Are You Ready for Mobile Marketing’s Biggest Game?

How marketers can take full advantage of 2017’s first big cultural event

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Dear reader: This blog post made its original debut in Appboy’s Relate Magazine. Pocket its pearls of wisdom, and then for more information, check out our new Cross-Channel Engagement Difference Report!

The Super Bowl is America’s most-watched television event of the year. Last year, the big game had nearly 112 million viewers! That’s more than one-third the entire population of the United States and three times the viewership of the Oscars.

To say the Super Bowl is a cultural tentpole understates just how big a deal it is for the average American. And with so much attention being paid to the Super Bowl, it’s important for marketers to devise a strategy to harness this attention, even if they don’t spend $5 million for an official Super Bowl commercial.

In the age of the second screen, an estimated 73% of viewers used devices while watching last year’s game, making mobile marketing an increasingly important part of every brand’s Super Bowl marketing strategy. So, to help you with your gameday marketing strategy, let’s take a look at how people engage on mobile during the big game and then dive into tactics that will help you maximize your Super Bowl marketing efforts.

Mobile Usage on Super Bowl Sunday

To properly plan this year’s strategy, it’s imperative to know how people have engaged with brands on mobile during previous Super Bowls. Based on last year’s game, we can extrapolate four mobile trends that marketers should keep in mind:

1. App usage increases as the game progresses

Total mobile usage drops by 36 percent during the Super Bowl pre-game as people are gathering for parties and mingling with friends. After the initial kick-off, mobile usage increases 47 percent as people start to get settled for the game and the second screen comes back into play.

2. App usage drops during the halftime show

Super Bowl commercials are almost as popular as the game itself. In fact, 18-30 year olds actually prefer the commercials over the game. It’s little surprise that when halftime comes around, our data shows app usage decreases by as much as 23 percent. People want to see the vaunted Super Bowl commercials.

3. Social messaging continues long after the game concludes

The talkability of Super Bowl Sunday extends beyond just the four quarters of the game. Between the events of the game and the top commercials, Americans use chat and messaging apps much later into the night than typical Sunday evenings.

4. Video viewership increases after the game

Viewers are 51 percent more likely to consume mobile video content after the game compared to the pre-game. Things like game highlights and internet searches for halftime commercials contribute to the increased video consumption.

How You Can Optimize Your Super Bowl Mobile Marketing

Understanding how customers use mobile during the game is important. But those insights are just the first step. Now comes the hard part, incorporating this data into your strategy and tactics for the game. The Super Bowl is too popular to simply sit at home and enjoy the game with everyone else—after all, the odds are good that your competitors won’t

Optimize the Timing of Your Push Notifications

The average NFL game lasts 3 hours and 12 minutes. With the halftime show of the Super Bowl clocking in at 30 minutes—or 18 minutes longer than a normal halftime break—you can expect the entire Super Bowl to span 3 hours and 30 minutes, not including the pre- and post-game shows.

Armed with this timeline and the knowledge that Americans’ mobile usage gradually increases as the game progresses (except for halftime), you can plan the timing of your messages to actually reach a greater number of your users. Alternately, in the lead-up to the game, you can trigger interest in game-day promotions among your audience by using send-time optimization to reach customers at the times they’re most likely to engage with your messaging, making those messages up to 25% more effective and priming them for the rest of your outreach.

Effectively Onboard New Users

Whether you’re buying a Super Bowl commercial or planning other acquisition efforts around the game, just adding new users to your audience base isn’t enough. With more than 75 percent of new users failing to come back on the day after first use, it’s important that you make the most of each new user’s onboarding experience.

That means effectively using in-app messaging and other outreach to walk new users through your app or web experience and communicate the value of opting in for push, email, and other essential permissions, and taking advantage of message testing and analytics to continually improve the impact of your welcome campaigns. To make sure you’re on the right track, check out the five core elements to onboarding new users.

Maximize Your Multi-Channel Messaging

Retention is key to a successful mobile marketing campaign; acquisition is only half the battle. Therefore, it’s important to have a thoughtful plan for engaging, retaining and monetizing your audience after the Super Bowl’s big marketing push.

Multichannel messaging has proven time and time again to be an effective tactic to increasing retention. By creating a multichannel strategy (which can include the use of in-app messages, email, push notifications, and News Feed Cards) to your messaging, you can increase your reach and engagement and drive higher user retention. Don’t waste the time, effort, and money involved in your Super Bowl marketing efforts by failing to plan for after the game is over.

Final thoughts

The Super Bowl is a unique opportunity for marketers. It’s rare these days to have so many Americans’ attention is fixated on a single thing, and that makes it a special opportunity for your brand. By leveraging mobile engagement data from past games in conjunction with your mobile outreach, you can create a comprehensive strategy that will help you connect with your users before, during, and after the year’s biggest game, making it easier to acquire, activate, and retain more users.

If you missed our presentation on mobile consumer behavior during Super Bowl 51, check out the video below.

Big Game House Ad

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