Sports brands, just like other businesses, need to get with the times and adapt their communication to the current landscape of the digital era.
In this context, we’re going to analyze what steps you should take to increase engagement with fans without making them feel as if you’re trying too hard or fringing on their privacy.
Interaction is synonymous with engagement, and it goes both ways. What do we mean by this? If you want sports fans to engage with your website, you should be the one to start the engagement.
Research the market, see what your fans are searching for, and offer them the exact content they want. Feel free to provide them with games, videos, live shows, quizzes, and everything in between to make them curious enough to click on your links.
Speaking of interaction, you should also let fans interact with each other more fluently. Create a private messaging feature and a forum that you can quickly and smoothly populate with topics. Furthermore, you could create some virtual sports that they can play and bet on (either for money or just for fun), similar to the examples on betconstruct.com. If you think about your fans first and brand awareness after, you have plenty of chances to increase following and loyalty.
Building a relationship with your fans and encouraging them to interact with each other is a form of User Generated Content. Not many niches can muster the power of UGC, but a sports brand can take advantage of this content marketing trend and make it work like a charm. User-Generated Content serves all needs: it keeps the users engaged with your brand and turns them into loyal advocates and influencers for your brand. According to recent research, ordinary fans of a brand hold more influence over users than do ads, sponsored posts, or other marketing strategies.
In short, make it easy for your users to share their fan stories or sports-related adventures, compete against each other in friendly games or bets, take polls, and become the beating heart of your website. Shortly enough, you will have genuine brand ambassadors that will do the marketing for you.
Go on Social Media
Yes, Facebook is a privacy nightmare. Yes, Instagram is full of attention seekers. And, yes, Twitter is full of people who spit out every insignificant thought that crosses their mind.
However, these are some of the platforms that almost everyone uses, including sports fans. And whether you like them or not, they offer some fantastic promotional capabilities, be them organic or paid.
As long as you’re creative enough, you could link every post on social media to your website without seeming repetitive. If you offer sports fans exciting news, trivia, and other sports-related content, they’re bound to follow your pages and will inevitably click on the links directing to your website.
According to statistics, more than 60% of sports fans are likely to use Twitter to enhance their sporting experience. Such data backs up studies aiming to reveal the influence of social media on fans’ reactionary behaviors. In other words, research the networks your fans prefer the most and go there to cater to their needs. Take a step forward and do not just identify the channels. Discover how your fans are interacting on those venues and test some of the ways you can attract them to interact with your channel as well.
The blogging community is vast and growing ever so tirelessly. One beautiful thing about bloggers is that they tend to promote one another if the content they write about interests them both.
As such, you could start writing articles related to sports on your blog and link to both your website and other similar bloggers. Most of the time, other bloggers will be kind enough to link back to your blog and your site. If not, you can introduce yourself and ask them to link back to you just like you did for them.
The more backlinks you can get to your website from all these bloggers, the higher up you will rank in Google and other search engines. Obviously, the higher your result, the higher the engagement from sports fans. Nobody likes looking at the second page of the search engine results page, so work hard to rank your site as high as possible.
Keep in mind the rules you need to follow when you begin a link building campaign with other sports websites, magazines, or sports-interested outlets. Good backlinks to your site will increase your reputation, drive traffic, nurture credibility, and help you rank higher. Nevertheless, bad backlinks can throw your website in a spiral of trouble, so pick your collaborators wisely.
Create Video Content
People from all walks of life enjoy video content to an astounding degree. 85% of people say videos help them connect with brands more easily.
In this case, it only makes sense to create video content and put a significant focus on it. You could try starting a vlog, creating a TikTok profile (unless it gets banned in the USA – if your target audience is mainly from there), and profit of the fact that Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube allows you to create stories using video. In short, video is king, and you should use it to increase engagement with your website significantly.
Speaking of video content, do not forget the more modern and engaging forms of content marketing that you can use. Remember that sports fans are not regular consumers. They are there because they want to be a part of the team. They want to have genuine experiences, feel real emotions, engage with others like them in a meaningful way, and have stories to tell others. For this reason, when you consider content marketing strategies, live streaming, AR, and VR storytelling make the best tools to keep your fans engaged with your website.
The Bottom Line
Increasing a sports website’s engagement isn’t necessarily easy, but it isn’t hard either as long as you take your time to learn how to implement the tips mentioned above seamlessly. The best part is that your fans want to be there with you as part of the team spirit. It would help if you offered them the means for them to remain by your side and become your most loyal and vocal promoters. Always provide quality content and tailor your engagement and marketing strategies to meet your fans’ needs and exceed their expectations.
We wish you the best of luck in building a large fanbase and increasing traffic to your relevant audience!