Top 10 Marketing Tips for Hunting Outfitters
We are so excited to share our top 10 Tips for Hunting Outfitters to improve their marketing efforts.
Before you have even heard of the new client you will book next year, they must already have heard of you. Sounds crazy, right? Wrong. That’s what thousands of companies are doing right now – some with greater success than others.
The internet is the great equalizer. It makes many people available to those who previously did not have the means or methods to reach them.
But it’s vital to remember that hunting is big business and to win, you must be willing to spend both time and money on your various marketing channels. Traditionally outfitters have spent hundreds of thousands of Rands in a single month or two when going to trade shows and advertising in magazines or on TV shows; yet those same outfitters somehow find that spending the same amount (spent within one month at what is effectively a fishing expedition for clients) over an entire year, to be an astronomical amount of money, even if it means they reach much more clients than a marketing trip ever would have delivered. We need to change our mindsets.
We know marketing can be overwhelming and having to spend money without immediate results is scary. That is why we have compiled a list of the top ten marketing tips for hunting outfitters.
1) Have an Awesome Brand
First impressions matter. Dress to impress; yada-yada, you know all the clichés.
The thing is, clichés exist for a reason. Your company’s brand is the very first interaction potential clients have with you. Your logo is the number one thing, and although many of you have invested in a great logo you neglect to realize that it is only the tip of your branding iceberg.
Your pamphlets, brochures, colour schemes, interior designing of your lodge, company shirts and even your use of language and the “mood” your company gives off builds your brand.
2) Have an Equally Awesome Website
Your website is without a doubt the most important marketing component you have. It is the very essence of your online presence. Yet, so many don’t invest into it, and those who do pay a once of fee and then leave it be.
We must start thinking of our websites as our storefront. When people walk into a shop, they expect certain things. They expect to feel welcome, they expect to immediately know what you are about, they expect to be asked what they want or directed to the right aisle. This is all expected, anything else is additional. Yet over 90% of the websites we analyse don’t even do what is expected.
Pictures can make or break your site. Luckily for you, your company is in an industry where plenty of pictures are taken with really high-quality cameras. Don’t be shy to ask your clients for those pictures. What you should however never-ever do, is settle for sub-par, amateur looking images. This immediately goes to a visitor’s subconscious mind and will do you serious damage. If you feel you don’t have enough pictures or those that you do have are not good enough, you need to hire a professional. It’s a once-off investment for hundreds of photos that can be stretched over a long period of time.
Websites vary drastically in price depending on where you are looking. As with the photography though, it is an investment with a small management fee thereafter. Any web development company worth your time will have web packages designed to fit your needs.
3) Carry that Awesome brand over into your public space
Here is where so many drop the ball – and for no good reason. When going into the physical public space, so many companies forget about their company’s brand. Don’t.
Whenever you create anything physical, you need to carry your brand over to it. A simple example to explain what I mean is notices in your lodge. Think about any hotel you have stayed at in the past. Everything in your room would have the same colour scheme, same font, same logo, and even the same tone of voice. This is what we call your brand identity, and it is crucial in creating a professional image of your company.
4) Be social. Be very, very social
Get yourself on as many social platforms as you can. What we mean is, if you only have time for one, get on Facebook. If you have time for two, get on Facebook and Instagram. But if you ask us, you need to be on at least Facebook, Instagram, and a YouTube channel in the hunting industry.
Once you are on these platforms, the key is to post regularly and engage with people. Reply to their comments, go to groups relating to hunting and engage.
Whatever you do, though, you must provide value and NEVER spam.
Again, we want you to think practical. Imagine if you were in a conversation with your friends; another acquaintance steps into the conversation, interrupts you, talks for 5 minutes straight about how good a guy he is, then, he leaves – until tomorrow. Approach social media as you would approach people at a conference. Definitely not like the acquaintance described here.
5) Have killer content
Building on the previous point. If you want to make new friends in real life, you need to be very interesting and contribute something small to someone else’s life. The digital sphere is nothing different.
If you want people to like, follow and share your messages, it needs to be something that they really like, and that they think their friends would like. This is where great content comes in.
If you are a little bit of a writer, then make sure to have your web agency create a blog for you. Write a short little story after each hunt with great photos and real moments.
If you’re not a writer that’s fine too. Use high-quality images and videos and share that with your fanbase – modern phones capture incredible footage.
If you need a professional video company (and we would recommend it) to make sure your company is seen as the awesome thing it is, we highly recommend the oaks from Safari Filming.
6) Send a letter
Email has been the King of marketing for years. Now, it’s even more powerful than ever. Your customers willingly opted to receive emails from you, which in itself should encourage you to contact them regularly.
We don’t mean you should spam them but keep them in the loop with a monthly newsletter, a happy birthday message and definitely inform them when you reach new milestones! People love sharing in your success!
This is also a great opportunity to tell subscribers about promotions, new hunting areas, upgrades to your lodge, and so much more.
When it comes to email, the sky is the limit, and you only have one rule to follow: keep it personal.
7) Traditional Marketing is Still Very Useful
We’ve written an extensive article on our top tips for marketing at trade shows, but other than the shows there are plenty of traditional methods that still work great.
If you can land a spot in a respected magazine or TV show, that’s great. Please just do the math before and make sure you will benefit from it.
In the hunting industry, it is best if you can mix a traditional media ad with a collaborative activity. For example, don’t just run an ad in a magazine; rather invite the editor to stay in camp with you and write an article that goes along with your ad. Doing this increases the exposure you can get from traditional media.
8) Ask clients to write a review
Just ask. Most of the time it’s that simple.
You go through a lot of trouble to ensure that your client has an exceptional experience. Now it’s time to put that positive experience to work with public reviews. This is certainly one of the most overlooked parts of marketing in the hunting world.
There is a marketing phenomenon called Social Proof. It basically comes down to people trusting a product or service, that is trusted by many other people; even if they don’t know the other person. What this means is that if you have 26 4-star reviews, and your competitor has 4 5-star reviews, you will be seen as the far superior choice.
And all you had to do was ask.
We’ve written an article going into this with more details. If you are interested in getting more online reviews, read the article here.
9) Participate in Events
Every single event that presents itself should be seen as an opportunity for you to grow your company. People are a lot more willing to listen to you after you’ve shown interest in them first.
Whether this be an event in South Africa where you can create mutually beneficial business deals, or a social event overseas while you are there for tradeshows & house parties; Being involved in as many of these gatherings will sky-rocket your authority as a leading player in the hunting arena.
10) Request a free professional consultation with KCSS
Okay, so I’m going to do a little bit of selling now, but trust me, it belongs on this list.
As I said at the beginning of this article: Hunting is big business. Big businesses invest in their marketing. Every tip on this list will go a long way in boosting your marketing efforts tremendously and we encourage you to use them up to the point where you can afford a professional company.
At KCSS we are very open about the fact that we take it slow when introducing you to our services. We understand that the idea of outsourcing marketing might be foreign, and that is why we don’t want to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. We will start with a casual conversation, then go to the drawing board and send you a proposal of the most essential things that we have identified as great options for your company.
We love helping good people grow their businesses, and we would love to work with you!