Why It’s Not Too Late for Brands to Ace Wimbledon

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Wimbledon is well underway but it’s not too late for brands to capitalise on the excitement of the tournament via paid social initiatives.

Social media innovation has certainly been championed by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) in recent years. And, for 2017, not only have the organisers of Wimbledon launched a dedicated tournament messenger bot but they have also incorporated new elements of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality into the official competition app. These concepts are labelled by many as the next frontier of social media marketing, so savvy brands are wise to pay attention.

In terms of paid social, brands can experiment with ads in Instagram Stories which has become incredibly popular since it launched last year, and is currently used by 250 million global users each day. During Wimbledon, consider leveraging this feature in order to connect with your audience in a way which feels authentic. Many fans will use Instagram Stories to share in-the-moment snapshots so ads of related products sit naturally within feeds. This format is great for showcasing things such as limited time opportunities, exclusive experiences and behind-the-scenes content.

Snapchat’s exclusive Live Wimbledon series means that the platform is another great option for serving related ads between users’ Stories to capitalise on the buzz surrounding the event. The apps ‘Lifestyle Categories’ targeting option means that brands can zone in on users who are interested in other sports-related activities such as running and fitness, too.

Bear in mind that it’s important to split budgets between different platforms in order to connect with users in various ‘modes’ and situations. For example, Snapchat can be good for serving short, snappy content to Millennial sports fans, while Twitter is where those following the tournaments turn for real-time updates.

What’s more, on Twitter, TV targeting can be used to promote tweets to users that are already engaged. Consider bringing the community of excited tennis fans closer to the action with Twitter Amplify with real-time, dual-screen sponsorships and in-Tweet video clips accompanied by pre-roll or post-roll advertisements. Twitter event targeting allows you to focus your activity around wider topics and narrow down on particular conversations as they unfold. This allows brands to connect not only with users who are actively tweeting but also those who are just viewing content.

On Pinterest, it’s possible to use a combination of interest and keyword targeting to reach tennis fans gearing up for matches and parties, given that this is where users turn to gather inspiration, making it an excellent platform to showcase related products.

And consider running ads on Facebook in the day leading up to key matches, switching assets frequently in order to avoid saturation of messaging. Then, use Custom Audiences to encourage fans to tune into ads you may serve during the actual games.

A significant part of Wimbledon – and sporting events in general – is the unpredictability. Neither brands nor fans know what the outcome will be from the start. Therefore, it is important for advertisers to connect with users in real-time to maximise success.

Savvy brands think beyond these few weeks, too, extending their strategy to be relevant once the matches have ended. For instance, 93% of users turn to Pinterest to plan future purchases, and using ad formats like Facebook and Instagram Carousels to showcase a variety of products or stories also tends to engage customers longer-term.

AELTC has itself chosen to deliver a content-led campaign this year, focusing particularly on Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat to target a younger demographic. To meet its goals of promoting tennis as a sport for the whole world, the club is on a mission to communicate the thrill of the game. The primary way it now communicates with fans, beyond its own online presence, is on social media.

Any brand can get in on the action by creating richer, more engaging experience before, during, and after each match. There will be no shortage of exciting moments from the six main courts. And, with an average of three matches per court per day, it’s about delivering content in the moments that matter to connect with fans and offering a fresh perspective. Let your creativity know no bounds.