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How marketers can benefit from social branded content across TV & sports

How marketers can benefit from social branded content across TV & sports

With social followings often in the millions, TV & sports properties are using their social influence on behalf of their sponsors to organically reach wide and diverse audiences through branded content campaigns.

Access Actionable Social TV & Sports Insights

As a Facebook for Media Measurement Partner, Talkwalker is able to deliver syndicated measurement of Facebook paid partnerships in Social Content Ratings® (SCR), providing valuable insights on the effectiveness of these campaigns in generating engagement and video views for their brand partners.

Talkwalker looked across the TV and sports verticals in the US for September 2021, and found 717 brands that had paid partnerships on Facebook with sports properties (league, team, and athlete accounts), 117 with TV properties (network, program, and talent accounts), and 47 with both.

Bubble chart showing the type of brands included in Facebook paid content campaigns

Source: Talkwalker Social Content Ratings®. Facebook sponsored content data for September, 2021.

Brands are big team players

When looking at the activity of these brands and sports or TV properties, there were 1,450 paid partnerships between a brand account and a sports- or TV-related account. SCR measured 160 sponsored posts on Facebook sent by accounts associated with broadcast, cable, and streaming (also known as OTT) series. By contrast, SCR measured 3,880 sponsored posts sent by sports-related accounts in that same time period.

Branded content is more common among sports accounts, as a substantially larger share of total content posted by sports properties is sponsored. Within this time period, 9% of Facebook sports content was sponsored, while only 0.2% of Facebook posts from TV series-related accounts were sponsored.

FB paid partnerships as share of total social content - sports / entertainment

Read as: Of the 44K Facebook posts made by sports properties (league, team, athlete, or event accounts), 9% were sponsored posts. Source: Talkwalker Social Content Ratings. Facebook branded content data for September, 2021.

Branded content from TV is a high performer

While Facebook branded content campaigns are vastly more common within the sports vertical, and drive substantially more engagement and video views in aggregate (99.1M video views for sports vs 34.6M for TV), branded content posted by TV properties perform better on average.

The average TV-related branded Facebook post generated 1.4K engagements and 213K video views, while the average sports-related post generated only 1K engagements and 26K video views.

Average performance - Sports & TV paid partnerships on Facebook

Read as: The average piece of Facebook sponsored content associated with a linear or streaming series program generated over 200K video views, while the average piece associated with sports generated nearly 30K video views. Source: Talkwalker Social Content Ratings®. Facebook sponsored content data for September, 2021.

Insight: As seen by the prevalence of sponsored content on their pages, sports accounts already integrate paid partnerships into their overall social strategy. If TV were to take a cue from the sports world, TV-related accounts could capitalize on their outsized engagement and video views to work with more branded partners.

Where are these integrations, and who’s in the lead?

When it comes to partnering with sports leagues or TV networks, brands are not equally dispersed across these two verticals.

For sports, a couple of leagues stand out at the top of the list, and the vast majority of partnerships and video views are driven by these leagues’ accounts and their affiliated teams.

Top 5 largest leagues for Facebook paid partnerships video views

Read as: Across the Facebook accounts for the NFL and its associated teams and athletes, there were 764 sponsored video posts generating 28.1M views. These posts were generated on behalf of 297 different partnerships throughout September 2021. Source: Talkwalker Social Content Ratings®. Facebook sponsored content data for September, 2021.

Four of the top five partnerships are based on brands working with NFL or MLB associated Facebook accounts, which drive the majority of sponsored activity.

Top 5 Facebook paid partnerships for sports

Read as: Ticketmaster partnered with the Miami Dolphins’ team account to generate four sponsored video posts in September, generating 3.3M views. Source: Talkwalker Social Content Ratings®. Facebook sponsored content data for September, 2021.

On the TV series side, sponsored activity is more evenly distributed across networks, and there is less concentration at the top in terms of the number of partnerships.

Top 5 largest media networks for facebook paid partnerships 2021

Read as: Across all of the network, program, and talent Facebook accounts associated with NBC series, there were 11 sponsored video posts generating nearly 16M views. These posts were generated on behalf of eight different account-brand partnerships throughout September 2021. Source: Talkwalker Social Content Ratings®. Facebook sponsored content data for September, 2021.

When looking at data on the partnership level, we can see that there is much more sponsored content for sports relative to TV, not because each league or team is posting significantly more per campaign, but rather because each team and league has many more brand partners than each network or program.

Top 5 Facebook paid partnerships for entertainment series (video views)

Read as: Sonic Drive-In partnered with the “America’s Got Talent” program account to generate three sponsored video posts in September, generating 4.7M views. Source: Talkwalker Social Content Ratings®. Facebook sponsored content data for September, 2021.

Facebook branded content reporting and a look ahead

With SCR’s syndicated Facebook branded content reporting, you can now finally demystify how your industry’s brands and partners are spending their resources and the relative effectiveness of their campaigns in driving consumer engagement and video views. By using SCR to benchmark performance against any competitive set in TV or sports, you are able to continually improve your branded strategy by seeing what works for you and others in the space. Over the coming months, we are excited to advance our branded content measurement beyond Facebook to include cross-platform metrics, and look forward to bringing further insights to the TV & sports marketplace.

Methodology/Sourcing

Talkwalker Social Content Ratings TV and sports data for Facebook. Paid partnership content posted on Facebook for September, 2021. TV-related accounts are for networks, programs, and talents from linear and streaming series programs. Sports-related accounts are for athletes, teams, and leagues for sports during this time period.

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