Why Influencers, Not Footballers Will Score for Brands During the 2018 FIFA World Cup

goatInfluencer marketing is the most effective brand building and sales tool right now, and if brands don’t invest in it for the 2018 FIFA World Cup they will score a massive own goal. My first insight into how incredibly effective influencer marketing campaigns are was working with Cristiano Ronaldo to drive app downloads through his social network.

By comparison, we achieved the same number of downloads for a sports website, Sportlobster, through a football fan page on Twitter and Facebook, because we engaged with their smaller, but a more dedicated audience.

Ronaldo may have a massive following, but his fans are not always engaged. That made my co-founders and I at Goat aware of the huge ROI – Return on Influencer – and understand why it has become the most effective tool to achieve both cut-through and authenticity.

At Goat, influencers aren’t celebrities, they are people you’ve probably never heard of. But if you are one of their followers, then you are probably totally interested in what they have to say, and likely to follow their recommendations.

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Half of the population (49%) rely on influencer recommendations when deciding what to buy. We know almost half 18-29-year-olds use an ad blocker, so this is an effective way to reach people in an authentic way. Influencer marketing gives brands ROI and credibility.

That’s why, rather than using a megabucks 2018 FIFA World Cup TVC or overpriced footballers to deliver marketing goals, influencers offer a more authentic way to engage the right audience, at a fraction of the cost.

Just think about how things have changed since the last World Cup. Back in 2014, Vine was the hot social platform, with its six-second videos. Social video content is so much richer and more engaging now.

Also Read: The Data & Measurement Behind Successful Influencer Marketing

This tournament will entertain fans and non-fans on their social channels, and many will watch matches on a mobile device or tablet, making it the first major football competition that is truly social-first, with video the top content to share, whether through Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or Musical.ly, or a combination of several.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup’s best social content will be produced by influencers. Goat works with a network of over 40,000 – across every platform – who understand their audiences and can deliver a brand message with an authenticity and tone of voice that is impossible for a brand to do directly. For me, this is key.

Also Read: How NOT to Handle a Collaboration Request When it Comes to Influencer Marketing

The smart brands we work with recognize that it’s not just football-obsessed fans who they can reach with football-themed content, it’s everyone from mommy bloggers, tech evangelists or makeup-obsessed teens. Watch this space for a wide range of influencer-led campaigns championing everything from supermarkets to sports gear.

Influencers get the right messages to the right community, in the right way. People don’t just follow one Arsenal fan page or mummy blogger, if they’re in a community they’re likely to follow 20 or 30. By using influencers who we know have the best conversion rates, thanks to our unique measurement tools, we’re able to guarantee results – or the brand gets its investment back.

To kick off influencer marketing before the 2018 FIFA World Cup, there are three things to consider:

  1. Influencers are people, not marketers, platforms or algorithms, so be empathetic to their situations. The ROI is so high because influencers are real people.
  2. Think of influencer marketing spend as you would for any other media channel. Have clear goals about what you want to achieve.
  3. Influencer marketing is evolving, so there is a huge opportunity for brands to benefit. Experiment to see how your brand can work with influencers as part of the marketing mix in order to begin building credibility with them and relevant audiences.

Celebrities are an own goal, influencers score with authenticity, measurable success, and value for money. How’s that for a hat trick for the 2018 FIFA World Cup?

Also Read: TV May Affect the Brain But Influencer MarketingAffects the Heart

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