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What Does the 80/20 Rule Mean for Your Tennis Business Marketing

80/20 rule for your tennis business marketingIn content marketing or social media marketing, we often hear about the 80/20 rule (not to be confused with Pareto’s Principle rule of customer relationship management). The logic behind this 80/20 content rule says that only 20% of your content should be promotional and talk directly about your tennis business products and services. The other 80% should be non-promotional content that is relevant to your product and services, the type that your audience will enjoy. 

Why do that?

The short answer:

Because it works.

The long answer: 

Imagine you are talking to a friend but what they do most of the time is talking about one thing, and that thing is something they are trying to sell to you. Chances are you will get bored of listening to them and stop wanting to hang out. Things work pretty much the same with online content

You can probably tweak those 80/20 percentages here and there, but if you completely switch those percentages around, your sales pitch will most likely get tuned out by your target audience. By sticking to that rule of thumb you will notice more engagement by your tennis business audience - e.g. more participation by them in the topic of conversation. 

How to misuse the 80/20 rule (and how to do it right)

1. Misuse #1: Post terrible content very often

Many marketers spend enormous amounts of time creating content by writing 20 articles per month or popping out 10 videos per week on their video channel and trying to “sort of” accomplish the 80/20 rule in each one of those pieces. Like many things on the tennis court, usually doing less is more, and quality wins over quantity. 

You do not have to spend an enormous amount of time making 80/20 content for every single piece you create. The 80/20 rule should be applied to such content that is worth sharing, commenting, featuring, and linking to. For example, creating one excellent educational blog post per month can bring in many visitors to your site. Probably more visitors than if you have 10 mediocre articles per month. So, focus on providing great valuable content over a lot of content to save your valuable time.  

Sticking to creating great content will help you acquire true fans who also become customers. Publish consistent high-value content still, but focus on quality to get more results from less time spent on writing and editing. 

2. Misuse #2: Not being consistent 

Following the 80/20 rule sometimes and then not for the rest could also be confusing to your customers. If you think about it, to them it looks like one week you are being helpful, trying to have a conversation, and get to know them, while the next week you spam them with coupon codes and promotional offers. Whether you are using these exact percentages or different ones that work for your brand, sticking to the 100% of the time is recommended.   

The 80 percent - what to do 

The main goal of your tennis business content is to build relationships with potential and existing customers. It is not about selling your products or services. So, roughly 80% should be about them (the customers) and what they are interested in hearing about. 

The content (e.g. blog articles, social media posts) should be well-written and filled with reputable sources when referring to other people’s content. Most importantly, it should provide value to your audience (are they learning something new, are you making them laugh or inspire, motivate). With your content you must demonstrate that you are a great source of information, that would potentially improve their life, and one they would want to come back to. 

Here are a few examples of useful customer-centric content: 

  • How-to blog posts, social media posts, or videos
  • Tutorials and tips to improve their tennis 
  • Insights or analysis from a tennis industry expert
  • Fun photos from tennis tournaments and events 
  • Before and after pictures or videos, showing shot or footwork improvements
  • Tennis industry news
  • Inspirations quotes, positive stories 

The 20 percent - what to do

This is the content that is about you and your tennis business offerings. So, since this content is self-promotional, you would want to give your audience a clear call-to-action (e.g. sign up to receive our newsletter, click here to get the coupon, sign up for free evaluation). When working on the 20% be sure to include information that benefits your audience (e.g. a discount, a special offer). 

Here are a few examples of promotional content:

  • Special offers and sales
  • Coupons 
  • Seasonal program offerings (e.g. summer camp, holiday workshops)
  • Product or services spotlights 
  • Cool or fun tennis shots or points videos 
  • Demos and analysis of products you have tried that you might be affiliated with
  • Positive media coverage of your tennis business (e.g. features in magazines or TV)
  • Amazing 5-star customer reviews or tennis customer testimonials

When to override the 80/20 content marketing rule 

The standard 80/20 marketing content rule is a useful rule of thumb, but it is not always right for every tennis business. Market research is always necessary to figure out whether your content is something your audience is interested in. 

Some brands choose to ignore the 80/20 rule and stick to self-promotional content only. This can also be fine in some cases. For example, one of our clients does not blog or do any video content. They email their class schedule in a monthly newsletter, which is also posted on social media along with a few pictures from those classes and workshops. Apart from that, with them, we have chosen to spend our marketing budget on search ads and use those to collect emails and leads. 

Consumers are smart and they understand you are trying to earn their business. Trust can also be built when the audience knows what to expect and there is no confusion. So, ignoring the 80/20 rule can also make sense for some brands.   

In conclusion

Each tennis business needs a different strategy and goals to succeed with content marketing. It comes down to doing A/B testing and consistent posting to create any positive effect on your marketing.  

If you have already begun your content marketing or social media marketing campaigns, be sure to take a look at the most successful ones, to decide what strategy and percentages work best for you.

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