Capitalizing on the Big Game Buzz on a Shoestring Budget

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Whether your business is in Miami or Anchorage, the Super Bowl provides a huge opportunity to engage with customers. NRF’s consumer survey indicated that nearly 194 million adults are set to spend a collective $17.2 billion preparing this year. Each spectator is projected to burn $88.65 on food, drinks, party supplies, and, of course, merchandise for their favorite team. That’s up more than $7 per person since last year, and it marks the highest average spend in the survey’s 10-year history. And that’s just the opportunity leading up to the game. 

Traditionally, brands that captured viewers’ attention and rode the wave of big game buzz were those that could spend big bucks on prime-time television ads. This year’s ads cost more than $5 million for a 30-second spot – well beyond the budget of most businesses. 

Iconic moments in Super Bowl history like Oreo’s ‘Dunk in the Dark’ Tweet prove that ads are no longer the only path for creating noise. Smart businesses can capitalize on the game with strategic social content but should not over-rely on it. Instagram and Facebook are notorious for outages during big moments such as Thanksgiving Day in 2019. Twitter has also experienced its fair share of downtime, with outages across platforms lasting as long as 24 hours

Instead of zeroing in exclusively on social channels, why not deliver a one-two punch by also serving up relevant content on your business’ blog and website? Here are a few tips to maximize content across marketing channels.

Create a Content Hub

Use your blog or website as the origin or hub for big game content and promotions, and make your website work in tandem with your social channels. Far too many organizations silo these channels when the website should sit at the center of marketing activities with social media amplifying content.

For instance, a local restaurant should have big game specials on its website or in a blog post. Retailers that carry licensed products for the two competing teams should promote them on their website as well. These businesses can then leverage social media to promote the specials, linking back to the landing page for more information. If promotions are only visible on social media, customers cannot see them if the platform crashes.

Websites can also inform visitors of the brand’s social presence with social icons in the headers and footers of the website. Tools such as Juicer, Social Feed, Twine Social, Social Streams, and Feed Them Social can bring visibility to social channels by collating content from your business handle or around a specific campaign hashtag and displaying it in an embedded plugin on your website. 

Tap Live Conversation to Draw in Customers 

Experiment with live-blogging the game and feeding that content into social media. 

For example, instead of only commenting on social channels, copy the commentary onto a live blog that is updated every time you see a new, engaging commercial. This enables the content to live on outside of, and beyond, the big game. 

Businesses can also use a multitude of plugins that automate this process like Jetpack, Sumo Share, Social Warfare, AddToAny, and ClickToTweet. Using these time-saving tools, businesses can publish a blog entry and automatically post a link on their social channels. These tools can also be used to make it easy for customers, employees, and others to share the content as well.

Whether you automate the process or not, be sure any content you share on social media directs your audience back to your website. Once customers click through to your site, keep them there by delivering even more engaging content, such as recommended articles and non-intrusive but relevant pop-up offers. 

Extend the Conversation (and the Insights)

Most conversations will take place during the Super Bowl, but don’t forget the next day can be just as important. Feature a recap of your Super Bowl party or rate your favorite commercials on your website; then, schedule the content to publish the following day. 

Don’t forget to leverage web and social data to inform future marketing strategies. What type of social content was most engaging? What content drove website clicks? What path did customers travel on your website and for how long? Don’t just look at the data; contextualize it to understand if promoting content leading up to the game or during commercials was most effective. Make note of these insights for promotions around other major events and next year’s big game. 

Social media will continue to be the hub for Super Bowl conversations. But that doesn’t mean it should be your only approach for capitalizing on the event’s buzz. It’s important that social activity isn’t siloed and instead helps to amplify your business’ website promotions – particularly for major events like the Super Bowl. Taking this strategic approach allows small businesses to tap into the conversation without the risk of downed platforms and maximizes the impact of marketing activities. 

Suhaib Zaheer is SVP and general manager of Bluehost. With over 15 years experience, Suhaib previously owned and operated a commercial real estate brokerage before entering the tech industry in 2009. Currently, Suhaib serves as SVP and general manager of Bluehost, a leading web solutions company that empowers anyone to build websites that showcase their passions and hard work through comprehensive tools, and human guidance.