The 3 keys to winning the Super Bowl: mobile, mobile and mobile.

Okay, we got that but what does it really mean? Certainly if you watched the NFC and AFC Championship games, one a blow-out and the other an expected comeback (if you know anything about Tom Brady), you understand that all the hours, days, weeks of preparation for the biggest day of the year may not always go as planned and yet there’s an even bigger day ahead if you succeed; welcome to the Super Bowl! So let’s discuss what that means for your business to succeed on the biggest sports weekend of the year.

walmart superbowl adThe Super Bowl famously pumps millions of dollars into the local businesses of its host city, but the world’s biggest sporting event also generates money for many brick-and-mortar businesses across the United States regardless of their location. Super Bowl LII, happening on February 4 — and all the pre-game activity leading up to that day — is an excuse for retailers to launch Super Bowl sales and promotions (the week before the game is a popular time for big-box retailers to unload TVs). Restaurants advertise Super Bowl parties and enjoy a spike in revenue from food delivery. Brands such as Walmart are already gearing up for the game with online ads such as this one pictured here (notice how they are careful *not* to use the trademarked name since they are not official SB sponsors).

If you are capitalizing on Super Bowl LII with your own local promotion, here are some tips to ensure victory:

  • Combine organic and paid tactics now. If you’re hosting an event such as a viewing party during the game or a sale leading up to the game, create awareness on all the places where your customers live, whether they’re searching proactively for things to do and buy (such as on Google) or hanging out in reactive mode (such as on Facebook). My colleague Eric Pumphrey recently showed businesses how to combine a mix of paid and organic content on search and social platforms, and his advice holds true for anyone running an event related to the Super Bowl. For example, on the paid media side, pay for local ads on Facebook to generate awareness — but on the organic side, set up an event on Facebook for your local business for people to get more information (the latter action costs you nothing). Also, remember to optimize content on your website for people searching for “Super Bowl events near me” or “Super Bowl specials in [city name]” (if you have the content/promotion to support it). If you’re running a sale or hosting an event, ensure your home page plays up the details (and share those details in all your social channels for consistency).

  • Be mindful of the impact of Super Bowl ads. If you operate a local franchise of a national brand that is advertising during Super Bowl LII, be ready to capitalize on a spike in interest generated by the ads. And if you stock products advertised nationally, be ready for the Super Bowl ads to generate online search activity. For instance, Super Bowl ads from automotive manufacturers typically create an uptick in search volume for consumers researching their brands and the dealerships that sell them, and we already know that Hyundai and Kia are among the manufacturers advertising this year. On a related note, Coca-Cola and Doritos are among the consumer packaged goods advertising this year. Be aware of the ads being planned for Super Bowl LII and be ready. For example, do keyword buys for products being advertised if you sell them locally. Make sure your website optimizes content for inventory that consumers will be searching for during and after the game.

  • Be mobile. Whatever you do, be ready for mobile traffic. This cannot be understated. Think about how people will be viewing and celebrating the Super Bowl: at bars, restaurants, parties at someone else’s home. Their only connection to the web is through their phone. Make sure your site is mobile-optimized and mobile friendly (tbh it should be already but now you have an even bigger reason). This advice holds true especially for any business that offers real-time services during the Super Bowl such as food delivery (The Super Bowl has generated a huge spike in mobile orders at places such as Pizza Hut that deliver food during the game). Is your site content optimized for mobile? Have you tested page load times for mobile searches? Check now. Be ready. You don’t want to leave money on the table because of a slow-loading site or a clunky ordering interface.

The key to winning Super Bowl LII isn’t just “mobile, mobile, mobile” but to create an active presence across the digital world, combining a mix of paid and organic content for both mobile and desktop users. And if your brand is affected by national advertising, be ready to capitalize on the Super Bowl bump during and after the game. For more insight into how to step up your location marketing game, contact SIM Partners. We combine technology, consulting, and business intelligence to help businesses master location marketing.

Jay Hawkinson

Author Jay Hawkinson

Jay Hawkinson is an interactive marketing professional with 20 years of sales, marketing and merchandising experience including more than 12 years focused on organic search optimization, paid search advertising, local search, mobile and social media. Jay joined SIM Partners in 2006 as an equity partner developing ecommerce solutions and products for the travel and hospitality vertical. Jay currently oversees the Marketing team. Read more about Jay here.

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