Giovanni Strocchi, CEO ADmantX draws upon a data analysis of the content and sentiment expressed in 25,000 tweets during the UEFA Euros, and utilizes the findings to outline what marketers can learn from the tournament to enhance future sports-based campaigns, which will prove particularly relevant to marketers given the upcoming Rio Olympics
Extreme highs, crushing lows and an exuberant last-minute victory: UEFA Euro 2016 wasn’t just an emotional rollercoaster for all involved; it was a reminder of exactly why scoring at international sports events is a goal no brand can afford to miss.
Not only the biggest championship so far — drawing 2.4 million spectators to 51 matches — this year’s tournament also generated 300 million visits and 1.5 billion impressions across the EURO2016 website and mobile apps, making it a digital traffic record-breaker.
With sizeable influence over global consumers, it’s hardly surprising that an estimated €450 million of UEFA’s expected €2 billion revenues came from brand sponsorships. Indeed, brands are increasingly recognizing the power of sports events to boost audience engagement at scale. But as brands turn thoughts and budgets to the next big thing — such as Rio 2016 — how can they ensure strategies are strong enough to provide the best return?
To help marketers kick-start their campaigns, ADmantX analyzed over 25,000 tweets sent during the UEFA championship and here are the top planning insights they revealed:
Get to know your fans: looking beyond the game
No matter how much fans love the game, their unique interests are not limited to it and marketers must deliver more than generic messages to achieve cut-through. While analysis showed the majority of tweets (59%) mentioned football, they also uncovered a range of other topics that were discussed in relation to the tournament such as clothing, gambling, cooking, and beer. What’s more, fans in different countries not only displayed a preference for their home team, but also specific players on a global level — including Aaron Ramsey, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Gareth Bale — indicating that location is not the only key factor when it comes to delivering marketing messages with personal appeal.
To capture fan’s attention, marketers therefore need to look beyond basic tools that target campaigns according to broad topics, areas, and audience demographics. Instead, they should utilize detailed individual profiles and detailed page context that allow them to align messages with an individual’s specific tastes and habits, maximizing a campaign’s relevance and impact.
Keep it contextual: avoiding penalties with careful placements
Everything in live-action sports happens instantly, and that means keeping messages contextually relevant requires an ability to respond to real-time events. At this year’s tournament, for example, one of the most talked-about subjects was team Wales midfielder Joe Ledley and his energetic victory dances, which garnered a large proportion of online interest and even inspired fans to replicate his style in a BBCTV news report.
Marketers should also keep a watchful eye on real-world events to make sure ads are not placed beside negative or inappropriate content that could place brand reputation at risk. For instance, another leading topic in Twitter posts was the clashes between fans from rival teams — definitely trending, but not a subject brands would want to associate with. To steer clear of earning a campaign penalty, it is paramount for marketers to conduct a deep page-level analysis of content before placing ads to ascertain whether placements are brand safe.
Catch football fever: tapping into spectator emotion
There is no doubt that sports competitions inspire high levels of emotion and if marketers can get it right, connecting messages with current passions has the potential to amplify their effect and resonance. Yet they must tread carefully. Despite the fact that UEFA tweets showed positive sentiment throughout the games, this was only in relation to their team and key players. Thus, tapping into the emotions of the crowd requires a thorough understanding of not just the content on the page, but the sentiment it expresses and evokes.
By analyzing content using smart tools — such as natural language processing technology and semantic targeting — marketers can produce a real-time picture of the emotions it is likely to elicit. So if the article concerns a team being knocked out of the tournament, an ad with a contradictory promotion based around a team win should not be displayed on the page, thereby steering clear of both damaging the brand and stirring up negative sentiment amongst fans.
While every tournament has its own highs and lows, the insights gained from UEFA 2016 demonstrate that there are key lessons marketers can implement to enhance the value of any sports-based campaign. As they set their sights on future events like the Rio 2016, incorporating detailed individual insights, contextual agility, and emotional sensitivity will stand them in good stead to deliver the ultimate hat-trick: a perfectly planned campaign.
From: MarTech Advisor