You have your brackets ready: the perfect combination of your favorite teams and that No. 12 seed upset everyone is talking about. Now that the productivity level in your office is at an all-time low, consider how you can strategically use the NCAA tournament to benefit your business — how are you going to leverage this incredible marketing opportunity?
With the Final Four game taking place at U.S. Bank Stadium, an estimated $142 million is projected to flood in the Twin Cities. That money will be won by the companies that manage to separate themselves from the herd. Is your marketing strategy designed to maximize your exposure?
We’re not saying you have to come up with millions of dollars to fill TV advertising time or get your company’s name on the baseline. There are more affordable ways to leverage the increased focus on college basketball this time of year.
THE KEY WORD: INTERACTIONS.
Yes, most people will be glued to a television screen over the next two weeks, but they’ll also be scrolling through their social feeds and commenting their opinions on the latest thriller.
Here are a few ways to capture your audience’s attention during the tournament:
Create Opportunities for Engagement
Give fans a reason to interact with your brand. Create a bracket challenge that donates money to a charity of their choice if they win. Develop a contest to award discounts to customers who predict the biggest upset of the day. Create your own industry-specific bracket for fans to fill out and reveal the winners throughout the tournament. The goal is to create multiple opportunities for your audience to interact with your brand throughout the week.
Partner With an Influencer
Social influencers will be all over the tournament — and just like you, they’re looking to make the most out of the event. You should be intentional about the influencer(s) you partner with, though; it’s not all about follower count. Taking the time to strategically select someone who is connected with your target audience and has the level of reach you’re looking for will yield the best results.
Tell Your Story
Use your social channels to tell a story that’s unique to your brand, without paying the big bucks for TV time. By using social media as your platform, you’ll have complete control over your narrative, and the flexibility to make your story appeal to the exact audience you want to interact with. Be creative! People will pay attention if you have a compelling story and find a unique way to express it.
So now what? While you’re working on your bracket, let Macleod & Co. make your marketing spend work for you by creating a memorable, engaging campaign that targets your audience where they live. Then, sit back and enjoy the buzzer-beaters, Cinderellas, and maybe even your alma mater playing in the championship game on April 1.
About the Author: Business Development Director Mike Kennedy is a relationship developer who loves meeting new people. With more than 10 years of experience in the professional sports arena, he understands the significance of brand loyalty and is passionate about using creativity and strategy to help businesses connect with their audiences.