The Internet has become our main means to communicate and entertain ourselves, but also to search for information when we need it.
More than 95% of the world's population connects to the Internet on a daily basis. Many people already opt for electronic commerce, because of the comfort and speed that it entails, with Google being the preferred search engine for the vast majority.
This means more and more companies are adapting to this change in consumer habits by offering an online version, either through a website or through their profiles on different social networks.
Our lives have become accustomed to the comfort that this digitisation has given us. However, the world of sport has lagged behind in this digital revolution.
There are now many online tools and platforms for your sports club to have a presence on the Internet, which facilitate the management of all your club’s daily tasks, saving you a lot of time and effort.
There are multiple benefits provided by these platforms which can secure the future of your club. Many people seek "sports clubs close to me" and if your club does not appear, success will take those that are well positioned.
If your club still doesn’t have a presence on social networks and you are looking for how to do so, we are going to give you some tips on how to start the digital transformation.
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Benefits of having a digital presence
1. Captures new members
One of the main advantages of online presence is that you can reach people all over the world without leaving your home or office. The Internet gives you greater range, allowing you to meet your club’s needs with less effort and money than traditional methods. That's why it’s the best way to attract new members.
The world of sport is very popular on social networks, especially in younger generations. There are many fans willing to follow you and share your content, but you must have a good online strategy and quality content
2. Increase revenue
An important factor that comes with having a good online presence is that you can reach potential brands or companies who want to contribute to your club. It is a great way to attract sponsors and increase your income. But to make it more attractive you must have enough visitors to your website
3. Optimizes processes, saving time
Digitizing your club saves time, valuable for both the employees and members who use it, streamlining the processes of the organization and allowing people to devote more time to work on more physical areas that can not be performed digitally.
4. Generate a team commitment
Your club probably has several members who are less interested in social networks so may not always be up to date with the latest news and events at the club. In this case, digital platforms are excellent alternatives, as they offer an easier and faster way to communicate with them. This will be through notifications and reminders on their own mobile device, so they will be more likely to see it without having to manually search.
5. Communicate with your members
Keeping a constant flow of information about events at your sports club can be a frustrating task. As in any entity, to have a two-way communication with members of the club is difficult. Often, you will have several communication channels, but this is not efficient for either party, leading to confusion and misunderstanding.
What your club needs to benefit from a digital transformation?
1. An active website and social media profiles
The first thing you should invest in to have an online presence is a website for the club. Most have profiles on social networks, but that's not enough to convince people that sign up to your club.
You must grab the attention of people who visit your site to convince them of the quality of your club over another. Upload videos, player profiles, training camps or analysis that you do. Visual content is very attractive and draws attention to your page. Images and video samples indicating good standards of practice will attract many stakeholders.
On the other hand, there are social networks. Maybe for the younger public. Your club can use social media to maximize their online impact and, as with websites, to attract new members.
2. An online marketing strategy
Your club is a business and therefore you should treat it as such. First, you must transmit the values and spirit of your sports club, as a united community. Digital marketing is not exclusive to the "traditional" business. Boost your digital marketing and your club will benefit.
At this point, I'm going to take a short break to explain the "8 ps" of marketing, applied in this case, to your club.
All these points are equally important and if you want your strategy to work perfectly, you should not skip them. One depends on the other and, if you miss one, you can sabotage the entire strategy. Here it goes:
Your product is your club and the visual appearance will “sell” your club. The more fascinating and seductive your club looks, the more likely you are to attract new members and make yourself known. Therefore, your main goal is to make your club as attractive as possible for people. You can also include anything else the club "sell" as, for example, summer camps or special events.
The price will depend on the services you offer. You have to always be realistic and ask for a fair price for what you sell. The basic price that a club will have is that of the membership fees, but, in addition to this, there may be a multitude of complementary activities.
This we mean the heritage and soul of the club. This is the set of all facilities, tracks, locker rooms, restaurant ... all areas of your club, everything counts.
Once you know all this, it is time to promote the club. Given the importance of online presence, you must use these resources to do so. This will include social networking, e-mail, web page and more.
Here you have to think what is the profile of person you want to attract to your club, to direct your offer to the public. Study your target audience, consider your needs and preferences. You might want to attract younger members to access their parents, who would pay any fees.
If someone wants to join your club or use your facility, what is the process they have to go through? Put yourself in your customers shoes and try to eliminate any obstacles that hinder these processes. Make it as comfortable and easy as possible, with fewer steps and provides the ability to do it online because it is the most convenient and secure way.
G. Physical (process)
This is the time when members have the first contact with your club. Either through the website, social networks or simply in your own facilities. You must take care of the smallest detail to make the best possible impression. There's only one opportunity for the first impression and once you have made it, it is very difficult to change.
Finally, the partners. Like your members, they are very important to the smooth running of your sports club. They bring in much of the investment, help attract new sponsors and potential referral partners. In other words, they have an economic and promotional function for the club.
The 4 main digital channels to promote your club
Previously, we mentioned briefly that having a web page and active profiles in social networks was more than necessary to digitize your club. However, we have not indicated the pros and cons that these channels have.
There is no excuse for your club not to have a website. 20 years ago it was much more complicated and expensive to maintain a website. However, thanks to constant technological advancement, creating it is currently at the reach of anyone.
But, why is it important? Well, the website works as a kind of digital showcase. It will display the features of the cub we want the public to see. You have to exploit those aspects of your club to try and become unique, for people to believe that it stands above others. Your goal, as if it were a store, is for the person that visists the website to think: "I need to go to see this".
Therefore, as you will understand, the website, must include all club information, you must have a seductive design, clear and simple, everything has to be perfectly structured. You do not want the person concerned, digressing several hours looking for certain information when should be effortless. The ease for the consumer is vitally important.
In the same vein, websites have become an ideal place to recruit new members. It is therefore very important that you always keep updated with information on prices, fixtures, results and more.
Advantages of the website:
- Easy to create and maintain.
- It will not consume too much of the budget.
- When someone is interested in a club, the first thing they do is type it into Google. Therefore, the website is, so to speak, a central point where interested parties will find information about your club.
- It is also a point of interest for brand advertising and sponsors, which, if successful, will try to promote it.
- The ease for members to complete tasks such as paying registration.
- If the page is well organized and situated, this can great self promotion.
Disadvantages of the website:
- You'll have to spend time creating and constantly updating the web unless you count on automated tools for connected clubs.
2. Social Networks
The role of social networks is very similar to web pages. These are to publicize the club allowing interaction both with interested parties and with partners. Currently, the number of social networks that exist provide for an endless list. But not all are equally successful. "So what should I use?" As experts in the field, we recommend that you use as many as possible but, if you would prefer to narrow it down, focus on the three most commonly used networks: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Even though each has a different function, all are simple networks to handle and do not need more than a few minutes to learn how to use them. On the other hand, as we said earlier, this is the place to find younger members, as they are most likely to use them.
Advantages of social networks:
- A great way to keep your audience updated about news of the club
- Create a community with which you can interact
- They can bring economic benefits
- They allow you to reach new audiences
Disadvantages of social networking:
- As with web pages, you'll have to invest some of your time each day updating them
Both digital instruments, website and social networks are complementary, Ie one must have both a website with information about the club, as well as a social networking profile. If you do this, you'll capture much of your online audience.
Something to avoid. A lack of cohesion between the two platforms means that your members do not know where to go for information and the latest news about your club. So, besides updating them daily, do not forget to link your page with your social profiles and vice versa!
3. Club App
A club app will provide members, players and employees more complete information of all the activities offered, and easily communicate via customized mobile notifications, emails or automated newsletters. It also offers the possibility of online registration and payment for members and the different activities offered
Advantages of the club App:
- Communicating with the partner is immediate. It has all the information on your mobile phone.
- It behaves like a social network for members of the club, they are aware of all the news without physically being there.
- Since each member logs into the app, information on your particular database is always current.
- Managers of the club and coaches can create activities through the App and, in turn, members and players can register or unsubscribe quickly and easily.
Club App disadvantages for the club:
- You have to promote it among partners and ensure that they download it to their mobile phone to be effective
4. Management Tool
A good management tool for sports clubs can reduce administrative work and increase employee productivity. Coaches are able to control all internal processes and be able to have direct access to accounting information, human resources or communication, avoiding duplication of information and simplifying processes.
Benefits Management Tool:
- It automates membership retention techniques, such as creating renewal reminders and recurring fees. Indicates which partners are not committed, so that the club can contact them with simple recovery techniques.
- Includes a complete database of contacts to easily search, filter and update.
- It offers the possibility of financial reports, analysis and summaries of partners, easily and quickly.
- You have control of high and low membership, fees or rates charged.
Disadvantages of management tool:
- Employees and the club’s coaches who will take over their use, should be trained on how to utilise all of the features and make the most of it.
Emails are another great channel that your club should use. They will allow you send personalized messages to keep members of the club informed . You'll need a list of all emails from members, something you can easily get. As for the messages you send, we recommend that these be as informative and relevant as possible.
Also, emails can help you find new audiences, sending messages to potential stakeholders. Although the latter option is only recommended if the person concerned has given their consent. Otherwise, you would be 'spamming', which may cause a backlash, creating a bad image of the club.
There are specific tools for mailings, but these tools also have to be connected with other parts of your club, like app management and the club website.
Advantages of email:
- They allow members and club members to be directly informed of current event.
Disadvantages of email:
- If you spam you can create a bad image of the club
- Email inboxes, in most cases, are full of unopened emails, which can lead to members not reading the messages.
The do's and don'ts for the digital creation of your club?
1. Be patient
The digital transformation of your club will not happen overnight. This process can take months of work and perseverance. As they say, slow and steady wins the race. Invest the necessary time and be patient.
It is best to use the "minimum" number of tools and companies in the process. Choose one that is top quality, and whuch you can rely on them to cover as many processes possible.
2. Keep track of all
Keep track of the actions you carry out it is one of the most important aspects to succeed. In addition, it will help you understand what works and what does not. Use tools to measure and analyse procedures because it will save a lot of time and you will have a record of all the actions you take.
3. Do not isolate yourself you
If your club will enter the digital world, it will need the support of the entire team.
We know that some members of the organizations are often somewhat reluctant to change, but they should know that it is for the good of the club. All levels must accept change and participate when necessary. Remember that the digital change is a process that affects everyone and as such, all must give maximum effort to carry it out.
Enlist experts in digitization and digital processing to move forward. It is difficult to do by yourself. Surround yourself with the best
4. Do not settle
Conformity is the greatest enemy of growth and one of your goals should be to grow. Therefore, if you use technology for the club, it does not mean that you only occasionally use social networks and wait for the results come. A strategic approach is needed and try new things every day. Take advantage and exploit various channels and means to achieve the impact you want.
Well, now you have everything you need to start your digital transformation, what are you waiting for? In Clupik we are helping hundreds of clubs in their digitalization process and in managing their daily lives through technology. You want to know more? Talk later.