Five ways to make sure your brand is ready for the World Cup

By Gordon Macmillan
Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Excitement for the World Cup is mounting daily and this tournament will be played out not only on the pitch but in millions of Tweets, as football fans are glued to the on-screen action.

To ensure brands are ready for the opportunities ahead, we’ve drawn up this five-point checklist to help you get the most out of Brazil 2014.

1. Plan for the moment

A glimpse back to the London 2012 Summer Olympics and the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics shows how previous high-profile events draw massive television and Twitter audiences. While timely and quick-witted messages can have breakout impact, brands shouldn’t be daunted by the challenge of planning ahead.

Whatever your offer or brand message is, lay it down in advance — just as you would with other media campaigns. Think about all of the individual World Cup moments where brands like yours can join the discussion. From the final friendlies to the team’s departure and arrival on the ground, to the announcement of the starting 11, to the speculation of alterations for the next game — it’s key moments like these that are likely to drive huge scale and create unique opportunities for you.

 2. Connect the two screens for maximum impact

For most, the World Cup will be a TV event, and Twitter and TV go together to create more enriched experiences. We already know 90% of UK Twitter users will be watching the World Cup on TV (Global Webindex, March 2013) and many will be tweeting as they watch (Nielsen Twitter Consumer Survey, November 2013).

Eight of the biggest moments on Twitter in the UK in 2013 were sport related. It’s likely that many 2014 peaks will come from Brazil. Preparing with targeting (like TV conversation targeting or keyword targeting) can ensure that your Tweet is triggered when viewers are watching. This won’t just be during the games themselves; there will be a variety of TV opportunities. And if you are advertising in the World Cup, extend your campaign with the power of a hashtag on Twitter. It ties everything together.

3. Maximise engagement with dynamic Tweet content

Twitter has emerged as a platform for delivering dynamic content in the moment. Take advantage of it, as you can drive a lot of action in a single Tweet. Extend your TV ad with a video or Vine card to make sure your message is received clearly and in a highly shareable format.

Alternatively, deliver site traffic or qualified leads with a website or lead generation card. And remember Tweets from verified accounts with photos receive on average a 35% boost in retweets, and those with videos get a 28% boost.

 4. Simple tactics can prove the most effective

During a World Cup — whether during games or in the time between matches — people check Twitter to read what the latest news is. They pass an idle moment looking for stimulation. This is a very high attention environment and you can use it to your brand’s advantage. If you have a latest offer or a promotion you want to share, Twitter can be a very effective way to deliver this message. Often the most powerful tactics are the simplest.

Frequently brands with simple objectives (and no “big idea”) can capitalise on the fact that their audience is waiting to be engaged with. Keep ideas simple.

5. Test and optimise your campaign

Starting to build your reputation now will help your brand understand what creates good content that users are keen to engage in. Be sure to test different Tweet copy so that when it comes to key World Cup games you will have a good idea of what content will best perform and achieve results.

And the opportunities don’t end with the final whistle.

People will be talking about the World Cup throughout the year — and then the summer of sport progresses into the #Glasgow2014 Commonwealth Games, Wimbledon and the British Grand Prix among much more.