Sarah Maloy, Director of Content Marketing at Adaptly
Madness descends upon the US every March as 68 college basketball teams duke it out for three weeks during the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball tournament. Basketball fans and novices alike tune in when the tournament kicks off on Selection Sunday (March 11), filling out over 70 million tournament brackets. The odds of picking all 63 winners correctly is as low as 1 in 9.2 quintillion, which may be why a perfect bracket was worth $1 billion in 2014.
With over 40 million Americans joining in on the bracket fun, brands also compete to come out on top during March Madness. Three weeks worth of matchups gives brands ample opportunity to reach the millions of viewers who tune in – 16.8 million per game and 93.5 million livestreaming the Final Four in 2017. Use these 4 social advertising strategies to crush your competition on the digital court this year.
Spread Out Your Content
Putting out too much too early isn’t a good strategy, but neither is holding everything for the Final Four. The best way to time your March Madness social execution is to adopt a temporary “always on” strategy for social ads, spacing your campaign across all three weeks of basketball action. The tournament begins on March 11 and culminates with the Championship game on April 2.
Prepare for Anything
To keep your brand relevant throughout the games, have reactionary content ready to go based on the possible game-time scenarios that could occur. Consider buzzer beaters, upsets, nail-biting final minutes, and more. Unless your brand has a tie to a specific team or region, avoid team-specific copy that could alienate opposing teams.
Score Big With Advanced Targeting
Event targeting on Twitter allows for quick and easy activation around live moments like March Madness. Brands can select a specific audience based on past engagements, making it the perfect way to ensure their content reaches college basketball fans. Event targeting can be combined with gender, language, and device targeting to reach a particular segment of an event audience on Twitter.
If Snapchat is known for one thing, it’s attracting young audiences. Because March Madness follows college basketball, college students and recent college grads make up a prime viewing demographic. Running ads on the platform puts your brand in front of 173 million active users, many of whom are millennials. Snapchat users will be checking their feeds throughout the tournament, looking for behind-the-scenes content through Discover or watching their friends’ Stories. Target sports fans to ensure you reach the right audience.
Carefully Time Campaigns
Place ads across Facebook, Instagram, and the Audience Network to reach your target audience at the most efficient cost on game days, when saturation will be highest. More than 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook daily, so video content is what users are looking for when they come to the platform.
45% of Pinners use the platform while they watch TV, so it’s a great medium to complement TV spots. Encourage more engagement by aligning the timing of your Pinterest and TV campaigns, then direct viewers to your Pinterest profile within your TV ad.