All these tips can seem overwhelming at first, but take things one step at a time and you'll be surprised at just how much your club can grow.
When it comes to running a volleyball club, volleyball is just the half of it. In order to field strong teams wherein players are developing their skills and parents are happy with the product, a club has to run efficiently as both an organization and a business. And these days, in order to run a business that's firing on all cylinders, it's necessary to dip your feet into digital marketing. Websites, social media, email and other digital technology are all part of a strong sports marketing strategy and help elevate the profile of your club, maximize retention and boost income. Let's take a closer look at how clubs can maximize marketing opportunities through social media and digital technology.
Every month, hundreds of people in your area are going online and looking for nearby volleyball clubs on various search engines. They are all potential customers, and without a strong web presence, a club will simply miss out on business. Most clubs are already familiar with the benefits of maintaining an informative and visually appealing website, utilizing strong branding and using email for club promotion. However, it can also be intimidating to get started with other aspects of digital marketing, such as social media and search engine optimization. So that's why NCSA Team Edition compiled this short-but-handy checklist for coaches and administrators.
Gone are the days when billboards on the side of the highway and TV commercials were the main ways of reaching consumers. Nowadays, business owners can reach out to their customers (and potential customers) directly via social media. While there are several different social media platforms out on the market, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are still considered to be the big three, with platforms such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Yelp and others also available. Here's what you'll want to do to get started with your social media strategy:
- Claim your business name. Find out what profile name you'll be using on social media and set up accounts on different platforms in order to claim it. Also do this for platforms you're not planning on using right now, as you may decide to move to that platform at a later date. Make sure the name fits your brand and is recognizable.
- Build your brand. Whether it's Facebook or Instagram, make sure to use the same logo, colors, bio and banner images in order to stay consistent and remain noticeable.
- Focus your efforts. Don't have time to post updates on six different platforms? Then don't! Stick to one or two and try to post regularly. Expand to other platforms when you have the time to do so, but make sure you don't start posting and then neglect them—you don't want to have a social media account that looks abandoned.
- Engage, don't sell. Users want to see engaging content that piques their interest about volleyball and your club. Think: highlight plays and sports-related memes. Followers don't want to see a barrage of promotions and to be constantly sold to.
- Consider scheduling posts in advance. As far as social media content goes, followers usually want quality over quantity. However, it can be difficult to post quality content on the go. Fortunately, scheduling tools such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social can help clubs plan ahead and control when they want to post updates. Sprout Social also compiled this helpful list of additional social media scheduling tools.
How to get found on Google / Search Engine Optimization
Known as search engine optimization, SEO is all about optimizing your website and online presence so that your volleyball club can be found on Google and other search engines by the right people. There are many ways you can improve SEO and the process can get pretty involved for beginners. To start seeing results for your volleyball club, you'll want to:
- Do keyword research. Tools like the Moz Keyword Explorer can help you find out what words and phrases potential customers are using on search engines.
- Optimize your website. Those keywords you researched? Use them to fill out the copy on your website and any other content you make. This will improve search results on Google and other search engines.
- Try out SEO tools. A keyword explorer is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many SEO tools out there that can help your business expand its online reach. Give some of them a shot.
- Get positive reviews. After setting up a Google My Business listing, try getting people to write your club a positive review. This can help boost your online image.
All these tips can seem overwhelming at first but take things one step at a time and you'll be surprised at just how much your club can grow. The important part is to put in the time and stay consistent. And don't forget that NCSA Team Edition can provide a massive exposure boost for your club and athletes by connecting them with college volleyball coaches across the country. Wishing all clubs the best this season!