March Madness Marketing
The March Madness tournament is one of the biggest events in college sports, and brands have taken advantage of the games’ excitement. In recent years, we’ve seen companies use a variety of tactics to engage with fans during the tournament, including social media campaigns, live events, and product giveaways. With how much hype March Madness generates, creating successful March Madness marketing campaigns has never been more important.
This year, two brands that stood out in their use of March Madness marketing were TikTok and Nissan, who partnered to create an innovative campaign that leveraged the power of TikTok to engage with a younger audience. This makes TikTok an ideal platform for brands looking to connect with younger audiences, and Nissan recognized the platform’s potential early on.
To leverage the power of TikTok during March Madness, Nissan partnered with the app to create the “TikTok Now” campaign. The campaign was designed to engage with basketball fans during the tournament, and it featured various content specifically tailored to the TikTok platform.
March Madness Marketing with Nissan and TikTok Now
Nissan’s “TikTok Now” campaign featured a series of short videos created specifically for the TikTok platform. The videos showcased Nissan vehicles and highlighted the brand’s connection to March Madness. In addition to creating custom content, Nissan partnered with popular TikTok influencers to reach a wider audience.
The campaign generated significant engagement on TikTok, with the videos collectively receiving over 9 million views and more than 1.5 million likes. Nissan also reported a 150% increase in website traffic during the campaign period, indicating that the campaign successfully drove interest and engagement with the brand.
Enter for your chance to WIN a trip to the 2024 FinalFour! 🏀🏆 Look for daily⚡️TikTok Now⚡️prompts and post your #MarchMadness thrills. Share your Now as an IG Story and tag both @NissanUSA and #Giveaway to be eligible to win! ⚡️
One of the other key components of the March Madness marketing was a series of “dance challenges” based on popular TikTok trends. Nissan created its custom dance moves, and users were encouraged to create their videos using the hashtag #TikTokNow. The best videos were then featured on Nissan’s TikTok page, allowing users to showcase their skills to a broader audience.
In addition to the dance challenges, Nissan also created a series of “behind-the-scenes” videos that gave viewers an inside look at the company’s involvement in the tournament. The videos featured Nissan employees, executives, basketball players, and other celebrities, and they were designed to give viewers a sense of what it’s like to be a part of March Madness.
Yes, @mattjames9191 🏀 March Madness 🏀 is HERE! You heard the man, share your most exciting moments with us on TikTok Now for a chance to win! #Giveaway NO PURCH. NEC. Legal res 50 US/DC 18+ (excl PR). Ends 4/4/23 Rules: link in bio
The campaign was a huge success, with thousands of users participating in the dance challenges and sharing their videos on social media. The #TikTokNow hashtag generated over 80 million views, and Nissan’s TikTok page gained thousands of new followers due to the campaign.
What Can Brands Learn From Nissan?
So, what can other brands learn from Nissan’s success on TikTok? Here are a few key takeaways:
1. Know your audience
TikTok has quickly become among the most popular social media platforms, particularly among younger generations. The app’s short-form video format and algorithm-driven content recommendations have made it an engaging and addictive platform for users.
According to data from Hootsuite, more than 60% of TikTok users are under 30, making it an ideal platform for brands looking to reach younger audiences. By creating custom content that resonates with TikTok users, brands can tap into the app’s massive user base and generate significant engagement.
2. Be Authentic
Authenticity is key to success on TikTok. Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok is all about creating content that feels genuine. Users on the app are looking for content that feels like it was made by real people rather than polished advertisements. Creating content that feels authentic and genuine for brands looking to succeed on TikTok is essential. This means focusing on creating content that fits the platform’s culture and values and resonates with your target audience.
Brands should avoid being overly promotional or pushy and instead focus on creating fun, entertaining, and engaging content. By embracing authenticity and creating genuine content, brands can build a loyal following on TikTok and generate real business results.
3. Embrace the Platform
Nissan didn’t simply repurpose existing content for TikTok; they created custom content that was designed to fit the platform. Brands need to embrace the unique features and culture of each platform they use to create truly engaging content.
4. Partnerships in Marketing
Another key takeaway from Nissan’s “TikTok Now” campaign is the importance of partnerships in marketing. By partnering with TikTok, Nissan was able to leverage the app’s existing user base and reach a wider audience than they would have been able to on their own.
This is a strategy that more and more brands are using to create innovative campaigns that reach new audiences. For example, during the 2021 Super Bowl, Doritos and Mountain Dew partnered with TikTok to create the “TikTok Tailgate” campaign, which featured a series of challenges and giveaways exclusive to TikTok users. The campaign was a huge success, generating over 3 billion views and driving significant engagement for both brands.
Overall, Doritos has a strong presence in Super Bowl marketing campaigns, in addition to its solid TikTok marketing team. During this year’s Super Bowl, Doritos created a dance challenge for fans to participate in for the chance to star in their Super Bowl commercial!
Partnerships can be an excellent way for brands to create unique campaigns that capture consumers’ attention. When choosing a partner, it’s important to consider its audience, brand values, and marketing goals. By finding the right partner, brands can create campaigns that resonate with consumers and drive real business results.
You can check out this case study by TikTok to learn more about how Nissan Australia utilized TikTok during March Madness marketing to reach a younger audience.
March Madness Marketing Takeaways
Overall, the “TikTok Now” campaign was a great example of how brands can leverage the power of social media to engage with younger audiences during significant events like March Madness. As social media continues to play an increasingly important role in marketing, we’ll likely see more and more brands following Nissan’s March Madness marketing ideas and using platforms like TikTok to reach new groups of audiences.
This article was written by Emma Carlson