Parks and recreation organizations are unlike most businesses. While losing money is never desirable, the well-being of the community trumps any focus on profit. Striving to provide opportunities that heighten the well-being of their communities, parks and recreation organizations must act as leaders in conservation, health, wellness, and social equity.
Yet, marketing remains a necessary aspect of operating an impactful parks and rec organization. Not only does attracting new members typically boost the members’ well-being, the increase in members can also trigger an increase in the amount of funding awarded to the organization, since the difference that they’re making becomes measurable. Here are some of the ways marketing campaigns benefit parks and recreation, and how they may differ from traditional marketing tactics.
Why Market a Parks and Rec Organization?
Some may argue that advertising is needless for an organization whose main objective isn’t maximizing profit; however, marketing increases the number of participants within the community. Engagement is a significant statistic that governments weigh when allocating resources to various departments. Parks and rec organizations with high usage tend to get more state and federal funding, which allow them to continue enhancing their communities’ well-being. Marketing raises awareness and encourages individuals to benefit from your green spaces and active living programs.
A standard key performance indicator used to determine the performance of a marketing campaign is your return on investment, or “ROI", relative to your initial investment cost. Parks and rec organizations can perform a facility-specific calculation by tracking memberships and attendance. Staff members need to keep in mind that they’re monitoring well-being, as opposed to monetary profits. Your management software should be able to create custom reports to help you analyze the results of your marketing efforts.
With modern social media networks prioritizing highly visual content through images and videos, it’s crucial for your marketing team to seize opportunities that align with this trend. Many of your public spaces already offer visually intriguing subject matter and many rec facilities can improve their visual appeal with a light refresh. Having a branded hashtag encourages your members to share their positive experiences on social media, while conveniently curating the content that’s relevant to your organization.
Your organization’s branding is another form of visual marketing that can bring people in. Effective branding creates a stronger impression and improves recall among community members, while conveying a high standard of quality, experience, and reliability.
Parks and rec organizations cover such a broad demographic audience that a combination of marketing channels is most useful for targeting the different segments. Consider traditional marketing channels, such as radio stations, newspapers, and billboards that have high viewership, to reach older members of your community.
Focus on digital marketing, especially through social media, to target the younger segment of your demographic audience. Online ad space is virtually limitless, with the option to purchase on Google AdWords, local publications’ websites, or on prominent blogs. Social networks also enable you to boost paid or sponsored posts, to ensure that your posts are featured within your target audience’s feed. The Facebook Ad Manager is a great way to target specific interests, while using geo-targeting to zero in on the people in your region.
Utilizing your parks and rec management software’s integrated marketing and built-in reporting tools can help you optimize and manage all of the moving parts. When someone sees an ad and visits your website, optimized landing pages, lead capture forms, and email marketing solutions will keep your conversion rates high. Your software can also increase sign-ups and enrolments by enabling automated loyalty and referral programs.
For more information on how to boost well-being even further in your community, check out the industry’s first Platform-as-a-Service solution for parks and rec management.
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