Foul Play: 5 Reasons NOT to Talk About the World Cup

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By Sam Sudakoff Okay, I’m being hypocritical and writing about the World Cup, but I’m really doing this for you (so that you can learn from my mistakes). The fact is: Everyone is talking about the World Cup. While we often discuss of the importance of real-time marketing, there is one exception: when it doesn't make sense for your brand. Don’t try to force it-- it will only come across as inauthentic.

Here are the top five reasons NOT to force real-time content around pop culture events.

  1. Zero points for originality. It’s all anybody is talking about.  Social media is already a highly cluttered space. It takes a lot to find a piece of content that will stand out to your fans, and even more to find something that will entice new customers. Unless you have something highly valuable and unique that is truly related to the World Cup, you’re just adding more content that will ultimately get lost in the shuffle.
  2. The SEO competition is fierce. You likely have a company blog on your website to continually generate traffic. Many companies think, “If the World Cup is a big deal right now, it will be searched often and therefore my company will show up.” The chances of that are actually extremely slim, even when you take advantage of hashtags and keywords.
  3. It’s like the holidays in terms of ad buying. It is one of the most expensive times to place media. Similar to how running ads during the holidays (or, say, another major sporting event called the Super Bowl) ensures the highest possible price in the most crowded marketplace, trying to take advantage of a global phenomenon like the World Cup is like hoping your ads will be seen on Christmas Eve.
  4. You're no expert. Most topics have been covered by major media. For World Cup coverage, no true enthusiast is going to read the article of a brand over the expertise of ESPN or another sports news outlet. If you have a compelling reason or unique perspective about a match, then go for it-- but don’t just just include it for the sake of being “newsworthy."
  5. Mistakes are bound to happen. In a hurry to be among the first to comment on a newsworthy event, slip-ups are likely to occur and people will criticize. With a rapidly changing environment, it’s easy to post something quickly without thinking and it will live forever in screenshots. Take time to do your research and know where your brand stands in terms of opinion.

In conclusion: Go #USA! #IBelieveThatWeWillWin

What  brands do you see doing great work with real-time content?

sam