Super Bowl Social Lessons: A 5-Step Guide to Creating Better Real-Time Event Marketing

If you’ve been paying attention to recent Super Bowl social marketing tactics, you may have noticed that real-time marketing was, and will continue to be, at the center of the advertising world for major events.

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If you’ve been paying attention to recent Super Bowl social marketing tactics, you may have noticed that real-time marketing was, and will continue to be, at the center of the advertising world for major events.

The beauty of this trend is that unlike before, where events were one-time engagements, social media allows brands to enjoy relevant, long-term interactions with their audience for an extended period of time. Not to mention the fact that these events present an incredible opportunity to reach a large number of people with your message.

Yet by the same token, the heightened potential raises the stakes for advertisers. There’s a fine line between the real-time marketing campaign that catches like wildfire and the one that flops.

So what’s the trick to creating successful campaigns that will extend the exposure you get from an event? We sought to answer this question by analyzing a handful of our past campaigns for the Super Bowl, as well as the ones for smaller events throughout 2014. Here are the five steps we came up with for any marketer hoping extend the exposure of a campaign by having an integrated marketing effort before and after the main event.

Step 1: Invest in a strategic plan

Before initiating any social campaign, it’s important to take the time to think about your strategic goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics. Start by defining your marketing goals (e.g. increase sales) and determine specific objectives, focusing on tactics relevant to your core strategy.

With a solid strategy in place, you can then identify you target audiences. In a competitive advertising landscape, simply using events that resonate for your brand isn’t enough – to be truly effective, you must keep your target narrowly-focused.

A great way to do this is to include location based targeting in your audience planning. Incorporating this tactic in your overall targeting strategy will allow you to show ads in the same location as the actual event, increasing your odds of delivering messages that will resonate on a more personalized level.

Step 2: Have 90 percent of the content ready-made

Even spontaneous moments can be planned. When thinking about your content, we’ve found that you want to overestimate the amount of content you might need, and in most cases, have the majority of that already approved. Taking this step to be organized early will position you to have a steady presence throughout the event, as well as free up your content team to react to spontaneous moments on the fly.

So how much should you have pre-approved before the event? We’ve found that the below mix to be the best combination for various types of events:

  • 70 percent pre-approved
  • 20 percent semi-approved
  • 10 percent reactive

Step 3: Build anticipation before the main event

Once you have your target groups clearly defined and your content developed, get your audience engaged early by enabling some type of feedback or participation in the weeks leading to the event. For example, Doritos has been leading this arena for years with their “Crash The Super Bowl” video contest that garners thousands of video submissions from its fans before the game. This year alone the brand received 4,900 submissions from 29 countries.

Don’t have the budget to splurge on a huge giveaway or contest? Not a problem. Small-scale activities that encourage engagement based on what your audience will respond to can be equally effective in sparking excitement with your fans. Take photo campaigns on Instagram – several brands, both small and large, have leveraged this platform to build a blossoming community of brand enthusiasts through theuse of #hashtags to organize photos around a particular theme or campaign.