3 Easy Ways Brands Can Join The Olympics Conversation

Three quick tips for mar­keters who want to stand out from the hun­dreds of oth­er brands fight­ing for con­sumer atten­tion dur­ing the Olympic Games.

Matthew Scott By Matthew Scott from Crowdtap. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Offi­cial spon­sors aside, hun­dreds of brands will be fight­ing for con­sumer atten­tion through social con­tent efforts aimed at reach­ing peo­ple in places where they will nat­u­ral­ly be hav­ing Olympics-relat­ed con­ver­sa­tions. But, as we’ve seen with recent miss­es, enter­ing the cul­tur­al dia­logue in a time­ly and authen­tic way with­out a strat­e­gy is no easy task.

With the Rio 2016 Olympics just months away, mar­keters are already gear­ing up for what will be the year’s biggest cul­tur­al event. Brands are expect­ed to dole out more than $1 bil­lion in tele­vi­sion spend – and that doesn’t include the bevy of con­tent and expe­ri­ences that will flood people’s feeds and streams come August. Here are three quick tips for brands seek­ing a spot on the podi­um this sum­mer.

1. Find Out If (Or Where) Your Brand Fits

Major cul­tur­al events, like award shows and sports games, have a unique abil­i­ty to bring house­holds togeth­er. As friends and fam­i­ly mem­bers hud­dle up on the liv­ing room couch to watch the dra­ma unfold, con­sid­er how your prod­ucts might fit with­in this at-home view­ing expe­ri­ence. Steal a page from Pep­peridge Farm’s play­book: Ahead of this year’s Super Bowl, the brand com­mis­sioned food­ie and par­ent­ing influ­encers to cre­ate con­tent that would align the brand with at-home snack­ing dur­ing the Big Game. Absent a flashy :30 or :60 spot on screen, Gold­fish was able to get into the con­ver­sa­tion in a way that was both time­ly and rel­e­vant to busy moms.

2. Prepare For The Unexpected

Mil­len­ni­als are twice as like­ly to be inter­est­ed in the cul­tur­al chat­ter that sur­rounds the games than their non-Mil­len­ni­al coun­ter­parts. That’s because Gen Y con­sumers live in a world of memes, GIFs, and retweets. Plan to uti­lize user-gen­er­at­ed con­tent to fuel your con­tent strat­e­gy. Set­ting up a news­room dur­ing the games is a giv­en for brands pri­or­i­tiz­ing a real-time approach to social media con­tent. While these types of “com­mand cen­ters” might elic­it an eye roll from RTM-fatigued mar­keters, they can be much sim­pler than they sound. The keys are to have the tools need­ed to get in front of meme-wor­thy moments as they hap­pen and to have the per­son­nel on call to quick­ly make approvals before post­ing. Anoth­er way to fill your con­tent pipeline is to invite your audi­ences into the sto­ry­telling process. Whirlpool is a brand that has had great suc­cess in this vein; their large-scale ad cam­paign from 2015 asked fam­i­lies to show­case their every­day acts of care in the home via social con­tent. The brand was able to repur­pose the UGC as part of an ever­green con­tent strat­e­gy, and the user-gen­er­at­ed sto­ries often out­per­formed the brand’s more finessed con­tent.

3. Partner With Relevant Content Creators

Influ­encer mar­ket­ing doesn’t mean pay­ing a dig­i­tal celebri­ty big bucks to shill your prod­ucts on Insta­gram. Cre­ator part­ner­ships should be viewed as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to bor­row rel­e­vance with­in spe­cif­ic top­ics where part­ner influ­encers have earned the trust of engaged com­mu­ni­ties. Astute cre­ators are already tee­ing up their edi­to­r­i­al cal­en­dars ahead of the Olympics, so now is the time to engage them. Find ways to play into their unique approach­es to con­tent to dri­ve the most engage­ment from their audi­ences and lever­age their sub­ject mat­ter exper­tise to inspire oth­ers to cre­ate and share their own con­tent. P&G has been a con­sis­tent leader in this space with regards to Olympics mar­ket­ing. In sup­port of their pop­u­lar “Thank You Mom” cam­paign, the brand enlists blog­gers to ampli­fy the con­ver­sa­tion and encour­ages their fol­low­ers to join in. The approach ral­lies peo­ple around a pow­er­ful emo­tion­al theme and fos­ters stronger engage­ment across the brand, the influ­encer and their com­mu­ni­ty. While for­mal Olympics part­ner­ships are reserved for a select few part­ners, mar­keters and agency con­tent teams, near­ly every major brand will have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to par­tic­i­pate in the glob­al con­ver­sa­tion.

Matthew Scott

Written by Matthew Scott

SVP, Business Development & Strategy, Crowdtap

As SVP of Business Development & Strategy at Crowdtap, Matthew Scott has spearheaded dozens of brand partnerships with senior marketing leads at Fortune 500 companies and their agency partners. Prior to joining Crowdtap, Matt was a founding team member and Director of Business Development for AdSafe Media. Previously, Matt managed digital and traditional media strategy for several iconic global brands at Omnicom Group's BBDO New York and Publicis's Starcom MediaVest Group.

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