Thanks for enrolling in Pitchero's Digital Bootcamp. A comprehensive guide to embracing the digital age, we'll cover nine core digital subjects, giving you the what, why and how of each.
Before we dive into too many specifics, it's important to get a grasp of some of the key concepts behind using digital at your sports club. We'll help you get the foundations of a successful digital platform during the initial stages of your bootcamp.
What does your club need digital for?
A question that every club should be asking itself before it commits to using digital is what exactly their intended outcomes are.
People go online for pretty much everything in 2016, and that includes each and every member of your team, club, league and indeed sport. Harnessing the power of digital and it's many platforms can allow you to communicate quickly and effectively – but you need to be aware of who you are targeting and what you want to tell them.
Here are four popular reasons sports clubs might want to use digital to expand their reach:
Grow your club's membership
A fundamental reason for taking a club online is the need to expand membership. Your club can have all the best will in the world when serving the local community, but if no one hears about it, that endeavour can often be in vain.
Digital is a fast and modern approach to reaching out to both your local community and the wider community of your sport. With younger generations developing technological skills as a matter of instinct, appealing to them by adapting your club to suit their needs can be the key to building a membership that will mould the future of your club.
Increase your club's revenue
Just like your club will soon be grappling for attention online, so to are the many businesses that serve your local and sporting communities.
One significant factor to a commitment to digital platforms is the potential increase in revenue working with these businesses can bring. Once you have an online platform that attracts regular visitors, you'll have a saleable assets that you can take to potential sponsors in the hunt for an injection into your club's coffers.
Engage your current membership
As it stands, you probably have a number of existing members at your club, and a number of them may be oblivious to what goes on out of their personal team's bubble.
Certain digital platforms are great for engaging your current members, offering a fresh, fun and modern way to get their attention from a device that sits in their pockets every single day.
Communicate effectively with members
Creating cohesion at your club can be a frustrating task at best. As your club is undoubtedly made up of volunteers who give up their free time, opening up two-way communication can nothing short of nightmarish.
Often, a club will open a number of channels in order to communicate with its members, but this quickly culminates in a confusing, multifaceted mess.
Opening up a dedicated line of communication (which is held online) is the quickest, most efficient way of letting members know about all your latest goings on.
Why it's so important
Chances are your club needs to improve their digital reach due to one, or a combination of the above factors.
Thankfully, embracing digital can provide a solution for each, and we'll be going into greater detail into how in future chapters.
For now though, take a step back and get to grips with exactly what your club's digital objectives are, and use that as the focal point of everything you do online.
The tech checklist
With your head clear on what your club wan't to achieve online, it's time to lay that initial groundwork. Without the right tools, you're not giving your club the best chance to succeed.
Aside from the obvious computers, smartphones and an email account, make sure you check off this tech before you start using the Digital Bootcamp to grow you club.
A decent camera
Digital media, as we'll mention on a number of occasions throughout your bootcamp education, is so important to providing engaging and varied content to anyone who comes across your club online.
Kit your club out with a good camera (that's better than the average smartphone) that takes both images and video, allowing you to publish high quality media to your brand new digital channels.
A club website
Returning to a previous issued raised for community clubs, many find themselves with a number of online platforms in the form of websites, forums and social network accounts – but a lack of cohesion often means members don't know where to go to access club comms.
That is where the club website comes in. Take membership, payments, communications, fixtures, results, tables and a whole lot more and centralise them into one top-draw club website that looks impressive and manages your club entirely online.
We're a little biased on this one, but Pitchero can give you all of that
and plenty more. But, whichever avenue you take, a primary club website that everyone acknowledges as the place to go to get everything you need on your club should be high on the priorities list.
Social media channels
Social media, it's a biggie. We'll be going into plenty of detail as to how you can use social channels to maximise your impact online, and why it's so important you use social to engage an audience. For now, make sure you've got your club signed up to the big three.
Two do's and two don'ts for any digital projectDo: Have patience –
Your club's transformation won't occur overnight. Using digital to transform your club will take months of persistence, but has proven to work time and again. Give it a chance.
Don't: Go it alone –
If your club is to truly embrace the modern world of online, it needs the support of everyone. We know that club members are often reluctant to change, but it's for the good of your community club's future. The entire club must embrace change to see true results.
Do: Track everything –
The analytical side of things is one of the drier areas we'll cover during the digital bootcamp, but to ignore it would be foolish. Tracking the progress of your digital footprint is easier than ever, and helps you to understand what does and doesn't work.
Don't: Go half-baked –
Using digital doesn't just mean you send a tweet out every so often and expect your club to start soaring through the internet. It takes a strategic approach, using a number of channels every single day to really bring about a positive impact.
An insight into future weeks
That brings our the first week of our digital bootcamp to a close, and hopefully you've got a few things to ponder as you set about getting you club on it's digital feet over the coming weeks.
Next week, we'll get your club's identity in order. Covering subjects such as the branding and voice of your club, and how that becomes the central point to everything your club does online in the future.
Content Marketing Specialist.
Professional Ryan Sidebottom look-a-like.