By Mandi Boyd
Major League Baseball’s World Series is the Superbowl of baseball. Die-heard and bandwagon fans unite to root for their team in hopes of being the champion. Much like the Superbowl, the post season offers an enormous opportunity for marketer's to exercise their ability to craft relevant and engaging real-time content. In honor of the legendary George Herman "Babe" Ruth, Jr.'s famous number three, this article highlights the three strategies demonstrated by the top two brands correctly producing real-time social media content this MLB post-season.
1. Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes
Getting behind-the-scenes glimpses into the world of Major League Baseball is not available to the general public, or at least the general public living off an average salary. MLB and Louisville Slugger give their fans and followers a look into the baseball world that would not have been seen otherwise. Granted, not every brand's fans are attracted to a Vine of batting practice or an Instagram of fresh bats, but every brand has the ability to provide their fans with an exclusive look into their organization or product. For example, a baked goods brand could Vine the baking process for their prized cookies, or an entertainment brand could share one of their performer's warm-up routine. Having that little tidbit of insight into a brand develops a sense of attachment to the brand.
2. Ignite Emotion Behind Nostalgia
Baseball is America’s greatest pastime. The tradition of the game appeals to fans of all ages, locations, and walks of life in order to bring them together for one of the longest mainstream sports seasons prominent in the Unites States.
The postseason is the October climax that fans have been anticipating since early April (or, in some severe fandom cases, mid-February). MLB and Louisville Slugger are creating content that allows fans to reminisce and engage with other fans about baseball history, tradition, statistics, rivalries, and even superstitions.
By playing up the nostalgia of the game, the brands are able to appeal to a larger audience than just the die-hards and bandwagons. While it is important to keep content focused on what appeals to the niche target, it is important to make sure real-time content is occasionally a bit more broad as to reach out to a larger audience.
3. Call To Action: Pick A Side
According to a study by Scarborough Research, 109.3 million people watched, attended or listened to an MLB game from February 2011 through March 2012. By creating a call to action asking those fans to express their fandom for their team, brands are able to encourage their audience to start conversation which, in turn, shares the original content and increases the reach of the brand. This is especially clever with a sporting event because it encourages a sense of brand allegiance and competition among fans.
MLB and Louisville Slugger are brands to keep an eye on when studying real-time content. Based on their social content thus far this postseason, they have honed their brand voice and have mastered the art of giving their fans and followers what they want in the social media space.
Have you seen any note-worthy social content this postseason? Who are you rooting for in the 2013 World Series?