How to create powerful sports marketing content ideas
Content is still one of the cornerstones of sports marketing success. By creating compelling content that inspires, engages, and enlightens your fans across a mix of digital channels, you will accelerate your commercial growth while inspiring lifelong fan loyalty.
As powerful a force as content is in the sporting world, coming up with a consistent flow of winning ideas can prove easier said than done. When your ideas run dry, your sports content marketing strategy will suffer.
But, fortunately, there are ways to keep creating powerful content ideas that will offer genuine value to your fans—and we’re going to look at them right now.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Know your fans. Sweat the data.
First of all, to create content ideas that offer any real value and showcase your authority on a specific subject, you have to know your fans.
Without taking the time to understand your fans, it’s unlikely you’ll ever connect with the kind of content ideas that earn a healthy return for your efforts.
So, before you do anything else, you should drill down into any fan data that you have from relevant sources including social media insights, website browsing behaviors, Google Analytics, and market research.
Armed with this melting pot of intelligence, you can create buyer personas for specific segments of your audience. Doing so will give your content ideas a clear cut direction and give you the best chances of inspiring your fans at the times they’re most likely to engage with your content.
Here’s a handy guide to creating buyer personas to help you get started:
Brainstorm and mind map
Armed with your buyer personas and fan intelligence, you can start to brainstorm the general subject matter that you feel will resonate most with certain segments of your audience.
Once you’ve gathered a pretty solid list of subject matter, you can use brainstorming or mind mapping tools like MindMup to drill down a little deeper and mine for winning sports content ideas.
Here’s an example of a digital mind mapping tool. Here you can swiftly unravel your basic subject ideas and start to form connections between concepts while digging down a little deeper. This is sports content mining in action.
Try content idea research and generation tools
With those initial ideas starting to take shape, you’ll be able to create a shortlist and use additional content research or generation tools to bring some of these concepts to life. Here are some tools that are worth exploring:
Portent’s Content Idea Generator
For creating catchy and click-worthy titles that you can use to spring your content ideas into life, Portent’s content ideation tool is pretty handy, to say the least. All you need to do is to type in ideas from your sports content shortlist and the platform will return relevant titles that you can use as creative inspiration.
This popular content idea tool gives you the power to punch in relevant sports-based subject matter or keywords into the search bar and connect with the top-performing content based on your query. This is a brilliant tool for understanding which content is proving most valuable and popular with certain sports fans. It’s also an excellent way to narrow down your ideas and develop them a little further.
As a neat little news aggregator, Alltop will help you stay up to date with what’s moving and shaking in your sports niche by giving you a curated collection of the most recent trending updates, emerging matters, and hot topics from around the world. This is not only great to make sure you remain relevant in an ever-changing industry, but it’s a powerful tool for creating timely, trending content for your fans. Which brings us onto our next subject.
Your impact is measured not by what you do, but by what happens to other people when you do it. – John Jantsch
Work with trending subjects. Play to your strengths.
Another consistently effective way to connect with powerful sports content marketing ideas is to keep working with trending subjects based on your strengths.
If you have a deep knowledge on a certain subject or your sports brand specializes in a particular product or service, go with it. Your authenticity and prowess will shine through.
By working with the subjects that you know inside-out while adding a timely or trending spin, you will connect with content ideas that are likely to have a share-worthy quality, boosting your brand reach in the process.
In addition to the tools we’ve already mentioned, using Google Trends to discover trending content or topics based on your area of expertise will give you plenty of creative inspiration.
An example of trending topics in the UK based on the search term ‘basketball.’ You can be more specific with your searches, but this is an example of how Trends can help you discover relevant sub topics in certain regions—this is great if you’re looking to localize your sports marketing content.
Look at the competition. Spot the gaps.
When you’re searching for powerful sports content marketing ideas, looking at the competition is an excellent source of inspiration.
By looking at your competitors’ content across channels, you’ll be able to see what fans like yours engage with the most. Looking at the competitions’ best-performing content across channels will give you direct inspiration for your own ideas while allowing you to exploit any gaps.
If you’re a basketball coaching academy, for example, and your direct competitor has released a how-to article on setting up a coaching space outdoors, you’ll quickly find ways you can improve on it. You might take this idea and add your very own spin, using advice from real-life coaches (to build authority), add more imagery or create an accompanying video.
The point here is: look at your competitors’ content. Take inspiration, build on it, and you’ll have untapped access to a wealth of brilliant content ideas that your fans will want to enjoy.
Read: Our guide to five of the world’s most inspiring sports mobile apps for extra content inspiration.
Step away. Come back.
With access to all of these tools and ideas, you should have a wealth of content idea inspiration at your fingertips.
But, even with a shortlist of refined content ideas in front of you, it’s easy for your mind to become bogged down or your judgment skewed. So, to ensure you commit to your strongest ideas and proceed with a clear, confident head—you should step away for a while.
Perform an unrelated task, go for a walk, enjoy a little sporting activity of your own, then come back to your ideas. This may sound obvious, but you’d be amazed at just how many sports marketers overlook this key step.
Taking the time to step away will allow your ideas to sink in. You will gain a fresh perspective and even the ability to identify gaps or connections that you might have missed. Making this ritual a part of your content ideation process will give your ideas as well as your creations a consistently winning edge.
“Our job is not to create content. Our job is to change the world of the people who consume it.”—Andrea Fryrear
The sports industry is vast, fast-paced, and often cutthroat. To cut through the noise and really connect with your audience, investing in your content marketing efforts is essential. There really is no compromise.
Solid ideas that are suited to the exact needs, curiosities, and interests of your fanbase will give you the foundations for creating content that offers a consistently healthy return on investment (ROI). It will also make you relevant, exciting, and the brand or club that people admire.
Take the time to work through these various tools and methods. Find the tools as well as the processes that work best for you and your sports brand—and you will connect with a constant stream of powerful sports marketing ideas. Enjoy the journey.
For more brand-boosting sports marketing inspiration, read our feature on the big Tik Tok and Rugby Six Nations partnership.