Australia is a sport-loving nation. From tennis in the summer, soccer in autumn, football in winter and V8 supercars in spring,there’s always a sport to follow and a team to get behind. And while traditionally Australian viewers have been subject to traditional broadcasters’ schedule to watch our much-loved matches, we’re seeing more Australian sporting organisations extending our viewing experiences. They’re moving beyond TV, going online, and more increasingly, to social media.
Last month, we hosted a panel at the Sportscasting Conference & Expo featuring the heads of digital at some of Australia’s biggest sporting organisations. The professionals who joined us there are responsible for developing and delivering the organisation's customer-facing technology and content. The conversation was driven around the rise of social video and its importance in creating engagement. The result: best practice tactics that every sporting organisation needs to consider to make a successful social video campaign.
Here are some best practices our panel laid out during the discussion:
1. Get Creative with Content: Interact Real-Time without Live Streaming Rights
Content touches each part of your marketing strategy and will have a big impact on the success of your campaigns. This extends to social media as well. In the sporting world, one of the biggest challenges is around licensing rights. With major broadcasters typically owning exclusive rights to airing live sporting matches, it has meant sporting bodies without these rights have had to get creative to ensure a steady pipeline of content. In lieu of live streams, we’re seeing more behind-the-scenes social videos, like Roger Federer’s training sessions, press conferences, or even player reactions right after the final whistle blows. These all draw in audiences and it’s working extremely well for sporting organisations taking this approach.
2. Avoid Overexposure: Don’t Spam Your Fans
Sustained content is definitely important, but there’s a fine line between giving social users as much as you can, and flooding them with too much video content to the point that they become dismissive. It’s tempting to splurge out with video content (especially through live video streams) on the likes of Facebook and Twitter because it’s free but if the content you’re sharing is not interesting or just not right for your audience, you’ll struggle for engagement.
What can you do with all this content? Well, it’s equally important to optimise your video content for different platforms. For example, Twitter has more of a rolling news feed, while Instagram users prefer small amounts of video. Choosing the right content for the right platform can have a big impact on engagement levels.
3. Be First: Immediacy Expands Your Social Video Reach
For sporting organisations, it’s critical to be the first to provide fans with video content before anyone else. A comment that stood out during the panel discussion was that videos published within 30 seconds of an incident happening will see their reach grow exponentially. Fans are more likely to share it, and even news outlets may pick it up. Just like in traditional media, being the ‘first’ to break the news goes a long way with your fans. This type of authority builds brand loyalty and keeps them coming back to your social channels (over others) for more.
4. Cultivate Authenticity: Social Videos Should be Real, Not Perfect
It’s important not to get bogged down in creating the perfect video for every social post. As we discussed above, viewers prefer immediacy. Don’t be afraid to share those first moments because they’re not perfect-- ‘quick and dirty’ video could do the trick! Take a tip from our experts; these video leaders on our sports panel said that the videos with the highest engagements on social have often been unpolished video content. So don’t be afraid to post these types of videos if it means you’re going to be the first to cover it.
As fans continue to look for new ways to interact with their favourite sports, sporting organisations have the perfect opportunity to capitalise on this growing demand through social media. Social video provides the perfect avenue through which to adding value to the fan experience. Again, make sure videos are timely, optimised for the audience and platform, and avoid holding your social content to superior production standards. Social audiences are consuming more video than ever before, so it’s important to start experimenting now.
Learn How to Optimise Social Video