Editor’s Note: Occasionally we offer colleagues the opportunity to share their insight with readers. Today, Scott Linden offers some suggestions on how to stay relevant during these crazy times.
COVID 19, travel bans, economic doldrums, massive unemployment, a presidential election, civil unrest, hurricanes and wildfires. Yikes! But Americans are resilient. We’ve survived them before and we will again. So what do you do between now and whatever becomes the “new normal?”
Stay relevant. Cultivate relationships with vendors, partners, and especially current and future customers. Here are some inexpensive, yet engaging ways you, I and some of my other partners are keeping in touch with the folks who will be back in buying mode some day. Do them right, and you’ll be at the top of their list when they start spending again.
Boost your social media activity. Provide frequent reasons for your core constituents to “check in” with your brand. News, insights, product demos, contests and helpful advice can be part of the mix. Simply promoting all the time, maybe not so much.
Get full value from your paid media. If you’re not seeing your products featured in articles or in use during a TV show, talk with your ad sales person. Got something really helpful to offer? Ask to be a guest on the TV shows, radio programs and podcasts you sponsor.
Build or jump-start your blog with more frequent, timely content … and promote it. Content is still king – in all media, as long as it’s of value to your customer base. Then, make sure they know about via social media.
Start writing news releases. Sure, most readers are friends and colleagues via Outdoor Wire and that’s not such a bad thing. But that same information reaches your customers via Wire readers who blog, podcast, host radio shows, or write magazine articles. If you’re not a member of the outdoor writers’ associations and exploiting their mailing lists, join up.
Re-purpose existing content. Frankly, most people haven’t seen that insightful blog post or product demo. Dust it off and put it in other media or move it to the top of the queue.
Sponsor a podcast. Sure the numbers aren’t as large as national television or magazines but podcast listeners are the hardest of the hard core. And they influence others. And a good podcaster has exponentially-larger social media reach and can spread your message to his followers as part of your sponsorship.
Be a guest on podcasts, radio shows, and author letters, columns, articles for trade and sportsmen’s magazines. Offer great photos for their use – especially if you can provide captions that are of value to readers (make sure your logo and product are front-and-center!).
Start, or resuscitate your e-newsletter. This captive audience will still hit the “open” button if you’re providing helpful information, unique insights and other authentic content.
Sponsor “authority” websites/blogs. Extend your reach by tapping someone else’s following, if that someone is respected and knowledgeable.
Take a look at videos. Again, you (or the right influencer) can get your message to a relatively large audience, without the staggering cost of national television. Just distill things to their essence. Dazzling production values, drone shots, whiz-bang graphics and special effects win awards, but can easily distract from your core message.
I know, it’s easier said than done, but critical if you’re going to win customers back when they return to spending mode. The key? Ensuring your communications are authentic, strategic, useful, timely, and relevant to your core audience.
— Scott Linden
Upland Nation-Wingshooting USA media network