As the 2018 World Cup swiftly approaches kick-off, it presents plenty of opportunity to reach fans effectively.

From our latest research, here are the top four insights into this cohort that every marketer should know.

1. 62% of World Cup fans are privacy-conscious.

With data privacy gaining more importance, it goes without saying that brands need to keep this front and center and ensure they don’t misuse personal data. And when it comes to targeting World Cup fans, this is even more essential.

62% of this audience describe themselves as privacy-conscious, highlighting this as a key trait.

This is a particularly important insight to consider when it comes to programmatic advertising. Brands need to ensure their targeting is on point, and avoid misuse of audience data.

Key takeaway: Practice transparency and respect personal data.

2. 65% are brand followers.

With over half of World Cup fans following their favorite brands on social, it’s clear that in order to reach this audience, a consistent and consumer-centric online strategy is key.

Here are some pointers on how to do it:

  • Produce valuable and entertaining content.
  • Run relevant promotions to encourage advocacy.
  • Engage on social media by communicating directly with followers.
  • Jump on relevant news stories as they happen.

Key takeaway: Have the kind of social media presence your target audience expects.

3. 41% watched sports coverage or highlights on their mobile last month.

World Cup fans are a highly mobile-focused audience, proving the need for brands to ensure they’re mobile-friendly.

If you’re targeting this cohort, ensure your campaigns are optimized for mobile, and look at the opportunities for on-the-go content.

Key takeaway: When designing your campaigns and online presence, think mobile.

Brand Spotlight: Adidas – ‘First Never Follows’

Global sports brand, Adidas, is no stranger to marketing innovation. With its 2016 campaign, ‘First Never Follows’, it made use of real-time news and social video to get results.

During a time when rumors were circulating of French player Paul Pogba’s return to Manchester United, the most expensive soccer transfer in history, Adidas presented the story.

As part of an extensive cross-channel effort, the first campaign video hinting at the transfer was uploaded on social media by brand advocate, and popular grime artist, Stormzy. It was quickly deleted, leading to high engagement rates as fans tried to solve the mystery of what it was all about.

The campaign uses humor, cool visuals and references to gaming and social media to put the consumer (and ultimately the product) in focus, ending with the message: ‘You be you.’

Having generated over 30m video views and 400 news articles, it proved to be a message and approach that resonated with its target audience.

4. 51% use social media while watching TV.

Second-screening is becoming more commonplace, giving brands an opportunity to take advantage of this time spent across channels and devices.

Your social strategy can compliment broadcast TV, potentially with campaigns that hook onto matches and TV content you know your target audience is interested in.

Key takeaway: Second-screening is your friend. Look into how you can combine TV content with your social and engagement strategy.

Brand Spotlight: Netflix – ‘Stranger Things’

Netflix original show, Stranger Things, is a runaway hit with lots of ‘80s flavor. It’s highly popular across generations, especially Gen Z and millennials.

When marketing the first and second seasons, Netflix didn’t shy away from trying something a bit different.

Knowing their target audience were keen social media users, the video streaming giant created immersive, cross-channel experiences in the run-up to both seasons’ release dates.

Some highlights of the campaigns were:

A VR 360-degree experience on YouTube, allowing the user to explore the home of one of the characters.

A series of ‘hidden camera’ videos, giving viewers a look into the sinister corporation at the heart of the story, with a suitably eerie feel.

A Facebook lens, making the most of the then-new camera effect, as well as the first-ever Snapchat World Lens.

With these campaigns, Netflix proved that TV and social can complement one another, once you know where your target consumers spend their time, and why.

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