In America – and increasingly around the world – the Super Bowl is a huge moment in sports and advertising.
To wit: A recent study from YouTube found Super Bowl ad viewership outside the US has grown over 28x on the platform since 2008 – with the UK, Canada and Russia coming in as the top countries for 2016 viewership.
Sum total, the top 20 Super Bowl ads from the last nine years have generated 440 million minutes of watch time. And millions more when you factor in all the other ads — and all the other Super Bowls.
What’s more, truly iconic ads continue to live on long past the year in which they aired. For example, Old Spice’s The Man Your Man Could Smell Like from 2010, Ram’s Farmer from 2013 and GoPro and Red Bull’s Red Bull Stratos – The Full Story from 2014 generated over 5 million combined views in 2016 for a total of more than 92.5 million lifetime views, YouTube added.
Social video measurement firm Visible Measures agreed that brands that successfully capture consumer attention on Super Bowl Sunday see enviable results, like Axe’s Find Your Magic, which had a True Reach, or viewership on all platforms, of 36 million and resulted in a 45% increase in purchase consideration last year.
But here’s the kicker: Visible Measures projects Super Bowl 51 will be the biggest event for online viewership of all time.
And that kind of interest means there are plenty of opportunities for brands and agencies that don’t have Super Bowl ads of their own, too.
Here are 5 tips for how advertisers can increase their Super Bowl search visibility, whether they have budgets to cover $10 million a minute or not.
Think outside the Super Bowl search box
It’s a fact: Consumers search for Super Bowl content. And, per Google, that includes topics like recipes, food, apparel, teams and weather.
Bing, too, has found searches for Super Bowl party ideas start to rise after the conference championships and peak just before the Super Bowl. As a result, Bing recommends advertisers use Enhanced Sitelinks to guide consumers to specific game-day pages for recipes or ideas.
That’s right: Any brand can capitalize on Super Bowl fever by creating relevant content.
“For example, if you run a lifestyle website, include Super Bowl party recipes,” said Brock Murray, COO of seoplus+. “If you own a carpet cleaning company, give tips for getting buffalo chicken dip out of carpet or furniture.”
In particular, writing AMP content that ties into the most buzzworthy, search-worthy keywords will help – particularly on mobile as viewers will be second screening during the game, Murray noted.
That’s because viewers aren’t just searching for particulars about the game itself. They also want information about countless tangential topics like the halftime show, the ads and the TV show that will air directly after the game, Murray said. That gives savvy brands an opportunity to capitalize if they are creative and zero in on the right topics.
“This is [also] the first year Google is prioritizing mobile indexing,” Murray said. “[I’m] really excited to see how this affects the indexing of timely, relevant content in the organic search results, not just news results or the AMP carousel.”
In other words, if your content best answers consumer questions about related Super Bowl topics, the odds are good you can harness some decent exposure.
Raise the bar overall
The Super Bowl is a unique moment because ads have historically been of a higher quality and consumers are more open to them as a result.
“The Super Bowl is amazing because it’s the one time people actually want to see ads. Some people care more about the ads than the game or the halftime show. There are some lessons here,” Murray said. “Even if you don’t advertise in the Super Bowl at this time of year, people are hungry for ads that are funny, provocative and start a conversation.”
In other words, the Super Bowl should serve as a reminder that consumers don’t mind advertising if they see creative, relevant ads.
Boost, target – and even steal clicks
In addition, Murray suggested running a limited-time AdWords or Facebook campaign to draw attention this time of year.
“With online advertising, you can target a precise audience that will actually convert,” he said.
Allie Vadas, PPC director at Jellyfish, also recommended brands with Super Bowl category presences, such as beer, cars and food, run YouTube discovery ad campaigns to make sure their brands are showing up when consumers are searching for Super Bowl commercials.
Bing research confirms Super Bowl commercials prompt search – and anyone can take advantage
“We found that branded search volume can increase up to 98% for an advertiser with a Super Bowl commercial. However, advertisers may not be taking advantage of that extra traffic – up to 56% of SRPVs had no impressions from the advertised brand,” Bing said. “That means there’s an opportunity for competitors to sneak in and steal clicks. Advertisers need to strengthen their keyword coverage and enhance their bidding strategy to defend their position and capture more clicks.”
But brands and agencies aren’t limited to content and PPC.
In fact, Vadas recommended brands that are located in and/or have a connection to the cities in which the teams come from or where the game is being played deploy search campaigns that relate to whatever consumers may be searching for in those regions.
“For example, if you are a Houston-based business [this year], getting hyperlocal around the stadium to target people with your ads across the web would increase visibility to those users who are in your market,” Vadas added.
Ready your social media war room, tune in and see what happens
Vadas also pointed to the infamous blackout tweet from Oreo – perhaps the gold standard of real-time marketing – and recommended brands make sure their search and marketing teams are ready, willing and able to deploy in-the-moment social content, so they can capitalize on events as they happen.
“People who then go to search for context and more information about that event, your brand will be there,” she added.