Part 7: How schools and shops spend their marketing budget
Read time 12 minutes:
"There are no short cuts for long term success, you have to be good in what you do and be able to explain why you are the best choice for them."
The Marketing Essentials
Having a website, being active on social media and having personal contact with the scene are the most essential marketing activities for about 90% of all schools and shops. That is not at all a shocking conclusion as these are considered as the golden standards in marketing.
The marketing additions
Besides having the basics covered, many schools and shops are doing something extra to attract the customers.
Nowadays, marketing is all about interacting with (potential) customers. But in a noisy social world, it becomes more difficult to reach that potential customers and start a conversation with him/her. That is where content marketing comes is. Its goal is to build a relationship with your (potential) customers by providing useful content. Things as 'How to videos', Tips & Tricks or information about the forecast create a benefit for the (potential) customer that could lead to more engagement.
- 18% of the respondents puts focus on creating valuable content and another 72% finds it important.
- 10% of the schools do not use a form of content marketing.
Another way to interact with potential customer is by organizing or attending events. 79% of all schools and shops find organising an events an important part of their marketing. 28% of those see events as their prime way to reach potential customers and boost sales in the long run. An important thing to consider is the goal of being engaged with events; (1) Are you there to sell, to grow awareness among local kiters or (2) are you trying to draw new people into the sport? The goal influences the type of events you want to organize. Giving power kite clinics at non kite related events can be an easy way to excite new people to kitesurf and your school.
Search engine marketing
Creating attention among already searching consumers. Search engine marketing is considered important by 71% of all schools and shops and more than half of them deems it highly important. Getting your SEO right and advertising on search engines to get a better ranking in search results is considered the most important next to the golden standard mentioned earlier. Almost 30% of all schools is not spending time on this as they labelled the activity as not important.
Search engine optimization are activities that improve the visibility of a website in search results which could result in more visitors on the website. Visitors that then need to be converted into customers. Do you want to grow locally and gain some market share from competitors, this is your easy way in.
Social Media advertising
About 30% of the schools and shops are not advertising on social media whilst 70% do. For 26% of the schools and shops it actually is a very important marketing tool to reach people and boost business.
An important factor to consider with social media marketing and advertising in general is that your message and content needs to fit with the agenda and status of the audience group. Be aware that some people never even heard about kiting and might have a lot of general questions whilst others that are already in the market might have other and more specific question or interests.
Even more important is to consider the general usage of social media amongst your targeted audience group as the trend develops to a general decline of time spent on Facebook. Facebook changed its algorithm to turn the tide of the declining usage. In other words; More friend and family content rather than business and news updates on the timeline of its users.
Especially the younger generation is no longer active on Facebook but can be found on Instagram. 93% of schools and shops are active on Facebook, only 32% are active on Instagram. Usage of Instagram is growing in all age categories.
Online banner marketing
About 70% of the schools use online banner marketing. 15% of them consider this to be an important tool to spread their message. Online banners can be bought by the bulk and can be displayed on specific sites or targeted audience groups to get the message across. They can be configured to reach the most possible views, repetitive views or views per user.
There are several things to consider before starting with online banner advertising. People tend to become immune to advertising, web browsers on both mobile devices and desktops offer adblocking functions which minimalizes the results of the banner ad. However, online banners do have a great billboard function and offer the advantage of guiding the interested clicker directly to specific content making it easy to measure its results.
The underrated options
One of the steadiest and most used marketing tools is email marketing, sharing content to subscribers or previous customers. A great tool to reconnect with or stay in contact with people that are already interested in you and your services.
About 60% of all schools and shops find sending added value through email to their mailing lists important, whereas only 15% thinks it is an important tool.
With email marketing you can share updates on important news, tell the story behind the brand, launch campaigns and reconnect with your target group. There are many automated systems and free or affordable systems that could be the foundation of a surprisingly effective marketing tool. Using automated tools could remove some manual tasks.
Something to consider: as in all marketing, it is about the message, not the tool. Inform your audience group of your services, all activities that you employ and give updates, don’t focus on sales but focus on building that relationship.
Printed Marketing Material
Brochures, leaflets or flyers have been around the longest compared to everything that carries an online label. Yet sort of have been abandoned since the rising success of the new and hot online marketing tools. As every period and movement knows its ups and downs we do expect that people will make a stronger separation of online and offline.
About 60% of the schools does not use printed marketing material. Only 3% finds it very important and 37% finds it important. Printed marketing material is, so to say, the least valued and least important tool at the moment.
"DON'T FOCUS ON SALES BUT FOCUS ON BUILDING THAT RELATIONSHIP"