Marketing your sessions

Clubs and activities thrive when people know about them and want to take part. This is why marketing your sessions is essential.

Marketing makes people aware of your organisation and activities. To do it effectively you’ll need to be clear about what your offer is, who it’s for, and how and where to pitch it so people want to join. Good news is, we’re here to help.

Promoting your club is about telling people what you can offer them.

Sport England, Club Matters

A simple guide

We know marketing can feel like an effort when all you want to do is run great activities. So we’ve created 5 simple steps to speed things up. For a more detailed introduction to strategy, research and training hop over to Club Matters.

5 simple steps

Set your goal

Setting a clear goal will help you achieve it quickly and efficiently so you can get back to doing what you love. Decide whether you want to:

  • attract new people for existing activities
  • attract new people for new activities
  • get existing participants to join new activities
  • get existing participants more involved e.g. by volunteering

Being clear about this goal from the outset will enable you to make the most of every single communication. You might want to make this a measurable goal with a set number of people you want to complete an action within a specific time frame.

Decide who you want to target

Next, you need to decide who you want to reach. For example, if you’re launching a new running session for beginners then you might want to target women who don’t do much activity. Or if you’re launching a new youth team then you might want to reach teenagers in a certain area.

Once you’ve defined your who, learn as much about them as you can. Check out Sport England’s Know Your Audience page and our Insight guides to help.

It’s also worth asking participants or friends to help you find people from within your target audience to help you test ideas. Chat to them about their priorities and what they might want from an activity. Ask them where they look for activities. And get them to review your promotional materials and tell you what they like, don’t like, or want to know more about.

Understand your 'whole offer'

It’s easy to just communicate what your activity is and when it happens. But your ‘whole offer’ is much more than that. It is everything your participants get out of taking part. This could be meeting new people, relieving stress, or feeling healthier. These benefits are important to your message.

Get your current participants to tell you why they keep coming back. This is great research, but it’s also an opportunity to capture quotes and videos that you could use in your promotion.

Shape your message

Powerful messages connect what you can offer with what your target audience wants. And they do it with images that are representative of the audience you are trying to reach.

For example, if you’re targeting teenagers during exam time of year then a message about de-stressing might resonate. Or if you’re targeting women then This Girl Can style messaging¬†might help you connect.

Put it where people will find it

Start with your own website and social media channels for a quick win. Make sure the message you’ve crafted to achieve your goal is prominent. Often club websites are geared towards existing members. If your goal is to attract new members then make sure your homepage speaks to them. Otherwise you may never get to meet them.

Once you’ve optimised your own channels then you can reach further. Consider partnering with local organisations who already work with your target audience. Or explore social media advertising or press targeted at specific groups. And be sure to make use of free tools like Get Active and Open Sessions detailed below.

But, whatever you do, make sure you utilise your greatest asset – the people who already know and love what you do. 92% of people believe brand recommendations from friends so your participants could be your no.1 marketing tool. Get them to help you spread the word by featuring in social media posts or by sharing introductory offers with friends and family.

I've realised our website only talks to current members. It doesn't make it easy for new people to join.

Marketing workshop participant

Promote your sessions for free on Get Active

We’re working with London Sport to connect activity providers and potential participants in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Reach people who are looking for activities near you with Open Sessions and Get Active. The process is simple:

  • you upload your sessions for free on the Open Sessions website¬† (download the guidance below)
  • your sessions are promoted to potential participants via Get Active, Played and Change4Life activity finders
  • we promote Get Active through targeted campaigns to increase your pool of potential participants

Get Active Hampshire

A website for people who are looking for physical activity and sport sessions in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Visit site

Open Sessions

A website where you can upload and promote your physical activity and sport sessions to people who are looking for activities to join nearby.

Visit site

Other useful resources

This page is an introduction. For more detailed marketing support check out the websites below. You’ll find everything from strategy templates and online courses to images and posters. But get in touch if you can’t find what you need.

Activity Alliance

Master inclusive communications with guides and training from Activity Alliance.

Visit site

Club Matters

Explore guides and training to walk you through marketing strategy, research and tactics.

Visit site

Facebook Business

Facebook Business is packed full of online training and resources to help you master Facebook ads and more.

Visit site

Google Digital Garage

Develop your digital marketing skills with free training and support from Google.

Visit site

This Girl Can

Access the This Girl Can image library and other resources to help you market your sessions effectively to women.

Visit site

We Are Undefeatable

Access We Are Undefeatable resources to help you engage people with long-term health conditions.

Visit site

Get in touch

Read next

Making your sessions inclusive

Create inclusive sessions that everyone can enjoy.

Networks

Connect and share ideas to get Hampshire and IOW moving more.

Insight guides

Boost your confidence and knowledge with our insight guides.

Our Partners

Helping us tackle inactivity to boost health and happiness

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