No matter what you call it: The biggest sports event in the world (besides the Olympics) is finally here.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the 19th FIFA World Cup, the premier international football tournament. It is scheduled to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2010 in South Africa. The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the culmination of a qualification process that began in August 2007 and involved 204 of the 208 FIFA national teams. As such, it matches the 2008 Summer Olympics as the sports event with the most competing nations. This will be the first time that the tournament has been hosted by an African nation, after South Africa beat Morocco and Egypt in an all-African bidding process.
What are the implications of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for online marketers?
1. The traffic to the FIFA website will explode.
Since the low of 228,000 in January 2010, Compete reveals that the number of monthly unique visitors to the FIFA.com website has been consistently increasing reaching close to 567,000 unique monthly visitors in April 2010.
That’s nothing. Prepare for traffic to explode to all sports related websites. The previous peak of 723,000 unique monthly visitors in June 2009 will easily be matched and passed.
What are the implications of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for online marketers? A link in the official FIFA website is a potential gold mine for referral traffic to websites. No wonder that consumer product multinationals are spending considerable amounts in sponsorships not only in direct events related to this sports event but also in indirect events (e.g. after parties, country booths, etc). A mention at the right time at the right place of the FIFA website could provide the necessary exposure that a product/service desperately needs.
2. The world cup for the football long-tail search begins.
Consider this: according to Nielsen//NetRatings, during the first week of 2006 FIFA World Cup, one in six people (2,542,000) online in the UK during the first week of the World Cup visited a sports or gambling website. Not only that, but Nielsen//NetRatings indicated that sports fans averaged 21 minutes online on sports or gambling sites, sometimes even averaging 1 hour and 10 minutes during a whole week.
Everybody wants to catch some of this huge online time-sinking action.
It will become critical for sports and gambling websites to master certain constants of the football long-tail search.
Consider the top 5 keywords (out of a total of 781 possible keywords used in search engines) that drove traffic to the FIFA website in April 2010, according to Compete:
What are the implications of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for online marketers? The trick to capturing queries of football related searches is to make sure that you get a good keyword density of a constant in various variations of a theme. For example, ‘world cup 2010 schedule’ seems a good constant that will appear in various searches such as ‘what is world cup 2010 schedule’, ‘world cup 2010 finals schedule’, among others. This is not an easy task but there are a lot of websites such as newspapers and online magazines with sports section that would benefit greatly from some World Cup SEO optimization.
3. The Law of Reciprocity enters in full swing.
Basically, if you give me something that I want, I will be willing to do something for you.
The month of June becomes critical for online marketers to make a marketing offer that provides value to a potential user.
Think of the lines of the term ‘marketing with meaning’, which is described in the book The Next Evolution of Marketing by Bog Gilbreath.
Marketing with meaning involves marketing that people choose to engage with. It involves creating something that people find its worthly of their time and attention, rather than continuing to look for ways to cleverly (or not so cleverly) interrupt them.
The example above of the Yahoo! Toolbar is a great example. Yahoo! aims to provide a non-intrusive service (score of football matches without actually having to look up for them). In exchange of this service, the user would willingly use the Yahoo! Toolbar to make some online searches and provide Yahoo! with some analytics about search engine behavior.
What are the implications of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for online marketers? Connect with your users by making a value offering that truly improves your user’s lives, rather than just yours. Aim to bring both entertainment and information to a common task that your users do repeatedly throughout the day. If you do it correctly, the law of reciprocity will kick in, and your users will give you willingly some of their valuable time.