By Catherine Pierce
Women’s sports have a diverse fan base that makes it difficult to market to everyone. The audiences that go to WNBA games are typically made up of women and families. Whereas, the audience that makes up television viewership is typically male. To solve this problem, Lisa Borders, the president of the WNBA, does not look at fans through traditional demographics. Instead, she tries to extend the WNBA’s reach to “casual and curious” fans, who do not have an opinion on the NWBA yet.
One of the best ways to reach a large diverse audience with social media is through the use of video. There has been an increase in the consumption of online videos, as well as an increase in the use of video marketing. Videos on social media should be focused on propagation techniques. Advances in online social networking make it the consumers’ job to share the videos. Companies must focus on strategies like content replication, crowdsourcing, content caching, and network resource allocation. However, many companies are worried about the expenses of making professional videos. Through the invention and spread of new media technologies, industries can save money and personalize the brand trough live streams. Apps like Snap and Instagram have increased the usage of the live video function in their apps by making stories that friends and followers can see more available for users. Whereas new technologies such as Vine* and Periscope, that focus completely on video, have popped up.
Periscope is a great way for women’s sports to connect with fans to entice undecided consumers to become fans. Athletes, teams, and organizations can interact with fans through live broadcast video. It will also let fans watch already recorded streams, allowing for the widest audience possible. Sports brands can use Periscope to generate excitement with fans through giving a face to the organization or team, giving fans behind the scenes access to practices and games, holding giveaways for fans, giving fans personal facts about athletes, and using it to address problems before other media can put a negative spin on it. The NWSL have already filmed training sessions and have made plans to use Periscope to broadcast their pre-season match through Periscope. They are considering working more with Periscope in the future by filming locker room interviews.
Video is one of the biggest upcoming trends on social media. It is extremely effective in reaching a large and diverse group of consumers because it is popular and easy to consume for most users. Through the use of video and new video sharing apps, women’s sports can create a deeper connection to a wider audience.
Statistics shown in the first picture can be found here.
*Update: November 4, 2016. Vine is being shut down. However, its creators are working to launch a new multi-media live video app called hush.