Tournaments fail at online marketing for a few key reasons, all of which are related to time.
Oftentimes organizers give themselves six months to plan their tournaments, but that's not enough time.
Tournament planning needs to start at least 12 months in advance, but starting 18 months in advance is ideal. This ensures there's adequate time to line up resources, sponsors, volunteers, registration processes, scheduling, and marketing campaigns.
We've outlined the top three reasons why tournaments fail at online marketing and what you should do to avoid these missteps.
3 Reasons Why Tournaments Fail at Online Marketing1. No passive marketing strategy between events
Tournament organizers commonly stop marketing after the event has ended, which is the wrong move. The window between the event ending and the start of registrations for the next one is a key period to keep your community engaged, ready for the next tournament, and recruit new participants.
That can't happen if you don't have a marketing strategy in place for that downtime.
Getting coaches to choose your tournament over another is about the value it provides, and a big part of that value is the community. Is it engaged and supportive, or cold and unapproachable? The former will help convince coaches to register, while the latter will be a deterrent.
Community building also includes extends to past and potential event sponsors. If you don't give yourself enough time to plan your event, you'll be rushing to line up sponsors and won't have time to ensure you're getting the most out of the sponsorship. Giving yourself 12-18 months to plan sets you up to recruit the best sponsors who can bring significant value to your tournament.
This is another consequence of not dedicating enough time to the planning process. Once the event is over, you're absolutely exhausted and don't want to think about the next one until you absolutely have to.
But, that means you'll stay trapped in a vicious cycle that doesn't allow you to effectively retain your customers. You need a plan in place to stay connected with your customers and keep them ready to buy when it's time to register for the next event.
It also allows you to hone your customer personas and ensure you're reaching out to new prospects who would also be interested in your event. That'll boost registrations for the next event.
Tournaments fail at online marketing when they have no retention, re-marketing, or passive in-between events strategies and when they don't invest the time to build a community. The time investment will be daunting at first, but the resulting higher retention and registrations will be rewarding outcomes.
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