The Need for Digital Sports Marketing
India is getting Digital by the passing day. According to Google, India’s digital economy will cross the $ 1 trillion mark. Moreover, the country is consuming the internet more than ever. According to the Internet & Mobile Association of India, Indians used an average of 4 GB of data per day last year. This sudden surge has been propelled by a slew of digital initiatives by the government along with the cheapening of data.
This is headlined by the likes of Digital India, Make in India, Skill India, Startup India, and ‘Smart Cities’. As a result, there are over 600 million users already on smartphones.
Digital is the next big thing in India. If you have to reach to the core audience of the country, the digital route is the best route. This is true for the sports industry as well. In fact, no industry is better placed to take advantage of the engagement opportunities than the sports industry when it comes to real-time marketing.
Digital Consumption at an All-time High
According to Star Sports India, the consumption of IPL content through Hotstar, its digital mode, nearly doubled last year. The rise of fantasy sports gaming is further attracting sports fans towards smartphones.
Here is how the entire process goes about – A fan watches the game on phone through live streaming. If not, he at least has a phone in hand for either for checking fantasy league scores or sounding off on big plays minute-by-minute. Moreover, if the result is in his team’s favour, he uses social media to share everything from photos to celebratory cheers, to predictions and stats.
What is Digital Marketing in Sports ?
Digital Marketing encompasses all forms of marketing efforts that involve an electronic device or the internet. This includes various digital channels like social media, content, search engines, email, websites, and any other media beneficial in helping to connect with the current and prospective customers.
In sports, Digital Marketing is important from the fan engagement point of view. People want to be up-to-date with the latest results, statistics, and upcoming fixtures.
What are some Digital Sports Marketing strategies that I should undertake?
Basically, there are many. However, all of these can be summarized in three main parts.
Website is the best and the most professional way of reaching out to sports fans across the world. This is true in all cases, whether you are an athlete or an organization. Through websites, one can post press releases, engaging content, and all that is to know about you at a single place.
After you have decided to make a website, the next main task is to make it visible to your targeted audience. These may be your fans, organizers, or potential sponsors.
Once you have ascertained your target audience, the next step is to make sure that you reach to them. This can be tricky since you will be competing against scores of other websites, which, ironically, are all writing about you. As a result, you must thus have proper content and SEO optimization strategy to improve your website rank. It would be trivial to create a website or a content which fails to reach a wide spectrum of audience.
Social Media may be imagined as a window to efficiently connect with your fans. While once social media was used majorly for casual communication, it has gotten a new, business angle to it these days.
In fact, the fan following on handles like Twitter and Facebook often becomes an indicator of a sportsperson’s popularity. With the domain of social media marketing rapidly gaining a foothold, these SM’s has emerged as an important source of revenue for athletes.
As for the sports organization, it provides a better opportunity for gaining leads and connecting with other organizations.
However, it requires regular KPI monitoring, graphic designing and regular posting to ensure a steadily increasing fan engagement.
Important Strategies For Effective Sports Digital Marketing
Know What You Want to Achieve
Before you even decide on which digital sports marketing campaign to start with, clearly understand your needs and exactly what you want to achieve from it. This will only help in giving a direction to your plan apart from helping in the planning phase.
You could start out with asking basic questions- What sits on the top of my priority list? Who will be my digital sports marketing campaign targeted at? What will be the scale (and projected reach) of my campaign?
It is through answering these vital questions and many others that will help to determine the exact nature of your marketing campaign.
Since they are watching live sporting events on TV, there are high chances that most of the fans are glued to their smartphones. This is an ideal time to connect with them by creating engaging as well as real-time content that is in line with the live event. One can utilize live feed on Twitter for starters.
It would be advisable to use interesting and puny commentary around the live events – for two reasons. First, it can be a good route to effective fan engagement. Second, such content has high shareability quotient and thus is better placed to go viral.
Give a Sneak-Peek
If you are a brand, try to connect with your fans by feeds that include reaction to exciting real-time plays. This will give out a message to the sports fans that you, as a responsible brand, care about the field you work in. Instagram is another important way of connecting with the general audience. You could give a sneak-peek into particular athletes or events. This has an important psychological effect, taking you even closer to the fans. Thus, this would not only elevate the engagement quotient but also help in leveraging with possible leads, say a sponsorship, a team or a sporting event.
Innovative Routes of Engagement
Along with the points delineated above, you can also employ innovative engagement routes to your benefit and fan engagement. This may include some fun contest, ask-a-question, or a live video feed of your practice session. You may enlighten your fans about ways in which to excel your sport of excellence or some basic exercise that everyone can do to stay fit.
It is important to introduce only those content that is relevant to your targeted audience, although it is advisable to create content as universal as possible.
Follow a Set Strategy
Last but not the least, having a set strategy for digital sports marketing is of utmost importance for your campaign’s success. You should have a firm reason behind every single blog that you submit and every single post that you publish. Nothing can be done randomly. Moreover, Gauging your engagement level regularly through multiple tools like Google Analytics and Microsoft Dynamic 365 among others is important as well. It helps in giving insights on whether your strategy is inline with the target audience’s expectations.
Branding with Us
Digital Sports Marketing has become the need of the hour for anyone remotely connected with sports. However, due to the numerous nuances involved in the process, effectively applying it can become a tedious and often tiring task. If you are interested in Digital Sports Marketing but don’t know how to use it to your benefit, look no further! You are at the right place.
KreedOn is a platform for Indian athletes and sports entities to get recognition, digital solutions, and sports network. It’s also a digital platform for brands to discover and book opportunities in Indian sports ecosystem to fulfil their marketing and CSR objectives.
We help athletes in developing their brand identity and market it in the best possible manner. We take care of all your technological, social, and media needs. You focus on your giving your best, while we take care of the rest!
Here are some of the additional benefits of a developing a website through KreedOn:
FREE Press Release Services: KreedOn provides free press release services to you. Moreover, we Additional PR stories around you on the KreedOn Media as well. It is a strong sports community reaching out to over 3,00,000 Indian sports lovers every month. This ensures that not a single achievement of yours goes unnoticed.
Expert Support: At KreedOn, you could take the benefits of our shared network and collaborations in the sports ecosystem. We are connected with some of the best coaches, nutritionists, and physios of the country.
Sponsorship Opportunities: KreedOn utilizes technology to create earning opportunities for Indian athletes.