As the dust settles on the Super Bowl and we look ahead to March Madness and the NBA playoffs, let’s examine how marketers can learn a thing or two from sports on how to better engage fans and reach their target audience. Technology has dramatically changed the way we consume sports today. From streaming live games on our phones and following our favorite athletes on Instagram to watching highlights on YouTube – social media, digital video and influencer culture has impacted the world of sports and changed how fans interact with it.
GET IN THE GAME
In addition to avidly watching sports, fans are now turning to YouTube to learn new athletic skills like how to shoot a basketball like a pro or how to add spin to your bowling game. According research done by Google, searches for “how to” sports videos have more than doubled between 2016 and 2017. People want to learn new skills and stay active – plus, both are great stress relievers. To capitalize on this SEO trend, marketers should tailor their influencer video content to be more how-to focused and help demonstrate the value and use of their products to educate consumers.
DISCOVER TRENDS AND EMERGING INFLUENCERS
YouTube has been a driving force behind the popularity and interest in certain niche sports that may not have gotten the exposure and fan-awareness without the platform. Take Bo-taoshi for example, a Japanese game that’s kind of like a mixture of capture-the-flag, martial arts and rugby. It’s utter chaos. And quite captivating!
While YouTube has broadened sports fans’ horizons, it has also led to the discovery and rise of new and emerging athletes and sports influencers. By giving these rising stars a platform to speak directly to their fans, YouTube can help influencers build connection and trust with their audience. And an influencer with a captive audience is just the kind of person to align your brand with. Using a trusted influencer who your consumers look up to and admire can help elevate your brand in the eyes of your target consumers. And just like a niche sport like Bo-Taoshi, there’s probably a niche influencer who’s passionate about your unique brand!
LEARN WHAT FANS WANT AND KNOW WHERE TO REACH THEM
Understanding the type of content your consumers crave and respond to is key for marketers trying to reach shoppers and move them to purchase. By looking at how sports fans engage with content through comments on YouTube videos or Instagram posts, brands can delve deeper and learn which social platforms their consumers are most engaged on to help inform and optimize their content marketing strategies.
In the sports and influencer worlds alike, inspiration is a powerful force. Influencers are proven to help brands boost awareness and gain credibility in the same way that Lebron James can help sell Nike basketball shoes. Keeping a finger on the pulse of the trending content and influencers your audience engages with and understanding where they’re consuming this content is key for brands looking to develop successful marketing strategies for 2019.