Sounds like an impossible headline? We achieved it this year.
Over the last couple of years, the UKA have been running advertising campaigns for most clubs using social media. How did we get such a high number this year? It’s been a journey of repetition and a process of learning. Here are some success factors with adverts:
- The day and time of a class. Not many people want to start a class at 9.30PM. - Video versus image based ads have a different effect of potential new members. - The choice of image can swing advert success. - Over time we’ve learned to appeal to certain demographic groups for wider success. - The distance people are willing to travel (and how far to advertise) has been key.
Not many of us in Aikido have professional experience of advertising but the ‘Nan test’ is always key. Ask your Nan to read it (or someone not involved in Aikido) and if the advert is appealing. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of what you believe people want to see in an advert.
This year’s campaigns generated a lot of new information, we’ve learned about how to target audiences better and dealing with trolls. There were a few negative comments about Aikido and comparing it to other arts/sports. The lesson here was patience, education and addressing comments rather than ignoring.
The biggest lesson learned by far is no specific formula works perfectly every time, sometimes you’ll have more success than others. We’re planning more adverts this year with the help of club leaders and committee members to keep growing. Who knows, maybe the next campaign will generate even more interest?