May 21, 2012
In the previous entry on differentiation, we discussed the importance of taking advantage of the “off-season” as a time to be proactive in your marketing efforts. Since that entry, I have received several requests from coaches on how to capitalize on this branding concept. The truth is that differentiation occurs when you find a way to provide content via social media that is unique and innovative in nature. This takes both creativity and a willingness to take “calculated risks” in your marketing initiatives. The reason that I say calculated here is because you still have to consider how your decisions will impact the larger athletic department environment that you are operating within. However, this should not limit your ability to market well because most programs are looking to build their brand the right way. With that being the case, here are three concepts that coaches can consider when attempting to maximize their efforts in marketing during the summer. Use these as seeds to develop your presence in marketing as you move forward.
Summer Series: Three #Intent2Innovate Concepts
1. Camp Insider Series: Think of this investment as a complete “win/win” for your program. You will achieve two specific ROI benefits from doing this series the right way. First, you provide unique content that has the potential to be really interesting to your followers. As most of you know, this is critical for extending your reach via social media. Second, you provide yourself with the opportunity to build the brand of your camps (and program) in a manner that will attract new customers in the future. The challenge is that you have to develop a unique approach that will add value to folks on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The good news is that nobody is doing this type of series so you have the chance to be the first mover here. This is a major marketing advantage so I would consider sitting down today to come up with a creative concept for your camp insider series. If it were me, I might have “Camp Cribs” episode where I sent one of my top wrestlers around to show the facilities and interact with campers. I will leave the remaining creativity up to you here.
2. Summer Training Series: Simply put, marketing is about creating value to your key target markets. What better way to do this then by developing a “Summer Training Series” where your coaching staff discusses tips for lower level coaches and/or athletes to train in a manner that will allow them to take their skills to the next level. In many ways, this could be a nice supplementary promotion to help build interest in your camps. In fact, you could provide pre/post-camp tips for campers to continue to make decisions that will allow them to improve throughout the year. If you provide quality content in an innovative manner, this is a concept that would certainly differentiate your program. However, the success here will depend on your ability to execute a video series that is both informative and interesting. Somebody will initiative this well and will not regret their decision to invest in this concept.
3. Camp Highlight Series: There is not really anything truly impressive about this concept. Yet it is still one that few teams have taken advantage of in the past. With your camps, you have a product that can be truly interesting to your followers. In fact, there is so much going on at camps that it is your job to determine what would circulate best via social media. If you want to keep it simple, it would be fairly efficient to simply put together a camp highlight video to help build the brand of your program on the back-end of your camps. In fact, if you are smart and incorporate a wide range of teams and athletes in your video, there is a really great chance that it will circulate really well. Building on this, you could also do interviews with top coaches on their experiences while at camp and release them on a daily basis on your social media sites. You would accomplish two specific objectives here. First, you would be providing content during downtime that would help to differentiate your program. Second, and most importantly, this would highlight coaches who could help to circulate your message. The point here is that there are so many opportunities to truly build your program’s brand here through your camp activities.
There is no doubt that marketing has a lot to do with your ability to put together creative content specifically designed for your key segments. However, as with most things in life, hard work is a precursor to achieving this objective in marketing. As a coach, it should be your goal to continue to strive content that will build interest in your program. When this is a priority, then you will develop the type of content that will differentiate your staff and student-athletes in a unique manner. When you make this investment, there are so many benefits that are conducive to both sustainability and growth.
“If you want to be great at something, you have to get used to working at it when you don’t feel like it” (ELSMarketing)