Advertising is the key to any successful Karate dojo. The reason for this is simple: you need students to make money and advertising is what brings in new students.
As I recently explained, marketing for martial arts studios should be all about getting students in the door. Of course, you then have to have a strategy to keep them around, but the key to advertising and marketing efforts is to get them in the door.
While there are many different ways to advertise your Karate school, here are advertising strategies every Karate school should consider:
Advertise by Word-Of-Mouth
The first advertising strategy that every Karate studio should consider is a formal word-of-mouth referral program.
The truth is that there is no form of advertisement that is more powerful than one that comes from a trusted friend or family member. If I am looking for a product or service, I am much more likely to work with a business where a friend or family member I know has a personal experience.
The idea here is that you want to strategically create an incentive for your students to sell your services for you. Sure, word-of-mouth referrals automatically happen when you are doing a good job, but just waiting for a referral to happen isn’t the best strategy. When you offer an incentive - like a gift card, free month of membership, or free gear -to your students to refer new students to you , it becomes a win-win-win scenario. Your students win because they get the incentive, the new students win because they join their friends in something that benefits them, and you win because you get paid.
Don’t underestimate the power of the referral as it is one of the best karate advertising options available to you.
The second karate advertising strategy that every dojo should consider is to conduct live demonstrations.
A live demonstration does a number of things. First, it gets you in front of a specific audience. For example, if you do a demonstration at a school, you have now exposed the entire school to your services. Secondly a live demonstration often provides an opportunity for prospective students to see what you do and essential try-out your services before they buy. Demonstrations that pull in prospective students are even more powerful.
Paid Facebook Advertisements
The third advertising idea that every karate school should consider is using Facebook ads.
Facebook ads aren’t for everyone and you need to have a clear strategy to get good results, but Facebook ads are amazing for one main reason: you can target a very specific audience.
When running a Facebook advertisement for a karate studio, you can narrow down your advertisement to reach people who live within a certain distance to your dojo or who are of a certain age, or even who have kids of a certain age. This means that if you want to advertise to parents of children between the ages of 4 and 16, you can do this through Facebook ads. Or, if you want to market to adults who live within two miles of your studio who also like fitness, you can do that.
Due to the targeted advertisement options, Facebook advertisements can be an extremely powerful marketing tool for your Karate business.
Search Engine Optimization
The next advertising idea that every karate studio should consider is to use search engine optimization techniques, or SEO. In short, here is how SEO works: you create content (articles or information) on your website that show up as the top results for people who are searching for a specific topic. When your content matches what they have searched, your content ranks high in the results, meaning that it is one of the first results listed for the topic searched.
SEO can be an extremely powerful form of advertising for a number of reasons. First, SEO is basically free. While it does take time to create the content, the actual cost of SEO is no more than the cost of adding another page or blog post to your existing website. Secondly, SEO is extremely powerful because it connects you to people who are actively looking for the content you have produced. The idea is that if you produce content about your services, you will be connected directly to people who are looking for the services you offer.
There really isn’t any better advertising than that.
Social Media Advertising
The final karate advertising strategy that every dojo should consider is to advertise through social media. While this may seem elementary to some, I have found that most social media activities from Karate studios are not strategic.
The key to effective social media advertising is to have a clear strategy. And the goal of that strategy should be to get new students. For example, you could run regular promotions where you give things away in a contest where someone has to like and share your post. If your incentive is good enough, there will be a natural sharing of your post.
Social media strategies aren’t all about contests through. They should celebrate wins, advertise your best products, and even highlight your best employees and customers. An effective social media strategy will do all of this and will also be planned out for the entire month or year so that there is no thinking involved - just a quick required action.