With the Premier League up and running, we investigate the value of behind-the-scenes native video uploads in football.

With the start of a new season comes a renewed sense of optimism from football fans. Our experience in Premier League analytics reporting has taught us that there is no clearer outlet for this outpouring of excitement and passion than via each club’s social media accounts.

Engagement volume recorded by Premier League club’s main social channels typically rises during pre-season. Output begins to stack up with content containing the likes of fixture and kit releases, transfer speculation, confirmed signings and those all-important pre-season matches.

Despite this natural fluctuation in content performance, top sports brands and some football clubs continue to find innovative ways to record high volumes of viral interactions at post level, particularly through native video uploads. In recent years, the occasional Soccer AM-esque crossbar challenge has since now evolved into something far more frequent and sought after. This is an opportunity football clubs simply cannot afford to miss out on.

In June, Locowise analysed more than 600 native video-posting Facebook pages, with totals of more than 291 million likes, tallying in excess of 180 million views. Organic reach proved 67% higher than links to YouTube, with video engagement rates also 97% better off. So if clubs are aiming to make video central to their plans in coming months, uploading these directly via the channel rather than links to alternative video platforms will be a prerequisite.

Examples of native video uploads in football

BT Sport’s #BeatTheBin has had me completely hooked since it launched in 2013. For such a simple concept in terms of production value, the post recorded a particularly high volume of interactions. With featured players past and present from various clubs involved in the challenge, these viral engagements can be attributed to views which extend beyond BT Sport’s most engaged users. Notice how they’ve mentioned all the featured player’s official pages as well as the 47 million strong Champions League page? It’s all part of their plan to pull in hundreds of thousands of post engagements from already established Facebook audiences besides their own.

Another campaign I took a shine to was #DizzyGoals, a brilliant initiative which has seen sustainable development cause The Global Goals team up with some of the sport’s most influential clubs and players. Subsequently, Twitter in particular has been awash with reams of user generated content, containing high reaching influencers and their followers’ dizzy penalty attempts. Think the footballing equivalent of the ice bucket challenge, but with the added bonus of seeing some of the sport’s coolest players tumbling into the turf in quite comical fashion. What better way to add a human feel to your club’s Facebook timeline, Twitter or Instagram feed?

It may be time for more clubs to start aligning more off-pitch content towards these fun and light-hearted video uploads. If it raises the awareness of a meaningful causes and involves engaged users in the process, then it’s guaranteed to be adopted not just by your club’s most loyal supporters, but significantly extended football-centric audience too.

Key takeaways

  • Native video uploads on Facebook continue to record significantly higher organic reach and engagement versus links to other video sources
  • Ideal for scheduling close the hype of a new season, when engagement from fans is generally on the increase
  • Heightened interaction volume from social media’s global football audience
  • Reliable source of viral reach via shares and retweets
  • Fun and lightheartedness endears your content to otherwise disengaged users