How's Your March Madness Marketing Game?
Brackets, pools, parties … oh my! March Madness is right around the corner and marketers are gearing up. According to the NCAA, it's estimated that over 181 million viewers tuned into March Madness last year, nearly 10 million viewers per game. It's assumed just as many fans, if not more, are preparing to partake in the 2015 festivities. Below are three ways marketers can cash in on the madness:
1. Host your own bracket email campaign. Last year, Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW) hosted the "Blazin’ or Bust" bracket contest. The reward was the chance to win BWW gift cards and a trip to the Final Four. By hosting the contest, BWWs’ customers continuously revisited its site to check on their brackets, increasing web traffic and word-of-mouth in the process. When creating a bracket campaign, tailor your emails to your customer and leave them wanting more.
2. Have a strong real-time social strategy. March Madness is known for its real-time social marketing moments. Last year, brands like Burger King and Nike got in on the action by bidding on promotional tweets. Quick, easily shared content is key for a dual-screen marketing strategy. Adweek reports that Instagram will be one of the top social networks used this year to help promote the games. The NCAA has already implemented a strong social strategy with Instagram's video feature.
"The visual imagery and video capabilities of Instagram provide the ideal vehicle for fans to relive everything from dramatic wins to behind-the-scenes happenings along the path toward victory," said Stacy DeBroff, CEO of Influence Central in an interview with Adweek.
3. Remember your fan base. The NCAA's March Madness marketing strategy is so successful because it reaches out on social and digital channels to engage its millennial fan base. When marketing around March Madness, make sure your message is still cohesive with your brand's strategy.