If you’re wondering why this is the third Southerly blog in a row to kick off with a football theme, then you probably weren’t one of the estimated 1 billion worldwide TV audience who watched the World Cup final.
And for many of those people, simply watching Germany beat Argentina on the TV wasn’t enough – they were ‘second screening’, interacting on social media channels while the game was being played.
According to Twitter, 618,725 tweets a minute were sent during the final, with 32.1 million tweets being sent in total, and Facebook revealed that the match was the biggest sporting event in its history – 88 million people interacted with the site more than 280 million times with likes, posts and comments.
With figures like that, it’s no wonder brands want a piece of the action. But how to get it? Marketers still get misty eyed about Oreo’s social media coup during the 2013 SuperBowl. During the 34-minute blackout, the biscuit brand’s agency 360i designed, captioned and got an image approved for Oreo’s now famous ‘You can still dunk the in dark’ tweet. It totally eclipsed Oreo’s actual SuperBowl ad that cost it millions to produce and we are still talking about it more than a year later.
But capturing the moment like that can’t be predicted, which is why brands are turning to paid advertising on social media to tap into global mega events. According to SocialCode, a digital marketing firm that specialises in helping large advertisers, including finance and media brands, put together social media campaigns, some advertisers’ social spend on World Cup-related campaigns rose to the multimillion dollar range. In comparison, 30-second SuperBowl TV ads sell for around $4m.
SocialCode states that Facebook-sponsored posts got a majority of the spend, although there was also a significant investment in promoted tweets. It certainly pays to plan and allocate budget – paying once to get a load of likes on Facebook, then relying on that fan base for free organic reach is a thing of the past. Social@Ogilvy conducted analysis of 106 country-level brand pages it has administrator access to (most of which were outside the US) and found that the average reach of organic posts had declined from 12.05% in October 2013 to 6.15% in February 2014. And that figure is only going to get smaller.
The good news is that paid-for advertising can foster brand awareness for a relatively little spend. Promoting a piece of content from a larger content marketing plan can give you fresh insights into what content works and what doesn’t, and allows you to nurture leads through encouraging people to engage with your post. As ever, quality content will win out, even more so if it’s timely. Just ask Oreo.