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5 Ways To Understand How Social Media Can Work For Your Hunting Company

By Firearms and Hunting, Inbound Marketing, Social Media


If you’re like most business owners or marketers in the firearms, shooting and hunting industries, social media is still a bit of a mystery. A lot of marketers and business owners think that social media is a waste of time or are vague on how to effectively use it. Like all things we don’t understand, we typically just shrug it off.

We know we have to have a Facebook page—and maybe even a Twitter account, but still we struggle to grasp the importance of social media and its use.

Social media can be explained like this: Social media is digital word-of-mouth. Like traditional word-of-mouth or referrals, you share content, ideas, recommendations, stories or pictures with people who are your neighbors, friends or family. If you stop for a moment and think about it, most of the services and products you have bought in the past—have come from referrals by neighbors, friends or family.

If people find your information (i.e. content) useful or interesting—odds are they will share it, tweet it, like it or buy it.

Social media helps get your information or content out to more people—and given the right circumstances, can grow your website traffic, leads and customers exponentially. By spreading your content far and wide—you cast a bigger net, which means you increase your odds of generating more customers.

Here are 5 ways to finally help you understand how social media works in the hunting, outdoor and firearms industry. 

 

1. Social media starts with valuable and relevant content 

If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, then social media starts with creating content. You can’t attract new customers without generating content. Content can be created in the form of blogs, videos, whitepapers, ebooks or infographics. Tweet, share and post these pieces of content and distribute them on your social media networks to maximize your content reach. Write your content specifically for your buyer persona.

Should I post the same content on all networks?

To help you better understand the differences of social media, here are few comparisons made by social media guru, Guy Kawasaki (1.7 million followers on Twitter)

  • Facebook = People. It’s mostly for communicating with those with whom you already have some connection.
  • Twitter = Perceptions. It can help you build your reputation and visibility.
  • Google+ = Passions. It’s for sharing your passions with others who have the same passions.
  • Pinterest = Pinning. It’s about beautiful images and finding great stuff.
  • LinkedIn = Pimping. He means this in a good way, Kawasaki said. “LinkedIn can help you position yourself as a serious person and influencer.”

For Facebook, you’ll want to bring your content down to a human level and mix it up with real-life experiences. Try to make your content sound “casual” and make it fun. Posts on Facebook should be about office happenings and culture. Think reality show.

For LinkedIn, dress your content up in a suit. Make sure you add your own personal comment as to why you’re posting. Try to think in terms of how to establish yourself as an influencer or perhaps even a thought leader.

For Twitter, you only have 140 characters to get your point across. Your tweets should be short and succinct. Try to invoke curiosity or urgency to drive clicks to your content.

Buffer found that tweets with images receive 18% more clicks. Always add an interesting, eye-catching picture. This also goes for Facebook and LinkedIn.

What the heck is a hashtag?
Hastags (#) are used to identify a subject. So if you were to post something about Elk hunting in the Rockies you may tweet something like: “Elk Hunting is the Best in the Rockies! #hunting #firearms #wyoming” What the hashtag does, is allow other users to search for the same hashtag. This creates a small micro-community that follows an interest, event or subject.

2. Identify which channels work best for your business

Not all social media channels work and operate the same (as noted above). The only way to understand what network works for you is to experiment. We typically have more success on Twitter and LinkedIn than on Facebook. So we concentrate a lot of our efforts on those channels because they are more B2B oriented.

If you’re focused on reaching women (which is currently exploding in the industry) – you may want to try Pinterest as their members are almost 90% female.

Google+ should be used to help with increasing search engine rankings and indexing your pages. Google continues to struggle with creating a viable social network. However, Google+ should not be overlooked. 

 

3. Curate other people’s content and follow back your customers!

In order to start gaining followers, you must tweet, post and share often–especially on Twitter. It’s recommended that to gain followers on Twitter you need to tweet at least 4x a day—for starters. It’s been proven the more you tweet, the more followers you get.

You won’t have enough content in the beginning—so tweet other industry/topic relevant content. Make sure to follow the 80/20 rule: tweet 80% of other people’s content and only 20% of yours. By retweeting, favoriting and sharing other people’s content, you gain followers as people are likely to follow you back.

For LinkedIn and Facebook, I recommend once a day or at least 4 times a week to maintain top-of-mind awareness. Back off if you sense people are getting annoyed or you start losing followers. Always be professional and courteous. Do not use profanity or coarse language.

Most companies in the industry are highly self-promotional. They are always tweeting out their latest products, sales, deals and happenings—push, push, push.  Their social media strategy dictates that:  Follow less people and have more followers than we’ll be considered more important.” Companies in the hunting, firearms and shooting industries should follows their customers back. Social media isn’t about being the most popular kid on the playground—it’s about sharing and  associating with the people you are trying to help, build a relationship with to turn them into life-long customers. 

Here’s how this plays out. I’m considering a new AR-15. So I head to Twitter and follow Stag Arms, Colt and Daniel Defense so I can learn more about their products and get updates on their latest news to help make a decision on what AR-15 to buy. Out of those three companies, Stag Arms ends up following me back! Wow. A big brand like Stag, wants to follow me? Guess who I’m going to buy from. Stag! So go ahead, follow back! You tell your potential customers you’re interested in them and you care about them. This goes along way in establishing your branding and inbound marketing strategy

 

4. Boost your content on Facebook

Facebook has changed its news feed recently and it has become harder to get your content in front of the right audience. Facebook now offers “boosts” to reach your target audience outside of your network for increased exposure. Boosts start at $20 and go up from there. Boosts are a cost effective way to drive traffic and capture likes, leads and shares.

 

5. LinkedIn is about establishing yourself as an influencer and thought leader to establish credibility

Once you commit to creating valuable content, you’ll begin to learn even more about the industry and your buyer personas. An amazing thing happens when you start to research, read, tweet, post, write and curate content. You wake up one day and realize that you’re living on the bleeding edge of the latest trends, industry news and technology. You become a resource that others will find useful. I tell this to my customers who are venturing into inbound marketing. Like training for an Ironman, you start out slow, but gradually over time, you gain momentum and fitness to go the distance—and before you know it, you’re a stud triathlete.

Ok, if you’ve made it this far down on this article, you may be asking, OK great, how does participating in social media really help my business? Here are 5 important reasons:

  1. Builds your brand and reputation
  2. Social proof (i.e. a lot of followers) establishes trust among leery visitors
  3. Attracts customers you otherwise would not have reached
  4. Drives traffic to your content and landing pages to convert visitors to leads
  5. Establishes yourself as resource, influencer and thought leader to a global audience

So there you have it.

If you were confused about how social media works—you should now have a better understanding. Social media starts with valuable content, choosing the right network, curating other peoples content (80/20 rule), following your prospects back, tweeting to drive traffic, boosting on Facebook to gain shares, and using LinkedIn to establish yourself as a credible thought leader. If you still have questions? Contact us or give us a call to see how to make social media work for your business. 

hunting-outdoor-internet-guide
Free Ebook: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Inbound Marketing for the Hunting, Outdoor and Firearms Industry

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn the 6 essential steps to internet marketing success.

1. Optimizing Your Website
2. Creating Content
3. Implementing a Social Media Strategy
4. Converting Visitors into Leads
5. Nurturing Leads into Customers
6. Analyzing & Refining Data

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How-can-long-tail-keywords-help-my-business

How Can Long-Tail Keywords Help My Business?

By Inbound Marketing, SEO

Did you know that if your website ranks within the top three listings on Google—your chances of getting clicked on is 6 times higher? Google refers to this as the golden triangle. See below.

For small business owners or start-ups trying to find a cost-effective marketing solution to generate revenue, attaining top 3 rankings on Google could mean the difference between stagnant or explosive growth.

Google controls almost 68% of all web search traffic (87% mobile) — Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. (Source: Internet Live)

Bing is second with 18.7% and Yahoo third with 10%. (Source: Search Engine Land). 

google heat map

If you’re website ranks in the 4th-10th position or is listed on the second page—your chances of being found drops considerably.

So how does one make it into the golden triangle?

Well luckily, due to changing consumer behavior—93% of all B2B and 83% of all B2C purchases begin with an online search (Source: Business 2 Community). Most of these queries are in the form of a question that contains more than one keyword.

 

What is a keyword?
Keywords consist of concise phrases that are one to three words long. Keywords can be anything that describes what you do: category, service, product, brand, location or person.

Here are some example keywords with their estimated monthly search volume: 


  • graphic design (74,000) 
  • realtor (70,000)
  • weight loss (1,500,000)
  • swimming pool (49,500) 
  • brand development (1,000) 
  • cars (1,500,000)

The terms above are highly trafficked and extremely difficult to rank for.

Keywords should always be placed in the title of your website and sprinkled into the copy of your content—but only if it makes sense. Write copy for people, not search engines.

What makes keywords difficult to rank for?
Keywords with a difficulty of 60 or higher (on a scale of 1-100) are highly competitive because there are hundreds or even thousands of competitors in one given category. The more companies fighting for the same keyword, the harder it is to rank.

What is a long-tail keyword?
Long-tail keywords are more conducive of today’s user behavior and easier to rank for. After all, if you have a question—whom do you ask? Today, a rising majority of people turn to Google.

Long-tail keywords add more keywords to the base phrase and are typically created by stating a question. So using our terms above, this is how long-tail keywords look:

As you can see, by adding 2-3 more keywords (adjectives, nouns or verbs), to your string—you can potentially move your web pages, blogs or landing pages higher up in search engine results.

How to choose the right keywords?
Relevance is key in choosing keywords. Make sure when choosing your keywords you select the ones that most closely describe your product or service. Another method that should be considered is adding a location. By adding a location like Denver or Indianapolis, you concentrate your results to a specific geographic location. This can align your search engine rankings to local competitors and bypass national or global competitors which tend to be harder to rank against.

Here are a few tools to help you choose the right keywords:

long-tail keyword searchWordtracker
The best place to start with understanding what keywords you should go for is Wordtracker. Wordtracker gives you the ability to start with a seed keyword that in turn gives you results based on that term. It will also provide search volume and competition. So for example, if I search for “types of lemurs.” See right.

HubSpot
HubSpot’s keyword tool displays the same information as Wordtracker, but is much easier to use. We use HubSpot for all of our keyword research and analysis. It allows us to track our keyword progress as keywords climb in rankings and allow us to see what our competitors are up to. It also shows us other keyword opportunities that may exist.

The concepts of keywords are fairly easy to grasp, but knowing where to start is the first step.

With a little understanding of how long-tail keywords work, you can begin attracting visitors to your web pages–even in highly competitive categories.

So how do I use long tail keywords?
It all starts with a blog. If you’re not consistently updating your blog on a regular basis, and are competing for competitive keywords, it’s going to be very difficult to rank. You may try Pay Per Click—which is paid advertising on Google—but chances are those keywords will be very expensive.

How do I track progress?
There are several free tools out there to help you track your keyword’s progress. Google Analytics is a free service you can install on your website. A paid version we recommend is Counter Central. Google and other search engines typically crawl your website once a month looking for updates. Recently, its been noted that this is done on a weekly basis. Check back once a week and record your progress. Here are some additional tips to speed up your crawl rate

To get started with long-tail keywords and blogging, check out the free resource below. Good luck!

Inbound Marketing Toolkit

 

Free Download:
Inbound Marketing Tool Kit
 

Get started with Inbound Marketing by learning about the tools needed to grow your business and prove ROI.

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Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.

 

The 5 Benefits Of Blogging For Your Business

The 5 Benefits Of Blogging For Your Business

By Business, Inbound Marketing

 

Starting a business blog is tough. When I first started blogging for my branding agency it was difficult to generate ideas consistently and then write clearly and concisely about them; but over time, I became better—and faster. Blogging for business starts with the intention to solve your customers problems and to answer their hardest questions.

I set a goal to become a better writer. No matter what it took, I committed to writing at least once a week, twice if I got lucky. Every time I came across an interesting piece of content that sparked an idea I wrote it down. Over a few months, I had a growing list of healthy topics.

This in turn allowed me to create a content calendar that aligned with my inbound marketing campaign efforts which turned my idea list into a blogging factory.

I love this video from HubSpot that explains how to become a better writer:

Like training for a marathon, it’s hard at first, but you eventually become stronger and faster.

1. You stay on the cutting edge of your profession

Inbound marketing and blogging forces you to change your mindset about marketing. You become a natural curator of content as you peruse daily articles and blogs. By committing to blogging that leads to the search of new ideas, you become keenly aware of your industry and your client’s industries.

2. You have more things to talk, post and tweet about

Blogging creates the basis of your social media efforts. By posting and tweeting your content, you begin to attract visitors and gain followers.

3. Solve your customer’s problems

By blogging on topics that solves and answers your customer’s toughest questions, you become—over time—a recognized resource and expert.

4. Generate website traffic
Blogging is the secret sauce to generating traffic to your website. By blogging on topics that answers your customer’s questions, you create a bastion of posts that expand your keywords’ digital footprint on Google and other search engines. You increase your website’s authority by generating inbound links, social media shares and authorship through Google+.

Check out these stats:

  • 37% of marketers say blogs are the most valuable type of content marketing. (Source)
  • Brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month. (Source)
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not blog. (Source)
  • Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. (Source)
  • Blog posts incorporating video attract 3 times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (Source)

increase website traffic

 

5. Establish thought leadership
By blogging consistently, you quickly begin to establish thought leadership within your industry and amongst your prospects. By earning followers on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you begin to establish top-shelf awareness that allows you to constantly remind your prospects of your products or services.

In conclusion, the task of taking on blogging for your business may make you gag, but once you get the ball rolling, it becomes a habit that is easier to maintain over time. The benefits of being on the edge of your profession, having interesting topics to grow your social media networks, generating traffic and establishing thought leadership is an essential component of doing business with today’s skeptical customer.

Interested in learning more about our Indianapolis or Nashville inbound marketing agency? Contact us today to learn how we can help your business through blogging.

 

Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.