Here’s my two-cents based on what I’ve seen from marketing the OVKA Swap Meet:
Meta Advertising (Facebook/Instagram) can be useful, but it helps to know your audience.
75% of your Facebook traffic audience will be 45+ year-olds, so it may help attract Masters Age drivers, or be useful to attract spectators that may bring families, but young racers aren’t spending any time there.
Instagram trends younger (18-40 year olds) and posting consistently, 10-30 second reels every other day or so, with high quality video of the racing may help attract younger racers or racing families, especially if you boost the posts.
TikTok is fine to repost the reels from instagram to, but paid advertising there is really hit or miss, and you’re really only reaching the younger drivers there anyway. If you make some cool reels of the racing footage that actually do the rounds you may get some kids asking their parents to do the race.
YouTube highlight videos or official onboards can go a long way to attracting racers. A well produced highlight video showing the racing as well as the festival atmosphere can also help build the hype among racers and businesses in the lead-up to the next event.
As far as working with local businesses, make sure they get plenty of opportunities to get their logos on different media: banners, flyers, coozies, whatever you make. And make sure to get them highlighted on social media as well, so they have something to share out to wider audiences.
I think the comment that the Race Coordinators need to be separate from the Marketing (yet work together) is spot on. The Race obviously drives everything, and needs to come first and have quality organization, marshalling, officiating, tech, etc to maintain credibility and continue to draw serious competitors. Rising tides raise all boats, and a big, well run race will bring people no matter what.