Bundesliga Soccer: Is Borussia Dortmund also an internet frontrunner?
The second matchday saw Borussia Dortmund rise to the top of the Bundesliga table, but is the team also the frontrunner when it comes to reach and traffic? At the beginning of the new season, Storybeat data reveals which clubs and publishers achieve top internet positions.
Top Keywords: Bayern Munich leaps and bounds ahead
FC Bayern Munich is by far the most important club in classic online media: 192 articles revolve around the record championship holder. The largest number of social media responses (roughly 2,000) is elicited by Transfermarkt.de, specifically by its report on Bayern´s victory against Hoffenheim. However, the fact that they got a chance to play against Bayern right at the start of the new season turns out, as far as the internet is concerned, to be an even bigger advantage for Hamburger SV (68 publications) than for 1899 Hoffenheim (42 publications). The two Bayern Munich opponents land in places 2 and 3 of the most frequently mentioned keywords in the Bundesliga context. Borussia Dortmund on the other hand, with only 37 publications, has to settle for 4th place, despite their great season start of 6 points and a goal ratio of 8:0.
A Second Division club also makes the Top Ten. FC St. Pauli removed RB Leipzig´s logo from their website in order to take a stance against soccer´s increasing commercialization. The articles about this move account for more than 2,000 social media responses, with the report by Süddeutsche.de getting by far the largest number of shares, likes and comments.
Tests: Shrewd Timing Leads to High Virality
Not surprisingly, this article pops up again in the Top Ten of the most viral articles, in 6th place. A closer look at this ranking shows that not only match game reports and transfer news generate interest at the beginning of the season. Publications stirring soccer fans´ anticipation also possess high traffic potential: ZEIT ONLINE (1st place, about 5,000 social media responses), Bild.de (4th place, about 3,000 social media responses) and Sport1.de (8th place, about 900 social media responses) each publish a test for soccer fans to find out which club is their best fit. This highlights that well-done quizzes and tests remain an effective tool for publishers to generate traffic and prompt interactions of social media users. However, shrewd timing seems to be of crucial importance: ZEIT ONLINE and Bild.de both published their quiz on August 14th, 2015, the day of the 8.30 pm season opener kick-off, with the ZEIT test hitting the net at 12.42 pm, followed by Bild.de at 19.13 pm. However, Sport1 did not publish their test until August 19th, a saturday and the second matchday. Hence, they lost valuable time, compared to their competitors, which is reflected by the smaller number of social media responses.
Publisher: A Flood of Articles – no Pay-Off
Some online media publish a great amount on the first two matchdays of the new Bundesliga season, with Sportal.de (184 articles) leading the pack.
However, this flood of articles is not paying off. Sportal.de fails to achieve social media traffic with their publications. The number of likes, shares and comments on Facebook and Twitter ranges between 0 and 5. Handelsblatt (172 publications, 0 to 7 social media responses) and Dülmener Zeitung (129 publications, 0 social media responses) are faced with similarly disappointing results.
On the contrary, Transfermarkt.de manages to reel in 12,451 social media responses with only 28 articles, an average of 444 shares, likes and comments per article. ZEIT ONLINE boasts an even better average per article, triggering 5,370 social media reactions with just 5 publications (an average of 1,074 responses per article). Yet, this powerful engagement can be traced back almost exclusively to the aforementioned test Bundesliga: Which Club are You?, which in itself elicits 5,176 shares, likes and comments.
At the beginning of the new soccer season, defending champion FC Bayern Munich and its opponents together accumulate the highest number of reports in classic online media. However, the highest scorers on the soccer field are not necessarily the highest scorers with regard to media coverage. This is exemplified by FC St. Pauli, a Second Division club garnering a high degree of attention thanks to its clear stance against soccer´s commercialization.
The kick-off of the new season gets some major media buzz. Nevertheless, publishers should not aim for massive numbers alone but rather focus on topics with high viral potential.
Tests and quizzes continue to be an effective tool for generating traffic and engagement and the Bundesliga is no exception. But let´s not forget that optimum placement timing remains a deciding factor for high virality as well. Publishers who let the “golden moment” pass are reaching considerably fewer users.