What you need to know about soccer content ahead of the World Cup


By   |   June 13th, 2018   |   Reading time: 2 minutes Brands, Digital Journalism

Social Media Analytics, Facebook Analytics

The World Cup is just around the corner, but soccer content is made all year round. We looked at the data to see what trends and themes we could spot to help you prepare for World Cup coverage.

In our latest report, in advance of the World Cup, we looked at trends in soccer content to determine some trends of what we’re likely to see later in the summer from publishers, Facebook Pages, and Instagram accounts.

Although the USMNT did not quite make it through qualification to the World Cup in Russia this summer, it still remains a huge worldwide global event.

While it’s not quite on the level of the Super Bowl, or even the Olympics, it is still the fourth most valuable sporting brand worldwide, according to Statista, valued at around 229 million US Dollars.

Which publishers wrote successfully about soccer?

We began be looking at web stories. Local newspapers did surprisingly well in the rankings, with two otherwise relatively small British newspapers, the Manchester Evening News and the Liverpool Echo, both appearing in the top ten web publishers for English soccer content. FC Barcelona’s website also did particularly well, and was the only club specific website to rank in the top ten.

The top stories tended to come from transfer news of players moving between teams, though highlights also did well in terms of featured web content.

Top Facebook Soccer Posts of 2018

There is a very different distribution of format for soccer-related content than we see with most other Facebook native posts. Over 50% of the engagements came to links, with only 21% of the engagements coming on native video, which is almost precisely the opposite of what we tend to see.

The football clubs themselves were as big as any publisher, acting as brand/publisher hybrids to promote their own messaging around their content.

We also narrowed this down to look at publishers specifically, leaving out club content. Facebook engagement to content from publishers’ Facebook Pages was much more video focused than we sawwith the more general content. Many of the same publishers appear as we saw appear in the web rankings previously, with UK publishers tending to dominate.

U.S. Publishers did appear in the top content, however, so while they were not consistently performing, they did have some hits along the way. (This is not dissimilar to the American men’s soccer team, if you think about it.)

But that’s just a taster of everything that’s in the report, we also have data on web stories, top Facebook Pages, and Instagram content. For the full picture, you can download the report here.

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