The digital world is here.  People of all ages use their smartphones for everything from research to entertainment, organising their lives to connecting with others.

Because of this, your advertising and marketing activities have to be there too, to reach them.  This is digital marketing and it's a non-negotiable today.

Below are several digital marketing types and how to leverage reach to attract and engage members of your club.

Social Media Marketing

This includes Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Snapchat.  Your customers, from baby boomers to millennials, are using social media platforms as information and communication sources every day.  With so many people on social media, your club must have a presence there, both organically (unpaid) and using sponsored posts (paid).  These regular updates on your club's profile keep your target audience engaged and top of mind.

Your Club's Website

Your website is an important part of digital marketing, as it is where customers search to learn more and interact online with you.  It must offer potential patrons and existing customers a good experience and answer all their questions.  It must also be easy to navigate to find events and promotions and, most importantly, make them want to visit or sign up.  To do this, the website must be user-friendly to the point where guests and members want to continue to return.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Most of your customers trawl the internet using search engines such as Google and generally click on the first few search options that come up, ignoring the rest.  SEO focuses on improving your website to a level where Google and other search engines rank you right at the top.  If this is achieved, your website has priority over people clicking through to see your club.

Email Marketing

Communications via email is still one of the best ways to communicate with members and guests to keep them interested in your club's updates.  Email can help you grow strong relationships with your whole membership data which, if done well, leads to trust and loyalty.  There are many more additional forms of digital marketing options out there for your club, such as content marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), affiliate marketing, video, landing pages and so on.

Digital marketing is an absolute must today.  If you club is not present online, then it's quickly becoming invisible.

As a decision-maker, it's essential to get both yourself and your team up to speed and active in this space to connect with the evolving behaviour of your customers.

Not only does digital marketing build brand awareness in the local community and surrounding suburbs, it also engages people, increases sales, drives membership numbers, and therefore grows the business.

(Christopher Melotti, Melotti Media, ClubLIFE June 2018)