Sports Marketing

Sports marketing is popular in developed countries and it is gaining popularity in developing countries. Even fast moving consumer goods like, soft drinks and beverages products are very aggressive in sports sponsorship and marketing globally, whereas, telecommunication companies are very aggressive at national level. Health related products like innovative technology equipments to loose weight and stay fit, and dairy products like goat milk and vitamins supplements are also very active in sports sponsorship and marketing.

The commercial success and acceptance of marketing through sports and sponsorship have made it popular in the Western countries and marketing can be in any form of media, like sponsorship in sports events, commercials on television, magazines, social media, placing advertisements in sports pages in newspapers and many more.

Marketers and advertisers see sports a trend and a vital tool to reach consumers these days. In America, there are academics that provide professional certification program in sports marketing and associations set up to support the agencies and promotion, like Sport Marketing Association, founded in Columbia.

For marketers in sports sponsorship and marketing, their first priority is to get the exposure as it can assist in promoting the brand. Companies can get an association with something that is good with the investment in marketing as sports are where miracle happens and are full of happiness. In addition, marketers will get positive brand experiences and this might assist them to increase their sales. Brand differentiation is another important factor that governs the effectiveness of the advertisement as marketers can open up a new avenue of advertising that will set them apart from their competitors. Of course, marketers can also invest in sports sponsorship and marketing by creating interesting game events.

However, being clear about the Company objective is essential when marketers are going for marketing through sports and sponsorship. Objectives can include targeting the mass market or raising the brand profile. Some people might have a misconception that the target market for branding through sports is mostly men. I wish to correct it by saying that it caters to women as well. An example is ESPN sports where around 45 per cent viewers are women. Overall the current global economic crisis impact on marketing through sports is still positive and also very much depends on the sport.

Don’t Feed the Trolls

It’s going to happen eventually. If you have a comments system, or a submissions box, or anything that allows the anonymous public to send you input, it is bound to happen. The more publicly visible those submissions can get, the higher the likelihood of it happening.

I’m talking about trolls. Those rabble-rousers of the Web, the ne’er-do wells, the obnoxious jerks and put-downs. How is one supposed to deal with them?

A Short Biology

What is an Internet Troll? Someone who likes to disagree for disagreement’s sake; someone who just likes to argue. Someone who seeks to make others upset. Those who ridicule as an end-goal, who like to insult others at the slightest provocation. They are the online equivalent of the aggressive person at the bar itching for a fight. They want to cause trouble, and they’ll either find the first opportunity to fan the flames or just instigate it themselves.

One of my clients has been getting some trolling on their company Facebook Page. For the past couple days their posts have been attracting crass, rude, and usually unprovoked comments. These words weren’t directly aimed at the company themselves, or even fellow commenters. The remarks were aimed at the organizations referred to in the status updates.

But the tone and verbiage of those comments was unmistakably aggressive. This was no complaint, but an irate rant. Insulting and profane, these comments had no place on the otherwise benign atmosphere of the company page.

Feeding Habits

So what to do about this? The proper way to deal with a troll first demands knowing how trolls work. Like our aggressive friend at the tavern, the thing they want most is a fight. A direct clash. Therefore, do not give that to them.

An Internet Troll is hoping to raise some ire. They want someone to take the bait to their scandalous comments. They live for the sucker, he who falls for the lure; the person who argues back.

Arguing with a troll is like trying to stop a fire with gasoline. The more intense and impassioned your retort, the more you fuel the troll’s efforts. The longer you draw out the conversation, the more you saturate the troll with the attention they crave.

Therefore, do not give them sustenance. They are already starved for attention; if they realize that they’ll not get any from you they will eventually move on. Don’t feed the trolls, and the trolls won’t stick around.

Deny them the satisfaction of being the center of attention. Don’t cater to their self-righteousness by giving them the opportunity to argue and let them prove they’re right on some twisted interpretation of the facts. Evade their desires to vent their anger and frustration; if they get no release they’ll have no incentive to stay.

Trollhunter

So what to do when a troll shows up on the company Facebook Page? It would be tempting to delete the troll’s comment. But while you might think that solves the problem, you’ve fallen for the troll’s trap.

A delete, or even a ban, is tantamount to an argument. Try to silence a troll by force and they’ll come back louder than ever, no doubt with cries of unfairly being gagged from voicing their freedom, or that you’re hiding what the public ought to know. Using force on a troll only incites them further. To them, it means that they’ve succeeded in getting under your skin and forcing you to deal with them. It’s playing into their game.

You could always just ignore the troll. And that could work. It does deny them what they crave. Chances are they’ll still throw a tantrum and try to vandalize more of your page, but eventually they will leave for greener pastures.

But that still looks bad. Even if the troll leaves, what they’ve left in their wake is a bunch of very unflattering things on your page. While it’s of not fault of your own, it makes any incoming visitors awkward to sift through your content only to come across some profanity or obscene remarks.

Time to look at this in another perspective. Dealing with trolls is not a chore, or something to dread. It’s an opportunity, and a great one at that.

Respond to the troll. But not in an angry, combative, or otherwise aggressive manner. Respond to them calmly, thoughtfully, and succinctly. Do some quick homework; view their profile and glance through their interests. Is there some sort of common ground, something they hold sacred and dear that you can appeal to? Some trolls are just outspoken grumps, and if you appeal to them where they’re soft, they’ll relent.

But maybe there is no chink of rationality in their armor. They’re the type of troll that is purely looking for violent engagement. Respond, but do not engage. Make a benign and diplomatic reply, nothing stuffy and disingenuous, and move on. Keep your response snappy and limited to one post. Do not give them any more than that.

If they continue to rant, do not meet them in kind. The goal is to not be dragged down by their arguments, but still be able to respond to their presence.

When done with class, wit, and sincerity this accomplishes many things:

  1. It makes you come across as classy, witty, and sincere to onlookers
  2. It shows that you can diffuse situations and reinforce / win over others with such a display of “people skills”
  3. It adds an air of professionalism and expertise. Only the petty fight.
  4. It deals with the troll, and leaves evidence that can discourage future trolling

It’s easy to ignore and dismiss, but it takes skill to acknowledge and negate. When performed well, the troll may even relent or simply skulk off on their own accord.

Dealing with trolls can actually give you a boost in your social media engagement and reputation, not sully it. Acknowledge the trolls, but do not fight them. Be above their mudslinging, but not so aloof as to lend them credence to any claims of pretentiousness.

You can not only find the silver lining to being trolled, you can make this a golden opportunity for yourself.

What do you think? Is this the best way to deal with trolls, or are there better ones? Share your best tips in the comments below.

Content Marketing and What It Can Do For You

Every business has a need to promote itself. That is the nature of the beast. Having a good service or product that no one knows about is useless and serves no purpose in helping that business to succeed or help the people it is designed to accommodate.

As the world has changed due to technology, businesses have stayed on the front line of those developments using them to devise many innovative and unique ways to advertise themselves.

When newspapers, radio and television came into being they were all used by businesses and professional people to advertise their goods and services as well as billboards which came about as the result of the invention of the automobile and the building of roads and highways.

When man learned to fly small airplanes with streaming banners behind them were used as a means to promote businesses. Everything that was technologically available was implemented in advertising campaigns and it is no different today.

In the late 20th century as home computers became prevalent bringing about the development of the world wide web business owners and professionals realized the great advertising potential offered by such a vehicle and seized upon the opportunity it offered to grow their business.

Today many businesses use blogs, online newsletters and social media like Facebook and Twitter to place themselves before a captive internet audience in order to reach a portion of billions of daily users. Everything from pop up ads to online billboards are used to attract and engage customers. With all that being said, one of the more popular and effective tools being used to market businesses online is content marketing.

What is content marketing? The Webster’s dictionary definition is: “the use of relevant, informative, valuable content to attract and retain a defined audience.” Many businesses use this form of internet marketing as a “soft sell” method of publicizing themselves in an effort to avoid the traditional advertising approach which is according to many advertising experts, a turn off to many web surfers.

Advertisers understand consumers have learned to tune out many of the traditional means of advertising like magazine ads and television commercials making it necessary to find alternate strategies to get their attention and it is no different on the internet.

Content marketing offers a method by which promotional advertising can be packaged within informative, educational content which is helpful to the reader while at the same time presenting a solution to a need without using what would be perceived more than likely as an aggressive sales pitch.

What makes content marketing different from traditional advertising is the fact that the content not promoting the business or product, is at the core of the message. By consistently providing valuable information a bond is formed between reader and content provider that the provider hopes will eventually lead the reader to patronize their business.

Content marketing allows a business to “get the ear” of a consumer and build a relationship with them that is built upon communication concerning a subject that is of mutual interest to them. Buying or selling is not a part of the equation. At the heart of the relationship is dissemination of valuable information. As trust and appreciation for that information grows within the reader a sense of loyalty develops that should, if all goes right, produce a new customer.

In today’s internet advertising world information is the driving force behind attracting consumer attention. According to Angela Hausman, a marketing professor at Howard University, 67% of marketers polled claimed they received increased leads from content marketing and 64% reported increased traffic.

Consistently producing quality content increases a business’ rating in online search engines (SEO-search engine optimization) thereby placing it in a higher position in search engine results which will drive more traffic to its site. More traffic translates into more potential customers which in turn will increase the ROI of that business.

Today any business marketing strategy should include internet marketing. And any internet marketing strategy should include content marketing (creating content). It is just that simple. In today’s competitive business world both are essential to survive and flourish in any and all industries. The traditional means of advertising are giving way to more sophisticated methods that have 21st century appeal and application.