What is the Digital Marketing Hub?

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The digital skills gap has always existed within our sector, but the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue and made engagement more important than ever before. As we move forward, and as online spaces become more important, we’re launching a new Digital Marketing Hub backed by a £450,000 award from Sport England to help you connect and engage with communities.


Quick look:

  • The Digital Marketing Hub will offer the self-employed, sole traders, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as volunteers, community groups, and charities in our sector the opportunity to develop their digital marketing skills for free.
  • The programme will specifically explore how people and organisations can boost participation and re-engage participants, while looking at key themes in digital marketing, including audience development, online visibility, and content production.
  • Wide ranging support available for professionals, self-employed, micro-businesses, volunteers, and employers
  • The Digital Marketing Hub is available to all people and organisations delivering sport and physical activity. For more information, please visit: https://digital.cimspa.co.uk/

CIMSPA’s commercial director, Ollie Bell explains:

“Throughout the various national lockdowns, we saw the public adapt to digital fitness and coaching. While many sector professionals successfully transitioned to online delivery, many struggled to remain connected to their communities and research showed just 10% of respondents measured their organisations as very or extremely effective in digital marketing skills.

“Research from the Digital Marketing Institute reveals a huge appetite for training in social media, content marketing, website management, and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).”

Developed in close collaboration with our partners at Sport England over the last few months, the new Digital Marketing Hub will focus on delivering foundation and advanced skills and will comprise the following:

  • Certificated online learning programme – on-demand bite-size modules certified by the Digital Marketing Institute
  • Expert partner-led courses – content developed and delivered by guest partners, with on-demand learning created and tailored towards sport and physical activity by a range of providers
  • Live webinar series – featuring keynote speakers, digital marketing experts and community champions to demonstrate the power of digital marketing
  • Peer networking – a supportive community where learners can post messages, ask questions, seek help, gain access to experts, and share their successes
  • Resources and micro-learning – including blogs, vlogs, pods, and guides.

The Digital Marketing Hub will cover:

  • Reaching new audiences – helping learners to reach new and more diverse audiences and drive growth
  • Insight application – supporting sport and physical activity professionals and volunteers to better understand and apply audience and sector insight to inform their digital marketing activities
  • Measurement – helping learners to set goals and KPIs and measure them effectively
  • Channel skills – increase understanding of the key digital marketing channels, such as social, search, websites, email, and provide the practical skills to use them effectively.

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Why is the Digital Marketing Hub Important?

“We’re establishing the Digital Marketing Hub because research from the Digital Marketing Institute found a significant digital skills gap, with 63% of those surveyed admitting they don’t have a clear plan to attract new audiences through their digital channels. They had over 1,000 sector professionals respond to their survey,” said Ollie Bell.

“More than three quarters (81%) of those surveyed said that attracting new participants was very or extremely important to them. The digital marketing hub will allow them to create a plan to do so. A quarter (25%) of respondents rated their organisation as “not at all effective” at adapting to new trends and insights.”

The research showed that most respondents rated themselves as underperforming across all digital marketing channels when asked to compare themselves to their peers.

How can I get involved?

A launch webinar, hosted by TV presenter and host of The High Performance Podcast, Jake Humphrey, will take place at on 14 September 2021.

The Digital Marketing Hub is part of Sport England’s 10-year strategy ‘Uniting the Movement’. It aims to help the sector recover from the far-reaching effects of the coronavirus pandemic, while supporting individuals and organisations to improve their digital capabilities and skills.

The Digital Marketing Hub is available to all people and organisations delivering sport and physical activity.

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Incorporated by Royal Charter Charity registration number 1144545

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