Every year, 30 million people will play fantasy football. It has grown into a billion dollar industry spawning television shows, literature, and honest to goodness academic research. ESPN, for example, employs MBA graduates to run regression analysis to observe trends and establish statistic projections for players.
Can you think of another industry that puts so much thought, planning and analysis into their strategy?
The world of online marketing is evolving just as fast as fantasy football, and the similarities between the two are not limited to the types of people they depend on:
Set your strategy like a lineup
When setting your fantasy football roster, you study which players have the most upside and will produce the biggest return on your investment. While digital marketing is a little more complex than reading the week’s statistics and watching a brief television program, the same principles still apply: your goal is to win and capitalize on success.
Think about your entire marketing strategy like a fantasy football lineup: You construct your team to be strong in multiple areas and work in cohesion. Some roles on your team will carry more weight but all are an integral part. Like a fantasy team, the attributes of your strategy such as web, social, SEO and online ads work together to gain “points” that create a winning campaign.
In fantasy football, to get the most out of your players, you study their past statistics, injuries, how they’re performing currently, how strong their opposition is, and how their entire team is doing to determine if that player is a viable option. This is just like you would do when crafting a powerful online strategy (injuries notwithstanding, of course!).
Keep people engaged
Coming into work Tuesday morning after your work friend defeated you in the office fantasy league certainly isn’t an enjoyable experience, but it does keep people engaged and get them talking. For many people, fantasy football enhances how they watch the game itself, causing them to invest time and interest in matchups they wouldn’t normally care about. The point is to grow the social landscape and create interactivity. Your online marketing efforts should be similar. Engage your audience when they connect to your webpage or social media sites and encourage them to share, interact, and participate. By keeping things fresh, valuable, and challenging your consumers will want to come back for more. Although, I wouldn’t recommend any trash talk with your opponents!
Make it fun
Winning a fantasy football league is fun. Competing with your friends, working to prove how skilled you are in running a professional football team, and celebrating a player’s success is exciting. But marketing is a lot of fun too.
Stats, figures, and hard evidence can be great tools for driving sales, but it’s pretty meaningless if the campaign doesn’t include some sort of compelling, dynamic, attention-grabbing message that boosts the exposure of the brand. So, keep things interesting, and avoid hitting your audience with information overload. Plus, it allows you to put a piece of yourself into the content and create an emotional connection.
Marketing and fantasy football, on the surface, aren’t very similar. We certainly are not advocating running a day-to-day operation like a fantasy roster — dropping a player at the first sign of distress. But, the best part about marketing is the fact that you have unlimited options. It would be impossible to draft Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and Adrian Peterson all in one draft, but it is possible to construct the very best marketing strategy based on the figures available. So, next time you set out to build a winning marketing campaign, think back to the steps you took in constructing your fantasy roster; odds are it will provide a bit of insight!
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