In a YouGov survey conducted with 70,000 people across 36 countries last year, it was revealed that over half of respondents use social media as a source of news. It’s true that many of us take to our social feeds first thing in the morning or over lunch to stay updated on the latest goings on the world, sometimes against our better judgement.
However, more than keeping the public informed, social media has an immense power to engage its audiences, too. Nowhere is this clearer at the moment than across FIFA’s various social channels. Building anticipation for Russia’s upcoming World Cup, the official Facebook page is abuzz with updates, photos, videos, player profiles and nostalgic throwbacks. Drip-feeding content bit by bit to drum up excitement for the biggest sporting event of the year.
For such an international celebration of sport, localised event marketing is crucial. FIFA’s various multilingual World Cup Team Twitter accounts are a testament to this, with thousands of followers hanging on for the latest updates on their team in their native language.
The global focus of the event means that many eyes will be watching. While 32 national teams face off for recognition and a spot at the top this World Cup, various brands, including FIFA’s official partners will also compete for audience attention.
Naturally, FIFA is adamant about prioritising its official partner and sponsorship brands, and has brand protection and marketing guidelines available for reference. For this reason, should you wish to get in on the action, you must be careful not to violate any of FIFA’s guidelines.
It should come as no surprise that using any of FIFA’s official logos or photos in your marketing campaign is a no-go. Avoid using official World Cup hashtags on Twitter and Facebook, there are likely to be plenty of unofficial ones you can use instead. Creating your own hashtags will also boost user engagement, especially when posting about specific games, teams, and memorable moments.
Be creative with your multimedia, and keep tabs on brands who have had successful marketing campaigns centered around the World Cup and similar sporting events in the past. Unibet is a great example of a brand whose campaign stood out from the rest. For Euro 2016, they opted for a more educational and informative stance exploring game strategy and variables that affect performance, aiming to turn ‘betting marketing on its head’ with a #LuckIsNoCoincidence campaign.
Beats also positioned themselves as the must-have product for athletes and music-lovers alike in their 2014 campaign. Featuring big sporting names such as Serena Williams, LeBron James, Cesc Fabregas and Luis Suárez, as well as American rapper Lil Wayne – this star-studded campaign was always bound to turn some headphone sales.
Coca-Cola, one of FIFA’s official partners, took a slightly different approach for the 2014 World Cup, using hundreds of thousands of ‘soccer selfies’ for a giant photo-mosaic flag to promote their brand. User-generated content is a great way to connect with your audience on a deeper level, and makes financial sense, too.
Whatever you decide to do to for your World Cup marketing campaign, have fun with it. See the guidelines as less of a restriction, and more as a licence to stretch your creative marketing muscles and drive brand awareness on an international scale.