Online Ads For Sports Fans

The NFL season begins Thursday, and Google is viewing this as an opportunity to help advertisers reach football fans by building a tool for its search engine that places ads alongside football-related results. Sydney Ember of The New York Times gives us an in-depth look at one way the advertising landscape is evolving in her article titled “Online Ads Reach Fans With Phones.”

Ember explains how Google isn’t the only company interested in targeting fans outside of TV commercials. Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are all offering their own tools to aid advertisers in the race to catch the attention of the football crowd. The push for online advertising isn’t all that surprising though. Research from Nielson is showing 88 percent of tablet users and 86 percent of smart phone users are using their devices while watching TV; in effect, this is bolstering competition and online ad dollars during games. Although TV ads remain in the limelight, online advertising is looking like a very attractive and more cost-effective avenue.

According to Ember, one tool Google offers its advertisers is use of the “pre-roll” ad. When users look up information for a specific team on Google, a relevant brand ad could run before NFL videos that turn up in the search results. The NFL’s private YouTube channel will also use these pre-roll video ads.

Facebook is allowing advertisers to target what it refers to as “real-time clusters.” Ember said these clusters include users who are currently indicating an interest in football related topics by posting, liking or sharing related content. Also, Facebook is offering a product that allows brands to show their ads to a target audience within a limited time period to align with a live event. The product, called accelerated-delivery technology, is designed to go hand-in-hand with something like a football game or presidential debate.

Twitter is focused on a method called “event targeting,” letting brands focus in on events around the globe and gain information about its audience gathered from previous years. Ember also added that Snapchat is using its popular geo-filters stickers that allow users to tag their location, and plans for a weekly video focused on the NFL.

The author, Bob Ottaway, is President and Founder of Ottaway Digital.  Established in 1999, it has been a pioneer in SEO, digital advertising & social media since 2006.  

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