Content Marketing for Hunting, Fishing, and Shooting | The Future of Outdoor Industry Marketing
By Jeremy Flinn, Chief Marketing Officer
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few months, you have seen the movement and “panic” around managing content on a digital level. No, this isn’t a whole bunch of your local “bloggers” producing “where to hunt” articles. This is an intense strategical play to seize open real estate in the digital realm for hunting, fishing, and shooting. Content marketing is exactly what it says it is – a method of marketing content. Doesn’t sound that hard, and where is my ROI on a “blog?” As crazy as it may seem, 78% of Chief Marketing Officers (including myself) see content as the future of marketing (Demand Metric 2014). So why is this?
First off, it’s the proverbial “two birds, with one stone.” Google loves content. I mean they really love content, but not just any content. They want high quality, original, Google algorithm appropriate digital content. There is no content marketing without original, high quality content. For instance, a previously aired episode of a hunting TV show is an amazing piece of digital content. However, if you think plopping it on YouTube is going to do it, then that’s why you need to finish this article.
A piece of content must be optimized based on many attributes including title, meta description, meta tags, keywords, and the list goes on. For videos, it’s even more detailed as Google can at least crawl over a text based article, however, it has no idea what the heck is in your video…especially when it’s titled “Joe’s 2015 Hunt.” The video, if embedded in your website, must be optimized on the backend and paired with a large chunk of relatable text on the same page to discuss the contents or topics of the video. If you are placing it on YouTube, just placing keyword tags isn’t going to cut it. The bottom line is if you do it correctly, Google will reward you greatly. This in turn drives customers to you.
So, the second bird we killed with that rock was the impact of future and current customers. Over 80% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading relevant content from the brand (Demand Metric 2014). In other words, like Google, the consumers start to TRUST you. They begin to feel like you know what you are talking about, and better yet, content marketing begins to turn them into a loyal consumer. Per dollar spent, content marketing can generate up to 3 times the number of leads as traditional marketing (Demand Metric 2014). Think about the potential impacts that can have on your bottom line.
Here’s the kicker, it’s not as easy as calling up the ad sales rep and placing an order. There’s much more to it than that. From strategy to management to implementation, a true content marketing plan is not something easy. Read any book or blog on the topic and you will quickly find there are no shortcuts to success with content marketing. But that is why the ones who do perform, are rewarded great return.
Speaking of return or ROI, how do you determine that with content marketing? Well, like most things on the internet its trackable using your Google Analytics account. Not only that, but use tools like Bit.ly to track specific links. But I know what you mean, how can I see ROI from my content marketing efforts? You have to know how to track, translate, and report. Any good inbound marketing agency, like Stone Road Media, will help you do just that.
Your most valuable asset for the next several years will be the original content you create. Whether that’s web, TV, or print, harnessing the power of content will determine which brands will dominate the search engines, and ultimately become most powerful. The days of hemorrhaging a traditional ad spend budget are gone. The future revolves around skilled content producers and inbound marketers who can take a piece of digital content and turn it into a consumer-driving machine.
Don’t think that you can just start content marketing with only new content. Although it may not be completely in check with Google’s latest algorithm, the fact is original digital content from any time is great. In fact, many will be shocked to find that even a lot of digital content they have online is hardly known at all by Google because of the lack of optimization.
There are no shortcuts to creating digital content worth a darn to Google, especially since the release of Google Hummingbird algorithm. In fact, Google did all of the content writers out there a huge favor by making digital content requirement even more intense. What’s that mean? You actually have to know what you are talking about! Praise Google! No more article spinning for a 300-500 word useless piece a digital trash, now when you discover a piece of content it will be of value as Google has customers to answer to as well – YOU!
How you handle your digital content will be critical to the success of building an audience and eventually customers. It only takes one great piece of digital content, marketing in the right way to begin building success. Often, businesses will think that the main domain or .com will be what shows in search results. Sometimes it is, for example with Stone Road Media, you will find the website occupying many of the top 5 spots for “Hunting and Fishing Digital Marketing” and its variants. However, the main domain is #2, while a high quality piece of digital content is ranked #1. That’s because the content marketing effort around the blog was to target that keyword phrase, and it was optimized to Google’s algorithm. However, the residual value of many relevant blogs, as well as web page optimization overall, gained the main .com the #2 spot of the search engine result page (SERP).
As you plan for 2016 marketing of your company and beyond, remember that most companies are already investing into content marketing. The worldwide web is not as endless as it seems, and there is a definite amount of space to be had. Small or large company, seize the chance to grab some of that real estate. As the old land saying goes, “They ain’t making any more of it!”
Jeremy Flinn is Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Stone Road Media, an inbound and content marketing company focused on brands in the hunting, fishing, shooting, and outdoors. For questions about your own content marketing, drop him an email at email@example.com.