What is the best way to promote my club on Facebook?

Facebook is an integral part of the world we live in. It has allowed us to interact with people and businesses all over the world in a way that was previously impossible. For golf clubs, it has created a platform to promote themselves and share their news instantly and for free. It also has given them the opportunity to stay better connected with their membership and reach a large pool of potential new customers.

When it comes to promoting themselves on Facebook, golf clubs generally use two methods: Facebook Posts and Facebook Ads. What is the best way for your golf club to fully utilise this powerful tool? Read our thoughts below

What is the difference between Facebook Posts and Facebook Ads?

A Facebook Post is a comment, picture or other media that is posted on the user’s Facebook page or “wall.” It is an excellent way for golf clubs to communicate with their page followers and share information about areas such as competition results, course updates and events at the club.

Facebook Ads on the other hand, are paid ads that are created using Facebook’s Ad Manager. Anyone with a Facebook Business Page can set them up and they allow you to fully utilise Facebook as a marketing tool. 

What is the best method for my club to promote my club using Facebook?

We know that each club has their own individual needs and wants when it comes to promoting their clubs. With that in mind, we have outlined what we believe to be the key considerations for the majority of clubs when deciding how to use Facebook to advertise:

Ability to measure results

By using a Facebook Post, you will be able to see how many people liked and shared your post. However, you have no way to accurately measure how successful it has been in generating revenue or leads for your club.

Facebook Ads on the other hand allow you to clearly see and measure the success of your marketing campaign. You can easily compare the number of leads you have generated with the amount you spent on your ad. This will allow to generate an accurate ROI figure, something that neither Facebook posts or traditional marketing methods, such as print, can do.

Example of Facebook Ad Results from our client Crieff Golf Club

Cost

Posting on Facebook is of course free. Unfortunately, when it comes to effective marketing on Facebook, money talks. Using a Facebook post as a marketing tool may save your club money. However, it will also mean that you are faced with a number of issues that will negatively affect the performance of your campaign.

Using Facebook Ads will require a certain amount of ad spend. The amount you invest is entirely up to you. However, It is important to remember that areas such as how many people see your ad is affected by the amount you choose to spend. Using Facebook Ads is generally cheaper and often produces much higher ROI than more traditional paid advertising, such as print.

Reach/Targeting 

Although there are billions of people who use Facebook, a standard Facebook will typically only reach around 6% of the people who like your page. For many golf clubs this means if you choose to promote your membership packages for example using a Facebook post, there is a strong chance that it will only be seen by around 100 to 200 people. Even worse, you have no control over who Facebook will select to show your post to – you could end up promoting your membership packages to people who are already members of your club. 

By using Facebook Ads, you have the opportunity to reach anyone with a Facebook account, whether they like your page or not. Even better, you can choose the exact target audience that will see the advert. Facebook Ads allow you to target people based on an extensive number of demographics and interests, such as age, gender and location.

Example of the number of golfers than can be reached using Facebook Ads

Objective of your campaign

The primary objective of a Facebook Post is engagement. Engagement refers to actions such as liking, sharing or commenting on a post. This means that your Facebook post is likely to reach the people who commonly engage with posts.

Using Facebook Ad will allow you to select the exact type of objective you wish your campaign to achieve. For example, you can choose to run ads that are designed to drive traffic to your club’s website or generate a list of leads for you to follow up on. Depending on which objective you select, Facebook will automatically adjust its algorithm in order to help with the success of your campaign

A list of the possible Facebook Ad objectives

Ease of Use

Creating and posting a Facebook post takes very little technical ability. It is therefore a less time consuming and simpler way to promote your club on Facebook. However, this ease of use, as we have mentioned above, comes with a number of limitations that can have a negative impact on the success of your marketing campaign.

Facebook Ads definitely require a much deeper technical knowledge. Planning campaigns, producing ad creative and managing your ads all take a significant amount of expertise, experience and time. We are well aware the demands on a golf club manager’s time are already great. With that in mind, we strongly advise that you consider working with a digital marketing agency such as ourselves. This will guarantee that your Facebook Ads are set up and managed properly and ensure your club fully enjoys the enormous benefits they offer you. We understand that this may not be something you have considered before. However, we strongly believe that it is a valuable and worthwhile investment for you and your club.

How Caddie Marketing can help you

Interested in learning how we could help you more effectively promote your club on Facebook? We would love to hear from 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. We have brought these two sectors together seamlessly to provide excellent results for our clients.

Terms such as ‘lead generation’, ‘conversions’, ‘Ads Manager’ and ‘target audience’ might seem to you like a whole new language. You are not alone. Our experience shows that the golf industry  is only just beginning to get acquainted with the benefits of digital marketing.

As part of the service we offer, we will take over the whole process of marketing your promotions from beginning to end. Our team will 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 genuinely interested 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.
Head here to find out more:  caddiemarketing.co.uk/contact/

Putting Your Marketing Into Lockdown?

Lockdown has certainly been a difficult time for golf clubs. With a cloud of uncertainty about 2021 still hanging over golf clubs, it would be easy to think you need to press pause on your club’s marketing. We certainly have met some golf clubs who thought there was no benefit to marketing during this time. However, we strongly believe it is as essential to look after your marketing through lockdown as it is for your greenkeepers to look after your course.

Here are some reasons why continuing to promote your club through lockdown is important and how it can have enormous benefits for your club.

Nurture potential new customers

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 later in the year. Using digital marketing during lockdown to promote your packages is an excellent way to nurture these potential customers. Consider creating regular content to demonstrate the different types of packages you offer, what is included in each, and the experience of being a member of your club or playing your course. This will help to generate interest and allow you to continue to nurture these potential customers until they are ready to make a booking or apply for membership.

Staying in the game

Retaining interest in your club is essential during lockdown. Marketing throughout this period will ensure you stay connected with your current audience. Lockdown has caused many other businesses to start utilising digital marketing and social media to promote themselves. It is important not to lose your voice amongst the increased noise.

The challenge is therefore to create engaging content while there is less going on at the club. Content such as a high quality photography or video, a social media competition or asking your pro to create short instructional videos are excellent ways to address this challenge. If this isn’t possible, then reposting some of your most popular content from during the season is another option.

However you choose to do it, keep it up. Being lost from sight is really not an option.

Build awareness and momentum for next season

The start of the new season is just around the corner. Use lockdown to engage with and build awareness of your club. This means that when you start to run your new season marketing campaigns people will already be conscious of you and your offers. 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

Lockdown has negatively affected golf club’s ability to bring in money from areas such as the clubhouse. Despite this there are still an opportunities for golf clubs to generate revenue. You could promote your membership packages or events later in the year such as society days and open competitions.

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.

Example of the type of results one of our clients have achieved by continuing to promote their club during lockdown.

How Caddie Marketing can help you

Interested in continuing to promote your club during lockdown? We would love to hear from 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. We have brought these two sectors together seamlessly to provide excellent results for our clients.

Terms such as ‘lead generation’, ‘conversions’, ‘Ads Manager’ and ‘target audience’ might seem to you like a whole new language. You are not alone. Our experience shows that the golf industry  is only just beginning to get acquainted with the benefits of digital marketing.

As part of the service we offer, we will take over the whole process of marketing your promotions from beginning to end. Our team will 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 genuinely interested 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.

Head here to find out more:  caddiemarketing.co.uk/contact/

Stay Connected With Your Membership Using A Private Facebook Group

Facebook is an integral part of the world we live in. It has allowed us to interact with people and businesses all over the world in a way that was previously impossible. For golf clubs, it has created a platform to promote themselves and share their news instantly and for free. However, some golf clubs have fallen into the trap of using their public Facebook page to share both external and internal communications. Not only does this cause that page to look messy, it also means that any internal issues or negative feedback is displayed to anyone who views this page, including potential new members or visiting golfers. 

A simple solution to this problem is to create a Private Facebook Group. Below we will explain what they are and how to properly manage them.

What are Private Facebook Groups?

Facebook Groups are pages on Facebook where people can connect and communicate about a shared interest, for example being a member of your golf club. As most people now have their own personal Facebook account, it is the best platform to house such a group. You can set up a group for the membership as a whole or create individual pages for different membership groups (female members, junior members, new members etc).These groups can be “Public” meaning anyone on Facebook can join and post on them, or “Private” meaning only selected people can join and post. We strongly advise that you set your golf club’s group as Private. This way you can ensure that it is only your club’s members who can see and post on the page.

Creating a Private Facebook Groups can have numerous benefits for the club including:

  • Create a safe space to communicate any relevant internal communications directly with your membership (dates and results of medals, updates from club council meetings, daily course updates etc)
  • Gives your members a direct line with the club to voice their opinions and concerns 
  • Can help with membership retention as members feel they are being listened to and more valued
  • Allows you to use the public Facebook page exclusively for external communications (high quality photography/video of course and facilities, dates of open competitions, relevant club news such as course closures and cancelled events)
  • Allows you to better control the public image of the club on Facebook

Below is a link to Facebook’s step by step guide to setting a group:

https://www.facebook.com/help/167970719931213?helpref=about_content&rdrhc


How to Properly Manage a Private Facebook Group

As we mentioned above, Private Facebook Groups can be an excellent communication tool and help you stay better connected with your membership. However, if they aren’t used correctly they can be hijacked by vocal members and end up becoming more of an issue than a benefit. We have put together a few ideas about how to properly manage your club’s Private Facebook Group:

Select the right type of person to act as Group Admin

The Group Admin is the person who is primarily responsible for posting content on the group page, accepting requests to join the group and monitoring what is being posted by others on the page. Selecting the right person to act as Group Admin will have a major impact on effectiveness of the group as a communication tool between the membership and the club. It is therefore essential that this person has certain skills including the following:

  • Good understanding of and passion for the golf club
  • Good understanding of using Facebook (posting content, managing Facebook groups)
  • Ability to communicate in a professional and appropriate manner
  • Ability to deal with negative comments and issues in a professional and appropriate manner

Being a Group Admin can be a very time consuming job, especially as the group becomes more popular. Often the responsibility for this role is given to the general manager, captain or head greenkeeper. However, these are already extremely busy roles. It therefore may be worth finding someone within your membership who is suitable to take on the role. You could offer to waive their membership fees in return for their services. Whoever you choose as Group Admin, keep in mind that this person will be representing and communicating as the club. Pick the right person!

Establish Group Guidelines

It’s important to give your group some sort of direction on what types of conversation are encouraged or discouraged in order to maintain a thriving community. Creating some sort of behavior expectation is essential for creating a safe space in your community, but having a list of do’s and don’ts can feel intimidating and aggressive to new members. Establishing guidelines not only puts “rules” in a more positive light, but it allows members to take ownership of how they can influence and encourage great community behavior. An example of a guideline could be:

“We believe debate and disagreement are constructive, but personal attacks, trolling and abuse will not be tolerated”

It may be worth working with the group members when the group is first created to come up with a universally agreed upon list of these guidelines. These guidelines can then be pinned to the top of the group’s feed so they are visible for all members of the group to see.

Moderate Your Group

Moderating your group is vital to maintaining a healthy community. If you don’t offer some sort of control over the conversation, others will control it for you. Here are the basics of how to handle if someone breaks the rules or has an issue with another member of the group:

  • Delete any post that breaks the rules – Regardless of the reason it breaks the rules, remove the post as soon as you are aware of it. This will ensure that you maintain a safe environment for your members to enjoy.
  • Handle sensitive issues using a private message – If you delete someone’s post, follow up by sending them a private message to explain your reason for doing so. It may be the case that they didn’t realise they were breaking a rule. Be polite but firm. Make sure that they understand you are not trying to be mean or unreasonable, you are simply ensuring the proper use of the group. 

    Private messages are also an excellent way to resolve issues between members of the groups. It is definitely better to only deal with those involved than get into a public argument that anyone can get involved in.

How Caddie Marketing can help you

Interested in learning more about using Private Facebook Groups? We would love to hear from 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. We have brought these two sectors together seamlessly to provide excellent results for our clients.

Terms such as ‘lead generation’, ‘conversions’, ‘Ads Manager’ and ‘target audience’ might seem to you like a whole new language. You are not alone. Our experience shows that the golf industry  is only just beginning to get acquainted with the benefits of digital marketing.

As part of the service we offer, we will take over the whole process of marketing your promotions from beginning to end. Our team will 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 genuinely interested 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.

Head here to find out more:  caddiemarketing.co.uk/contact/

Stand Out from the Crowd

In Scotland there are over 550 golf courses to choose from – that’s more courses per head of population than anywhere else in the world! This abundance of choice is great for visiting golfers but often provides a real challenge for the golf clubs themselves. For example, there are over 20 golf clubs within a 10-mile radius of our client The Bishopbriggs Golf Club. 

We have put together a list of simple digital marketing techniques than you can use to make sure your golf club stands out from the other clubs in your local area.

Use High Quality and Interesting Content

One of the easiest ways to make sure your golf club stands out is to produce content that will catch the eye of golfers and stop them scrolling through their feed. Keep in mind that you are not only competing with other business’ content but also the content of friends and family. Quality content will bring in more new followers, increase the number of likes, and make your operation seem more professional.

Here are a few ideas of the type of content you could use:

  • High quality and Professional Photography/Videography – Images of the course at different times of the year, the facilities your club offer, golfers on the course, events
  • Aerial/Drone Footage 
  • Video interview with key staff members (General Manager, Pro, Head Greenkeeper)
  • Video interview with members (Why they became a member, what they enjoy about your club)
  • Special Events within clubs – Hole in Ones, membership anniversaries, Historical events (On this Day)
  • Social Media Competitions – “Guess the Winner”

There is a chance you are already producing content based around some of these ideas but the key to standing out is making sure that this content is of the highest possible standard. This may involve hiring professionals or investing in better technology. Spending an amount of your valuable marketing budget just for social media posts might seem like a waste. However it should be a crucial part of your golf course’s marketing strategy . You could also use these pictures or videos for your website, emails, and other marketing methods.

Keep an Eye on the Competition

In order to make sure you stand out from the competition; it is important to understand what they are doing. Taking some time to look at their social media content is an excellent way to help you decide what you need to do to stand out. Be honest with yourself, are there posts more appealing, better quality or more interesting? If yes, then it is time to invest some time and effort into getting your posts up to standard. Even if you think your club is leading the way in your local area, it might be worth getting an unbiased opinion just to be sure.

Following the accounts of your competitors will also help keep you up to date as their posts appear in your feed.

Create Accounts on Different platforms

Having an account on Facebook has been popular with golf clubs for many years to the point that there are now little or no clubs without one. The number of golf clubs who have accounts on other social media platforms such Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn is much smaller. This less crowded space gives your club an excellent opportunity to stand out from not only your local competitors but golf clubs all over the country. Posting content over different platforms will also allow you to reach larger numbers of people and help raise the awareness of your club within the different communities of people who use these platforms. 

Before you start creating other accounts, it is essential to remember that quality of post is far more critical than the quantity. Make sure you are able to produce the best quality content first, especially for platforms such as Instagram or LinkedIn. Although increasing your reach is vital, it is far more beneficial to produce high quality content on one platform than it is to produce average or poor content on multiple platforms.

Paid Social Media Advertising

The use of paid social media advertising services such as Facebook Ads is surprisingly still a greatly underutilised marketing tool by golf clubs. Our research has shown that less than 3% of Scottish golf clubs currently use Facebook Ads to promote their club*. This means that there is a real opportunity for your club to be one of a few, if not the only golf club in your local area utilising this tool. 

Paid Social Media Advertising allows you to use identifiers such as age, gender, location and interests to ensure you are effectively reaching your target market. These adverts will then appear on the feeds of your intended audience. Using a service such as Facebook Ads will also allow you to create a list of potential leads from people who have clicked on your ad and entered their contact details. 

There is of course the need to invest an amount of budget into these ads. However, you are in control of the amount. Generally, the ad spend is much lower than traditional marketing tools, such as print media, and produces much higher ROI.

Working with a digital marketing agency such as ourselves is an excellent way to ensure your investment is effectively spent. 

*information correct at time of posting

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. We have brought these two sectors together seamlessly to provide excellent results for our clients.

Terms such as ‘lead generation’, ‘conversions’, ‘Ads Manager’ and ‘target audience’ might seem like a whole new language… you are not alone. Our experience shows that the golf industry still needs acquainting with the benefits of digital marketing.

As part of the service we offer, we will take over the whole process of marketing your promotions from beginning to end. Our team will 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 genuinely interested leads and convert them into revenue for your club.

We pride ourselves on providing the best results and excellent ROI for our clients. 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!If you are interested in finding out more about the service we offer and how we can help your golf club, please contact us by heading to caddiemarketing.co.uk/contact/

Membership Retention

It is often said that it is cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. Despite this many golf clubs spend enormous amounts of time and effort on coming up with new and exciting ways to attract new members. Working out how to keep the members they already have is often an afterthought (when was the last time you heard of a Retention Secretary on golf club’s committee). 

Below we have put together some simple ways to ensure you retain the members you have and how to even use someone leaving your club to your advantage.

New Members

Retention starts from the moment someone becomes a member. However, many clubs are seeing a high turnover of members, particularly in the first 2-3 years of membership. New members may be no more critical than existing members but they also haven’t built up any loyalty to the club. They will have less reservations about taking their business elsewhere if their golfing experience is not as positive as it could be. Below we have put together some ideas to help you to integrate a new member into the club and retain them in the long term.

Meet the key people within the club

All potential members should have a meeting with the General Manager/Secretary. They should be shown around the club and give them the opportunity to ask any questions. If possible they should be introduced to the Club Pro and the relevant captain for their membership category.

There are also always existing members who are superb advocates of the club who would be ideal to help make new members feel welcome. Identify them, be sure they know who the new members are and encourage them to engage with the new members when they see them around.

Welcome Pack

All new members should get a comprehensive welcome pack which contains all the key elements to help then settle into the club. The pack should include the following:

  • Membership Card
  • Bag tag
  • Welcome letter from Club Manager/Secretary and/or Captain
  • Member Benefits sheet (discounts in proshop, free society membership for non golfing family members, discounted junior membership for family members)
  • Club information
    • Opening times
    • Newsletter
    • Competitions
    • Social calendar
    • Lessons
    • Pro shop
    • Guest prices
    • Bar menu
    • Reciprocal golf

Golf

It sounds obvious but golfers join a club to play golf.

Your existing members will know all about various competitions, how to find a game and interclub societies but a new member won’t. Don’t assume that they will find out for themselves, make it easy for them. Ask your pro to set them up with the right type of people or run new member competitions to help them meet fellow new members.

Communication

Creating communications specifically for new members is important and critical to helping them feel valued and part of the club. Sending out an email after an initial period of time to ensure they are settling into the club and that they do not have any issues is an excellent way to achieve this .If there are any major changes in the way the club operates, for example winter golf, it is important to communicate these with new members.

Running a new members survey towards the end of their first year is another option. Not only will it allow you to connect with your new members before the crucial membership renewal time, it will also give you a fresh perspective on your club.

Existing Members

One of the most common complaints by existing members is poor communication. The more often you communicate with your members, the more value they will see in their membership. The more you make them feel special, the more likely they are to talk about your golf club and act as an ambassador for you, which will assist your recruitment. Below are a few different ways to better communicate with your existing members:

  • Weekly email from General Manager or Secretary
  • Captain’s Update after council meetings
  • Member Forums
  • Set up a Private Facebook Page/Group for members only (See our blog on how to set and run these properly)
  • Invite members to meet with Head Greenkeeper and let him show and explain essential work on the course

Regardless of which method you choose to use, the important thing is to give your members the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns and feel like they are being listened to. It is also essential to ensure that any regular communication is engaging and interesting. Don’t send out a communication just to waffle or you may lose interest.

As with new members, running an existing member survey is an excellent way to gain a better understanding of how satisfied your members are with how the club is operating. Hiring an external company to create and manage these surveys is the best option. They will be able to create a survey that is not influenced by internal politics or contains questions that are biased towards getting the answers the club wants to hear. This way you will ensure you receive a much truer reflection of the current mindset of the membership. There is a strong chance you will receive some negative feedback. Use it as an opportunity to improve the way the club is run. If your membership can see that you are listening to them, they are much more likely to stay.

Caddie Marketing Top Tip – Track your members

By using a system such as BRS, you can track your members and determine how well they are utilising their current membership package. If you discover someone is over or under utilising their membership, you should contact them and offer to change their membership package. If you don’t there is a chance they may decide to leave as they are not getting value for money from their current membership. For example, if Mr Smith has only played once a month but is currently signed up to a full membership, it may be worth contacting him and offering to move him to a more suitable membership package. This is an excellent way to show how much you value him as a member. It will also ensure you still receive some amount of membership revenue from him and reduce them chance of him leaving.

Exit survey/questionnaire

Members will leave golf clubs. That is just a fact. Some departures from golf clubs are a result of a change in personal circumstances. Others will leave because they can’t get a tee time, they aren’t happy with the condition of the course or they don’t feel valued. The key is knowing why in order to prevent it happening too regularly. If you know the reason why, there is always the opportunity to get them back. Creating a short questionnaire to send out to anyone who chooses to leave the club or does not renew their membership is an excellent way to gather this information. They may unearth an underlying issue you were not aware of or highlight a common reason for leaving. It will also help you make informed decisions about necessary changes to stop others from leaving for the same reason.

Choosing the Perfect Partner

Setting up, running and analysing a successful marketing campaign is a time consuming job. In order to ensure this important task is properly looked after, some golf clubs are looking for external help with their marketing. However, in the same way as picking the right golfing partner will affect your enjoyment, picking the right marketing partner can affect the success of your campaigns. We have listed a few key considerations to think about when choosing who to work with.

Industry Experience


First and foremost, it is essential to find a partner who has a strong understanding of your business. Having proven experience resolving similar issues to your own is also important. It may be that your local marketing agency is therefore not your best option. Choosing instead to work with a marketing agency with specific knowledge of the golf industry will not only guarantee they have the skills and experience mentioned above. They will also have the ability to create content that appeals to golfers, speak your business’ language and understand the nuisances of working with a golf club’s management structure.

Results and ROI

The financial pressure on golf clubs is greater than it has ever been. The need to make sound investments is imperative. It is therefore essential that whoever you choose to work with can provide evidence of their results and more importantly the potential return on investment for your club. 

Market Penetration

It can be easy to think that the best option for your club is to follow the crowd and work with the same partner. Some of these companies will be able to display a long list of other golf clubs they work with. Others will be able to boast a large number of readers or online followers. These may appear appealing to you. Be careful!

Your golf club may be lost amongst the crowd or have your voice drowned out by bigger and better known competitors. Before choosing your partner, make sure they are able to give your club and your promotions the care and attention that they deserve.

How Caddie Marketing Can Help

Not only are we experts in digital marketing, we also have a deep understanding of the golf industry and the challenges it faces. We have brought these two sectors together seamlessly to provide excellent results for our clients.

Terms such as ‘lead generation’, ‘conversions’, ‘Ads Manager’ and ‘target audience’ might seem to you like a whole new language. You are not alone. Our experience shows that the golf industry  is only just beginning to get acquainted with the benefits of digital marketing.

As part of the service we offer, we will take over the whole process of marketing your promotions from beginning to end. Our team will 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 genuinely interested 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.

Head here to find out more:  caddiemarketing.co.uk/contact/

Use Your Marketing Budget Effectively

The financial pressure on golf clubs is greater than it has ever been. The need to make sound investments is imperative. However, it is our observation that when it comes to marketing, some golf clubs are still willing to invest significant amounts of money in services that provide no clear return for the club itself. With that in mind we have put together some simple ideas to help you use your marketing budget effectively.

Ask what is the return for your club

Golf clubs are targets for companies who are looking to sell space in their publications, websites and social media pages. Many of these companies can boast about the ability to promote your club to their extremely large readerships or online following. At first glance, this may seem like an attractive option. However the truth is that the companies will have a very difficult job proving that they can provide any return for your investment. Many will have little or no interest in whether or not your advert is actually successful. After all, their primary goal is to sell their product. Before you spend any of your marketing budget, make sure you have evidence of significant returns for your club.

Example from 2020 of the results we deliver for our clients

Invest in tools that benefit the whole club

Many clubs use their marketing budget to only promote their membership, society day and visitor green fee offers. Although this is a very important thing to do, there are other areas that could have longer term benefits if you choose to invest in them. Using your budget to improve the design and functionality of your website is one such option. Creating an up to date portfolio of high quality photographs and videos that can be used for social media posts and marketing material is another. If membership retention is an issue for a club, why not consider paying an external company to run a survey of your membership to gain a better understanding of any issues or concerns they have.

Select the correct marketing method 

Selecting the correct marketing method is the key to ensuring you invest your marketing budget effectively. The choice you make will affect your ability to measure the success of your campaign. In general, the three marketing methods used by golf clubs are Print, Facebook posts and Facebook Ads. We have a separate blog that fully outlines the pros and cons of each method.

caddiemarketing.co.uk/2021/01/04/selecting-the-best-marketing-method-for-your-campaign/

It is our strong belief that using Facebook Ads is the best option for golf clubs. They give you the opportunity to reach a large number of potential customers. They also allow you to select the exact audience you would like to target. Mostly importantly in terms of using your budget effectively, they present clear figures about the performance of your campaign. This will allow you to accurately calculate your ROI. Setting up and managing Facebook Ads, is time consuming and requires a strong understanding of tools such as Facebook Ads Manager. With that in mind we suggest working with a digital marketing agency such as ourselves. 

Selecting the Best Marketing Method for Your Campaign

As we start a new year,  many golf clubs will be turning their attention towards running marketing campaigns for their 2021 membership packages. Selecting the best marketing method is an enormous factor in their success. With that in mind we have put together a guide to the three most common types of marketing used by golf clubs, Print, Facebook Posts and Facebook Ads, to help you decide which is most suitable for your club.

Print

For a number of years, print marketing has been the most common choice for golf clubs when it came to promoting their membership options. Putting an advert in a publication that is likely to be read by the type of people you are trying to attract appears to be a sensible decision. However, the reality is very different. Print is by far the most expensive option in this guide. Most adverts cost between £500-£1000. With no way to measure the success of your specific ad, it is impossible for golf clubs to work out if this is money well spent. Another issue with using print is the lack of control golf clubs have when it comes to their promotion. The publication will decide on how much you need to spend. They will decide when the magazines are produced and where they are distributed. They will decide what other adverts they put next to your ad. The reality of advertising using print media is that you are giving control of your campaign over to a company whose primary interest is to sell their product and the ad space within them. Whether your ad is successful is of little consequence to them.

Facebook Posts

The emergence of social media networks, in particular Facebook, has offered golf clubs a new way to promote their membership packages. Posting on Facebook offers golf clubs a free and easy to use in house marketing platform that has the potential to reach significant numbers of golfers. This seems like a very appealing option. However, the reality is that using Facebook posts as a marketing tool comes with a number of limitations. Despite the large numbers of people using Facebook, a standard Facebook post will only appear on the news feed of around 6% of the people who like your page – only around 100-200 people for most golf clubs. You also have no control about who Facebook will select to show your post to. You could end up promoting your membership packages to people who are already members of your club. As with print, you also have no way to measure how successfully your post is working as a marketing tool or target specific locations or demographics

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are paid adverts that are created using Facebook’s Ad Manager and allow you to fully utilise Facebook as a marketing tool. They are by far the least commonly used option of the three. Facebook Ads will appear on people’s Facebook news feed just as Facebook Posts. However, Facebook Ads are not limited to just people who like your page. They are able to reach anyone with a Facebook account. Even better, you can choose the exact target audience that will see the advert. Facebook Ads allow you to target people based on an extensive number of demographics and interests, such as age, gender and location. 

Although there is a cost involved in running Facebook Ads, you are in full control of how much you decide to invest. The amount of ad spend will have an effect on the number of people your ad will reach. If you decided to invest a similar amount to the cost of a print advert, it is very likely that your ad would be seen by a significantly higher number of people. Facebook Ads also give you a large amount of data which will allow you to accurately calculate the ROI for your ad. Of the three options, they definitely require the most time and technical knowledge of tools such Facebook Ad Manager. However, the enormous benefits they offer you make spending the time to educate yourself or choosing to work with a digital marketing agency a very worthwhile investment.

Your Club’s Letter to Santa

By now we are sure you have already posted your list of presents to the North Pole and hoping that you were on Santa’s good list. What if your club could write it’s own Christmas wish list? What sort of “presents” would it ask for? We have put together a list of what we believe would be the most requested “gifts“ for Christmas and the year ahead.

Increased Membership

This has been the number one gift for most clubs in the past and is likely to remain in that position for many years to come. Having a steady stream of membership leads and the revenue they generate is the goal of almost every club.

Visitor/Society Days Bookings

After membership, Visitor and Society Day bookings is often the secondary revenue stream for many clubs . For those clubs who have reached their constitutional membership limits it may be their primary focus. Much like a Christmas hamper, visitor and society days bookings are the gift that keeps giving. Not only do they generate revenue through green fees, these types of customers are far more likely to spend money in other areas of the club such as the pro shop and clubhouse.

Increased Awareness

There are many clubs who would simply like their club to be more well known within the golfing community. They can already offer a similar customer experience and have the same high quality facilities as their more well known competitors. Their hope will be that by increasing their awareness they will make themselves a more attractive option for golfers looking for membership or to book society days. Some will also be hoping to use this increased awareness to break into the lucrative overseas visitor market.

Promote Other Areas of the Club


Golf clubs are not just their course. Areas such as food and beverage, event space in the clubhouse or lessons with your pro can all be significant revenue streams. Although they may not at the top of many club’s Christmas lists, the income they provide can be the perfect stocking filler alongside the more lucrative revenue generators.

How Caddie Marketing Can Help

Just like Santa elves, we will work tirelessly to ensure your club receives the presents it asked for. 

Not only are we experts in digital marketing, we also have a deep understanding of the golf industry and the challenges it faces. We have brought these two sectors together seamlessly to provide excellent results for our clients.

Terms such as ‘lead generation’, ‘conversions’, ‘Ads Manager’ and ‘target audience’ might seem to you like a whole new language. You are not alone. Our experience shows that the golf industry  is only just beginning to get acquainted with the benefits of digital marketing.

As part of the service we offer, we will take over the whole process of marketing your promotions from beginning to end. Our team will 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 genuinely interested 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.

Head here to find out more:  caddiemarketing.co.uk/contact/

Putting Your Marketing Into Hibernation This Winter?

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.