A Marketing Lesson from the 2016 Olympic Games

Everyone’s watching the 2016 Olympic Games to cheer on their favorite athletes and to watch history being made.

You wouldn’t think that the Olympics really needed a marketing push to get people to watch since it has become such a beloved institution the world over, but it didn’t get to be that institution by resting on its laurels. Even the biggest brands have to market to keep people engaged and to attract new audiences.

We can all learn a lot from this year’s Olympics about how to reach more people. Here is a marketing lesson from the 2016 Olympic Games to help you:

Think Globally

Most online businesses sell products that can be used globally. Unless your website is only meant to promote services that you offer locally, you should be casting your net to include markets all over the world.

Create content for different markets, and include social media posts that appeal to different markets. Plan each segment of your strategy by time zone, language, cultural references and other markers that differentiate these audiences.

The larger you can make your marketing strategy, the more customers you are likely to reach.

Don’t Forget Local

Of course, local marketing is always going to be important. Not only can you create a more personal relationship with those customers by meeting them in person, but you can also rank higher in local search.

It might be hard to think about how the Olympics practiced local marketing since it is such a big event with worldwide appeal. However, this year alone, you can see that the game organizers have partnered with the host city, Rio de Janeiro, to improve local youth sports programs and participate in other community improvement projects.

Think about what other ways you can make your local marketing special, both online and off. You’ll gain customer loyalty and boost your overall search marketing efforts.

Get Emotional

So much of marketing can be dry and overly formal. As a brand, you think that you need to be business-like. However, the best brands have shown that getting up close and personal leads to the best results.

The Olympics are always emotional as people cheer for their favorites or see history being made with the first woman or the first African-American to win an event. Marketing for the Olympics shows the emotional reactions of the athletes, the coaches, the family cheering in the stands, and the audiences watching.

How can you bring the same emotion to your marketing? You don’t have to have an event to showcase. You can share the emotion that people feel as a result of using your product or service, or you can show the emotion that brings people to your product or service.

For example, you can show a single mother who is worried about providing for her children and then show the relief she feels after receiving your financial services.

Be creative, and don’t be afraid to shy away from emotional marketing. In fact, you should embrace these strategies.

Take a Side

Related to this need to be overly formal or corporate, many brands feel like they can’t have an opinion, so they try to stay neutral. Yet many brands are showing through their 2016 Olympics marketing that it’s much better to take a side.

Brands have been better able to connect with their audiences by rooting for a certain team or athlete in the games. While you won’t have the Olympics to show your loyalties all year long, there will be plenty of other issues on which you can take a side.

Don’t be afraid that you are going to alienate customers. You can’t please everyone, but you can reach those customers who share your brand values. Show off who you are by having an opinion and taking a side.

If you are really gun shy, just steer clear of controversial topics like politics or religion.

Get Interactive

Not everyone can attend the Olympics, but many brands have made their audiences feel like they can by hosting special events or live streaming special events.

You can make your audience feel more engaged by taking advantage of live video, hosting giveaways, and sponsoring local events, among other things. The more opportunities your audience has to participate, the more connected to your brand they will feel. That will turn them into brand ambassadors and encourage customer loyalty.

The more interactive you can make your website and your social media channels, the more results you are likely to get.

You don’t need to have the budget of an Olympic sponsor to get some of the same results these brands are getting. Just follow these tips to do what they are doing and you’ll start reaching more of your target audience all year long.