Media Strategy

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.

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:

  1. It’s practically free, so why not at least give it a try?
  2. 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.
  3. 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
    • Website
    • YouTube Channel
    • Facebook Page
    • Twitter Account
    • Newsletters
    • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. It is relatively inexpensive. You can get away with only spending a few cents on an exposure or a click through.
  4. 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.


Sell the Experience: Marketing To Millennials With Engaging Content

"Millennials" buy "the experience." They don't purchase hiking boots, they buy the idea of protecting their feet on the trail while staying dry, avoiding blisters and looking "cool." The outdoor lifestyle is about the feeling the experience but our marketing strategies don't show it. This session will identify acquisition strategies focusing on content to attract and engage millennials.

Millennial media-consumption habits explained, in 5 charts

Everyone, marketers and brands included, is obsessed with millennials. They are a complex bunch to understand, but they cannot be ignored for one simple reason: They comprise the largest demographic in the country.

This generation of 18-34-year-olds is also digitally native, which means that marketers and brands that want to engage with them need to understand their media-consumption habits. For starters, three out of four own a smartphone. They also thrive on social media, using it as a source of current affairs apart from networking.

Media Usage Statistics for Anglers, Hunters, and Shooters

This report presents the results of a quarterly online consumer panel survey that tracks hunter, angler and shooters’ media consumption preferences. The purpose of the Media Monitor is to measure use of outdoor media - namely magazine, television, and internet (social media) in the fishing, hunting and shooting communities and to match sportsmen’s purchasing preferences to specific media programs and titles.

Outdoor Participation Report 2014

Outdoor recreation is part of the fabric of America. Every day, Americans take part in a vast array of outdoor opportunities — from pedaling along an urban trail to trekking through the backcountry of one of America’s National Parks to casting a line into a local stream. Indeed, research once again points to America’s strong, steady outdoor participation.

Recruitment and Retention Assessment Survey Report

The precise origin of this project is difficult to identify. During the past few years, the North American hunting community has become acutely concerned with the persistent national decline of hunting license sales and hunting participation rates. This new awareness has generated a more vigorous and comprehensive examination of the incentives for and process of becoming a hunter, while sparking an increase in activities related to the recruitment of new hunters and retention of existing ones.

Marketing and Promotion - Best Practices Hunting Workbook

Marketing and promotion are fields of endeavor that can have tremendous benefits in hunting and shooting recruitment and retention activities. Unfortunately, most natural resources agencies and hunting and shooting organizations have only a vague notion of what marketing really is or what it can do to help them achieve their recruitment and retention (R&R) goals. Most do not have marketing expertise on their staffs, and many do not invest nearly enough thought or other resources into taking advantage of what marketing and promotion have to offer.

Outreach and Awareness - Best Practices Hunting Workbook

Most hunting- and shooting-related agencies and organizations are engaged in outreach and awareness activities all the time, and there are innumerable topics and opportunities they could feature in outreach efforts. For example, to reach people who don’t know anything about hunting and shooting, you need to make them aware of the activities, pique their interest, and persuade them to attempt a trial experience – all as a first step. This is a distinct outreach challenge.

Creating Opportunities - Best Practices Hunting Workbook

Every successful company is constantly looking for opportunities to create new customers or to provide new services and products to existing customers. In the past, the shooting and wildlife recreation community has had either stable or growing participation without having to compete for new participants. However, as the Introduction points out, those days are history.