The RIGHT Way to Use Social Media Marketing for Golf Clubs

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Managing a golf club is no easy task…

Juggling finances, finding good help, keeping up with player expectations, and working to keep a steady stream of customers coming through the door, is a lot to manage!

So it’s easy to understand how something as seemingly “unimportant” as social media can be brushed off as something you just don’t have time for.

In fact, that’s exactly what most golf clubs have been doing, and you could easily do the same…

But that would be a HUGE mistake.

Many Golf Clubs across the US, Canada, and the UK are STILL not thinking about social media marketing the way they need to be.

Social media is viewed as a secondary effort, to which extra time and money can be spent (if there’s any left at all.)

I’ll put it bluntly, if you’re still spending more money on the radio, magazines or even TV ads than you are on digital and social media, your Golf Club is soon to be in a lot of trouble.

It’s not that any of the above don’t work, they do. In the same way that candles can still light your home… there’s just more efficient and more effective means of doing things in 2019.

Most industries have now realized that social media marketing is no longer a secondary consideration, it’s the primary, and it’s about time the Golf industry does the same!

Traditional media is becoming increasingly irrelevant to today's consumer. They rarely consider walking through your door without first spending a few minutes online digging up reviews and searching social media for pictures, video, testimonials, reviews, etc. Social media is the gateway between you and your customers.

But not only does social media fulfill the demand of engaged customers who are actively searching… it is also a powerful demand generation tool. Meaning it can actually create new customers out of thin air, and get them considering and eventually playing at your club when they otherwise might not. That is the most powerful benefit of all and it’s called social media advertising.

Every social media platform provides its own advertising platform, which allows advertisers and businesses to pay for exposure to targeted individuals across that platforms user base. I.E Facebook ads, Instagram ads, LinkedIn ads, Google ads, etc.

Unfortunately as mentioned earlier, most golf clubs are still not utilizing social media anywhere near its full potential. This is a big problem, but an even bigger opportunity!

So this week, I thought we could go through the process of how we go about marketing our clients Golf Clubs on social media using Facebook and Instagram Advertising. One of our favourite social media tools!

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Need help with marketing your Golf Club on social media? Get in touch with us anytime!

Our Process: Overview

Most people think when you “Boost” a post on Facebook or Instagram (putting money behind a post to reach more people), that’s the extent of advertising on social media. But in truth, that doesn’t even scrape the surface of the Facebook & Instagram advertising platform.

By using a built in tool known as the Facebook ads manager , you can easily build and manage complex, dynamic, and highly automated ad campaigns. When used correctly, you can develop entire social media advertising funnels which generate massive awareness, more leads, and new customers for your club 24/7 365 on complete autopilot (for the most part). Throw in a few high converting landing pages, some email automation sequences, a little bit of creative, and you’re off to the race!

Understanding how to do this will give your club an unbelievable competitive advantage in your local marketplace allowing you to dominate the market, and leave your competitors completely awestruck.

So let’s get into how “WE” run advertising for Golf Clubs

I’m not saying this is the only way, I’m just saying this how we approach it (from a high level of course) and it works, so we’re going to share it!

The Discovery Phase

Before we start building anything out it’s important that we get a few things in order…

Things like goals, specific objectives, customer persona’s, messaging, etc. Even past or current marketing initiatives, what’s working, what’s not. You know your club better than anyone, and we want to know everything you know, or at least much as we possibly can, so that we can built the most effective ad campaign possible.

We call this process a discovery session, it’s a 2 hour face to face meeting or video conference and the first step in building a successful social media strategy. It provides a solid understanding of your brand and vision, as well as a determination of your opportunities among the competitive landscape

The discovery process will provide your team and and ours with clarity and unity of vision, but most importantly all of the information required to develop a successful social media strategy going forward.

Coming up with a plan

Now that we have all the information we need, naturally it’s time to come up with a plan.

Developing an actionable paid social media strategy is the second step in our process, and the foundation on which all social media marketing efforts will be based. This strategy is developed from the ground up and includes detailed data such as customer demographics, research reports, etc. and a blueprint for the next 3 months which will include ad mockups, content calendar, sales funnel framework, KPI’s, and so much more

This get’s sent to our clients for approval before anything get’s built.

Now it’s time to build your “Social Media Sales Funnel” or in other words, a series of highly effective social media ad campaigns that will work together to make you more money.

Building Your Funnel

A Social Media Sales Funnel is essentially a step by step process that your customers will travel through. From when they first become aware of your brand, product or service, to when they actually make a purchase or refer a friend. Each of these stages represent a social media ad campaign driving traffic to different pieces of content, webpages, and offers. The specific stages of a Social Media Sales Funnel will vary depending on what your goals are, but we typically like to split it up into 3 stages/campaigns.

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Let’s start from when a customer first enters the Social Media Marketing Funnel, the Brand Awareness stage/campaign…

Step 1: Brand Awareness:

Here at the Brand Awareness stage, we are filling the top of the funnel. The goal of this first stage/campaign is to generate massive, targeted attention for your content and overall Golf Club brand. The best way to approach this stage is giving value first. This could be a fun video, such as “3 Putting Tips to 10X your game”, or it can be as simple of an engaging video tour of your golf course.

Cardinal Golf Club: Testing Different Headlines with a “Book Now” Button for Tee Times.

Cardinal Golf Club: Testing Different Headlines with a “Book Now” Button for Tee Times.

Key Takeaways:

  • Getting views from highly targeted local customers for as low as $0.01 a view. (Mass exposure)

  • Creates and builds trust with your potential members before selling them anything.

  • Builds a warm “re-targeting” audience that we know own and which we can later re-target with other ads, which we’ll overview in the next stage.

Step 2: Lead Generation

The next step in our sales funnel is to re-target all the viewers from step 1 (outline above) and gauge their actual interest in your club. We typically do this by offering something of value for free or extremely low cost in exchange for getting the customers email, name, number, etc.

This could be as simple as having them enter in a contest for a giveaway, download a special restaurant offer, or claim a unique discount to claim on their next round of golf. But you can even use what we call “lead magnets” such as a free video training series or Ebook i.e “How to drive like Tiger: The 3 step proven process to increasing drive distance and accuracy - Brought to you by {Insert club name}” These kind of lead magnets cost nothing to deliver, but provide massive value and are extremely easy to create.

Either way, our goal here is to come up with something of value and exchange it for the customers information. Ultimately this will help us build database of local golfers we can sell too later. It’s extremely important we “own” our prospects and take the social engagement offline ASAP. Because once we have their information, it’s easy to follow up via email, phone, facebook messenger, LinkedIn, etc. for as long as you need to or until someone tells you to stop.

Key Takeaways

  • Re-target warm audiences who consumed your valuable content in step 1 (brand awareness stage) and exchange more value for customer information.

  • Cost per lead is far lower when re-targeting an audience we already own i.e people who viewed our awareness stage videos. Resulting in lower ad spend and greater volume of leads.

  • Builds a database of customers who are most likely to buy in the near future, allows us to take the conversation online and commence the sales process.

  • Give us a warm list to now re-target with the “perfect offer”


Step 3: Sales/Conversion Campaign

Lastly, the sales/conversion campaign a.k.a. where it all comes together!

The sales/conversion campaign is meant to do exactly what it sounds like… sell and convert! Converting all of the attention and leads we generated in step 1 and 2 into dollars.

So now that we have gained massive attention in step 1, identified our engaged audience members and generated leads in step 2, we can now move on to step 3, start selling!

This is where we promote direct calls to action including membership offers, online tee-time reservations, venue and event bookings, tournaments, and more to our qualified leads.

(FUN FACT: By the way, this entire funnel can be built for existing customers as well to keep them engaged and keep them buying.")

Here are few examples of successful ads we’ve run in the past for this stage in the funnel. Note: we make the most of multiple ad types, including photo, video, carousels, etc. We also test all kinds of offers, headlines, and text, never just one single ad.

Cardinal Golf Club: Testing Different Types of Ads, with a “Learn More” Button for Memberships.

Cardinal Golf Club: Testing Different Types of Ads, with a “Learn More” Button for Memberships.

Cardinal Golf Club: Sales Ads Landing Page After Clicked on “Learn More” Button to Memberships Page.

Cardinal Golf Club: Sales Ads Landing Page After Clicked on “Learn More” Button to Memberships Page.

Key Takeaways

  • Re-targeting only potential customers who made it through your awareness and lead-gen stage.

  • You’re advertising to an extremely warm audiences developed in step 1 and 2, this means it costs next to nothing, and conversion will be extremely high as you already know they are interested.

  • Always test multiple offers, different headlines, text, and creatives.

Important Note:

You may not realize it yet, but this framework is extremely flexible and efficient.

What this strategy basically does is create 3 distinct “advertising buckets” which you can constantly add new content and offers to, this is an evergreen strategy that will work for years to come.

But most importantly, each of the steps described above run at the same time, 24/7 365 generating massive awareness, leads, and sales all at the same time!

Want To Learn More?

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