Digital Web Strategies for Sports Brands

Digital marketing encompasses the broadest range of modern marketing techniques across all industries all over the world. This new way to communicate, advertise and build up brand recognition has transformed the way people connect to the world of sports as well as the way the industry is sold to consumers. Whether you’re a local sports team, an event organiser, a ticket vendor, a high-street sports shop or a purely Web-based company, maintaining a digital marketing strategy is now crucial for standing out in the increasingly large online crowd.

#1. Fostering Engagement through Social Media

The rise of social media has seen by far the most important change to the sports industry. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are now among the most popular portals for promoting sports-related events. Social media also allows fans, who perhaps can’t always afford to buy expensive tickets for events, to keep in touch with the latest news around their favourite teams. By sharing exclusive content and live updates on social networks, brands will be able to build communities and inspire engagement. For example, a cycling-related brand might keep their followers engaged by sharing the latest news and updates about major events, such as the Tour de France or the Giro d’Italia. The idea is to get people talking about your industry, effectively turning your brand pages into popular social media communities.

#2. Attracting and Nurturing Audiences through Mobile

Sports fans are generally more likely to be out and about a lot more than others, so it stands to reason that they’ll be particularly active on mobile devices. In fact, mobile is taking the whole world by storm, with over half of all Internet traffic now coming from the small screen. Sports fans regularly use their smartphones multiple times per day to check scores and receive live updates as quickly and as conveniently as possible. For this reason, many sports brands publish mobile apps to help facilitate the delivery of news updates by way of a responsive and streamlined interface. Marketing through apps also allows you to take advantage of push notification messaging to keep existing audiences aware of major updates, promotions and special deals. At the very least, your website should be fully mobile-friendly.

#3. Building Relationships with Blogging

Companies in the sports industry have long been using blogging for building audiences and forming meaningful relationships. While the blog post is one of the most common content marketing formats, it also has its strong social elements. Sport is a popular topic to talk about, so encouraging conversation with an engaging and regularly updated blog is a great way to build brand visibility and authority. Blogging presents the perfect opportunity to share your views and build up a reputation as an authority in your subject area. The trusty old blog is also a great platform for publishing the occasional guest post, perhaps even one written by one of your followers, to provide a fresh perspective to your audience. Blogging might take time, but it’s one of the most popular and effective content formats in the sports industry.

#4. Increasing Brand Visibility with SEO

As is the case with any other industry, most first-time visitors arrive at a website after clicking on a link in the search results. The various steps involved in increasing your visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs) is known as search engine optimisation (SEO), and it’s something that every sports brand should pay attention to. While content and social media present the opportunity to connect with your target audience on a personal level, the primary goal of SEO is to draw in new fans and customers from the search engines. Because there is so much competition in the search engines, you have little hope of standing out if you’re trying to target very broad key phrases, such as ‘cycling gear’. Instead, you’ll be better off targeting more specific phrases, such as ‘Adidas cycling shoes’ and, in the case of local businesses, using geographical identifiers such as place names.

#5. Building Brand Authority with Content Marketing

Content marketing is a very broad discipline concerning the creation and sharing of genuinely useful, relevant and value-adding content in a wide variety of formats. The method has actually been around since the late nineteenth century, most commonly in the form of recipes printed on food packaging. Today, the modern Web allows sports brands to publish everything from blog posts to streaming videos to podcasts and much more. For example, most sports teams have their own YouTube channels for posting highlights from major games and other events. Sports retailers can use video to demonstrate their products or publish tutorials. In other words, content marketing may serve either to help consumers get more from their purchases or to keep them engaged with their favourite companies through entertainment or education.

The best digital marketing strategies for your business will depend on its size, scope and goals. However, every digital marketing strategy should incorporate mobile, social, content and SEO, since they’re all so closely intertwined that they cannot really be separated without losing effectiveness.