How App Advertisers Can Make the Most of FIFA Football World Cup

By Satya Manoj Vinnakota | June 25th, 2018

FIFA football world cup mobile advertising

Earlier this year, the digital world reached a crucial juncture regarding internet usage. According to the latest Mary Meeker’s report, there are around 3.6 billion people connected to one another via the internet, while a majority of them are predominantly mobile users. Another research on Statista predicts the number of mobile users in the world to pass the 5 billion mark by 2019. We are truly a mobile-first generation, and every digital marketer is fighting for consumer’s time and attention on mobile. The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off recently with some exciting games already, and continues through July 15th. And while it is a time of high energy levels for the football enthusiasts, it is also one of the biggest sporting events for the mobile industry, with the golden chance of finding the right users using the right strategy and message to those glued to the screen on their mobile and tablet devices.

Let’s look at how app marketers can make the most of this World Cup:

Serve Contextual Ads

Out of the 3.2 billion who watched the last World Cup in Brazil in 2014, it is estimated that 280 million watched it either online or on a mobile device. The FIFA official app alone saw an estimated 30 million downloads!

With such a large audience already tuned in, finding the right users comes down to serving contextual ads to keep the engagement levels high. App advertisers should look towards customizing creatives as well as the ad copy to include trending hashtags, or offer special discounts for fans of the ongoing game. Combine app data with location data to localize your messaging and reach fans across the globe.

mCommerce apps, for example, can take full advantage of this by reaching the user at the right moment with offers related to the team that won, or food delivery apps in Europe can utilise the halftime with offers of free delivery or discounts related to the predicted goals when the tensions are running high, and appetites are hard to satisfy!

Use Programmatic Advertising to Run Targeted Campaigns

A global event such as the World Cup involves users viewing from various time zones. Some of the fans are just waking up to switch on their telly, while others in Europe and Asia are on-the-go at lunch or just on their way back home, watching most of the gameplay on their mobile device. This means for app advertisers reaching the right audience is about finding where the right opportunities lie. To reach the right users target them using programmatic advertising based on time or location targeting to ensure right messaging to the most relevant users.

Offer Personalized Cross-Device Retargeting Experience

As mentioned above, most of the users are now increasingly using their mobiles or tablets to stream the matches. Even the users who tune in on the television are usually switching between social media channels, multiple apps, and streaming sites either to be connected with other virtual viewers, participate in interesting hashtags or trends or to check trivia of their favorite team. App marketers who want to stay ahead should focus on reaching their consumers, especially those on the second screen and at multiple touch points, to create a seamless experience. This is where retargeting comes into play.

Rely on user behavior data to bring back users to finish a level on your mobile game. For instance, if Ronaldo scores a hattrick, give your user extra three lives for a difficult game level and bring them to the app.

Online retailers, too, can leverage this to run campaigns to engage users. Your national team won the day’s game? Offer limited time discount coupons for users who have added items to cart but are yet to make a purchase.

Key is to plan and strategize ahead to make sure seamless experiences are created for the user to win them back.

Leverage the Power of Mobile Video and Playables

Video advertising is a great opportunity to reach out to the second screeners who crave good quality content while streaming matches or being connected online. Mobile video is a compelling format for branding, as well as for performance marketing because it is highly engaging and converting. Additionally, it’s 100% visible and usually pre-cached, so videos play without interruption, even with weaker internet connections.

Playables is another format that’s on the rise with its ability to positively affect user experience and deliver higher ROAS. World Cup is an excellent opportunity for brands across verticals to benefit from this by gamification of the ads to engage the users. An example here is Gamewheel’s campaign with Pizza.de that leveraged the power of playables during EURO 2016 championship. The month-long World Cup event is a good opportunity for advertisers to work with a partner to create dynamic playables to boost performance and conversion rates.

Satya Manoj Vinnakota
Satya Manoj Vinnakota is a Team Lead on the publisher side, working from Berlin. He is an avid football fan and loves Manchester United. He has been active in the Startup scene in India working with local incubators and helping other startups with Digital Marketing. He holds an Engineer degree in Information & Telecommunications from SRM University, India. You can write to him on all major social networks @satyamanojv

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