The FIFA World Cup is approaching fast. And while the action on the pitch is always unpredictable, one thing is certain: it will be an event like no other.
It’s the first tournament held this late in the year and only the second major global sporting event since we’ve emerged from lockdown. Fans are excited. Brands are fired up. So we’ve identified five Twitter trends every marketer needs to know.
Trend 1: More fans, more Tweets, more global
It’s indisputable, football’s time is here. After the success of the last Women’s World Cup, we’re seeing a whole new cohort of fans jump on board. We’re seeing the game gain traction in places like the US, where other sports have traditionally held court. And here at home, we’re seeing more Tweets, more conversation, more everything — because football lives on Twitter.
Twitter is where fans will come together to share, commiserate, to commentate every single match, play, and call. Brands that break through will be the ones who don’t just speak at fans, but who gets them and invite them to participate in the conversation and reward their fandom.
For example, Budweiser was the most talked-about brand globally on Twitter during the previous World Cup by making Twitter the place to participate and vote for fans’ favourite players in their Man of the Match sponsorship.
Marketers will also seek to connect with Football Twitter by aligning their campaigns and creative messaging with premium content from broadcasters and live conversations amongst fans by sponsoring real-time highlights in more than 23 countries, and contextually targeting football-specific creative in the timeline.
Trend 2: The beautiful (brand) game
Because brands have been long invested in football, they’ve become a welcome part of the football conversation. Not only are more people Tweeting about the game than ever before, but they’re also talking about brands too.
This tells us that across the board, brands are reading the room and getting it right. They are using their platforms to bring people back together and find ways to stay true to their brand, no matter the context. From rallying other brands to invest in US women’s soccer to pledging the same level of campaign spend for men’s and women’s events, brands are standing with fans — and this tournament will be no different.
Trend 3: Same game, new formats
Brands know what works around major events like the World Cup: great content, exclusive access, and real-time engagement.
We expect to see brands build on everything they’ve learned in past years while incorporating a whole new suite of tools for creative expression and connection on Twitter including:
Audio: Twitter Spaces has unlocked an entirely new medium for brands to engage with fans around major cultural events and happenings through live audio experiences. We expect brands will facilitate these audio discussions with athletes and celebrities throughout the event, bringing fans closer to the action.
Commerce: The launch of Live Shopping on Twitter lets marketers create programming around high-profile moments and occasions, fusing entertainment and shopping into one experience. For instance, leading up to the NFL’s big game in the USA, Walmart brought an NFL legend to fans via Twitter’s Live Shopping platform — showcasing Procter & Gamble’s Gillette Labs line.
Similarly, we expect brands to leverage their football talent relationships to bring product announcements right to engaged, football-obsessed audiences in real-time, while also highlighting their wares with new Product Explorer and Collection Ads.
Creative Expression: Earlier this year, we launched a series of new creative ad formats, including Interactive Text and Branded Likes (which allow advertisers to transform Twitter’s Like button into custom animations). These new multidimensional, flexible ad formats will be on full display on Twitter as advertisers look to stop fans in the timeline with attention-grabbing and engaging experiences.
Trend 4: New players seeking real-time conversion
It goes without saying, but the global business landscape has rapidly changed since the 2018 tournament. Advertising on Twitter has expanded hand-in-hand to include countless new industries, such as sports betting, cryptocurrency, and food delivery, among many others looking to tap into the real-time conversation to drive conversion.
Sports Betting: With growing legalization around the world, the largest sports betting brands are taking to Twitter to interact with fans before, during, and after the biggest matches and moments. And the data shows why: Seven out of every 10 sports bettors are on Twitter, and 33% of bettors who rely on Twitter for betting information say they wouldn’t make as many wagers if it weren’t for Twitter. Sports bettors who use Twitter spend 15% more on bets annually compared to sports bettors from other platforms. And 62% of bettors on Twitter place wagers weekly, which is more frequent than sports bettors on other platforms.
Crypto: #CryptoTwitter has become a primary destination to discuss all things cryptocurrency and NFTs. And since crypto and sports fandoms tend to be similar in nature, a long list of crypto trading apps and brands now tout sports, and specifically football, sponsorships.
You can’t miss it during big sports moments throughout the year, and with the global crypto conversation growing 5x on Twitter over the past year, we can expect to see the industry’s most notable crypto marketers extend those sponsorships to Twitter to reach all of the avid and engaged fans and viewers in the heat of the moment.
Food Delivery: Major televised sports events and food takeout are a match made in heaven. In fact, Twitter’s tournament audience is 2.3x times more likely to Tweet about Food than the average Twitter user. Food delivery brands will flock to the platform to capitalise on this fresh conversation and addressable audience to offer their services and promotions “in the moment” leading up to and during World Cup matches.
Trend 5: Budget-conscious content
With questions about consumer confidence swirling, brands continue to take a hard look at their marketing spending and are looking for media efficiencies wherever possible. We expect to see more global campaigns, rather than local ones, created with ease of adaptation in mind. We anticipate a lot of brand content grounded in simple universal truths, with no translation required.
For those who need help adapting their content to fly on Twitter, we are here to help. Our Content Creation services have been shown to drive up to 20% lifts in view rates vs. industry benchmarks. From adapting traditional assets to creating new short-form video content to partnering with creators to produce cost-conscious, fast-hitting content: we can quickly and efficiently support your campaign needs for the World Cup and beyond.
Get your brand in the game
As we see in these five trends, the 2022 World Cup will be an exciting time for fans and brands. Your team at Twitter is here to help connect with the moment and tap into the conversations that grow your business. And throughout the tournament, we’ll have real-time guidance to keep your brand safe and messages on point. So, now’s your time to get off the sidelines and into the game.