Regardless of where your school is located, we all want our school to stand out online and attract new memberships on a regular basis. Whether you’re in the city, suburbs, or out in the middle of nowhere, if you want to promote martial arts online then there are three main objectives that you must keep in mind:
- Get found
- Earn trust
- Make it easy for visitors to sign up
The beautiful thing about online marketing is that you can now reach more people, in less time, and build your brand with relatively small investment. This is great news if your school is just getting started or has a relatively small membership base. In this article we’re going to discuss the best ways that your business can get found online.
Stay tuned to our blog for the next “How to Promote Martial Arts Online” posts which will discuss earning trust and making it easy for visitors to sign up.
Get Found: How to Promote Martial Arts Online
1. Local Search Engine Optimization
Your website is your businesses home online and should be easy to be found online when someone is searching for martial arts in your area. By doing local search engine optimization for martial arts schools, you can make sure that it’s easy for potential members in your area to find you.
SEO is all about building trust and authority in the eye’s of the search engines and making sure that your online presence and website is structured properly, and that your content is written in a way that highlights relevant search terms related to your business. For your potential customers, those keywords can include “martial arts school”, “self-defense”, “karate”, “jiu jitsu”, and many more.
The tricky part about this is making sure that your content is not jammed so full of these keywords that it sounds unnatural or confusing to someone who is actually trying to read the text and learn more about your school.
If you are not familiar with SEO, consider hiring a professional to help craft content for your website. It’s an extra expense but will be money well spent when your site outranks a competitor’s in a local Google search.
2. Multimedia and Social Media
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth about a million of them. Why spend time telling people how great your business is when you can easily show them with a photo or video?
You have tons of clients in your studio who can tell your story in a much more authentic way and help potential customers envision themselves at your studio, too. Taking just a few minutes to record them in action or doing a quick video interview after a class will go a long way toward helping build your brand.
If you or your staff don’t have time to devote to taking photos or videos, consider asking one of your tech-savvy members to do it for you, maybe you can return the favor with a discounted membership or other perk. Someone who is eager to produce videos is going to do a much better job in the end than someone who doesn’t have interest in doing it.
High-Quality Video with Your Phone
Everyone’s smartphones can now take high-quality video, so there’s no need to buy any special equipment. However, a phone’s microphone is not the best so if you are doing an interview make sure that it’s in a quiet location away from the action of a class. Also, spend the $20 or so and purchase a lavalier microphone on Amazon. It will significantly improve the audio on your videos.
Post this content on Instagram and Facebook to reach new clients and keep your current customer base engaged. Instagram is all about photos and videos, and Facebook places a lot of emphasis on ensuring that photo and video content ends up in people’s news feeds.
Try Facebook Live
To take things to the next level, try Facebook Live. Facebook is really pushing this feature right now and will go out of its way to notify your followers every time you go live. The live videos are also archived so anyone who is not able to watch in real time can go back and check out the content later.
Your martial arts studio can use Facebook Live to stream all or part of a class, or maybe to do a Q&A for those that are new to martial arts and wondering what it’s all about.
3. Facebook Advertising
No one wants to admit, but we all spend way more time on Facebook than we probably should. If you’ve ever seen a post from a brand or organization that you don’t follow, chances are it’s an ad that someone is paying for you to see.
Simply put, Facebook ads are the best way to spend your marketing and advertising budgets these days. You can reach thousands of targeted potential customers for a fraction of what you’d spend to achieve similar results through other types of advertising.
Facebook ads work best when they have a specific call to action attached to them. You can use an ad to promote just about anything on Facebook, but here are a few specific ideas you may want to consider:
- Promote a new member special that’s targeted to people who live in your area but are not already fans of your academy’s Facebook page.
- Target parents with a video to show them how martial arts can instill confidence, discipline, self-esteem, and other traits in their children.
- Create an open house event to connect with your community and use an ad to boost it.
- If you have a great piece of video content form class, boost it to put it in front of even more people
With all these ad types you’ll be able to see exactly how much engagement your Facebook ad has received to date. This is another advantage over more traditional advertising channels which don’t typically offer these deep metrics.
Think Like Your Customers
Putting specific tactics aside, the best answer to the question of “how to promote martial arts” is to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Who are your customers and how do they like to spend their time?
The majority of them are likely parents looking to get their kids involved in some sort of activity but maybe haven’t thought about martial arts yet. We’ve talked a lot about how you can reach this group on social media, but that should not be a substitute for old-fashioned face-to-face engagement.
Connect with potential customers in person by sponsoring or volunteering at community events. Bring some of your existing students along to act as ambassadors for your business and use these events to create content and multimedia for your website and social media pages.
Have questions about how to promote martial arts online? Contact us today or join us in the comments! You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.