There are hundreds or maybe even thousands of product review sites and online magazines that create content (video, blogs, articles, etc.) in one form or the other about hunting or firearms. From how-tos to the best tricks and tips—the SHOT industry has no shortage of content. A quick search on Google for any topic about firearms or hunting brings back millions of results.
With all of this content being created—manufacturers and business service providers looking to begin a content or inbound marketing program might be asking: “Why create content when all of these other publishers are creating it for us?” “Besides, how many times can you write about “How to Skin a Deer” or “What Are The Best Guns for Concealed Carry?” It seems like everyone in the industry has written on these topics at one time or another.
In this post, I want to give you three reasons why you should still consider creating your own branded content in a time of content overload.
In his post, The Big Flaw with “Content Shock” and the Way We See Content Marketing, Marcus Sheridan, President of the Sales Lion, a content marketing and sales consultancy says, you can boil content marketing down into 3 simple words:
Listening will always be critical in business. Content creation allows you to demonstrate that you are actively listening to your customers. The firearms and hunting industry is hyper-competitive and finding ways to stand out are getting slimmer as more and more noise is being created.
Your brand’s ability to demonstrate that you are listening to your customers is a new and evolving competitive factor you will need to incorporate into your marketing strategy. This also needs to be apparent in the content you create.
Effective communication will always dramatically impact consumers. Branded content from the manufacturer itself—not content created by industry publishers—is a trend that we are starting to see more and more of as mentioned in my last post: 7 Need To Know Firearm Inbound Marketing Indicators.
Mossberg, for example, continues to create their own content at a fierce pace. Mossberg (a $10-50M company) is actively investing in Mossberg-branded content that is communicating value, insight and expertise that is sure to be attracting new customers and retaining old ones.
According to the public information traffic ranking service provided by Alexa, Mossberg’s traffic and social networks continue to grow at a rate of 37-47% respectfully (Source: Hubspot and Alexa). Mossberg will continue to grow their online footprint that expands their audience, reach and rank. This will leave little room for other shotgun manufacturers to obtain top keywords in the future. Mossberg ranks 5th for the search word “Shotgun” that receives over 49,500 searches per month. Imagine what 49,500 visits to your website a month could do for your business. (Source: Hubspot)
Additional benefits of creating your branded content:
- Generates rich organic and return traffic to your website
- Content lasts longer and can be repurposed
- Builds your audience over time
- Improves search engine rankings
- Grows social media channels
- Produces a qualified and robust email marketing list
Content also benefits your dealers, distributors and wholesalers. The more you can educate your target market on your products the more likely you will be able to increase sales, which leads me to the next point.
Powerful teaching will always be the key to generating consumer trust and action. Even though much has been written on just about every topic in the industry—there is still ample opportunity to rise above the noise to carve out your brand’s voice. By teaching your customers about your manufacturing processes, materials, and extensive product testing, you help your customers understand why your prices may be higher, and that backs up your claims. This also provides some transparency along with relevant and helpful content that solves your customer’s most burning questions. You’ll be able to build deeper relationships and garner more trust, which we all know leads to more sales.
This approach bodes well for manufacturers looking to reach the new generation of hunters and shooters who rely more on their digital devices than the old methods of TV, trade show and print.
There is a lot of content being written in the industry. But, there still is ample opportunities for brands to get in on the digital gold rush by starting now.
Thanks to Marcus Sheridan for providing a much needed perspective on industries facing content overload.
What do you think about this blog post and the points it raise? Please comment below.