For many people, the first place they will look for footballing opportunities in their area is online. As such, if your club or league have a website and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) accounts, you can not only engage with your immediate members and stakeholders, but also promote yourselves to a wider number of people for little to no cost.
It is important to keep on top of your online presence though; providing relevant and current information, as well as ensuring all contact details are accurate. Use imagery or video to capture people’s attention when they are searching online and look to post at high traffic times (early morning, lunchtime, early evening, etc.).
Use e-newsletters to engage with your current members and keep them up to date on club matters. There are simple tools, like MailChimp, that can assist with this. Just remember to not bombard them with messages!
Posters and flyers are still an effective and simple method to promote yourselves to the right audience, particularly when honing your efforts into a specific, localised area.
Utilise free design tools, such as Canva, before distributing your marketing to the areas that will have high footfall; for instance, community noticeboards or coffee shops, as well as organisations that already engage with the individuals you are looking to get involved, for example, educational institutes. You may also reap the benefits if you are able to erect a banner that promotes the club on nearby fencing which gains a lot of traffic.
Building a relationship with your local press, whether it is online or print, is a fantastic way of increasing your profile in the local community. Local media outlets are often eager to hear from their local community organisations about their successes, events, new projects, and community work.
Do not forget the power of face-to-face interaction. Your current members can be a key means of promoting the club through word of mouth. They can also promote the club without talking to people through your range of branded clothing and merchandise if you encourage your members to wear it during their usual daily activities.
Furthermore, look to have a physical presence in the community to stimulate new engagement as many people are attracted to the social, fun side of club life. This can be through running your own events, such as open days or social evenings (race nights, etc), or by attending those run by others (community fetes, etc.).