Your followers’ favorite team is playing probably the most important match of the season, but they have to stay late at the office or have dinner with their mother-in-law. The only way for them to follow it live is the live-text commentary on your website or Twitter account where almost everyone talk in codes – because they are currently watching the match!
The information ”X player sucks!” means nothing to them. They needs to know why that is so. Did the player miss a great chance for scoring? Did he get a red card in the first 15 minutes of the match? Is the ref rooting for the opponent team? Was that offside really an offside?
Here are 5 basic tips that can help you write great live-text commentary, get positive feedback from your followers and convince them to come back to your site during the next live coverage and not your competition’s.
1. You are their eyes
Your followers depend on you and your live comments. Don’t go “scientific” on them. You should give them the information that help them visualize and feel the atmosphere.
If there was a great shot that barely missed the goal, you could write “Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot from 16 meters flew right next to the right post”.
But then your followers have all these questions – Did Ronaldo shoot from the middle of the field or the left corner of the box? Did he shoot with max power or he tried a placed shot?
2. Every detail matters
Describe them the action going on just like you would to a group of 4-year-olds. Don’t forget the atmosphere, the ref, coaches’ reactions, who dominates the match… Let them feel the match and emotions through your comments! If the visiting fans are getting louder than the home one’s – get that message through!
Remember, the score can easily be found on a numerous sites, but sports fans that can’t watch the match live search for the experience that is the most similar to it. Sometimes the information that the wind is so strong that the team can’t organize a decent action is more valuable than knowing that ”Player X shot the ball from 22 meters, but the goalkeeper stopped it.”
Also, don’t forget to mention the time left, especially if it’s a dramatic finish of the match. That’s what matters the most to the fans that can’t see the match live! They are freaking out because there is still one minute or 45 seconds for their team to score or to go in overtime. Mention the time and result!
IDEA: Each tweet or comment could begin in the same fashion – 29’ 1-0 Comment goes here
3. Find your commenting style
You know that piece of advice men give each other about flirting with women – just be yourself. Same goes for you. If you have a great sense of humor, use it to entertain your audience. If you have a great stats memory, write interesting stats and facts related to the match you are currently covering. In any case – make them want more of your comments. As I have already mentioned, don’t go all “scientific” on them.
It’s not a deal breaker if the free kick is on 23 and not 25 meters as you said, but if you don’t interest them enough to follow the whole match – now, that’s a deal breaker. Your editor will notice it and won’t be happy about it.
4. Interact with your audience
When on a date, you never want to be the only one to talk. It is the same with a live match coverage. You want to listen to your audience and engage them. Are they asking questions? Reply to them in your live feed! They will feel honored and see that you find them important. Mention interesting fans’ comment in your comments and credit them.
Don’t argue with your audience! Just imagine going to the theater and actors stopping to argue with the audience members about not clapping when “they should have”. Of course, your audience will consist of trolls and haters, but you cannot let them get to you. Haters are going to hate. Overall visitors are consisted of real sports fans who want to have a great time during the match and cheer for their team. If they are very critical, see what you could do better. If the trolls don’t give up, use the moderation system and throw them out. Have a stand, but love your visitors. They’ll feel that.
5. Paint them a bigger picture
Some of your followers are not completely focused on the match they are following. Maybe they are in their offices, having a dinner with friends or trying to put their children to bed. Describe them why this match is important. Is the winner going to the quarterfinals? Does the home team have its best player injured and they have to win? Were the last three matches interrupted because of the fans riots? Mention that!
Special situations are great to connect with your previous stories. Player X scored a goal and showed the shirt he was wearing under his jersey and it just so happens that you wrote an article before the match about the possibility of that happening? Great, post the link to that story when the match gets a bit ”boring”.
What additional tips would you recommend for making
great live-text commentary? Let us know!
*Photo: Flickr by peteoshea