Digital marketing is nearly 15 times cheaper than traditional posters and leaflets at producing similar levels of activity sign-up according to research in a new London Sport White Paper.
The paper also includes a series of best practice recommendations around defining a target audience, testing wording and imagery, systems for quick response times and using behaviour change theory.
London Sport’s digital behaviour change programme, delivered between June 2018 and June 2019, used Facebook advertising and follow-up messages to support people to become more active.
At the conclusion of the programme, which supported hundreds of people to join free walking groups across London, the calculated cost of delivery was £3.32 per person who signed-up.
This is significantly below sign-up cost reported in research conducted by Make Sport Fun in 2017 which calculated marketing using posters and leaflets cost around £48 per sign-up.
London Sport also calculated the entire project cost against the number of people who went on attend a walk at just £25/person.
The findings suggest a range of exciting new opportunities for grassroots physical activity and sport providers which could significantly enhance the marketing of community sport.
The pilot project used Facebook advertising supported by text message, email and Facebook Messenger follow-ups to support people to take their first steps to becoming more active.
The London Sport programme, aimed at older inactive adults, saw 7,404 people aged 55+ register for behaviour change support as part of the campaign with more than 900 of them joining a session.
Of the Londoners engaged at the start of the project, 71% were inactive under the Chief Medical Officer guidelines which recommend completing less than 30 minutes of activity every week.
Six months later, there was 7% rise in the number of people considered fairly active (30-150 minutes of activity/week) or active (150+ minutes of activity/week).
Chris Norfield, London Sport’s Digital Marketing Lead, said:
“These are extremely positive results for the sector and will allow London Sport to strengthen our insight and knowledge base with which to advise and help partners with their digital marketing.
“Many organisations that deliver physical activity and sport are struggling for funding so finding a low-cost and effective way for them to recruit new participants is very important.
“It’s vital that we continue to investigate new and innovative techniques if we are to help inactive people to enjoy the huge range of benefits available to them through physical activity.”
To read the full White Paper, ‘Using Facebook to recruit new participants for walking groups - The development of a digital behaviour change programme’, click here.
For more information on London Sport’s digital work, including promoting This Girl Can sessions and a how-to guide for Facebook budgeting click here.