Successful marketing of your Club or Society can completely transform how popular it is and in turn how much your members get out of it. A group with lots of members or attendees can mean bigger events, more skills, greater success, increased funding and much more.
When marketing, the first and most important thing to consider is your target audience. This will shape your entire campaign/ project so it is essential that this is identified as early as possible.
Below, you will find a list of key considerations, which will help you to firstly identify this audience and secondly will help to market to them successfully.
Where does your group currently sit within the Students Union? What problems are you currently facing in terms of marketing your group, if any? Lack of attendance at events, membership figures etc. This is important as it will also make sure everyone on your team is aware of the position you are currently in.
What do you hope to achieve with this project/campaign? Getting people to an event, creating awareness of your group, getting people to donate money etc.
Key messages should outline exactly what you want to communicate to your audience. It is helpful to include “call to action” in your key messages. This is an industry term which means including messages that ask someone to take an action, whether it is visiting a website, purchasing tickets, adding themselves to a Facebook group etc. These are often forgotten and it means your audience don’t have a clear idea about what they need to do. Using language such as “click here for info” or “visit the website to sign up” etc will help people interact with your marketing.
Now that you have your objectives and messages in mind, you can now identify your target audience. This can be very broad, or very specific, but it’s important to be realistic. You need to consider who will be interested in what you have to offer, why they should engage with the product/ service you are marketing, and what they will take away from this. As a simple example, if you were marketing an event only applicable for women, this will shape your target audience, therefore you need to consider ways to market your information that will engage women only.
Never forget your budget, as this will limit the amount of activity you will be able to do. This should also make you think of more cost effective ways to promote.
Selecting the right channel can be complex as it all depends on your target audience and what you want to communicate. To make the process simpler, you should look at the following factors as these play into channel selection: target audience (what will they physically see, what channels do they currently interact with), budget (how much can you afford, what is the return on investment), message (do you need to tailor your message for different channels, do you need to use all the channels available) and resource (who will be running the campaign, how long will it take them). This should help guide your final decision.
You need to consider when the best time to market to your audience is. Timing is everything as you don’t want send out messages if your target audience is asleep or in lectures. If you’re advertising an event, consider how long in advance to promote this. People are more likely to react to your campaign if they feel they’ll miss out, so don’t be afraid to drive a sense of urgency, or tailor your message closer to the time.