Golf Marketing Ideas For 2017
Quite by chance I found myself on LinkedIn SlideShare over the Christmas break, searching the term ‘golf marketing ideas’. Surprise, surprise – my own contribution (10 ideas for 2015) from exactly 2 years ago is the #1 presentation!
So…. I guess I should update it with a list of golf marketing ideas for 2017.
2016 was an amazing year for golf. Remember the Olympics and the epic dual between Rose and Stenson on the final day? Our boy Justin kept his cool and took the gold medal. It was a Ryder Cup year, sadly the other team won that! There were a number of major brands that decided to pull out of the market, or put themselves up for sale. And finally Tiger made a return, albeit a brief one.
All of this activity presents anyone in golf marketing with an opportunity to piggy-back off the coverage for their own benefit. But it’s easy to look back on what happened. What’s harder is to try and predict the golf marketing ideas that will make an impact over the next 12 months.
Here’s my take on what could be big in terms of golf marketing ideas in 2017. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Have some ideas of your own? Let me know what your planning.
Golf Marketing Ideas For 2017
Geo-targetted Facebook Advertising
Advertising on Facebook isn’t exactly new. But we are beginning to see more and more golf businesses use the geo-targetting functionality. You can deliver adverts to golfers within a set radius of a location such as a golf course or shop.
Digital marketing continues to offer increasingly levels of customisation, targeting and measurement. It’s perfect for any business that can easily identify a target audience and has a limited budget.
Don’t be put off by Facebook – it’s not the preserve of teenagers, they are all on SnapChat and Instagram.
Golf Course Flyovers
Blogger Outreach Programs
Blogging, Tweeting and Vlogging is a great way for independent golfers to build up huge audiences. Me & My Golf have over 306,000 followers on YouTube. Rick Shiels has over 32,000 followers on Twitter – and the list goes on. These new stars of golf have great influence in terms of equipment sales, which courses to play etc.
The next wave of golf bloggers are on their way. The trick is knowing how to back a winner. A golf blogger outreach programme is a low cost way to start. You could be working with a wide range of bloggers. These golf bloggers will have different audiences and help reach new markets. You could be backing a winner, by working with more of them!
I’m so convinced this is the way to go, that I started up a new low cost golf blogger outreach programme!
Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality
This might be a bit cheeky to include this one, because it’s what we do. There is a lot of turmoil in the golf industry right now. Big brands are up for sale, some are disappearing, and others are in a state of limbo.
I set-up PressReleases.Golf to enable small golf brands to compete against the big boys.
You only need to pay when you need to do some golf PR – no retainers, and a simple pricing model. We know it works, we are signing up new clients and more importantly getting coverage for our clients.
It’s been possible to brand items like a golf glove for quite some time by printing on the velcro strap. Now, you can print over 95% of a Cabretta leather golf glove using the system from Custom Golf Gloves.
Golf grips can also now be customised with a message or logo.
The golf bag manufacturers have already bought into this trend. Tour style bags now include a removable front belly panel that can be embroidered.
These new branding opportunities create great social media sharing images as golfers love to show off something different.
B2B Golf Networking
There is a quiet revolution taking place at golf clubs across the UK. Business owners are combining golf, and networking, to grow their businesses! In 2016 Dr Liam Fox said that the UK’s business leaders were lazy and spent too much time on the golf course. He was so wrong on both counts. Fore Business is a golf business network that is making a real difference. SME business owners are sharing business opportunities across the UK. And golf club revenues are up, with more rounds played and greater F&B takings.
There are now more than 80 groups across the UK with over 1400 business owners as members. They meet every month, play golf, learn about each others businesses, and trade opportunities. If you run a golf club and want to attract high net worth individuals Fore Business could be the answer.
I may be biased, we do their PR for them and I’ve been a member of the network for nearly 3 years.
For those of you not familiar with the phrase, Facebook Live is a video tool. Facebook Live enables anyone to broadcast live video feed across the internet via their Facebook account. This might not seem like a big deal. But I believe it will have a major impact on golf marketing over the coming months. Equipment manufacturers are using live video with their brand ambassadors to deliver fresh, unique content to their fanbase. Imagine the power of a player like Rory McIlroy talking about why he switched to a particular putter after Nike left him high and dry, for example.
The part that fascinates me is that anyone with a Facebook account and a smartphone is now a roving reporter. Personally, I can’t wait to see the broadcasting of golf tournaments by fans. I believe this is the most disruptive thing to happen to sports broadcasting in the last 20 years. Consequently, it could seriously affect tournament sponsors as they lose their pre-packaged audience reach. But, it could open up the game to new audiences and participants, which is what we all want.
European Golf Merchandise Show
The golf industry event landscape has been devoid in the UK and Europe for the last couple of years of a trade show of any type. The British Golf Industry Association (BGIA) has announced that a new Golf trade show is launching in October 2017. The European Golf Merchandise Show.
It will be held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. Therefore making it easier to attend than similar shows in Harrogate. Especially for anyone flying in from overseas.
It’s being organised by Golf Retailing, the award-winning magazine for the golf retail sector. The show promises to be an exciting and useful event for golf businesses and retailers. Whilst Coventry does not have the same cache as Orlando, let’s hope this gets the European golf industry back on track.
Artists (I can think of no other word to describe them) such as Golf Alchemy are creating personalised, customised golf clubs. Major brands (golf and non-golf) are using these wedges, putters etc. It’s a great way of creating amazing images for social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
As you can see, this amazing Cleveland wedge was produced to promote the latest Star Wars movie in 2016.
Other companies are creating one off designs for vinyl wraps to be applied over driver heads.
2017 will be the year for personalising our golf equipment.