A quick Internet search of the phrase “content marketing” yields a long list of results, touting the benefits and even necessity of content marketing for businesses in the 21st century. But this industry is unique. How does content marketing work for outfitters?
That’s probably one of the most common questions we receive. Even if old methods of generating business (like tradeshows) are not producing great results, many outfitters are hesitant to jump ship into the world of online marketing. How exactly does it put seats in saddles or heads in beds?
If you look at our client Results Page, you’ll see testimonials from outfitters for whom it has worked incredibly well. And here’s how: consumers rely on the web when booking any trip or vacation – including outdoor adventures. Period.
With consumers relying heavily on web-based research for their next trip, content marketing helps connect them to you. Here are five ways that it works:
Consumers want to research options before picking up the phone. Before they ever call you, a customer expects to find out who you are and what you’re all about. When a prospective customer sees a quality website, recently updated information and a vibrant social media community with great stories and photos, your business becomes more than a one-dimensional billboard. It becomes an exciting storefront of activity that looks attractive to buyers. They’ll quickly learn who you are, the adventures you offer, and what other people are saying about it.
With great content that’s integrated across platforms like email and social media, traffic is naturally funneled to your website. Great photos, video and articles draw traffic from new visitors. Quality content attracts an audience, and this industry is prime for it. After all, you’re not selling them insurance. You’re talking about their hobbies. Content marketing works in most industries – but it’s especially effective in the outfitting industry. People don’t enjoy shopping for insurance. But they love researching their next big trip.
In addition to keeping clients interested and excited, producing content and driving traffic to your website is recognized by search engines like Google. In other words, you’re killing two birds with one stone. After time, Google will begin to recognize that you’re a popular authority in your area of expertise. Social media activity, blog content and incoming web traffic contributes to better SEO. And that means new customers continually find you. More traffic and better SEO becomes a growing cycle that feeds itself.
No matter the industry, study after study shows the same thing: businesses with a content marketing strategy attract far more leads than those who don’t. Your customers are researching their next trip online. When they see an active business, not just a static website, they’ll be much more likely to give you a call. There’s no doubt that content marketing puts seats in saddles and heads in beds. Think about it in terms of a tradeshow booth – imagine two booths offering a similar experience. One booth has the info, but nobody is there. The second booth has the same information, but someone is answering questions, sharing stories with clients and providing information. Which booth will do better? The same is true with your online presence. Those who engage with customers via website, email and social media will generate more leads.
Outdoor enthusiasts of all types are hungry for great content. Look at the popularity of hunting and fishing websites and the millions of consumers that visit them on a daily basis. It doesn’t take much to figure out that consumers love reading about and daydreaming about their hobbies online.
On the other side of that coin, you have an outfitting industry that’s relatively unsophisticated. Many outfitters don’t have any kind of social media presence, some don’t even have a decent website. Because of that, a little bit of effort goes a very long way. Outfitters who invest in content marketing can quickly become dominant in their field.