Keep reading for content marketing lessons from the NFL.

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest events of the year next to the Academy Awards. According to CNN, last year’s game, “Which saw the Patriots make the largest comeback in Super Bowl history, brought in an average audience of 111.3 million viewers for Fox, according to Nielsen. That makes Super Bowl LI the fifth most-watched TV broadcast in history.”

Those are incredible numbers and quite frankly, almost unthinkable numbers. The frenzy around the Super Bowl and the NFL can offer many tips and tricks on how to successfully promote your business and connect with your customers.

Here are a few content marketing and social media lessons that can be learned from football.

Content Marketing and Social Media Lessons from Football

Meeting with the Media

To kick-off Super Bowl week, the two competing teams meet with the press to answer a variety of questions about the game and anything else people can think of; even Jimmy Kimmel got in on the action. The event was held on Monday, January 29th and was “The third consecutive year that the event formerly known as Super Bowl media day was held in prime time under its updated moniker, Super Bowl Opening Night,” according to USA Today.

While your business may not be stuck in an arena answering questions from everyone under the sun, it is important to be available to reply to your customers and followers when they reach out.

Interacting on social media is key because it not only lets customers know you care, but they also expect it. In a study by Eptica, they found the average response times for email, Facebook and Twitter are:

  • Email: 7 hours, 51 minutes
  • Facebook: 1 day, 3 hours and 47 minutes
  • Twitter: 1 day, 7 hours and 12 minutes

Do those numbers seem surprising to you? How quickly do you respond to a message? The expected wait time is considerably lower than how long it typically takes a business to respond:

  • Email: 6 hours
  • Facebook: 6 hours
  • Twitter: 60 minutes

Like the players and coaches facing the media, you may be met with positivity or criticism. While it’s easy to accept a compliment or answer a simple question, handling negativity can be tricky, as you need to directly address the situation and not ignore it (no matter how much you may want to).

Here are three tips to handle negative responses on social media:

1. Act Quickly

When you notice a negative review about your company, it is best to reply quickly. Word of negative feedback can travel faster than positive feedback and spiral out of control if you don’t head it off right away, so act fast before the bad news spreads.

2. Assess the Situation

When you see the negative post, ask the user for details about what happened (if not provided). By looking at the full situation, you can respond appropriately and begin to take steps to rectify it to the customer. Do this in the same forum the original post appeared as a comment. You want other customers to see that you are responding honestly and openly.

3. Balance Responses

While it’s important to engage with online users and address their comments directly, some users boldly cross the line and post obscene or inflammatory language. These users are likely trying to start a fight, so only respond to specific comments on your products or services. It’s a waste of your time to engage in an online war and makes you and your business look petty. Rise above negative users by remaining positive and calm.

Engaging Your Audience through Social Media

Start using Facebook Live for a new way to connect to your customers and fans.

Another way you can open yourself up to questions like media day or opening night, is to host a Facebook Live event. Facebook Live is changing the field for marketers and how they are able to reach customers; here are five unique ways it’s changing the game:

1. Constant Accessibility

Perhaps the greatest appeal of live video is the ability to have it ready at a moment’s notice. Facebook Live makes this a reality with the ease and simplicity of the tool. Before, you had to plan a video, script it, hire people to film and then edit the clips into the final video. Now, when something happens that’s worthy of a video, you can be ready with just a smartphone in hand.

While blogging can be a huge boon for your website’s success, trying to pump out timely content when something happens is difficult. The accessibility of Facebook Live only places a button between you and your audience.

2. Wider Reach

It’s no secret that organic reach on Facebook has become a greater challenge. Paid advertisements work, but every budget runs out sooner or later. Right now, Facebook Live is huge and its potential for reach is beyond anything we’ve ever seen in the field of social media marketing.

Anything that can achieve reach without the need for paid advertising is something that marketers can and will jump on.

3. Future Proof

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes Facebook will be almost entirely video by 2019. While it’s difficult to predict the future of social media, it seems thus far that he’s correct. Currently, results show that people are watching 3 times as many live videos than pre-recorded ones.
In addition, while a typical live video reaches 6,000 people, a text article generally reaches 36 by comparison. Eventually, live video will taper off when it comes to organic reach, but businesses can get into the game now and reap the benefits. In the future, it will still be a very valid way of doing marketing as Facebook leans towards video.

4. Brand Development

Taking into account the organic reach that Facebook Live offers, which is 135% more effective than images, the potential for brand development using this medium of content is almost limitless. Brands use social media to grow and flourish, but until now it has been difficult to make consistent results.

By utilizing live video to give users a glimpse behind the scenes or into the culture of the company, brands can develop much quicker than ever before. Now is an ideal time to look at Facebook Live as a way to grow your brands.

5. Cost-Effective Advertising

Advertising is great for businesses with a budget, but sometimes companies need to rely on more cost-effective options. The phenomenal exposure that Facebook Live videos currently enjoy means that businesses can creatively stream live content and advertise their brand all at the same time.

Giving Back to the Community through Content Marketing

Social media is a great way to help your community and share your message.

One of the most coveted awards in the NFL is the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. As stated by the NFL, “The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. The award was established in 1970. It was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton. Each team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact on his community.”

One of the most notable finalists from this year is J.J. Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans. Watt raised over $37 million dollars for the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas through social media, specifically Twitter and YouCaring. Through this incredible fundraising campaign, he went to social media to share his message and to encourage and thank those who donated.

If your business is interested in giving back to your community, whether it’s after a disaster or simply because you want to do something good, you can follow these three tips to help you achieve your goals:

1. Create an Event

You don’t have to wait for something major to happen or have the notoriety of an NFL player to put on a gathering. Facebook allows users to create events for their cause, which can be a great avenue for businesses looking to reach out to their community. Creating social media events allows your fans and those in your community to participate in the festivities even if they cannot be there in person.

Whether the event is on a national or local level, allowing fans the opportunity to engage will help in recruiting and awareness. Three Girls Media is happy to help your business create Facebook Ads for events to reach your local consumers.

2. Create Cover Photos

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have created opportunities for images at the top of profiles. This is the perfect place to put your event’s logo or message front and center on your biggest social media profiles.

You don’t even need an expensive graphic design firm to create professional looking images. Tools like Canva offer easy to follow tutorials, templates and images for users to create their own graphics. By creating custom images for your event and cause, you can have attendees spread the information to their friends and family through cover images.

3. Create Videos

As I mentioned above, J.J. Watt took to social media to start his fundraising campaign and to connect with his followers; you can watch his first fundraising video here. This was a simple, heartfelt video that was direct and included a call-to-action at the end of it. Here are a few tips to make sure your video is effective:

Stay short: Online video marketing works best with short videos. In a world where everyone is competing for attention, it is best to keep it at 2 minutes or less.

Get to the point: According to Statistic Brain, the average attention span lasts about 8 seconds. What does that mean for your online video marketing? Get to the point quickly, before the viewer is gone.

Optimize: Keep SEO in mind. Using keywords and links are a great way to help search engines find your video.

Call to action: Every effective online video marketing strategy needs this step. You want to give them something to do after watching the video: do you want them to like your page, share your video or sign up for an event?

Be Your Own Content Marketing MVP

Very few events and industries have the same draw as the NFL and the Super Bowl. While everyone can’t get a piece of their pie, you can learn from their successes, mistakes and tactics to improve your content marketing abilities.