Positioning your motorsport website to a global audience
The digital age had made motorsports more accessible than ever before - however, many motorsport companies are failing to position their website to the global audience.
For your global audience it’s the drive and passion for the sport that has been the catalyst for them to happen upon your website, so first impressions really do matter.
Carly Magnavacca-Ptaszek Performance Manager
Very few sports have as much of a global appeal as motorsport.
Reaching 197 countries worldwide (based on a survey by Autosport International in 2023), the exposure and enthusiasm for Motorsport is vast.
And that exposure continues to grow, thanks to the accessibility and connectivity that modern-technology has made possible.
However, despite its global success, many motorsport websites aren’t positioned to effectively communicate to an international audience.
This blog post highlights the benefits of marketing to the wider world, and how this can be achieved on your company website.
So how can you position your website to the global audience?
First impressions matter – establish your identity
Motorsports’ global success is contributory to the appeal of its adrenaline-pumping action and cutting-edge technology.
So regardless of where you sit within the industry, whether a driver, club, team, circuit or motorsport business, your website should be reminiscent of that buzz and excitement of the sport.
Afterall, for your global audience it’s the drive and passion for the sport that has been the catalyst for them to happen upon your website, so first impressions really do matter.
So make it count with a website design that exudes the creativity and innovation befitting of the industry.
Getting that balance between rich, engaging media such as images and video, and impactful copy that works seamlessly alongside a sleek, intuitive digital journey is the driving force to success.
And the importance of a strong, consistent brand identity will improve visibility and promote trust with your audience.
The Donington Park website is a great example of strong implementation of brand guidelines and media that exudes the sheer buzz of the motorsport world.
Consider global audiences with your website navigation
Your website navigation is one of the most critical factors for users as it provides the gateway to your website and the information it offers.
Which is why identifying your key user groups and understanding what they’ll be looking for on the site, is intrinsic to the creation of a successful motorsport website.
All audiences will benefit from a navigation that is clear, succinct, uses consistent industry terminology and ample signposting to encourage users to journey around the site.
If your site includes the option for translation, make sure your navigation is able to adapt to account for any additional characters / space needed for different language versions.
The MotoGP website utilises a translation feature, which not only changes the language, but also hero imagery to increase its relevance to different cultures.
For example, the Italian and Japanese language version shows an image of Superbikes, due to the country’s more developed motorcycle culture.
We use WPML, the WordPress multilingual plugin for our translations which allows for both automated and human translation for high quality translations.
Google Translate is also a free automated translation service that can be added to your website, the translations aren’t perfect – but it’s an ideal stepping stone for small businesses looking to reach a global audience.
Build your community
Leveraging your website to engage and connect with those involved in motorsport, be it fans or professionals, is a key element when positioning your website to the global audience.
Engaging your audience with rich accessible content, tools and resources will work to both develop and sustain their relationships with your brand, even those who are unable to engage in-person.
Engagement could be through a number of website features:
News & Blogs
News & Blogs are great to have on your website, not least for the benefits to your visibility in search engines (if your SEO is optimised correctly).
But be sure to use clear English, as not all of your audience will be native English speakers, be culturally aware and offer translation options.
Image and Video Galleries
Images and video are fantastic pieces of engaging content that can aid your storytelling and generate interest and excitement from users.
Whether this depicts an event, showcases a vehicle or is informational such as motorsport product reviews or tips – Images and video are a universal language, so use media to overcome language barriers and communicate with your audience.
The Formula 1 website has an extensive video library full of a wide range of videos centred around the discipline.
Whereas sites such as VBOX Motorsport use image and video to highlight the benefits and specifications of the products they sell.
Live event streams offer greater audience potential and are not limited to only the races themselves.
Webinars, exhibitions, race days, these are all notable events that could benefit from the power of live streaming.
Think of it this way, you can invite as many people as you like to “attend”, appealing to an extensive audience and making your content more accessible to people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach it.
There are many free platforms available for live streaming, such as Youtube Live and Twitch which allow you to embed the stream on your website.
You also have the ability to stream via social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram that have the same embed capabilities.
If you’re not ready to live stream, upload the event, or highlight video post event if you’re able, allowing people to consume as and when needed.
Stay up-to-date with calendars
Having a visible Calendar (if applicable) on your website is a great way to keep your audience abreast of upcoming events.
Whether your events calendar consists of upcoming motorsport exhibitions, industry specific webinars, product launches, or racing events – an events calendar shows how active your organisation is within the industry.
For the spectator, 750 Motor Club includes an extensive Events Calendar that offers quick links to full information such as Race Programmes, Noticeboard and even links to any available live streams for clear, accessible routes of engagement for their users.
Whilst the design of the website is important, the technical performance is also a huge factor in positioning your website to the global audience.
If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, you risk losing users.
And as the average internet speed varies significantly by country, putting in place elements that improve page load speed is strongly recommended.
Implementation of a CDN (Content Delivery Network), essentially a network of servers spread around the world, will serve your users content from a server located near to them.
This provides a faster, consistent user experience for your users, regardless of where in the world they are viewing the site from.
Whilst making your motorsport website appeal to a global audience might have previously been seen as ‘out of reach’, it’s attainable, even for smaller motorsport businesses.
And whether it has been a conscious part of your marketing strategy, it’s likely that due to the significant reach of motorsport worldwide, you’re already seeing global users access your website.
And the features detailed above are achievable for motorsport business of all sizes, whether by harnessing free tools such as Google Translate, or Cloudflare CDN, through to understanding where globally users are coming from via Google Analytics.
The key is to embrace the motorsport community, provide the accessibility they need and celebrate a shared passion for this fantastic sport.
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