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Shoestring guide to promoting your town hall and sports facilities  

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AUTHOR: JOHN FAGAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AT SCRIBE


At Scribe we love all the many amazing facilities that parish, town and community councils provide to their communities across the UK, but…

🤔 As a thought experiment...

How much more revenue would the facilities generate if they were run by a commercial venue hire and events management businesses?  Would it be the same, or double, triple or more?

Commercial organisations have dedicated marketing teams that can maximise customer acquisition.

😥 Unfortunately local councils do not have this luxury.

This means we have all these amazing facilities scattered around the UK not reaching their FULL POTENTIAL. Which makes us sad at Scribe.

😀 Fear not, this blog highlights some tips in which you can be your own marketing department on a shoestring.

Tip #01 - Know your customers

First up, before you even think about marketing, you need to know your target audience.

It is common to think of your target audience as “residents” and “non-residents”. But this is not good enough.  Customer segmentation is the process of dividing customers into groups based on common characteristics so companies can market to each group effectively and appropriately.  For example, your new target audience could look like this:

  • Health & fitness providers and users - pilates, yoga, Crossfit, circuits, boot camps
  • Partygoers - kids, toddlers, significant birthdays (21, 30, 40, 50 etc..)
  • Event planners  - weddings, concerts, entertainment
  • Gaming lovers - bridge classes, chess, eSports
  • Social animals - clubs, societies, coffee mornings, speakers
  • Business users - meetings, training, conferences

Tip #02 — Optimise keywords for Google search results

Now that you have segmented your customers, you can ensure all your online content is optimised to ensure it appears when your target audience searches for them on google.

The description of your facilities MUST include keywords related to the activities your target audience will be searching for like a party venue, or yoga classes (e.g ‘Children party venues near me’ or ‘room hires for dance classes).

Tip #03 — List yourself on local business directories

As well as websites, there are loads of other ways your target audience can find you in Google results, in particular local business directories.

Google My Business is one such directory. As the business owner, you can claim your business that appears on google maps. You can then will have control over the description of your venue.

This will again improve the likelihood of your venue appearing in search results, along with benefiting from ratings and reviews.

And don’t stop at Google - there are many additional business directories.

Tip #04 — Join existing forums and groups

It’s almost guaranteed that the majority of your potential customers will be in existing Facebook groups.  Jump onto Facebook and search for groups in your area.  Request to join the group, then you have a channel to promote your facilities.  Sometimes there can be thousands of people in these groups, so it's a no brainer!

Tip #05 — Build an email list

Build a subscriber list to keep existing and new customers updated (remember to provide a clear unsubscribe link) and consider creating a monthly newsletter that provides your local community with information on upcoming events and classes.

Build a prospect list of local businesses, trainers, and coaches and see if they’d be interested in providing classes at your venue.

Tip #06 — Provide a frictionless customer experience

Finally, it’s important to consider the buying experience. If the only way for customers to book your venue is by leaving a phone message, you will likely lose them. Customers expect low friction customer experiences in this day and age.  For a simple booking, it should be possible to book and pay for the booking within minutes.

Further help, free download: Marketing Checklist For Parish And Town Council Hall Bookings

Also, if you want Scribe to show you how to create an amazing booking website in minutes, request a demo.

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