For years Callaway has been the most accessible brand in golf and always done things a little differently.
In 1991, they introduced the Big Bertha which featured a bigger clubhead than anything on the market, making it easier for average golfers to hit the ball off the tee.
Sales of the Big Bertha soared.
Other manufacturers soon followed suit.
Today, when marketing Callaway tries to marry up two very opposing forces.
- Being an aspirational brand with a premium superior product
- Being a brand that consumers can relate to and connect with directly and consistently
Callaway recognised that consumers want to connect with brands directly and so they decided pretty early in their time of rejuvenating the brand that they wanted to behave more like what consumers would expect from a media company.
They started out with a couple of low-budget cameras, a low-cost studio and produced a talk-show where they chatted unscripted to their fans about their products and let them be in on insider talk within the company.
From there they started to grow an audience and quickly realised there was an opportunity to elevate their approach to content and do something different.
They created interesting, compelling, and valuable content for golf fans with an aspirational positioning rather than a commercial sales message.
This gave the fans a feeling that they weren’t being marketed to all the time.
In 2015, Callaway hired a content marketing agency, The Kimba Group, to produce and create video content including their incredibly successful “Callaway Originals” series.
“Whatever it is, whatever the creative challenge, don’t focus on making it better than someone or something else. Focus on difference, that’s the currency we try to trade in”
Rebecca Rosoff, co-founder and CEO of Kimba Group
To date, this series has generated over 85m views across all platforms coinciding with record 2018 net sales of $1.24 billion, an improvement of 20 percent.
In 2019 Callaway announced another record full year of net sales of $1,701 million, representing an increase of 37% on its 2018 figures.
This different approach to marketing took a lot of work and commitment and businesses wishing to repeat this strategy will have to be comfortable operating with a non-traditional approach to marketing.
Callaway are able to engage with golfers in an authentic way and are not afraid to make mistakes or make fun of themselves in their pursuit of creativity.
They move at speed, take risks, and are transparent with their customers which makes them feel like they are part of the brand also.
This approach to marketing is not only executed by Callaway as a way to stand out but numerous other brands that operate in golf from Rick Shiels to BMW to the European Tour.
These pioneers of golf content marketing can help inspire other golf businesses looking to differentiate their brand with a new approach to golf marketing.
So how can golf clubs use video content marketing to stand out in a crowded market place today?
5 years ago, a golf club could stand out simply by running some Facebook adverts using course photography and generate new leads and converting them into members.
Today golf businesses are facing more competition than ever before. From social media to gaming to a plethora of new and exciting indoor and outdoor activities.
In an industry where almost every golf club can seem the same through a golfers eyes, video content can be the differentiator that makes you stand out from the competition and make you the number one choice in your area.
Videos attract 300% more traffic and a website is 53 times more likely to reach the front page of Google if it includes video.
However, the average person is exposed to around 5,000 ads per day.
So, how are you going to cut through the noise and truly stand out in a crowded marketplace?
In this century, there is NO better vehicle than video to showcase your club.
So, here are some ideas we’ve created at Albatross Media or recommendations from our favourite golf video marketing campaigns we’ve used for inspiration.
There’s no better way to sell your club than to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Today drone flyover videos are two a penny. By letting your members sell your club for you potential customers can relate to their stories and why they chose you over the plethora of other clubs in the area. Here’s are 2 videos we’ve produced for two of our clients.
Short films and documentaries
Take the Red Bull or Callaway approach to marketing and find an incredible inspirational story that sells your club. Did deep and every club will have one short documentary worthy story that has the ability to go viral. And the beauty of this is that with tools like Facebook and YouTube advertising you can premier your film and have it seen by tens of thousands of local prospective golfing customers.
The kings of the golf challenge on YouTube, the PGA European Tour has been uploading videos for more than 10 years and have clocked up almost 200 million views. And with a bit of imagination, videos like the 200-yard putt with over 4 million views can be easily recreated at your club.
Reusing outdated photos and videos can end up giving your golf club a tired and old-fashioned online presence. By spending 1-2 days on-site at your club capturing as much high-quality content of your course, facilities, staff, members, visitors and more, a content grab will give you enough content for you and your team to use for your marketing campaigns for years to come.
If you need any help with your video marketing ideas and strategies, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and talk to us at Albatross Digital.
Many of the facts and strategies outlined in this article were taken from former Callaway SVP-Marketing Harry Arnett’s interview on this podcast with Mark Fidelman.
I highly recommend watching it if you have any interest in this subject.