(Warning this article contains a number of direct and indirect football puns – apologies in advance)

It’s that time again where jubilation and heartbreak go hand in hand and the question of is it finally ‘coming home’ is back on the agenda. With lockdown easing still in place, many businesses across the UK will be seeing the impact of the European Championships as a big opportunity to raise some seriously needed revenue. This is no different from a paid media perspective with a number of advertisers seeing this as a chance to not only jump on the euro bandwagon, but to also drive revenues. 

So what can you do to tailor your paid campaigns to meet the demands of football fans? We’ve come up with a few tips that should help to drive home sales and ensure that you’re coming away winning whatever the result.

Predict impact

You may be saying to yourself – ‘but how does this relate to my business?’ or ‘well this is irrelevant’, but that may not entirely be the case. In a 2019 survey carried out by Facebook, they found ‘Over two thirds of people surveyed who use the Internet said they watched sports online in the previous month, and of these, two in five did so on a mobile device.’ Moreover ‘Of those who watch sports online, 75% say they use at least one of the Facebook family of apps and services.’ In addition to this, a YPulse survey found that ‘nearly 80% of viewers in the 13-to-37 demographic are using multiple screens while watching a live sports event’. Taking this into account, with the increased interest over the coming weeks drawing more people to their screens (whatever screen that may be!) there will be an opportunity for all businesses to be heard regardless of your industry across paid platforms as users are watching the match.

As a result of this, the first step is to think candidly about any and all ways your business could not only be impacted by the next few weeks, but how you can use it to enhance results. How do you feel your audience will be impacted? Will this impact results directly or indirectly? Is there an opportunity to tailor content? All these considerations will give you a clear foundation of how best to run campaigns over the tournament and ensure that you have a clear goal in mind.

Ad scheduling & bid adjustments

Often the forgotten element of paid campaigns, ad scheduling really comes into it’s own at times like these. If you’re looking to really ramp up performance before a big match, by implementing ad scheduling and ensuring increased bid adjustments in the hours before kick off, you can rest assured that you’re doing all you can to relax any pre-game nerves. During the match, you may look to pull these bids back down to ensure that you’re not throwing the kitchen sink at advertising whilst all eyes are fixed on the game – but noting of course that users will still be interacting with mobile devices. In the following hours post-match you have an opportunity to capture the attention of fans as they wind down from the excitement so be sure again to increase bidding during this time to ensure that you remain competitive. 

A really good example of ramping up activity during these times is Domino’s who run the ‘order now for half time’ content. This is a great way of tailoring content for peak times, ensuring it’s both relevant to the user and beneficial to the business.

It’s also important to note that adjustments needn’t necessarily be implemented for every match. In all likelihood, activity across the country is more likely to be impacted during the home nations matches, so a small bit of planning and adjustment prior to the tournament can help ensure you’re campaigns are on the road to glory.

Promotions

What’s the best way to really capture attention? Promotions of course! So why not cheer about your offers with some platform specific functions to entice your customers:

  • Promotion extensions – The real MVP and a MUST during this time. A quick and easy addition to any search campaign, promotion extensions are a great way to help drive up CTR’s and put unique offers at the forefront of your messaging.
  • FB Offer ads – Encourage users to shop on your site with online offer ads. Using unique codes, discounts and even barcodes, offer ads provide an engaging way to interact with consumers. Even better, users are given the opportunity to save offers for later with reminders being sent directly to the user, allowing you to indirectly re-engage with the customer – what an assist!
  • Merchant Centre promotions – Show some extra support for Google shopping campaigns with GMC promotions. Introduce discounts, free gifts and free or discounted delivery to your GMC account and benefit from boosted CTR’s, increased conversions and improved CPA’s.

Play on relevance and use it in content

It’s been said time and time again, but tone of voice is so crucial during occasions such as this. You don’t want to score an own goal and make your brand come across as a robotic faceless company. Really engage with the tournament, ham up content and interact with consumers. Customers will always favour authenticity over generic responses so have fun with your messaging and reap the rewards!

Consider new formats

Have you been looking for a good time to try out that new platform? Well what better way to get started! Similarly to the above, if you’re creating engaging, playful content that is relevant to your users, advertising on multiple platforms helps to ensure greater brand coverage and provide a more comprehensive ‘flood the market’ approach to your advertising.

One particular area to push is that of Google Discovery ads, with football fans using the discover function as a way to check in on scores, what better place to get your brand in front of people!

Over the last few weeks we’ve seen the likes of Google and the BBC take to Snapchat, TikTok and Spotify to peak user engagement around the tournament, so why not follow suit and try out a new platform today!

Whatever goes on on the pitch, we hope you can see that the coming weeks presents a big opportunity for your business to engage with consumers. Hopefully, with our tips, you’ll put in a man of the match performance and be taking home the champagne!

Fraser Andrews

Paid Media Strategist

I’m a PPC specialist who has been working in the industry for the last four years across a range of B2B and B2C accounts. I’ve been really fortunate to work alongside some great brands and help clients get the most from their paid advertising. I pride myself on being professional and approachable, so if you’re unsure on anything or have any questions just get in touch! I studied Journalism at University in Bristol and also have recently completed an MA in the Politics of Conflict and Violence (such a wordy name for a degree!). Outside of work I have a vast array of hobbies, from strongman training and fitness to clay working and gardening.

Fraser has specialist knowledge in Paid Media.