Within the sports industry, everyone from rights holders to broadcasters and sponsors is focusing attention on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Justifiably so, as the big three are market leading social media platforms attracting huge audiences, and natural places to find the best streaming and hosting features.
But there’s life beyond these three platforms. Why not consider a different social channel as an ace up your sleeve? Before we delve in to which channels you might choose, let’s explore some background.
The rise of new channels and video
While traditional television has been at the fore of mass sports coverage for years, the world continues to change drastically. The flexibility of the internet has caused havoc in the stiff world of linear TV in recent years. Social media has only deepened a sense of impending crisis.
You may also be interested in the essential read if you’ve ever wondered how to make traditional TV cool again!
One of the latest trends on social media has been the shift towards short, clipped videos – a major point of difference when compared to traditional TV’s long-form formats. It all started with Snapchat, then Instagram and their stories. Nowadays, each social platform favours video – it’s the most engaging and most consumed type of content. So, even if TV is not now number one, video definitely is!
Let’s see what social media platforms are worth checking and considering as a home for your sports video content and more.
Snap that authenticity!
Yes, yes! We all know that Snapchat is extremely popular and that it’s a medium mostly for Gen Zers. While not every brand needs to be there, you should consider it as an option if you’re looking to reach younger audiences.
Snapchat is remarkably well suited to sports. Short, dynamic and unedited sports clips are perfect for this platform that favours ephemeral video content. Short video clips give Snapchat a feeling of freshness and authenticity, which might be easily killed off by the perfect-looking, over-produced clips that you see on Facebook or Twitter.
If you want to try something really cool, check Snapchat Spectacles – digital glasses that can record videos for Snapchat, but also publish them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. How cool is that! Check it out yourself:
You may view Instagram as a place for food and holiday photos and that’s… correct! But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to bring some of your cool sports videos over to the platform. Especially when Instagram is able to attract a greater mix of audiences that you might want to connect with.
Another positive aspect to Instagram is its own Snapchat-like feature – Instagram Stories – that heavily involves video. While it is Snapchat that brought the video-story format to life, it’s Instagram’s Stories that get better results. Why? Because while Snapchat has die-hard fans that are using the platform for better or worse; Instagram has a couple of huge advantages in a bigger user base and Facebook integration under the hood.
Furthermore, Instagram Stories and its features present videos very professionally, making them look slicker (if that’s what you want). Alongside Stories, you can also publish a varied mix of pictures, raw and spontaneous videos, and professionally produced clips. It’s your call!
Giphy, because we all love GIFs
Not exactly a social network, Giphy is an online database and search engine for animated GIFs. It’s used in one of two ways: users can search for cool animations in an online library, or through third party apps like Facebook Messenger for example.
Giphy is going from strength to strength, recently signing partnerships with big brands to promote content. These partnerships mean that users can now find and use animated GIFs created by Calvin Klein, Disney, General Electric, NASA or Paramount Pictures. As part of the deal, companies get their own profiles on Giphy, which users can search to look for the best GIFs.
Giphy will soon start rolling out sponsored GIFs. According to Techcrunch, brands will have the chance to buy a presence in Giphy’s top search results with their branded animations. If you’re a sports brand or broadcaster, this sounds pretty tempting, right?
Tumblr for the brave
The truth is that not every brand fits Tumblr and its spirit. Some say that this pretty well-worn platform is not a good place for brands to be. The reality is complex.
However, Tumblr can be great if your brand has a young audience made up of people who don’t take things too seriously, have a quirky sense of humour and are really open minded.
One of the advantages of Tumblr is how it can be used in many different ways. It’s a good for pictures, GIFs and videos, while you can also use it as an effective microblogging platform too. However, most brands keep it strictly for visual content, which can work really well for sports. Check out Vans for compelling extreme sports shots.
Explore lesser known territories
While it’s important to maintain your presence on mainstream social media networks, you should also pay attention to other platforms. Lesser known platforms can offer something different and deliver good gains, such as better visibility when targeting younger demographic groups, like Gen Zers through Snapchat for example.
Besides, with the popularity of short video clips and animated GIFs at a colossal level, it seems a good time to take advantage of the social platforms where these formats are heavily consumed.