Are you ready for some football? This Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers will face the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl 47. The event is slated to draw in over 111 million viewers and social media plays a critical role in the strategy behind one of the biggest days of the year for advertisers.
The integration of social media into the overall marketing strategy has been an emphasis for advertisers this year. During the Olympics last summer, engagement skyrocketed across social networks, making it clear that a presence in social media is essential. The Super Bowl has done their part by building a group of over 100 volunteers to monitor social networks during the Super Bowl. They will answer questions regarding directions and where to eat, hoping to help tourists find what they are looking for.
Advertisers have also done their part – 34 Super Bowl ads have already been revealed online, which is a huge increase in the half dozen that debuted early in 2011 (mashable.com). Is it worth it to enter the game early? YES! Super Bowl ads in 2012 were viewed on YouTube more than 300 million times, which is a 172.27% increase over Super Bowl viewership (mashable.com). Preparing your social presence for TV advertising is tricky business and it is important to align your strategies across all channels, creating the maximize impact of your campaign.
5 Tips from Super Bowl Social Media Campaigns
1. Maximize Exposure
As a marketer in the Search Industry, I always find it challenging to properly communicate the benefits and importance of social media to someone who is unfamiliar with the marketing world. It is one piece of the puzzle in the online marketing mix that can be leveraged to create brand awareness and communicate intimately with your customer base. If you don’t have social profiles with the big guys – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ – you are neglecting a large audience. To get found, you want to maximize the amount of shelf space available to you. An explanation I’ve heard that is helpful compares search engines to a grocery store – if you can obtain all the “shelf” space available on a results page (sponsored ads and organic results via your website and social profiles), why wouldn’t you? It is all about getting found. A strong presence online will resonate with tech savvy users, but also enable those who are not as familiar with the internet to find you with the click of a mouse.
Keep in touch with what users are saying about your product via social monitoring – let them know you hear them by reaching out and engaging with them. Social media has completely changed the climate of advertising and has created the ability to communicate directly with your customer base. Customers have the unique ability to voice their opinions and brand experiences with others, as well as with companies. When the audience is acknowledged, they feel valued and brand loyalty increases.
Doritos has become known for their Crash the Super Bowl contest, launched in 2006, where consumers are tasked with creating 30-second commercials for Doritos. The fate of the ads is also in the hands of the consumers, who vote to determine what ad will be shown during the Super Bowl. The ads have historically taken residence in the top spots on USA Today’s Ad Meter rankings after the Super Bowl, proving that Dorito’s strategy not only increases engagement, but also success. Check out one of my favorites from last year!
3. Remain Consistent
Have a consistent brand image and presence across all marketing channels, including your website, social media profiles, print advertisements, and commercials. This makes it easier for customers to identify with your brand. Target audiences may vary across each medium, so tailoring your message and tactics is appropriate. Just make sure these strategies don’t get confused with your brand image.
4. Include a Call to Action
This year, Coke is letting fans dictate the ending of their Super Bowl ad, Coke Chase. Be clear, concise, and simple. Don’t overwhelm the consumer, give them a reason to seek you out and make it easy for them to find you. Integrate social profiles into your print campaigns. Hashtags are now being shown throughout television programs in hopes of engaging users in conversations online; Facebook icons are popping up on billboards and print ads in magazines; Teaser commercials are being aired, allowing only those who visit the company’s YouTube page to see the conclusion. All of these are practices that are becoming extremely common and shifting the conversation from one medium to the other.
The commercial has Cowboys, Show Girls, and Badlanders racing to get to a bottle of Coke. Viewers get to decide who reaches the Coke first, demonstrating a strong call to action, while simultaneously increasing engagement.
5. Generate Buzz
Leverage social media to generate buzz for advertisments to increase viewship and investment. This year, a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl will set you back a cool $3.8 million (cnn.com). Using social media to expand reach and increase the investment of viewers in your brand is a great way to get more bang for your buck.
Budweiser has done a great job of this for their Super Bowl ad this year. The ad hasn’t been posted online yet, but the commercial will center around a baby Clydesdale. Budweiser developed a social marketing campaign to generate buzz for their Super Bowl ad by allowing customers to select the name of the baby Clydesdale in their new commercial. Users on Twitter used the hashtag #Clydesdale to place their vote for the foal, who was only 7 days old when the commercial was filmed!
Have you watched any Super Bowl ads yet? What is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below! I am looking forward to the Budweiser Clydesdale ad – it is usually my favorite and I’m excited to see what viewers voted to name the baby foal.
I’ll be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday and will be rooting for…the San Francisco 49ers! Although I’m not a big fan of Harbaugh (as an OSU alum, I had to endure some tough times and witness many a temper tantrum while he coached at Stanford), I will definitely be cheering on the Niners as they take on the Ravens and tweeting away using the hashtag #SB47 (my twitter handle is @msashleynoelle if you are interested in my musings). Who are you rooting for?