What matters to readers of football content in 2021?


Navigating your way through the world of football content can be a bit of a minefield. There’s no manual for success and what audiences want can, and does, change on a daily basis. While there’s no shortcut to nailing it, there are a number of ways that you can build a rapport with your audience in a way that guarantees they return to your site. 

Through our experience of seeing our products in action, plus our continued work as a Content Services provider in the football industry, we feel well placed to talk about what matters to readers. 

We’ve already detailed our rules for creating content in 2021 and we’ve discussed the five key metrics we feel are important in the media space this year.

Now we’re going to focus on how you can strengthen the relationship with your readers. 

1. Put in the time and effort

The everyday fan is now more knowledgeable than ever before. Stats are everywhere, Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football is arguably the best football show in the UK and fan sites have embraced analysis. Readers know when a writer has put in the effort and when they’ve just plucked some stats from somewhere to tick a box. There’s a much better understanding of metrics these days, so citing shots as a good way to show an attacking performance isn’t going to cut it. 

Put thought into what is being written and readers will appreciate it. If there’s clear evidence that an article wasn’t cobbled together with stats added as an afterthought, they’ll trust you, and they’ll return. There’s a reason that so many of the well-followed accounts on social media are those who scratch beneath the surface with the data they have. 

2. Involve the readers 

It’s rare to find a writer who knows everything about every single metric. Pretending to be an expert benefits nobody. In fact, openly admitting to not knowing shows that you’re human. Taking readers on the journey of discovery with you can, again, improve the trust between the writer and their audience. 

Talking about metrics, explaining what they are and using them with an example educates, but not in an overbearing, belittling way. Readers don’t want to feel as though they’re behind the times and throwing jargon their way can, unintentionally, antagonise. 

3. Be right, not first 

Occasionally, a large account on social media will see some stats and they’ll use them without double-checking. There was one recently showing Rúben Dias’ form for Manchester City in his first 25 Premier League game for the club.

At the time of writing, the former Benfica man has only appeared in 20 games for the league leaders. The tweet went viral before people pointed out the error and it was then deleted. It was a mistake, but the damage is now done. In a way, this links back to the first point about putting in the effort. If the account had done their research initially, there’d be no backtracking at a later date. 

If you’d like to learn about how we can help you make the most of data in your content – either through our products or services – drop us an email and we’ll be in touch.