What’s Trending in Tech?
Part 1: Club TechnologyRead More
The technological advances that we’ve all witnessed in recent years are quite extraordinary. Like many of you, I remember our first computer at Normanside Country Club in 1984. My, how times have changed! Today, it’s exciting to see private clubs embrace social media, implement golf simulators, and utilize devices and platforms that weren’t available to us just ten (or even five) years ago. As technology evolves, it’s important that we too follow suit to remain relevant. And video is one medium that is not only accessible in this age of mobile technology, but also valuable to private clubs more than ever before. It may be a trend, but we’re certain it’s here to stay.
Once upon a time, the words “Quick, record this!” meant that a family member was rushing to grab a bulky Camcorder in hopes to capture a sweet moment before it passed. And as I’m sure many of you remember, playing back that video involved many cumbersome steps before ultimately viewing a low-quality clip. Nostalgic and sweet? Yes. Efficient? Not quite…
Today, thanks to the development of smartphones, we can record a video with a quick tap of a button and upload it to the web almost instantly. It’s become an invaluable tool that has made platforms like YouTube billions in revenue. But what does this mean for you as club leaders? Video provides a unique opportunity to share internal messages (like club updates and events), highlight member news, and boost your digital marketing efforts–encouraging increased engagement from both present and prospective members. Not bad for something that has evolved to become extremely user-friendly over the years.
In a recent interview for our Meet the Manager series in Club Road, our team spoke with Jeff Hartigan, General Manger at The Oaks Club. When asked how The Oaks Club has embraced technology, he was quick to dive into the benefits of video. “We started implementing 3-4 minute videos into our community outreach and marketing efforts. Short videos are extremely effective and create a user-friendly way to get messages across to our members,” said Hartigan, “and we’re working on how to further enhance these videos so that we can continue spreading positive messages throughout the club.”
Video creates a sense of nostalgia, and it’s a wonderful tool to show highlight reels of what members—and their families—have been up to. Gosh, I remember sending out announcements or posting bulletins (yes, bulletins) to showcase member success stories like grand-kids graduating high school, a family member getting married, or a charity event. Now, these same announcements can be shared in a more compelling and personable way through video slideshows. These slideshows can be shared internally—via e-newsletter or email—to create a sense of community between members. Even better? Thanks to a plethora of tools now available online, they can also be created quickly and with little effort. It’s important to remember that hundreds of emails are flooding your members inboxes daily—so sending something that will grab their attention is your ticket to an engaged membership.
The evolution of social media is the number one driver for digital marketing today. Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram give us access to free marketing opportunities while still reaching hundreds—even thousands of people. The ‘social media’ ball had just started rolling when I was a club manager, and it’s been so neat to see it evolve and become such a valuable tool for the industry over the years. By now, most of you have taken the leap and created social media accounts for your club, and although pictures are great to share—videos can relay your message in a way images simply cannot. Through videos, prospective members can get a sense of club culture with a first-hand look at what it would be like to join your club.
Not sure where to start? Ask members to highlight what they love about the club, record their response, post one interview per week on social media and voila; you have an engaging video campaign that’s effective and authentic. Additionally, Instagram and Facebook recently implemented the option to post stories to your business page. This is an exciting tool that allows users to share quick fifteen-second videos, and presents a unique way for clubs to share clips of fun events. Mastering stories is a good way to test this avenue before making the commitment to share videos on a consistent basis.
If you’re still not sure if your club would benefit from implementing a video strategy—I found these statistics that may interest you:
Pretty telling, right? With little to no cost, videos can transform engagement. And above all else, it’s a fun and creative way to involve your members. For a deeper look at how your club can benefit from video, be sure to check out our upcoming Club Road issue featuring an interview with expert, Corey Saban, co-founder of Newstation—a company that converts written content about clubs and organizations into anchor-driven news videos. In our interview, we’ll explore the benefits of video for internal and external marketing, learn ways clubs are using these videos to their advantage, hear more about the positive impact on member engagement, and more! Until then, grab your smartphone, press record, and have some fun. I know I would!
Has your club utilized video? Are you unsure of where to start or how to continue your efforts? Let’s chat!