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Hunting and Fishing Digital Marketing | Customer Profiling

Hunting and Fishing Digital Marketing | Customer Profiling for Greater Customer Engagement

By Jeremy Flinn, Chief Marketing Officer

Every day your target customers are bombarded with hundreds, if not thousands, of digital advertisements. Whether via website ad space, email marketing, social media ads, or AdWords, the irrelevant nature or broad generality have made that outdoor industry consumer nearly numb to the delivery. If you have run any ads like this you often scratch your head at the mass number of impressions and nearly pathetic click thru rates – usually way south of 1% (unless you’re talking about fat-fingered mobile ads). If you do get clicks, like with social media ads or AdWords, your analytics will often tell the story of high bounce rate and low time on site – meaning lack of quality visitors. With all the digital noise, you have to prepare your brand and product to stand out from the rest. The best way to do that is to present an ad of extreme relevance. Sure, the visual aesthetics and call-to-action (CTA) matter, but at the end of the day, if it’s not relevant, it’s not getting engagement. Delivering effective digital advertising is much more than buying run of site (ROS) display ads or throwing a “Don’t Miss Sale” email together. It takes an extremely strategic and refined plan of action to not only deliver the advertising, but get the engagement you are looking for whether that’s website visits, content delivery, contest entries, or direct sales. That’s where customer profiling becomes incredibly effective.

No, this isn’t the profiling of old where you get sold onto 50 different lists or receive 100 credit card applications in the mail because you are a managing member of one LLC. Actually, a major driver of our business is customer profiling not for the business, but for the consumer. Why? You do not want customers to waste precious seconds of the day engaging or searching aimlessly for something they need. By delivering hyper-targeted advertisements, you not only make advertising more effective for the business, but also the customer. For example, why would you send an ammunition ad to someone who is only a bow hunter or target archer? Those might be wasted ad dollars if you are on CPM impression-based model. Or why advertise your brand of “deer minerals” for someone to click, only for them to find out it contains molasses (a food) and is illegal in many states during some or all of the year? Customer profiling is a much more effective way to reach the right customer for your brand, product, or service. The days of bulk/mass targeting are over. It hemorrhaged budgets, and generated extremely poor results (if you forgot, look at a run of site click thru rate on display ads again). So how do you begin to customer profile?

It all starts with an email address. To me, and email address is their name. In fact, it’s also their location. With that one line that includes the @ symbol, I not only can know the person, but can deliver a message. The email address is the foundation of customer profiling and should be targeted long before you begin to build any information on that customer. Without the email address, the rest of the information is irrelevant. Why? How can you utilize the information gathered if the person is just a random visitor to the website? Retargeting code through Google AdWords is not going to separate them out very well. No, this requires special attention. The email will begin to build a database, in which you will grow the profile and begin to understand the consumer in much greater detail.

Once you have the email, acquired through any of several “moral” internet methods, you can begin to build the profile through questions and surveys. Why moral? The days of bulk buying email list will shut down your mass email account, like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp, so fast your head will spin. If you consistently get more than 1 spam report per thousand emails sent you can be subject to account suspension. If you bought a list, I can guarantee this will happen as those customers signed up for something that may be related, but is not specific to your brand or products. Building the profile will require a well thought out strategy in the email blast. This could be as easy as a contest, or as blended as great content and a survey or poll that lets a sportsman speak their voice. Either way, it is a great opportunity to target what is happening now. For example, you wouldn’t poll a deer hunter about what their favorite rut call is in the middle of turkey season. Odds are the response rate will be low as they aren’t thinking about that activity. You will often only get one chance to ask that question. Timing and presentation are everything so don’t throw out a 20 question survey unless you are offering one hell of a prize opportunity for those that complete it.

As you begin to collect customer profiling information, store it in a secure database that you can revisit, sort, and extract relevant contacts. That’s a lot of information to put into an email account management tool and sort through, so doing it in Excel and importing the target emails for a particular topic can be much easier. Once you have started to reach the targeted lists, study the analytics like open and click thru rate or even the sales derived from the eblast, as compared to those untargeted in the past. You should see significant increases in the KPIs you are most interested in. This is a great way for TV Shows looking to please sponsors, as they can show powerful and extreme targeted numbers for specific products. Again, why send the next best whitetail grunt call out to everyone when half your list lives mainly in western elk country? The choice is yours, but if you make a customer’s life more streamlined, your success will often follow the same suit.

New Facebook Reactions and How they will Affect the Outdoor Industry

Hunting, Shooting, and Fishing Marketing | Social Media Marketing for the Outdoor Industry

By: Jared Prusia: Social Media and SEO Specialist / Weston Schrank: SRM Content Manager

Chances are you have noticed the reactions by now. You know… those little faces next to the like button that came with Facebook’s latest update! Your latest Facebook social post now includes reaction buttons that include everything from a like to one heart showing “Love” and/or four emoji faces that include “Haha”, “Wow”, “Sad”, and “Angry”. For years Facebook users pleaded for a dislike button, these 6 reactions is what they decided to give us. So what does this mean for Facebook users?Facebook Reactions Stone Road Media Outdoor Industry

Why should your business or brand care?

Stone Road Media has set itself apart as an industry leader by designing and implementing numerous outdoor social media strategies and also by producing high quality outdoor content for a living, so trust us when we say “ take notice.” The new Facebook reactions will not only increase the total number of responses, but increase engagement as well by offering the user a means to better express their feelings about your post. Scrolling through on the mobile device or desktop shows you the 3 most popular reactions your content has drawn from the crowd, hovering and clicking on the reactions shows you more in depth numbers of each reaction. Besides getting more overall click volume, your posts, especially controversial ones, will produce more engagement in way of comments. Think about how many times you’ve seen a comment string go on for days about a controversial topic when all users could do like the post… Now users have the opportunity to express a huge variety of emotions toward a post with the click of a button. Scary right?

This change means more engagement potential across all of Facebook, but this potential will remain untapped without the right type of content and social posts. Audience building, and audience retaining content, posted correctly will pull and produce strong engagement. In the world of social media marketing, QUALITY content is king. Anyone can produce content, and almost anyone can produce quality content once or twice. What separates successful inbound and social media marketers from the rest of the want-to-be marketers in the outdoor industry, or any industry for that matter, is a true connection to content being produced, a means of having that content seen by your target audience, and a willingness to OUTWORK EVERYONE!

What do they really mean?

These reactions are fun and playful at first, but they have a very real purpose for your content, posts, and how your audience engages with your brand. Your audience is human, the emoji faces are humanoid by design, and every emotion is up for interpretation, or misinterpretation. The “Haha” face may mean the content is funny, or it may mean “seriously this again?”, “who cares”, “Really?” The same is true with the “Wow” emoji. While the “Like”, “Love”, “Sad”, and “Angry” are direct points, the “Haha” and “Wow” may be more difficult to understand. As is true with anything that starts out as a good thing, these features will be used, abused, and manipulated to mean things you may have not thought possible. In response to several comments regarding the simplicity of the reaction buttons…Just wait. These five new reactions may be more than your social posts are prepared to handle. Expect adversity in the response received by your social posts, listen to what is being said, and adapt your content and social media strategy accordingly. This is where it gets tricky. Anyone can listen, very few can implement accurate and purposeful change.

How to use them to your advantage

The new Facebook reactions can and will benefit Facebook, and the businesses that strive to get the most out of their social media marketing. A data, content, personality, or show type company can now tap into greater insights into what interests the users and customer. If done correctly slightly tweaked or tilted content can be used to adjust statuses and content posts to receive more reactions, more engagement, and eventually more impressions per post.

The “Old World” of the Outdoor Industry is well understood to be behind the rapidly expanding millennials that are driving the marketing in todays “New World” true business world. While there are some who have embraced the digital front, the majority of companies and brands in this industry have not. Growing a business and brand steadily, tracking all the benefits of the digital world, and knowing your target customer will lead to succeed in this industry. Again, these reactions give us more power for audience building and audience retaining content, not just those who are already buying, but more importantly those who will be buying. The world of advertising is changing rapidly. Don’t miss out!

For more information on Stone Road Media’s digital media assistance, contact us today at info@stoneroadmedia.com.

 

Outdoor Industry Marketing Secrets | Using Inbound Marketing

Outdoor Industry Marketing Secrets | Using Inbound Marketing Strategies to Exploit Small Business Growth Potential

By Jared Prusia, Sr. Manager of Business Development

It’s no secret that the business world is always changing. What is often current or important one day may be completely irrelevant and outdated the next. In some ways, change sets us back; in our progress, our passions, and even our beliefs. In other ways however, change creates opportunity; the opportunity to try, to fail, and sometimes succeed. The outdoor industry has been seemingly-static for several years, but that is changing faster than you can read this blog. While some are able to sense the inevitable change, very few will be able to optimize it. Adaptive inbound marketing strategies that revolve around consumer demands, and create meaningful brand experiences are the secret to gaining a significant competitive advantage. Through search engine optimization, impactful social media presence and content marketing, your growing business can increase sales, improve customers’ experiences and pave the way for a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts in the midst of change. Time, Content, Less Money, Inbound Marketing | loyal Hunting and Fishing CustomersA key component in the current industry shift is the new generation of outdoorsmen and -women rising up to fill the place of those before them. This generational difference is more significant than ever before for one reason: technology. Understanding how consumers use new technologies everyday provides the roadmap to customer satisfaction. Studies show that about 27% of time spent online is on social networking sites; followed closely by entertainment and shopping. Even in the deer stand or turkey blind, almost every hunter has a cell phone in their pocket where social media, Google, and YouTube are just a click away. Effective inbound marketing strategies use technology to build a relationship with the customer via providing exactly what they are looking for, which is much more meaningful than a commercial on TV or an ad in a magazine. For this reason, it is becoming more critical daily to incorporate inbound marketing because it gets your company or brand in front of potential customers each time they use technology. Undoubtedly, as technology continues to progress and become more integrated into our everyday lives; inbound marketing will also progress and become the undisputed marketing technique in not only the outdoor industry, but every marketplace. It was because of these changes, that Stone Road Media was created. The company is the forefront of inbound marketing in the outdoor industry niche. Recognizing the amazing potential for sales increase, website traffic and overall online presence, our team of dedicated professionals is passionate about helping start-ups, small businesses, and growing companies looking to expand their online footprint. We do this by working closely with clients to create a thriving social media presence, optimize search engine results and produce captivating marketing content. As outdoors enthusiasts, our team understands the industry, and customer needs better than anyone else. So before you throw money away on expensive commercials and ineffective magazine ads, consider where inbound marketing can take you and how Stone Road Media can help you get there. It’s time to #BeDifferent! Jared Prusia is the Sr. Manager of Business Development for Stone Road Media. Soon to possess both B.A. degrees in Management and Entrepreneurial Studies from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Penn., Jared excels in creating effective strategies for outdoor industry businesses, particularly with innovative inbound marketing aspects. Stone Road Media | Sr. Manager of Business Development

Engage With More Outdoorsman on Social Media | Social Trotlining

Engage With More Outdoorsman on Social Media | The Art of Social Trotlining™

By Jeremy Flinn, COO, Stone Road Media Group

It’s rare to find a person, let alone a business without at least one social media account. Social media platforms have allowed business owners, both large corporations and small start-ups, to engage with potential customers in nearly real time. Whether you are simply trying to increase the amount of traffic to your website, or operate an eCommerce site in which every engaged lead could become your next paying customer social media is a critical tool in today’s internet marketing. Many outdoor industry companies have caught onto the Facebook and Twitter fad, which is about as far as their inbound marketing strategy, in particular Social Media Optimization (SMO), extends. Though these tend to be the easiest places to engage with outdoorsman, any company only engaging on these two platforms is dramatically cutting their consumer reach. The challenge for our industry is to understand the need for multiple social media platform accounts, and even more important to paint a strategy that we can easily understand. It was for these two reasons that drove our inbound marketing company, focusing on outdoor-oriented businesses, to create the concept of Social Trotlining™.

Engage With More Outdoorsman on Social Media | The Art of Social Trotlining

The Social Trotline™ | Creating an Engaging Social Media Pipeline

For most of you from the South and Midwest, “trotline” is likely a familiar term. A form of fishing, a trotline is a set in slow-moving rivers or streams typically targeting species like catfish. The set is made when a main line, which could be anything from rope or twine to heavy-duty, monofilament fishing line, is attached to a permanent or weighted structure like a tree, pier, or cinder block on both ends. Then several individual, hook sets, or leaders, are attached to the main line and baited often with different baits providing target fish a variety of choices.  The goal is to provide the targeted fish species with multiple options in a specified range which in theory increases the odds of not only a catch but multiple catches. The best part is it can be left relatively unattended once set, only checking periodically for catches.

Social Trotlining™ utilizes the exact same principles of the fishing technique. A brand (Main Line) determines its target consumer and then sets up a myriad of social media accounts (Leaders) including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram. These accounts lay out a variety of digital content (Bait) that a potential lead can come through or “be caught.”

When an outdoor industry company makes a social media post on Facebook or Twitter, it’s like casting out a single rod. Although multiple outdoorsmen can be caught over time with the digital content it is very one-dimensional, and often limiting in impressions. Think of Facebook’s “News Feed” for a minute. Say your company posts a piece of digital content announcing that one of your pro staffers just harvested a Boone & Crockett whitetail. You make the post at noon during a weekday. For most people’s Facebook News Feeds the post will be buried within a couple hours unless it is “Liked” and “Commented On” a lot.

Reach more OUTDOORSMEN online | Stone Road Media

Keeping the Social Trotline™ Productive | Recurring Website Leads and Traffic

Whether you are operating a simple traffic- based or eCommerce website, the only way to continually drive targeted visitors and leads to the website is through compelling, original content. Social Trotlining™ not only increases the effectiveness of a company engaging with targeted consumers, but it also builds the companies standing as a whole in the internet universe. When you post engaging and compelling digital content on social media platforms, and people engage, Google and other search engines recognize this, particularly if it is coupled with traffic coming back to your website. Google is obviously the top-dog in the search engine realm. Whether you know it or not, Google and Facebook do not play nice together. For instance, Google weighs more page ranking results when they see you engaging with audiences in Google+ and YouTube, two companies in which they own. So by engaging in those platforms more, you will slowly see your digital content and website creep up the page ranking on Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). In the same scenario, if you upload a video from YouTube into Facebook, you may only reach about 1/10th of the impressions you would have if you uploaded it directly into Facebook. Covering all your social media platforms and engaging with audiences uniquely in each will maximize the effectiveness of your Social Trotline™.

The best part of Social Trotlining™ is that it is no more work than posting to Facebook or tweeting to Twitter! With specialized Apps like HootSuite and EveryPost, you can create a single post and “Push” it to all of your social media accounts. So like running an actual trotline, there is minimal work once the initial accounts are established other than monitoring the analytics of leads coming through and refreshing the platforms with new “bait,” or compelling digital content.

Monitoring Your Social Trotline™ | A Good Visitor Is One That You Know Well

Just because someone comes to your website from Social Trotlining™ does not mean that they are a viable lead or consumer. Before you even begin to engage with audiences on social media, you should identify your “premier lead/consumer”. If you’re a B2B (Business to Business) based company, what are the characteristics of a company that would be considered a premier lead? It becomes much harder for B2C (Business to Consumer) based companies, that may have a wide range of personas that are all considered consumers.

Monitoring the number of visitors and types of visitors based on your Social Trotlining™ and digital content is critical to progress as a business. What worked? What seemed to draw the “wrong crowd”? This tends to be the most missed opportunity for businesses, particularly in the outdoor industry. Fortunately, inbound marketing agencies, like Stone Road Media, have been created to develop, execute, and monitor the social media efforts of companies. It requires a lot of time, trained professionals who understand social media and internet behaviors, and usually specialized tracking and engaging marketing software, like HubSpot.

Whatever you choose to do with your social media strategy, remember this is an immense source for generating online leads and sales. Engage users on all social media platforms, and create compelling, original digital content. Copying content from other sites is a Google “death sentence,” so do not even think of taking a shortcut. Inbound marketing is the “Now,” the return on investment is off the charts and is accurately measurable unlike many traditional marketing strategies.

For more information on Stone Road Media and its Inbound Marketing Solutions, check out the new Media and Marketing Kit

Jeremy Flinn is Chief Operating Officer for Stone Road Media Group. A wildlife biologist, digital content expert, and outdoor industry veteran in internet marketing and business development, he has launched and advised several successful outdoor industry businesses.

Social Media | Hunting and Fishing Industry Targeted Marketing

Don’t always judge the Face”BOOK” by the cover!

You either love or hate Facebook, but it is the most powerful marketing tool in the world.  Our mission is to educate our clients before we work on a project.  We see so many times the “Numbers” “Stats” ” “Impressions” look great on the outside, but when you look inside…..they are non-marketable, non-targeted numbers. Here is an example of a campaign, and its weekly numbers on Facebook.  We had one goal, gain TARGETED, USA LIKES that can be used to bring traffic back to a BLOG and or LANDING PAGE.

It worked perfectly!  Here are some stats from this week long campaign.  Our customer acquisition cost was under .10 cents per person.  We can do this for you!

Stone Road Media Facebook Marketing Outdoor Industry

 Stone Road Media: Week Campaign Results