Winter (certainly here in Scotland) can be a dark time for golfers. The shorter days and cold, wet weather cause some golfers to put the clubs away till spring. Others will head to the relative dry and warmth of driving ranges and indoor practice facilities. Does this mean that you should put your marketing into hibernation? We certainly have met some golf clubs who believed there was no benefit to marketing during the winter. However, we strongly believe it is as essential to look after your marketing through the winter as it is for your greenkeepers to look after your course.
Here are some reasons why continuing to promote your club through the winter is important and how it can have enormous benefits for your club.
Nurture potential new customers
Winter is the prime time to begin nurturing golfers towards applying for membership or making bookings. During this time, there will be golfers who will be considering becoming a member of a golf club or changing the club of which they are a member. Golf societies and visiting golfers will be looking for the perfect location for their away days. Using digital marketing during the winter to promote your packages is an excellent way to nurture these potential customers. Consider creating regular content to demonstrate different types of packages, what is included in each, and feedback from previous customers. This will help to generate interest in them and allow you to continue to nurture that interest until they are ready to make a booking or apply for membership.
Staying in the game
Retaining interest in your club is essential during winter. Marketing throughout this period will ensure you stay connected with your current audience. There is an avalanche of retail marketing at Christmas every year: don’t let yourself get buried ten feet under!
You are likely to have collected the contact information for societies or visitors who have played your course during the season. In addition, if you have been using Facebook Ads during the season, there is a chance you will have a list of archived leads in your Ads Manager. The winter is the perfect time to retarget them with a relevant offer as appropriate (Society Day packages, open competition calendar, membership packages etc.)
Build awareness and momentum for next season
Your new season likely starts very soon, in March of next year. Use the winter to engage with and build awareness of your golf course and club facilities. This means that when you start to run your new membership marketing campaigns in January and February, people will already have be aware of you. It has been proven that customers are much more likely to buy from you if they are already familiar with your brand.
Continue to generate revenue
Although winter generally means that golf courses are quieter, there is still an opportunity for golf clubs to generate revenue. Some clubs can promote winter green fee deals. Others will be looking to promote early bird or winter membership. In particular, the run up to Christmas offers clubs the chance to generate revenue as friends and family look to find the perfect present for the golfers in their lives.
Regardless of the revenue stream you are looking to promote, we suggest that you consider using digital marketing to do so. It is far more cost effective than traditional marketing methods, such as print. Using a tool such as Facebook Ads will allow you to effectively reach and target your desired audience. It will also produce clear and measurable ROI to impress the finance committee. At a time when revenue generation can be a bit challenging, we would suggest that these are important ideas to consider.
How Caddie Marketing can help you
At Caddie Marketing, not only are we experts in digital marketing, we also have a deep understanding of the golf industry and the challenges it faces.
Our team use their expertise to ensure that your promotion reaches and appeals to your target market of golfers. All that will be left for you to do is work through the list of high value leads and convert them into revenue for your club. We’ll even show you how to do that!
We pride ourselves on providing the best results and excellent ROI for our clients. Using the expertise we have built up, we have taken relatively small amounts of ad spend and turned them into significant revenue. We are confident in our ability to do the same for you.
Like it or not, thanks to modern technology, social media and digital marketing techniques, it is easy for Golf Clubs to gather a bucket-load of consumer data from many online sources.
As a marketer, using this data wisely in a cross-channel marketing strategy can be invaluable to the success of your business. Consumer data allows you to understand your customers more than ever before.
Email marketing is a powerful vehicle for delivering your latest offers, events and news to golfers. By understanding and segmenting your data, you can target a specific audience with appropriate and relevant messaging. It is important to remember that your messaging should be relevant, valuable, and engaging.
But an average office worker receives 121 emails, and sends around 40 business emails per day. That means that you need to ensure that your email stands out in the inbox, and isn’t one of the many that are overlooked as irrelevant.
So here are some of our Top Tips to ensure that your email campaigns are effective and fruitful.
1) Clean your lists
First and foremost, there is no point in spending time crafting and designing a beautiful email if it’s being sent out to the wrong audience… or no audience at all!
If you have fully complied with the recent GDPR ‘opt-in’ requirements, then your list should hopefully mostly contain high-value subscribers, who are directly interested in your golf club or course.
Ensure, however, to review your lists regularly to ensure that you remove outdated or duplicate records. You don’t want your precious mailing to end up in spam or junk folders at the end of the day!
2) Impactful Subject-Line
With 121 email received per day, your email needs to catch the eye of the reader to attract them to open your mailing.
Try to craft your subject line to include as much info as possible, as succinctly as possible. Try to tell golfers why they should open your email. Let them know your offering, and think about the tone of voice, is it brand-consistent?
The length of your email subject line may take you a bit of trial and error to find out which works best. With the increase in emails being opened on a mobile device, you should take that into account when writing your subject line. Campaign Monitor suggests that the optimum number of characters to ensure open-rate success across devices is between 50-70 characters.
Email campaigns should be continually analysed. Measure which emails have a successful open- and click-through rate, and try to figure out why, by comparing them to those with lower results. You could run an A/B test, including using different styles and lengths of subject lines, to see which one works best.
3) Tone of voice
Bear in mind your club’s values when writing your emails. Try to keep your email content consistent with your brand. If your brand is portrayed across website and social channels in a serious manner, then stick with that in your emails. Don’t suddenly try to be comical or humorous. And vice versa, if your club is more light-hearted, then loosen up on your emails and don’t be too serious, remain consistent.
Alternatively, however, depending on your club, and audience, it may be possible to go slightly off-brand as a one-off weekly ‘Friday fun’ light-hearted email, for example. As long as there is no confusion with your brand, and you are sure that it won’t damage your club’s reputation in any way.
4) Provide value
The objective of your email should be to achieve a goal. That goal more likely than not will be to ‘click-through’ to your website. Give golfers just enough value content to grab their intrigue and attract them to click through to find out more.
Regardless of whether they click-through this one time, providing them with valuable and engaging content will remain with them and they will be more likely to open your future emails, increasing the likelihood that they will visit and play your course at some point.
Other methods of providing value and attracting a click-through may be to offer a discount or a free download.
Remember to provide links to your social channels too to ensure cross-channel engagement.
5) Creative Design
When you have crafted the content of your email, you need to make sure it looks great to increase impact. Around 68% of emails are opened on mobile devices, take that into account when designing your email and ensure that your design is responsive to make sure it looks great on smartphones and other devices.
Mailing providers like MailChimp provide lots of free modern, well-crafted templates which you can edit to suit your own brand. Use impactful visuals, hi-quality photography, or even professional looking animated GIFs to catch the eye.
We hope these Top Tips have been helpful. If you’d like to discuss how we can work with you to develop effective Email Marketing campaigns, or our other Creative services, get in touch.
If you don’t already have a Facebook Business Page set up for your Golf Club, then you probably should. With nearly 2 Billion monthly active users, it’s well-advised to ensure your Club has a presence.
If you’ve set up a personal profile on Facebook, you’ll be familiar with using the platform, but setting up a Business Page comes with a completely different variety of issues to take into account.
Unlike a personal profile, you should be thinking with more a strategy in mind, it’s marketing your Club after all. You should be aiming to get likes, shares, and engagement in order to attract more ‘loyal fans’, also known as … potential customers. You should think twice about the images or videos you are posting, how do they reflect your Club? Are they high-quality, relevant, and interesting enough to represent your facility?
Getting started can be tricky, so we’ve compiled this list of Top Tips you can follow to ensure you create a page that is engaging, represents your Golf Club, and takes advantage of the tools Facebook has to offer.
1) Differentiate between Personal and Business Profiles
Don’t make the rookie error of setting up a Personal Profile for your Club. Aside from the fact it looks amateurish and unprofessional, you’ll be missing out on a whole raft of useful promotional tools, analytics reports, and advertising opportunities that Facebook for Business has to offer. Also, you know when someone has to request to be your friend on Facebook? You don’t want to put any roadblocks in the way of anyone connecting and engaging with your Page.
2) Assign reliable and trustworthy Admins
Your Club’s Business Page is an important marketing channel, don’t just allow anyone access to control the page. Review who really NEEDS access, or who would be of great benefit, and limit the admin rights to only those. The more people that have access, the more opportunities there are for PR disasters to occur. If an admin posts on Facebook late on a Saturday night without realising they are logged in as the admin of your Page, and not their own personal profile, it could very quickly get messy! If you have a team of admins, consider some social media training, or create guidelines and review them regularly.
To assign admins on your Page, click “Settings,” and “Page Roles.”
3) Logo & Cover Photo
Make sure to make your Page recognisable by using your main logo or Club badge as the profile picture. This profile pic will appear next to every post you make, so adjust it to make sure it’s of good enough quality that it can be read clearly.
Take advantage of the canvas that is your Cover Photo at the top of your page. This should be an appealing image or video that relates to your Club, but can also be used to advertise your latest offers or promotions. Your Profile Picture should remain constant to create brand consistency and recognition, but consider changing your Cover Photo regularly to freshen things up, maybe once a month, or once a season. Be sure to view your cover photo on a mobile device to check whether you need to readjust or crop it.
TIP: Facebook occasionally changes the dimensions of profile pics and cover photo, keep an eye on it and check here to find out the most up to date dimensions.
4) Add a ‘call-to-action’
You can now utilise the handy call-to-action function for a variety of tasks, including ‘watch video’, ‘book now’ or ‘sign up’. It’s a useful marketing tool for driving traffic to your website, or a page of your choosing, or increasing engagement through direct messaging.
You can add a call-to-action to your Page by clicking the blue “Add a Button” box.
You can then choose which CTA you’d like to use, or you can click on the drop-down arrow next to the button and select ‘view insights’ to get analytics on how the button is performing.
5) Complete your ‘About’ section
Don’t underestimate the importance of the ‘About’ section. It’s fun to add all your images and buttons, but the details in your ‘about’ section is invaluable for golfers to find out more about your Club and course.
Fill the section with us much information as you can, whilst being brief. That might seem like an oxymoron but it’s important to be clear about your Club, without boring the visitor to death. Be as complete as you can about your Club, your story, and your offers.
Adding information about your milestones and achievements gives golfers a feeling for your background and history.
6) Posting video and photos to your Timeline
As a Golf Business Page, you should try to include visual content as often as possible. Visual content like photos get much more engagement than a text-only post, and video content gets even more! Facebook loves you to post video as it keeps viewers on their site longer (allowing Facebook to sell more advertising).
Facebook Live is hugely popular now, and the statistics show that viewers will watch a Live video for three times longer than a standard video post. Use Facebook Live to engage with viewers and promote the culture and personality of your Golf Club.
7) Post frequency
There’s no magic solution to how often you should post, track your engagement and see what works. You should be as regular and consistent as possible, without being overly-present and annoying. Posting less regularly will mean that people will disengage with you, as you’re not taking your social strategy seriously.
Marketers will create a ‘content calendar’, planning a month, or more, in advance to ensure consistency and professionalism. There are plenty of free content calendar templates available online, find one that works for you.
Facebook allows you to schedule posts, which is extremely helpful. Once you have create your content calendar, you could write all of you posts in one day, and schedule each for when you would like it to be published, meaning you don’t need to worry about posting them for the rest of the month. There are lots of social media software solutions out there, like Sprout Social, but you can schedule posts from directly within Facebook too. Just click the arrow next to the “Publish” button and click “Schedule Post.”
8) Allow fans to send you private messages
Facebook Messenger is a useful tool for allowing golfers to send you a direct private message, which is great for customer service, or queries. You can enable this feature through your page settings.
Make sure you only enable this feature if you are able to monitor your messages and respond in a timely manner however, as your response rate is shown to all visitors, and a poor response rate could reflect badly on your Club.
9) Engage with comments
The main reason for having a Facebook Business Page should be to ‘engage’ with your fans (remember… potential visitors/members). Be sure to view any comments on your posts, and engage with them in a suitable manner. You’ll get notifications for each comment made, which helps to keep you informed of what’s going on. If you regularly receive hundreds of comments, it’s probably wise not to get into liking or replying to every single one, but definitely keep an eye on the conversation to see if there’s any need for you to jump in.
10) Gain more fans by promoting your page or post
Facebook makes money through advertising, that’s how it works, so in exchange for an advertising fee, you have the option to Promote your page to a particular demographic. You may think, “why would I pay when Facebook is free to use?”, well Facebook cleverly doesn’t show your posts to everyone, it only pushes it to less than 10% of your followers timelines, unless you pay to promote it. The good news, however, is that Facebook’s algorithms are incredible, and in exchange for a little bit of cash, you can push your page, or post, to an accurately targeted audience, based on their behaviours and likes, meaning you are much more likely to gain ‘high-value’ followers, i.e. fans who are actually interested in golf… rather than your friend’s mum!
You can easily ‘Create an ad’ from your page, and follow the Facebook options based on what your objectives are.
After choosing your objective, you can select your target audience, your daily budget, and much more. Make sure to use visual imagery which is eye-catching, appealing and relevant to your Club or audience.
We hope you found this guide helpful. If you’d like to find out more about how we can work with you to design and build your social media pages, and promote your Golf Club through digital marketing strategies, get in touch.
Until then, Happy Facebooking 😉
Are you developing a new website for your Club? Or want to make sure you have all the boxes ticked on your current website? Here are our 5 Top Tips for making sure your website is up to scratch.
If you’d prefer to leave it to the professionals, get in touch with us to arrange a FREE Digital Audit of your website and Social Media activity.
Using Social Media is a vital tool for golf clubs now, but are you using it effectively? Here’s some of our top tips to make sure you’re on the right tracks.
1. Brand Consistency
How many Social channels are you using? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram? To ensure brand awareness, make sure that your profile picture is the same across all channels. Don’t use a picture of your clubhouse as your profile picture on Facebook, and the 18th green on your Twitter profile… use your logo, badge or crest on all your channels.
2. Post regularly
Create a better following and increase your followers by posting regularly. Three times per week is good, once per day is awesome! Plan ahead.
3. Use video
Posting videos can get you up to 3x more engagement than a standard post. A 30 secs video of someone teeing off in the medal, or putting out on the 18th is enough to get users’ attention.
4. Be engaging
Get users’ involved in your posts, ask for feedback, or encourage discussion by providing talking points which generates comments and shares.
5. Call to action
Think about incorporating a call-to-action into every post. What do you want users to do? “Call the Pro now” to book a lesson or a tee time? “Email the clubhouse” to book a table for that lunch deal? Tell them what to do.
Before the snow hit, we managed to get onsite at Playsport Golf Club to spend the day capturing some great footage of their facilities. We filmed the club Pro giving a lesson or two in their fully fitted PGA Coaching Centre, and also took advantage of the sunny weather to get out and grab some footage of the practice green.
The weather was also kind enough to allow us to take to the skies to capture some video using the drone. This is just an example of the type of content we will gather at client’s facilities throughout the year, and our Digital experts will use this content to develop an online marketing strategy and deliver this content through social media targeted ad campaigns, aimed directly at a target audience.
We look forward to getting back out to Playsport throughout the year to work with them to create some more fun and compelling content, and delivering results through digital marketing. ⛳🏌🏻♂️
Caddie Marketing are delighted to welcome on-board our first client, Playsport Golf. Playsport is a fantastic modern facility in East Kilbride, featuring a link-style course, a two-tier 54-bay practice range and full practice facilities. Go check them out!
We look forward to working with this modern, forward-thinking club to create some amazing content. Remember to sign up to our mailing list and follow our social channels to find out how we are helping clubs like Playsport to promote themselves through Digital Marketing and Social Media.
The weather hasn’t been favourable for much golf recently, but it has allowed for some stunning scenes across the country. Many golf clubs across Scotland took to Social Media to post snow-covered images from their facilities.
Here are some of our favourites.