Think about marketing the way you think about hunting or fishing. Armed with your persona you now know a great deal about your prey. Just like you need to set up your treestand or toss your bait where your prey is most likely to be, you need to place your marketing messages in places where your target market is most likely to be.
When we asked survey participants and focus groups that were locavores themselves and/or that had recently graduated from a food oriented new adult hunting class about their food related and leisure activates and media use, here are some of the answers we got:
Which of the following sustainable food sources do you use regularly?
- 70% Shopping at farmer’s markets, farm stands and U-picks
- 68% Growing your own fruits and vegetables
- 44% Shopping at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Etc
- 32% Foraging for mushrooms, berries, etc
- 23% Raising your own animals
- 22% Belonging to a food co-op
What outdoor activities do you participate in on a regular basis?
- 69% Walking trails
- 58% Hiking
- 56% Camping
- 30% Watching outdoor related TV shows
- 24% Paddling
- 13% Mountain/trail bike riding
- 3% Climbing
Locavores and recent program graduates chose VERY LIKELY when asked, "if you wanted to learn about food or new ways to get food, how likely would you be to:"
- 84% Visit websites
- 68% Ask friends or relatives who are familiar with the topic
- 45% Watch online videos (YouTube, Vimeo, Etc.)
- 38% Read a book
- 38% Take a class
- 27% Read a magazine
- 26% Watch relevant TV shows
- 6% Ask employees in a retail store
When asked "If you were interested in learning how to harvest wild foods, how effective would the following methods be in alerting you to an opportunity to do so?" locavores and recent program grads answered VERY EFFECTIVE to:
- 25% Word of mouth from friends, family and participants
- 20% Social media content (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Etc)
- 20% Flier or poster at the local farmer’s market, food co-op, Whole Foods or Trader Joes
- 19% Online Advertising
- 17% Ads on local TV
- 17% News story on the local TV or radio news or in the paper
- 15% Ads in a local food co-op newsletter
- 15% Ads on local radio
- 10% Ads in the food section of the local newspaper
When asked what media they used almost daily, locavores and recent program graduates answered:
- 54% Visit websites for entertainment, news and information
- 43% Listen to the radio
- 42% Watch TV
- 38% Use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Etc)
- 28% Watch online TV (Hulu, Netflix, Apple TV, YouTube)
- 18% Listen to music online (Pandora, Google Play, Spotify, Etc)
- 14% Read a local newspaper
So what to do we know about our target market of locavores?
- They are interested in sustainable local food
- They are interested in healthy, pure food
- They care about the quality of life lived by the animals they consume for protein
- There is a good chance they garden and/or raise chickens if they have the space
- They are quite likely millennials
- They are probably educated professionals
- They are much more likely to be female than our traditional R3 market
- They are more likely to live in an urban or suburban location
- They have little or no experience with hunting or fishing
- They are quite likely married or living with a significant other
- They may have children living in their home
There are three categories of media available to you to publicize your program: owned media, earned media and paid media.
Owned media that are completely under the control of you and your organization. Your department website, any literature you develop and other tools of that nature. You should utilize any and all of the owned media that is available to you for three reasons:
- It’s practically free, so why not at least give it a try?
- It gives you a home for your brand/story/message that can be linked back to or at least mentioned in any and all ads, posters, press releases or other messages you might produce.
- The power of search. So much of marketing and information search goes on via the Internet and search engines now that you absolutely must thoroughly describe any program you are trying to promote online so that it can be easily found.
Owned media likely to reach locavores include:
- Your department
- YouTube Channel
- Facebook Page
- Twitter Account
- E Newsletters
- A second set of all of the above locations developed specifically for the program you are creating
- Emails to potential candidates
- Emails to past graduates
Earned media are media that you have to earn/beg for your place in. You can send a press release to the paper, but you can’t make them print it. You have to earn that promotional coverage by providing the paper with an interesting story to print for its readers. Like owned media, earned media is practically free so once you’ve developed a press release for one media outlet, you might as well send it to as many relevant media outlets as you can find.
Earned media likely to reach locavores include:
- Sending press releases out to local TV and radio stations, newspapers, magazines, etc.
- Sending press releases out to local food co-ops, farmer’s markets, clubs and organizations that might have newsletters, email newsletters or websites.
- Submitting the dates and brief descriptions to community calendars run by TV and radio stations, newspapers, magazines and websites.
- Create posters and flyers that you can hang on bulletin boards or ask to place in the windows of sustainable grocery stores, local food co-ops, farmer’s markets, sporting goods stores, garden supplies and farm-to-table restaurants
Paid media are just like it sounds. Media that will put your message in front of their audience in exchange for payment. Paid media is where you need to be the most careful, strategic and efficient with your investment. The two paid media alternatives that are likely to be practical for your program are online advertising and super targeted newsletters.
Online advertising like Google AdWords offers you four advantages over any other media:
- It can be geo-targeted so that your ads only appear where you want them to. You can limit your ads to appear only in your state, a specific city or even within X miles of where you will actually be offering your class.
- It can be targeted only to people reading about or searching for particular types of content. You could target only those people searching for or reading about learning to fish, sustainable food or raising backyard chickens.
- It is relatively inexpensive. You can get away with only spending a few cents on an exposure or a click through.
- You control the budget. You can set up your program to spend only a few dollars a day or to go through $25 and stop.
Because of this level of control, online advertising is a logical choice when trying to reach a very specific group in a defined geography.
Super targeted newsletters offer a more old school but equally efficient way to reach locavores. Who is going to read the food co-op newsletter besides people interested in local/sustainable food? On top of that, food co-op and farmer’s market newsletters are usually very affordable ads to purchase. And your audience will appreciate that you are supporting struggling institutions they believe in with your ad dollars.
Paid media practically used to reach locavores include:
- Online advertising like Google Adwords
- Newspaper ads in the outdoor or food sections of the newspaper
- Ads in food co-op, farmer’s market or club newsletters or websites
- Ads in neighborhood shopper type newspapers
The trick with any marketing strategy is to watch what works and doesn’t and move your investment of time, money or both from less performing media and messages to better performing. Your marketing plan may never be perfect but it should be getting better and better every week, month or year.