequent site updates to tweak your design, uploads of high-quality, relevant images of your product or service at work, menus that are not overwhelming while still providing all of the information people are seeking…all of these are must-haves.
The NFL has mastered the art of an engaging website. Through their visually-appealing, modern-looking site, they filter thousands of visitors daily directly towards the information they’re seeking.
Remember, your website is the digital representation of your brand. You should invest as much time building your site as you did building your business. Take pride in it!
2. Build Your Fan Base
The NFL’s marketing team is constantly generating creative hashtags, promotions, group chats, and articles open to conversation. They have created a literal community that they know will interact with their content. By doing this they are, in essence, gaining millions of “free” marketers to help spread the word of their brand!
You can do the same thing!
Launch a promotional campaign and ask your clients to take a photo of themselves using one of your products. All they have to do is post the photo on Facebook, tag your brand, and ask their friends to “like” and “share” the post. The person with the most likes wins one of your products for free, or receives your services at a discounted price.
It’s as simple as that: encourage community involvement, and you’ll find that you’ve tapped into the magical world of “free marketing” that the NFL has learned to capitalize on!
3.Start Broadcasting On All The Right Channels
While we’re on the topic of community involvement, did you know that the average American spends more than 30% of their online time on social media? And the number continues to rise!
Paid ads, engaging content, and an audience that willingly interacts with your brand can help expose you to a much larger audience. Additionally, Facebook is nudging its way into the business ratings industry. Now, more than ever, it is vital that you set up a social media presence for your business.
The NFL uses social media to share inspiring stories about the players & fans, pump followers up for an impending game, or generate conversation about the latest controversy. Through these mediums, they keep their community engaged year-round. You should be working hard to generate the same hype about your brand!
Your fan base will need an arena to come together and support your brand. Social media sites are that arena.
4. Give Them Something To Cheer About
Nothing generates new hype like new content!
Just take a look at the NFL’s home page. It is chock full of headlines, breaking news, and recently-published opinion articles.
While your brand may not be as fast-paced as the world of professional football, you can still keep your fans entertained with regularly generated new content.
The best way to do this is through a working blog. Photograph your most recent project and write a quick story about how it went. Write up a post about how your product helped a local resident with their latest DIY project. Give your opinion about the latest trends in your industry. Then…share it with the world!
With the proper search engine optimization (SEO) and well-calculated social media shares, you’ll be sure to hit your maximum target audience with the fresh new information they’ve been searching for.
Build yourself up as a reliable source, and your fan base will be cheering for more!
5. Keep Them Engaged While On The Road
In this day and age, if your online content is not optimized for mobile users, it may as well not exist.
As of 2014, mobile has officially surpassed desktop as the #1 technology used for accessing the Web. This can easily be tied into the aforementioned spike in social media use, as more and more users are getting their information from social media outlets.
Not to mention the increased use of voice assistants, such as Siri, to help find information in a snap through mobile devices.
Be sure that your website has been optimized for mobile use. An astonishing 74% of mobile users will abandon a page if it takes five seconds or longer to load!
The NFL has not only created a mobile version of their website, they have also invested in the development of a wide variety of apps to satisfy the needs of their users. We know that most brands may not see the need (or have the funds!) to develop their own app, however this does not negate the importance of being mobile-friendly.
Obviously your brand may not be on the same level as the NFL. That doesn’t mean you can’t use the same content marketing tools that they use to boost your own business!
After all, Super Bowl champions weren’t built in a day.