With passionate basketball fans gearing up for an exciting tournament season, it’s an ideal time for brands to capitalize on these events to reach massive audiences through strategic campaigns. With that in mind, here are three key tips to help marketers win big and engage fans this season.
Start Early to Score Extra Points with Fans
Last year, in the week before the tournament, the number one related search on Yahoo was “March Madness 2016 Bracket.” Fans work feverishly to fill out their brackets and compete online with fellow fans, which means that the days prior to the tournament kick off have become some of the most valuable online traffic days. To engage these fans, marketers can take advantage of high impact display advertising opportunities, such as homepage takeovers, that are aligned with NCAA content and coverage.
Reach Fans Across Screens
Today’s sports fans are looking for multi-screen experiences, so marketers should be sure to extend brand campaigns across desktop experiences and mobile apps. In fact, tournament dates represented the highest volume of app sessions for both Yahoo Fantasy Sports and Yahoo Sports during the first half of the year. Not only are there more fans consuming tournament content through mobile apps, they're also very engaged. To maximize brand engagement with these always-on sports fans, marketers can leverage targeted native and native video ads that put their messaging in center court.
Understand the Fan Experience
To gear up for the tournament, consumers are searching for snack ideas, ordering food for delivery and stocking up on new apparel. Marketers can ensure their brands are top of mind by increasing search advertising efforts leading into the games. It’s also no surprise that food delivery orders increase during tournament days. But in looking into the actual terms searched on game day, we found that the top two queries for pizza were “order pizza” and “order pizza online.” This presents a massive opportunity for retailers and quick serve restaurants to get a bigger slice of the pie. Consider optimizing search ads alongside high-impact advertising efforts within the actual bracket experience to help drive additional traffic to your site and encourage online orders.
Brands can design a winning game plan to connect with fans around the men’s college basketball tournament and ultimately drive results. Ensuring your brand aligns with the context of the fan experience, delivers a strong message across screens, and leans into search ads are key ways to reach and engage fans leading up to and during the tournament.