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Social media, Strategy

Competing Off the Field With YouTube at UEFA Euro 2016

17 May 2016
An image of a football stadium at Euro 2016 | Neon

UEFA Euro 2016 is just around the corner, bringing together the best football players European football has to offer, as well as millions of passionate and enthusiastic football fans all over the world. While much of the watch time will take place on TV, digital channels are forever playing a far more important role. TV audiences are shifting to focus more time on digital channels, making it even more important for brands to do the same.

With more than twice as many online searches for football related content year on year in the UK alone, there has never been more opportunity for brands to reach this highly engaged audience via targeted digital platforms. According to Google, 60% of football related searches took place on YouTube last year, showing the incredible potential that this channel presents to brands.

The graph below, taken from a study by Tubular Labs highlighted by Google, shows the trend for football related content, forecasting Euro 2016 to gain the most YouTube watches to date.

Football-viewing-stats-YouTube | Competing Off the Field With YouTube at UEFA Euro 2016 | Neon

We covered a similar topic back in 2014 when the FIFA World Cup was on, highlighting Beats by Dre as one of the big winners. The below video has received over 30 million views on YouTube to date, and despite not being an official sponsor of the event at the time (in fact players were banned from wearing Beats headphones within the vicinity of venues to protect the rights of official sponsor Sony), the brand captured a large amount of exposure and online conversation.

The study undertaken by Tubular Labs also found that “8 of the 10 most popular ads on YouTube during the 2014 World Cup were over four minutes in length – so brands have a greater opportunity to tell their story and engage with viewers in their ads”.

There are brands already taking advantage of the power of YouTube, with 4 of the Top 10 ads on the YouTube leader board in 2014 being football related content, largely down to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

But when tapping into new markets during the Euro 2016, it’s important that brands don’t just limit themselves to football related video content, and attempt to expand their content strategy to include the culture around Euro 2016. Google suggests that a sporting event is more of a “cultural event in a foreign locale with representation from nearly every country across the globe. Naturally, the games spark interest in music, language, travel, and cooking related to the region where they’re hosted, and even beyond”.

It won’t be simply football fans tuning in to watch the Euros on TV, therefore brands can differentiate themselves by appealing to the increased interest in all other aspects of the culture that will naturally get more time in the spotlight during the event.

Google has identified three ways to help ensure brands make the most of the incredible opportunity YouTube is providing before, during, and after Euro 2016 in France.

How to Leverage Football Fever This Summer

  1. Make sure your ads are reaching football fans when they head to YouTube this summer – before, during, and after the live 90 minutes.
  2. Don’t restrict your targeting to football – fans enjoy other genres, so find them on YouTube while they’re watching the content they love.
  3. When the final whistle blows at the end of Euro 2016, don’t forget about football fans – they’re an engaged audience throughout the regular season and the next World Cup is just around the corner.

Google provides great advice and insights into how brands can be more successful on YouTube, as well as extending audience reach and improving user engagement.

Euro 2016 provides an opportunity for brands to solidify their market position, tap into new markets and create excitement and conversation around a brand, product or service; and YouTube is the perfect vehicle to help drive the brand message.

YouTube content advertising is just one small, but extremely powerful, element of the overall marketing mix, with social media and real-time marketing also playing greater roles than they did in previous years. It provides brands which don’t necessarily have the same brand awareness, market share, and marketing budgets to gain a share of voice during the (micro) moments that matter during the Euros.

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