Welcome to a case study about how I created the industry’s first sports betting Snapchat community for SportsbookReview.com.
Lets start at the beginning.
I love Snapchat and I love sports. When looking at the sports landscape I noticed one huge void on the platform: sports betting. There were no sports betting Snapchat accounts from the leading sports betting industry websites as well as the major sports media publishers despite that fact that sports betting is part of the everyday sports landscape.
Sports betting content is traditionally created by an older male demographic, which means that Snapchat wasn’t anywhere near their radar. I thought there was a huge opportunity to build a community of younger sports bettors, as one of my keys to success is to be forward thinking and focus on where things are going, not where they have been.
Luckily for me my friends at SportsbookReview.com embraced the idea and gave me the opportunity to create and build their Snapchat account.
Here is a look at everything you’d want to know about how I built their Snapchat community, the process behind it, and the results I delivered.
The best way to show the type of results that I deliver is to hear it straight from Justin Hilbert, Social Media Manager at Sportbook Review.
Overall: To build a sports betting community on Snapchat while also promoting Sportsbook Review and their web properties (SBROdds.com & SBRPicks.com.)
Daily Goal: Drop sports betting knowledge, engage the community by talking about real time sports topics, promote SBRPicks.com and SBROdds.com, have fun.
By staying top of mind every day, speaking the language of the sports bettor, and doing so in a fun and engaging way it builds brand equity. By appealing to a younger demographic, which previously had not been marketed to, it opens up new growth opportunities.
Format & Execution:
Every day I was incredibly excited to get to create and interact with the Sportsbook Review Snapchat community. Monday thru Friday at 2 pm I would jump on Snapchat and start creating. I had a checklist of things that I wanted to make sure to include in the Snapchat story.
- Screenshots of the sports betting odds for that day from SBROdds.com by sport (MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL.) I would give the moneyline odds, the totals, as well as the percentage of action on each side (as those are the things that are most relevant to a sports bettor.)
- Screenshots of the sports betting picks for that day from SBRPicks.com by sport (MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL.) Right out of the gate I found out that the community loved the picks as it helped them make decisions on what action they would place that day.
Both of these forms of content are already part of the Sportsbook Review digital landscape. Sure a user could go to each of the sites and sift through the pages to find the content. Instead, every day I was able to give them a digital story of that days sports betting action on a platform (Snapchat) that they are already active on. This saved them time while also delivering value. For Sportsbook Review it got more of their content out there in front of the target audience they are looking to reach.
- Engagement opportunities: In order to successfully build a community you have to give them the opportunity to respond back. This means you’ve got to ask questions. One of the great things about creating sports content is there is a never ending cycle of storylines from which you can engage the audience with. (More on this below).
- Calls to action: Similar to the engagement opportunities, to help deliver better results it was important to sprinkle calls to action throughout the snaps sending the users back to the Sportsbook Review web properties.
Often right out of the gate I would do a quick take about a trending sports topic(s) or game from the night before, which typically would have been in reference to something in the Snapchat story the day before. After that it was all about looking forward (as that’s where I could deliver the most value to the community.)
Creating fun and engaging content is my hallmark for how to create a thriving community. It’s how I built the communities at Bacon Sports and Show Me The Money, so it’s the same format I used with Sportsbook Review.
I’d like to think that I always kept the community on their toes because they never knew what to expect out of my content. Sure they knew that every day I’d post the odds & picks, but the story for how I do that would be unexpected and fun (which is what keeps people coming back.)
My formula is pretty simple.
- Create attention grabbing content
- Make it fun and engaging
- Drop knowledge
- Use music
- Have repeatable segment
- Always write some text on the Snap (since there’s a large majority of people who will be consuming with the sound off.)
- Have good transitions
The attention is in the details and this is something that I always took to heart when creating Snapchat stories every day, especially on the transitions from topics.
While it would have been easy just to zoom to the next snap where I talk about a totally different sport, adding a creative transition signals to the audience that we are moving on to a new topic. The keyword here is CREATIVE. Everything you create is an opportunity to create a positive brand interaction, so I made sure to respect the time of the Sportsbook Review Snapchat community while priming them for what is to come.
One prop that was often present in my Snapchat stories was the baseball card wallpaper. Not only did this provide an awesome backdrop (which is key for making the snaps visually appealing), but because the Sportsbook Review Snapchat community was comprised of above average knowledge sports fans, I was able to include a baseball card or two a day in the stories to have some fun, tie a storyline together, and keep things unexpected.
Sports Fan Engagement:
Every day I included at least one opportunity for engagement, most times it was a few. This element is absolutely crucial to building a thriving community, and it’s one area in which most brands fail at miserably. A good example of an engagement opportunities was “Send in your bets (win or lose).”
It was very important for me to stress to the community that we didn’t only care about winning. Why? Because losing is very much part of sports betting. I wanted to have the Sportsbook Review Snapchat account most accurately reflect what really goes on in the lives of a sports bettor. This speaks to the authenticity of things (which I’ll get to in a second.)
Having the community send in their bets allowed me to start a conversation with them. The more bets that were sent in, the more of a relationship I was able to cultivate with the community (which ultimately creates more positive brand equity for Sportsbook Review.)
When the community would send in bets I would then post them as part of the Snapchat story for that day. This gave us multiple victories as it showed that we were listening (most brands make it only about themselves), it rewarded the community for sending in their bets (people love to see their name in lights and so few brands actually make user generated content from there community part of their content mix), and it encouraged others to send in their bets (since they see us posting the bets of others in the community.) Now sports bettors in our community could build a connection just by seeing the winning or losing bet of someone else.
- Send in your parlays
- Send in your bad beats
- Send in how you are getting down watching the games
- Questions based on trending sports topics: I wanted the community to be part of the conversation. You’ve got to constantly be asking questions and giving them an opportunity to interact.
One of the biggest assets of Snapchat is its ability to let your brand heartbeat shine through authenticity. Be who you are. Give your community a peak behind the curtain of what is really going on.
This meant that on a regular basis I would talk about what’s going on in my sports betting life, plus chime in on the games I watched the night before and/or comment on the teams that I root for. Being from Pittsburgh and living in Chicago that was a big bonus because my teams were relevant in the national sports landscape (especially the Cubs and Penguins who both won championships last year.) I could speak the language of the audience and I was one of them. Because of this I was able to build up trust and credibility very quickly because I knew what I was talking about (note: That should not be confused with being a professional bettor, of which I am not. I do it for entertainment purposes only and made this very clear.)
Speaking of location, Sportsbook Review is based in Costa Rica, so it was known by the community that I worked remote and often times I would shoot from different locations. Locations I shot from included my home studio (where I shot the majority of the Snapchat stories), the Virgin Hotel in Chicago (where I am part of their influencer program and work out of a few days a week), Siesta Key beach (where I walked down the beach talking sports betting), and the RV parking lot outside a Tennessee Volunteers football game (when I was at my annual SEC tailgate road trip.) In each location I would give the community a glimpse of where I was and they enjoyed that.
It was important to me to include an education component to the Snapchat content. Sportsbook Review is an industry leader so it is important that we do our part to instill the correct fundamentals to our community. This includes bankroll management and understanding how to find value. Like building a house, it’s important to have a solid foundation so you can best set yourself up for future success.
It also helps create a better, more well rounded content mix as well.
Consistently had completion rates of 80+% (meaning 80% of the users watched every single snap in the story). On average stories ranged from 2 – 5 minutes long and would include 15+ Snaps.
I’ll let the responses sent in from the community about what they liked about the Snapchat account do the talking as well.
Another area in which I helped Sportsbook Review was with Instagram strategy.
In the matter of one month (from the end of March 17 to the end of April 17) the channel saw significant organic growth. Followers increased by 34%, impressions increased by 63%, reach increased by 25%, and profile views increased by 503%.
The key was posting higher quality content more often, with an emphasis on creating videos specific to the platform. Sportsbook Review runs numerous sports betting shows per day so at the end of the show the hosts would tape an Instagram only segment where they would give picks and insight exclusive to that channel. That way there was incentive for fans to follow the channel and content was fresh.
At the end of the day it is all about creating a community of passionate, engaged fans who love what you do. When you provide value and give them a reason to look forward to hearing from you then they become more brand loyal, will tell others (word of mouth), and your brand will grow.
Increase Awareness + Engagement = Results.
Talk to us ASAP about how we can help your brand grow via Snapchat, original content, or creating a social media strategy. Contact Rob Cressy at firstname.lastname@example.org