Effective Club/Group Marketing

There are now a range of different methods to market a club, and it’s important a club evaluates these options before deciding on the best way of reaching their target group. Most clubs use a mixture of traditional marketing, such as leaflets and flyers, and digital marketing, advertising the club via the internet on social media, apps and websites.

Developing a marketing plan is one way to help a club focus on maximising opportunities to increase sales, sponsorship, membership and participant numbers. A club’s marketing is more likely to be successful when you’ve taken time to identify what you want to do and when you want to do it.

Social Media Platforms

There are three main social media platforms which are used, they are:

Twitter

Twitter is a social media which have been around for a long time now and many would argue is one of the main three social media platforms. Twitter allows users to post pictures, videos and communicate with other users in the form of tweets. Twitter can benefit clubs in a range of different ways when used correctly. Twitter can be used by clubs to post upcoming information about competitions, events and much more. This promotional material can be through written text posts, posters or perhaps promotional videos. A great way to reach new members of market is by using relevant hashtags and tagging in relevant organisations.

Twitter is also a brilliant platform to use when wanting to drive traffic to your website, the social media platform allows users to attach links to all their posts and therefore clubs can add links to their club website. This can be especially useful when trying to promote company blogs or podcasts. Twitter also has an analytical system which will allow your club to check out certain posts are reporting, this will then allow your club to see what type of posts are running well and which aren’t, as a result of this over time you can begin making your marketing more efficient which should lead to increased participation in at your club.

Facebook

Facebook is arguable the most popular and well-known social media platform. The social media platform which was founded in 2004 is continuing to rise and gain more users by the day. In the first quarter of 2019 Facebook had 2.38 billion users which is hundreds of millions more than any other social media platform. As a result of this large audience this creates a huge opportunity for an organisation such as a snooker club to wreak the benefits of this platform. Due to the platform being of the size it is Facebook is a brilliant place to advertise and promote your clubs upcoming events and competitions. As a result by creating high quality posters and videos on upcoming events there is a large chance the target audience will come across the posts, this could lead to an increase in participation and as a result more sales.

Another way in which Facebook can be used by clubs is to upload photos and videos from past events. Unlike other social media platforms Facebook allows users to create online albums which can be viewed by the public, therefore pictures from past events and competitions as well as engaging content in general can be posted on the clubs Facebook page. Just like with Twitter Facebook also allows you to view the analytics of the clubs Facebook page, as a result your club can find out what posts are performing well and what not so well, therefore you can make the relevant changes in order to increase engagement.

One unique point which Facebook has is that it allows you to post jobs on your organisations page. This would be especially beneficial for a club who are perhaps looking for volunteers or looking to take on part time staff, this way they can use Facebook to promote their jobs online.

Instagram

Instagram currently has 1 billion active followers and is growing consistently and at a faster pace than any other social media platform. Unlike Twitter and Facebook Instagram does not allow you to put out just text posts, Instagram is different from other social media platforms in the sense that to post on the platform the post has to include either a picture or a video. Instagram also allows you to live stream through there Instagram TV feature, this feature also has an interactive section which allows users who are watching to comment back to the host.

There are ways in which clubs can use Instagram and as a result there are many benefits clubs can gain from using the platform. Instagram is a content driven platform therefore it is the perfect place to post about past and upcoming events are your clubs, whether that’s in the form of set of photos from a recent competition or a poster about an upcoming club deal. One great and very effective feature Instagram has is that it allows users to add hashtags to their uploads, this is perfect for a club who can use relevant hashtags to reach your intended audience.

Instagram is also used for its live stream feature, clubs could use this in order to build up interest in the club in the form of announcements, you could also do Q&A with senior members of the club and well respected members of the snooker community. As a result of this Instagram can be used to build a community around your club and therefore over time this will increase the club’s PR and brand image.

Managing your clubs/groups social media accounts

To ensure your clubs social media accounts are as beneficial as possible to your club it is crucial that you effectively manage your club’s social media accounts. The first and most important factor is time management, managing multiple social media accounts for your club does take up a lot of time and as a result that time needs to be used effectively and fairly. You don’t want to spend 5 hours a week creating and posting on Facebook a week meanwhile you are only spending 1 hour on Instagram a week, you want to spread your time out between all your social media channels to get the best out of them all.

Another factor of effectively managing your club’s social media accounts is knowing your target audience. It is important that you know your target audience and who you want to get your posts out to. Of course it sounds pretty obvious right? So for example, a Basketball club would want to attract those who are interested in playing Basketball or perhaps are interested in coaching the sport. However to really narrow down your clubs target market it is important you go beyond peoples interests and look into areas such as demographic and geographical area.

When managing your club’s social media accounts it is also important to think about the quality of content you are putting out. Whether it’s a photo, video or even posters always ensure it is of the highest quality possible, there is no point putting out five social media posts out every day if they are all poor quality as this will give your club a bad image online, always remember quality over quantity.

Staying on top of multiple social media accounts can be hard, having to post daily across multiple social media accounts especially. That’s why one of the best ways to manage your social media accounts is by using social media account management tools. These pieces of software are brilliant and often free, they allow you to schedule posts in advance across multiple social media platforms. This can save a lot of time and can also take a lot of stress of your shoulders of posting at certain times as these tools will do it for you. There are a wide range of social media account management tools you could try using such as Buffer, Hootsuite and Social Pilot.

Creating a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a plan which is often runs hand in hand with a club’s overall objectives and aims for the year. A marketing plan is crucial for any club if they want to succeed. Marketing plans often contain six main steps, the six steps are:

1. Business Summary- The business summary should include a summary of the club, the location as well as the mission statement. On top of that it is also important a business summary includes a SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis.

2. Business Initiatives- Business initiatives should be all about outlining the projects that are specific to marketing. When doing this part also describe the goals of those projects and how those goals will be measured by your club.

3. Target Market- The target market is arguable the most important step of a marketing plan, it is crucial for any marketing plan that the target market is identified before the marketing plan begins. So for example if the aim of your clubs marketing campaign is to get a 95% renewal rate on your current 12-month membership then your target market is your current signed up members.

4. Market Strategy- The marketing strategy is the key part of any marketing plan, this is the stage of the campaign where your club needs to decide what its offering which your competitors aren’t offering, in others words the clubs unique selling point. The marketing strategy should also include the 4Ps which I mentioned earlier.

5. Budget- This section may not apply to your club depending on finances however it is still something worth considering. It is important the when creating the marketing plan (should you have finances available for marketing) that your club decides what areas of the budget are going to spend where and on promoting what.

6. Marketing Channels- The final stage of the marketing plan is to identify what channels your club are going to advertise on and why. This is also a section to identify how you will measure the success of each channel (KPIs). So for example if you are running an email newsletter to encourage members to renew it might be that your club will measure the success of the channel if the newsletter gets over 20 renewals through the email campaign.

FAQ’s

How do I effectively market my club?

Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge that a marketing plan needs to be put in place. It is important to consider WHO to involve in this process.

What will this include?

> Social media platforms

> Website

> Recruitment and retention strategies

Should my club be using Social Media?

Social media is an informal and more personal way to market your club. Social media sites are accessible, quick, cost-effective and user-friendly. It is important to consider what your club wants to achieve by using social media, which sites are most popular with your target audience, and whether you have the resources you need, including the person with the skills, passion and interest to manage your clubs social media accounts.

Why should my club/group use social media?

There are multiple different benefits to a club of using social media, one of the main ones is brand awareness, social media allows clubs to grab the attention of potential customers and increase their club’s awareness. As a result of that this can lead to an increase in participation through traffic through to the website, through email or other forms of contact. On top of that there are also other benefits such as building an online community, social media is great for creating an online community for your club where members can communicate and discuss key topics in relation to your club.

Another benefit of social media is that I can improve your customer service massively, social media allows clubs to communicate with their customers online, both quickly and effectively, as a result of this clubs can gain customer loyalty and therefore grow their relationship database. Last but not least above all social media is free, social media is brilliant for clubs who don’t have the funds available to spend money on marketing. Social media allows clubs to grow their participation organically online.

How can my club publicise itself better?

Local newspapers, social media, press release, online sports club and physical activity directory. Your local authority or Active Partnership can also support in promoting events and activities locally. They may also be able to take a look at a marketing plan and provide help and feedback.

Can the council help us to promote our event/activity/project? We can circulate the information to our social media team and ask them to send out via social media. We can also send information out on your behalf to our email distribution list of sports clubs and groups who have registered to receive marketing information from us.

How often should I post on social media?

When managing your club’s social media accounts it is important to remember the saying “quality over quantity”. When it comes to social media this saying has never been more true, of course try to put a schedule together, use the free analytical data available on social media accounts and find the best times to post on your accounts. Once you have identified the best times to post try to post at them exact times every day however only if the post is of good quality, there is no point posting five posts everyday if the posts are very poor quality. Not only will this not help increase your club’s participation but it could also give your club bad brand awareness due to the low quality of your posts.

What is a hashtag?

tag: A word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it. Whenever a user adds a hashtag to their post, it’s able to be indexed by the social network and becomes searchable/discoverable by other users

How do I increase my following on social media?

Haing a good follwoing on socuial media is important to ensure that your posts are seen by your audience. By using the folliwng steps will help you build up your followers:

> Be Regular and Consistent

> Speak to Your Market

> Match the Message and Format to the Proper Network

> Include Social Media Follow Buttons Everywhere Possible

> Follow Influencers and Share Their Content

> Remind Your Email Subscribers About Your Social Accounts

> Respond to Your Followers

> Use Hashtags Where Appropriate

How can I create a marketing campaign?

In marketing there is a foundation for any marketing campaign called the marketing mix, the marketing mix(otherwise referred to is the 4ps) is key to the success of any marketing campaign.

> Product- The first part of the mix is the product, this refers to the offer from your club/group. To be successful you need to ensure that your offer is of the highest quality and stands out.

> Price- The second part of the mix is the price, this is the amount the member/participant is going to have to pay.

> Place- The third part of the mix is place, this refers to where your club/group is taking place.

> Promotion- The fourth and final part of the marketing mix is promotion, this is referring to the advertising and promotion of your club/group. In the promotion this should include details about your club/group.

For more details about creating a marketing plan see here

How do I create content that is engaging?

To make your content engaging, it needs to be interesting and relatable to your audiences. The following tips will help you do this

> Diversify your content

> Use subheadings

> Embrace brevity

> Don’t overlook keywords

> Have a voice

> Come up with interesting titles

> Make it shareable

> Write stories

The following website gives more support on these https://www.jeffbullas.com/10-secrets-to-creating-engaging-content-that-will-attract-readers/

How do I use boosted posts/paid advertising on social media?

If you have a budget for advertising, using boosted posts/paid advertising helps your club/group reach audiences that do not already follow your social media accounts and therefore reach out to a wider audience. The following steps is a guide on how to use boosted posts/paid advertsing:

Step 1: Set some goals for your Facebook Ads. …

Step 2: Head over to Facebook Ads

Step 3: Choose your objective. …

Step 4: Define your audience and budget. …

Step 5: Create your advert. …

Step 6: Choose your ad placements. …

Step 7: Place your order

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