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Go for The Gold: Winning Social Ad Strategies For The 2016 Summer Olympics

Written by: Carolyn Berk, Content Marketing Associate

This post originally ran on Social Media Today.

Excitement is building for the 2016 Summer Olympics, and nowhere is that more apparent than on social media. Audiences flock to sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to discuss and follow Olympic events, which makes them the perfect platforms for advertisers to reach a large, diverse, and engaged audience.

Make your brand a part of the energy and excitement of the Olympics with these four strategies for gold medal-worthy social ad campaigns:

flame- social advertising olympicsFit In With Olympic Themes

Your business doesn’t have to be sports-aligned to take advantage of Olympic buzz. Find creative ways to tie in your products or services through advertising. For example, an online travel site can use the Olympics in Rio as an opportunity to promote traveling to Brazil. An ecommerce company can promote fashions that come in Olympic gold, silver or bronze. Or, a meal delivery service can advertise healthy, protein-packed meals that can help audiences fuel their own amazing athletic feats.

Whatever strategy you choose, just make sure your message is relevant, helpful or interesting to the audiences that you’re targeting with your ads.

medal - social advertising olympicsReach Audiences In The Right Place At The Right Time

The Summer Olympics are a round-the-clock, multi-device affair. You want to make sure that your ads are seen at the right time on the right devices.

According to eMarketer, second-screen activities will be popular while watching this year’s games. Simultaneously using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets while watching the Olympics is cited as the most common practice, which means you need to optimize your ads for mobile. Try investing in mobile-friendly ad units like carousel ads on popular mobile social sites like Twitter and Instagram. It’s also important to make sure your ads adhere to mobile creative best practices so they can be viewed easily on smaller screens.

In addition to ensuring that your ads are targeted to mobile devices, you should also ensure that they run at the correct time. To make sure that your social media ads are seen while Olympic events are being aired, explore dayparting options. Dayparting allows you to control when your ads run, so you can guarantee that they’re seen when audiences turn to social networks to discuss their favorite Olympic moments.

podium - social advertising olympicsGet Specific With Ad Targeting

Ads that speak to specific Olympic events, nationalities and interests will resonate more with audiences than campaigns that contain generalized messaging. On a similar note, ads that are targeted to people with specific interests are more likely to perform well than those that are targeted to a broad audience (like US females aged 18-24).

For example, try creating ads that go hand-in-hand with popular Olympic events (such as gymnastics) and target them to users who list that sport as one of their interests. Or, harness national pride by calling out individual countries. Just make sure you target those ads to the correct location! You don’t want to get on the wrong side of a sports rivalry.

torch - social advertising olympicsContinue The Magic With Video

With so many sports and spectacles, it’s undeniable that the 2016 Summer Olympics will be action-packed. For fans who are used to watching exciting games on TV, video ads are a natural continuation of their viewing experience, incorporating motion and sound. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when tackling this interactive medium:

-Follow the Three Second Rule: Make sure your video hooks audiences within the first three seconds. If they aren’t inspired to keep watching after that period of time, there’s a good chance that they’ll scroll through to other content without watching the rest of your ad.

-Make It Fun and Positive: The Summer Olympics are an enjoyable inspirational event that brings the world together, so place an emphasis on those themes throughout your video ads.

-Test In-Video CTAs: Once you’ve gotten their attention, be clear on what you’d like viewers to do after they watch your video ad – whether that’s a purchase, subscription, email signup or mobile app install. Aside from using a CTA button, emplying in-video CTAs (whether written, verbal, or both) will improve your chances of a conversion.

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