effective advertising

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effective advertising

Postby Fluffy_the_happy_lobster » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:29 pm | #1

Our club has just moved from being a split town/uni club to town only. This should allow us to advertise and put ourselves out there when we were previously unable to do so. It's been a change we've been considering for some time, but before we were able to make the call ourselves we encountered room and availability problems, which led to a tragic freshers showing, which led to the uni very quickly pulling the plug. After all, they were a bit desperate for the space. So, that leaves us with the town session (we had two sessions a week).

So this leads me to my query, what have you found to be the most effective advertising? I don't want anything excessive; our club has around 8-13 on a mat each session and I'd like to increase this to about 12-18 per session.

Beyond the website (which I need to revise), what do you suggest? What have you found that works well in the past? What is your average mat?

This is our first solid foray into being a town-only club so are there any pitfalls to avoid?

Many clubs, ours included, offer 1st session free deals. Do you think they really motivate folk to come down? Personally, I'm now of the view that for a town club, it doesn't. Thoughts?
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Re: effective advertising

Postby thauma » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:35 am | #2

in my experience of other clubs, people are often uncertain, and don't want to commit. This leads them to watching..... which when you consider warmup and break falls, then they are often bored and leave before anything interesting happens. So I think a free taster session at least gets them involved.

As you know we're at a uni and so have similar problems to you in terms of advertising and attendance. but when i was training in judo, we used to run 'beginners courses' and advertise  those. That seemed to help bring people through the door as they know they wouldn't be 'alone' and effectively 'fresh meat' for the experts.

What about advertising basic 'self defence' courses separately and seeing if you can catch any from the fallout / completion at the end of the course?

I'll think some more.

Cheers

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Re: effective advertising

Postby nry » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:59 pm | #3

Unfortunately I am only able to say I am keen to find out others thoughts too :)  Our numbers are pretty low at the moment, we are improving our activity on Facebook (we have lots of followers) and also increasing the number of posters around the city where our dojo is based.

I've tried to gain interest about our recent trip to Japan from local papers but so far they're not interested which is a shame.

I do find that Facebook is a great tool for keeping people interested between sessions - I setup a dedicated group for our kids sessions a while ago and added parents I can find to this (for both current and not attending kids).  We've managed to pick up the kids class to a much better level, attracting people back that had not been for a long time.

I like the idea of a free self defence course, I had even debated a free parents 'taster session' for them to get more of an idea about what we teach their kids and also how the teaching will change as they get older and more capable.
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Re: effective advertising

Postby captaintau » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:49 pm | #4

In my experience advertising doesn't work all that much. I do it a little. And in fairness it got me my first three students (one never came back.) Nearly every student has come through word of mouth. We've had some through google, but not many
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Re: effective advertising

Postby Hirsty » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:15 am | #5

I actually find that MA in the British Isles are poorly advertised.  For myself, moving to a new town, it was and is very hard to find any MA clubs.  I think instructors need to be better at making themselves visible via Google, local free press, etc
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Re: effective advertising

Postby nry » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:50 am | #6

Has anyone used Facebook advertising?  I ask because after looking at the options initially I wasn't bothered by the costs, however they sent me a free £25 ad budget code to 'help e get started as we notice you didn't finish the setup' so I was going to give it a try, free is always good!
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Re: effective advertising

Postby thauma » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:44 pm | #7

Free is definitely good.

With a web page, getting to the top of the search lists can be difficult (especially for free), but putting a link to your website in your signature for forums like this one, helps to get you noticed by the search engines -  That's how I got to the top of the google and bing searches.
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Re: effective advertising

Postby nry » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:42 pm | #8

Well, the Facebook ad went live this morning...we've had one click through, it has been 'seen' by 360 people, and the one click took 56p off the £25 free voucher budget...could be an expensive route if it wasn't free - will see how it pans out!
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Re: effective advertising

Postby nry » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:53 pm | #9

No idea on how well these things work, but I also registered here last week:

http://www.martialartsregister.co.uk/cl ... sp?id=5916

We've seemingly had 43 'hits' since registration but I have no idea what they class as a 'hit', could be bots or people, or random numbers they make up :)  It's free so anything out there is good I guess.
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Re: effective advertising

Postby Fluffy_the_happy_lobster » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:17 am | #10

Thanks for the input. Nry - please keep us updated.
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Re: effective advertising

Postby kunoichi » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:54 pm | #11

I think the most important thing is to have a website. Even if it is a very basic one. Everything is online these days. People expect to find local businesses, clubs, societies etc. by typing into Google something like "Dogging Portsmouth".

That said Google is horrible to new websites and it can take a long time to "rank" organically. You should think of your website as more of an investment for the future.

Partly because of this issue I'd advise clubs to set up a "Google Places" page and link this through to your website. To begin with it will be far easier to get this listing to appear than your actual website and you will also appear on Google maps. If you nag your members into writing you reviews (on your Google Places page) your listing will probably rank even better.

For those running their clubs as a business Google Adwords can also provide a good return depending on your margin.

I hope that is helpful.
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Re: effective advertising

Postby nry » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:39 pm | #12

We have a Facebook page, and we do rank well on Google - if I search for 'jujitsu carlisle' we're currently third on the list which is very good.
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Re: effective advertising

Postby kunoichi » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:56 pm | #13

Youtube videos can also be a good idea though they also take a while to rank if at all.
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Re: effective advertising

Postby nry » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:16 am | #14

So far the Facebook advertising has attracted 6 page Likes and 37 clicks to the advertised Page.  Nobody has been in touch with us from this to my knowledge, however I think I'll get in touch with those who Liked the page once the advert finishes running at the end of December.  From there I'm thinking Open Night for free (including those who have trained in the past but have not been for a long time) with those attending having the chance for £5 for 4 weeks of sessions to try and get them on board beyond the usual 'First Session is Free' offer.
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Re: effective advertising

Postby kunoichi » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:48 am | #15

If you don't mind me asking nry, how much money have you thrown at the Facebook advertising? Do you ask new people how they found you?
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