As someone who does marketing for a living, I do my best to go out and consume a lot of content, products and services in order to learn about the craft. ‘It’s called market research…’, I tell my husband and my accountant.
I mean, it’s like taste-testing. It makes you a better host, I say, to ensure that your guests will enjoy that dessert. And if you need to taste-test an entire package of bacon or bowl of cookie dough, well, that’s between you and your spatula.
No judgement here, my friend.
One thing I notice, though, with marketing content is that there seems to be three types of bloggers: those who write to attract to new readers, those who write to serve their existing audience, and those who manage to do both.
Guess which one I aim to be?
And, thus, this post. While writing about tools and resources isn’t going to attract new customers, it is going to serve you – the people who are already here, lending me your precious time and attention.
So here we are.
(And, speaking of time and attention, if you’re a track that’s interested in getting more in-depth on setting up tools and systems to market yourself throughout this season, we have a free workshop coming up next week on Thursday, March 10th at 10am EST. You can sign up here. Can’t make it live? We’ll provide a replay for everyone who registers.)
Now, to the meat of the issue.
What tools do you need to run your race track or team? Sometimes, on Tuesdays, we get together on the free DirtyMouth Sponsorship Success Community and share the tools we’re really digging right now. It’s always a great thread, and it made me realize that I don’t share these items often enough on the blog.
Here’s what I recommend to get started:
- Mailchimp. Or your choice of email service provider, but I currently use and recommend Mailchimp. Why is this first on my list, when I provide social media services? I will tell you, of course. Because email marketing is effective and free for both race tracks and teams. Boom. If you want to directly reach people who have put their hand up to receive your information, there is no better way to do that than through email marketing. Give them a call-to-action, whether that’s to buy a ticket to your next race or share your content with a friend, and they’re most likely to take action here in their inbox. That’s powerful. And that’s also why we recommend that our clients use social media to drive fans to their email list.
- All. The. Social. Media. Okay, that’s not a realistic recommendation for most of us busy, race-chasers. Here’s what I recommend, in what order and why:
- Facebook: It’s hands-down your bread and butter. It’s not the newest, sexiest platform out there. It won’t win you an innovation in marketing award. But it will win you fans and profits. Because most of our fan base spends time here, whether they’re an older demographic just jumping in or a younger demo ‘still’ using the platform, they’re all there. And although you can’t reach them all for free anymore, you can spend very little money to reach lots of them in a really targeted way.
- Twitter: I love Twitter because of the industry insights. It’s where the cool kids hang out, if I do say so myself, so if you want the latest and greatest happenings, this is likely where you’re going to find it.
- Instagram: Want young people at your track? This is where they’re chilling. Or whatever word is popular at the moment. It’s all photography, it’s unschedule-able and it’s hard to link to a direct call-to-action, but it’s completely worth it to harness the millennial crowd, which has years to lend to your race track as a lifetime fan.
- Periscope: Live broadcasting, you say? Won’t that take away from ticket sales? First of all, no. Second of all, if you’re a team, who really cares? Just kidding. Ticket sales are good for everyone. Tracks and event promoters who are trying live broadcasting through pay-per-view channels like my faves SpeedShift TV are not seeing ticket sales drop off. In fact, they’re getting great feedback (and revenue) from fans who couldn’t possibly make it to the race, whether they’re across the country or in the nursing home down the road. Yes, grandma wants to see her grandkids race, even if she can’t make it to the track. This is worthy of an additional blog post, but suffice it to say that video content gets people excited about your track or team. It let’s them get a taste of the action, whether that’s a behind the scenes tour of your hauler or an infield view of some racing action, that will help them decide if they want to buy a ticket to your race in the future or a marketing appearance at their next ice cream shop opening. Don’t be afraid to be an early adopter on this platform. You WILL be rewarded.
- YouTube. See Periscope notes above, but take away the ‘live’ factor and add to it the ability to market your video content forever. And monetize it. Yep. Just create an account and put ‘monetize YouTube’ in to the Google machine and it will give you super easy instructions on how to profit from your best video content. Want to see a great example of video marketing piece from a small racing business? Check out my friends at Northwest Focus Midgets and see if you don’t want to move to the Northwest and take off your top wing.
- Freshbooks. Because you need to get paid, and you don’t need to overcomplicate it. I recommend Freshbooks to any client that needs to invoice marketing partners, whether at a speedway or as a team, needs to pay anyone, draw up estimates or keep track of expenses, because it’s so dang easy to use. It keeps track of everything you need to run your team as a business and keep things looking, feeling and operating professionally. We use it for my business, dynoing shocks (who doesn’t want to pay by credit card?!), CBR marketing partners and more. Try FreshBooks free for 30 days here.
- A scheduler tool. Want to stop worrying about putting content out all the time? Use a scheduler tool. For Facebook, I highly recommend scheduling within Facebook. But for Twitter, you can use a tool like Hootsuite, where you can also manage multiple accounts at once, I might add, to schedule content for when you know you’ll be be busy.
- Bluehost. If you’re in business, you need a website. Bluehost is my hosting company of choice for two reasons – it’s reliable, and it’s easy to use in terms of setting up your website, even if you don’t know nothin’ bout no website building. Just trust me, if you’re not using someone like MyRacePass to build you a custom site, you’re going to need something that you can easily build on your own. In that vein, I recommend WordPress and Elegant Themes (Divi, in particular) for easily and beautifully building your own site.
- Continuing education. Whether you want to pick a book from my list of recommended titles over here, take in an industry publication like Performance Racing Industry, take part in a workshop on creating marketing offerings or crafting effective sponsorship proposals, or subscribe to a podcast like Born Racing, I highly recommend that you invest in educating yourself, whether that’s through time, money or energy. Take a veteran racer out for coffee. Watch a video that you’d normally pass over as too-technical. Take a free class on iTunes University. You never know what you’ll pick up. And it’s what the best do. That should be reason enough.
Want more tools and resources? We have a whole page over at DirtyMouthCommunications.com/Resources with additional recommendations and reasons why I recommend what I do. There are also some fun and helpful social media templates there that you can use as a track, racer or business, available to download for free.
P.S. Don’t forget: if you’re a track that’s interested in getting more in-depth on setting up tools and systems to market yourself throughout this season, we have a free workshop coming up next week on Thursday, March 10th at 10am EST. You can sign up here. Can’t make it live? We’ll provide a replay for everyone who registers.