Spark Buzz Using Athlete Endorsements

Writing authentic messages for your endorsement marketing campaign takes practice and attention to detail. Knowing the habits of your athlete and the expectations of their audience will lead to legendary campaign performance.

The content of your endorsement campaign messages should leverage the athlete’s voice, be relevant to the audience, use a strong call to action, and be written to maximize reach within your selected medium of distribution.

Simply: make it real, make it interesting, make it actionable, make it shareable.

 

1. Make It Real: Use Your Athlete’s Voice

The endorsement messages for your campaign need to sound like they are coming straight from the athlete’s mouth. In social media, specifically, the audience can sniff out an unauthentic endorsement faster than Usain Bolt can run 100m.

The best way to step inside the mind if your athlete is to review their Twitter timeline. Dig into their last 20-25 tweets and take notes on the following:

  1. Positivity: Does the athlete use twitter to share exciting news, or as an outlet for frustration?
  2. Sense of Humor: Does the athlete crack jokes, or tweet with steel thumbs?
  3. Curiosity: Does the athlete ask their audience for help? Do they share interesting discoveries?
  4. Grammar: Does the athlete spell correctly and use proper grammar? Do they capitalize words or let their words flow freely?
  5. Punctuation: Does the athlete use commas, periods? Do they use exclamation marks?
  6. Twitter Speak: Does the athlete use acronyms? (lol, smh, wtf, etc) Do they use #hashtags?

Once you’ve diagnosed the voice and linguistics of your athlete, you’ll be prepared to write a message that won’t surprise the audience.

 

2. Make It Interesting: Think About It From Your Audience’s Perspective

Taking a dive into the athlete’s twitter stream should give you a good idea for the expectations of his or her audience. But in order to maximize campaign performance, your messages will need to give the audience what they want.

Here are some common reasons consumers follow athletes, and how to make your message fit their needs:

Inside Scoop

  • Fans follow athletes to get a sneak peek into their life within their sport or outside of sport. Craft your message to tell the audience something unique about the athlete, your product, or product outcomes.

Affinity

  • Fans want to think, act, dress and live like the athletes they see on television. If your message can tip the audience on how to better mimic their favorite athlete, you can see engagement rates spike.

Hater Alert

  • Athletes consume the spotlight, and some fans use social media to troll on the athletes they despise. Include playful, competitive quips in your message to attract and engage consumers who flock to controversy. These select few may help spread your message far and wide.

Reading through the comments an athlete receives will give you a better understanding of their audience. Be prepared to feed the crowd the information they seek to maximize campaign performance.

 

3. Make It Actionable: Think About Campaign Goals

If you didn’t go through our campaign goals lesson, you should go do that now.

Your messages should contain a call to action that will help you reach your campaign goals. The challenge here is avoiding sounding too pushy or salesy in your campaign messages. Here are some goals and their associated calls-to-action:

Reach a Large Audience

  • Call To Action: “Please Retweet”
  • Bonus: When you ask users to retweet your message, engagement rate increases 12 times. If you spell out ‘retweet’ instead of just ‘RT’, your message will receive 23x higher engagement

Affiliate Your Brand With Sport/League/Team/Player

  • Call To Action: Use the common hashtag affiliate with your desired sport/team/league and/or use the @username of the team/league

Drive Web Traffic

  • Call To Action: “Check this out:”, “Go now:”, “Click to learn more:”, “Go:”
  • Bonus: Historically, messages with a strong call to action experience a 134% increase in engagement rate.

Start a Conversation

  • Call To Action: Use questions to engage the audience

Increase Event Attendance

  • Call To Action: Provide a very clear date & time in the tweet

Convert Customers

  • Call To Action: “Sign Up”, “It’s easy”, “Limited time only”
  • Bonus: A recent opendorse campaign leveraged a landing page microsite  to increase conversion rate form 1% to 25%

Sell A Product

  • Call To Action: “Get it while it lasts”, “Order now”, “Sale ends soon”, “Today only”
  • Bonus: Users on twitter are already time-sensitive with the information they’re reading. Using scarcity in the endorsement multiplies this effect.

 

4. Make It Shareable: Write It For Social

On Twitter, you’ve only got 140 characters to engage your audience and reach your campaign goals.

Ok, you probably knew that already. Duh.

But we’ll bet you didn’t know this: messages with less than 100 characters receive 17% higher engagement.  These message allow users to read quickly and share easily.

Also, tweets with #hashtags experience two times more engagement than tweets without #hashtags.

Keep these things in mind when crafting a tweet:

  1. Use less than 100 characters if possible
  2. Utilize hashtags in every tweet
  3. Use internet lingo to shorten common expressions
  4. Use a link shortner (We <3 bit.ly)

 

Other things to worry about

FTC Regulations

FTC regulations require social media users to disclose when they have been paid to endorse a product. Failure to disclose your endorsement may lead to fines or other punishment.

Adding a short line of text will help your brand avoid any FTC infractions. Here are a few common forms of disclosure:

  • #ad
  • #spon
  • #sp
  • any of the above in a shortened link

Variety in Larger Campaigns

A common pitfall of large athlete endorsement campaigns is lack of originality between multiple endorsement messages. Avoid using the same endorsement message multiple times for a single campaign or using the same content for multiple athletes.

When audience members follow multiple athletes participating in your campaign, they will see the repeated message and see the lack of authenticity, leading to lower engagement rates.

Avoid this at all costs. It makes your endorsements sound fake and can even result in backlash on your brand’s twitter feed.

Next Steps

Once you’ve prepared your endorsement campaign content, your game plan is fully complete. Now it’s time to deploy a strategy for measuring your success.

Learn How To Measure Your Success >>

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