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How Mobile Can Catapult Brand Awareness During Real-Time Events

Although the dreary winter season has the ability to negatively impact brick-and-mortar sales – considering that many consumers in cold locales prefer to stay bundled up indoors – it boasts one major opportunity for mobile-savvy brands: reaching individuals during real-time events via mobile.

Events season has the unique capability of hitting a slew of different industries, thereby widening the pool of potential customers that retailers can target. It spans the red carpet circuit – the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and Oscars – as well as the musical (the Grammys) and the sports-centric (the Super Bowl). Here are several ways in which brands can maximize their efforts at leveraging mobile to coincide with real-time events and gain invaluable results.

Have a social media team on call. Having pre-populated content at your fingertips during the Grammys or Golden Globes is a must-have strategy, but it can’t be the only one. Often times, viral moments happen on the cuff, meaning that marketers must be equipped to respond to real-time social media buzz with clever content. One of the best examples of this dates back to Oreo’s mobile marketing win during the 2013 Super Bowl. A brief power outage caused some of the stadium’s lights to go out, and promptly became a trending topic on social media. Within the hour, Oreo’s on-call social media team Tweeted a photo of a single Oreo half-submerged in darkness, featuring the tagline, “You can still dunk in the dark.”

By assigning several team members to man its official Twitter account, the cookie brand was able to issue an immediate and relevant response to the situation, and carve out an unforgettable role in this viral moment. It also cemented the top spot in many publications’ “Best Super Bowl Tweets” round-ups the next morning.

Plan ahead with exclusive content. Wherever possible and relevant, brands should begin stockpiling exclusive or behind-the-scenes content prior to a major event. A prime retailer example is Victoria’s Secret, which runs a carefully curated social media campaign before its annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in December. In the lead up to the event, the brand uploads YouTube videos showcasing the making of the show, as well as Instagram posts announcing the featured models.

During the event, the lingerie retailer typically posts snippets of never-before-seen interviews with its Angel ambassadors, in addition to Instagram posts inviting fans to purchase the exact items worn by the models – with lower to free shipping thresholds. This steady stream of exclusive content enables Victoria’s Secret customers to enjoy a fun, second-screen experience on their mobile devices while watching the show live on their TVs.

Use cross-marketing opportunities by tagging other brands. Other brands are not always adversaries in the marketing world. They can lend a helpful hand in entering a buzzworthy social media conversation. For instance, if one retailer Tweets out a Grammys-inspired outfit to its audience, another retailer can directly respond to the Tweet and challenge the former to a fashion face-off, all in real time. Giving compliments to other brands on their social media posts also works well, as demonstrated in an example featuring Lenovo and Budweiser.

During the 2015 Super Bowl, Budweiser won the hearts of millions of consumers by an airing a commercial starring a puppy. Lenovo inserted itself into the buzz surrounding this ad by Tweeting directly at Budweiser’s official account with its own puppy-based commercial. The post said, “Hey @Budweiser, what do you say your puppy & our puppy become #bestbuds & we #breaktheinternet together?”

Despite both companies having different target audiences, they were able to clear a path for themselves among the social media clutter and jump to the top of football fans’ Twitter feeds – all thanks to some clever cross-marketing.

Ultimately, mobile has consistently proven its worth as a prime channel for catapulting brand awareness during live events. By studying the biggest mobile wins of recent years, brands will be better-positioned to adjust their marketing strategies accordingly for the massive potential that lies ahead.

To read more on these trends of mobile commerce and how mobile is the thread that will bind fashion and consumers together, download our previously published article on Buy-Now-Wear-Now - A New Approach to Fashion

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Alex Samuely, Contributor

Alex is a marketing and communications professional with extensive experience in analyzing digital and mobile marketing trends. She has also covered brand-oriented mobile strategies spanning the retail, travel, financial services, and food and beverage industries.

Topics: mobile brand