If you’ve ever considered trying your hand at online advertising, there’s no better time than right now to test the waters.

Firstly, as I mentioned in my post about content marketing, staying on top of mind and building rapport during the COVID-19 lockdown is key to ensuring your club is the one golfers choose when they can play again.

Advertising is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to do this.

Creating low-cost brand awareness and goodwill during the crisis could be the difference between a packed course and empty one this summer.

Secondly, because right now it is the cheapest time ever to advertise on Facebook.

Many marketers are cutting back or entirely freezing their spending as uncertainty looms and millions of consumers stay indoors.

According to an article in Bloomberg, Facebook ad spend is reported to be down by up to 50% across the board.

What this means is significantly cheaper advertising for everyone.

We’re seeing a drop in advertising of over 50%. So an ad campaign that would have cost us £300 in February is now only £150!

Bargain.

Facebook and Instagram advertising is probably the easiest and most effective way to advertise online. You can be advertising your club to golfers in a matter of minutes.

So let’s get started and take advantage of these rock bottom advertising costs.

How do I get started with Facebook advertising? 

Golf is probably one of the easiest industries to advertise using Facebook.

All you need is beautiful, up to date course photos and videos backed up with some good copy.

Every club should have beautiful images of their course. If not, spring and summer is the perfect time to start.

First up you need to start creating regular social media content. Try posting at least 3 times per week.

You don’t need to invest in expensive graphic designers or photographers. Someone with a keen eye, an up to date smart phone with a good camera taking photos of your course and facilities will do a better job than most agencies can.

Better still, pass the job on to a greenkeeper.

Check out our guide ‘Killer Social Media Post Ideas’ for more ideas and inspiration.

Boosting a campaign

Next up, let me walk you through boosting a campaign.

A simple campaign can be set up in two stages.

Stage 1

Create a number of posts that engage, educate, inspire or entertain your customers.

It’s important these posts aren’t sales posts and there is little or no reference to making a purchase from your club.

Again you can refer to our ‘Killer Social Media Post Ideas’ guide for some examples.

Now try boosting the most successful posts, the ones that have the most likes and comments, by putting some budget into behind them to reach local golfers.

Here’s a video on how to do this.

Stage 2

Once you’ve started to boost your posts at local golfers they will start to be more familiarised with your course and services.

If you’re doing it right, they should now start to like, comment and engage with your posts. If they’re not, it’s back to the drawing board to create content that does.

If you are getting good engagement, you’ll have earned the right with local golfers to post some of your promotional offers.

But don’t go overkill.

2 – 3 offers a month is more than enough and any more has the potential to ruin the effectiveness of your marketing.

How much does it cost? 

You can start from as little as £1 / day.

You won’t get too far with this budget but it’s a good place to start and then you can add more budget as you get more confident with advertising.

The maximum is up to you.

On average we tend to spend around £200 – £300 / month for our clients.

Actions

  • As I said, if you’ve ever wanted to dip your toe in the water when it comes to Facebook advertising, there has never been a better time
  • Try using Instagram as a placement too. Facebook owns Instagram and you can advertise on both platforms at the same time.
  • Plan ahead and write up a list of stage 2 offers you want to promote over the next 6 months around your stage 1 engagement posts.
  • There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to how regular you should post but as a general rule of thumb, aim for at least 3 – 4 posts per week and try and work off a formula of 8 engagement posts to 1 sales posts
  • If your offer isn’t working, chances are it’s just not ticking peoples boxes. There’s no magic formula, it’s all about testing so keep trying until you find out what works best for your club.
  • Don’t forget to track the success of your campaigns through actual sales. This can be easily done by creating offers specifically for your Facebook and Instagram adverts.

Some tips:

  • Choose your promotional offers wisely. Here’s some we recommend:

> Green fees – 2 ball and buggy deals work really well during spring and summer.

> Membership – We recommend running some 1 or 3 month trials once we come out of lockdown as we predict selling full membership will be harder.

> Societies – Promote your society rates or deals but direct them at a slightly older audience. We recommend 35+ works best.

  • Keep budgets low until you get more confident and don’t forget to keep checking the account daily for the amount spent and results so you don’t creep over budgets.
  • Try using video posts, it can be an incredibly effective content type to get results and sometimes works even better than photo posts.
  • Mix it up, try different types of posts until you find your sweet spot.

Any questions?

If you’ve got any questions about marketing in the golf industry, why not get in touch.

Contact us
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About the author

James Wilkinson
James Wilkinson

With over a decade’s experience in digital marketing, Albatross Digital founder James Wilkinson has been working exclusively with golf clubs since 2015.

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