With businesses across the country gearing up to resume and make up for lost coronavirus time, we asked Tweed Media’s managing director Selena Barr to give us her top ten tips for making an impact and re-establishing your business profile.
Like it or hate it, social media is a powerful digital marketing tool. Done properly, it can boost brand awareness ten-fold. It can create a community for like-minded people that live and breathe the brand.
One brand in particular, John Rigby & Co., has had incredible results from investing time and money in Facebook and Instagram. Their social media output is consistent, high quality and varied, with high engagement from followers around the world.
Of course, the tricky part of selling firearms and knives is that it is not possible to advertise your page or boost your posts, so you need to be mindful about what content you post.
Search Engine Optimisation
This is more important than ever. For instance, if you are selling rangefinding binoculars and you type those two words into Google on which page does your website appear?
If you host a blog on your website, is it actually being picked up in searches or just lying dormant and disappearing into the digital ether. Just because you don’t understand SEO, don’t dismiss it. It’ll give you the edge over your competitors. SEO is complicated but there are specialist agencies out there that can help.
A PR agency can manage this relationship and translate their tech spiel into something more understandable.
Everyone says print is dead, but we disagree. No-one likes reading magazines on a screen, especially when we all spend most of our working lives staring at them.
We encourage all our of clients to spend on print advertising, it is a vital component of the marketing mix. However, the creative needs to be simple and clever. No point investing in a 12 month campaign if your creative is weak. The biggest mistake I see is brands cramming too much information onto the page. Be brave!
Getting your products into the hands of reviewers is essential. Endorsement from an industry professional is worth its weight in gold.
Again, it can be time consuming to keep up communication with all the reviewers, but if you create a simple spreadsheet with all the relevant contact info and product details, it is just a case of working your way from top to bottom on an ongoing basis.
Be proactive, not reactive
Do you have regular contact with all the magazine editors and writers that are relevant to your range of products? Do you make time to telephone them? Or even better take them out for lunch?
One of the reason PR gets forgotten about is because it is hugely time consuming, but putting diary reminders to stay in regular contact with these important influencers is essential.
Investing in regular photo shoots is essential. Our world demands a constant stream of aspirational lifestyle imagery and your brand will be in danger of falling off consumers’ radar if you do not keep up the pace.
Gathering top writers from across the UK (or the world) with a view to generating a tonne of content can only be a good thing. The cost of media events is normally co-opted with other brands so that it’s affordable for everyone. If you get the opportunity to be involved in a media event, do it. They take an inordinate amount of organisation, but a PR agency can handle this for you.
Journalist’s inboxes are awash with press releases nowadays so it is important yours make the cut. The knack is to make them simple. Keep the word count to around 200 and include a neat Bitly link to a high res photo (both cut out and lifestyle)
Do you have a neatly-ordered Dropbox folder where all your marketing assets are housed? Or are they scattered everywhere? If a journalist contacts you with an editorial opportunity you need to be able to react fast to their request.
Your logos should be available in a number of different formats, plus you’ll need high res cut-out photography of all your products plus professionally taken lifestyle imagery as well.
Magazines are very often under staffed so journalists are under a lot of pressure to produce content quickly. If you make their life easier then they will be more inclined to include you every time they are writing an article.
Leave it to the professionals
If the top nine points all ring a bell, but you just can’t invest in PR and marketing, you could always outsource it to an agency. Set stringent KPIs for them to work to, so that everyone’s expectations are managed. Agencies normally work on a retainer basis, and a good one will calculate your ROI.
The agency should feel like an extension of your team, and give you access to specialists that know how to secure column inches. I am a big believer in everyone playing to their strengths.
More on our coronavirus coverage
- Legal advice for the firearms industry during coronavirus
- Stuart Farr on the industry’s biggest issues
- BASC freezes subs prices during coronavirus
- CORONAVIRUS: Optimism Surges In Gun Trade
- All Party Parliamentary Group on Shooting and Conservation on shooting’s future
- Advice on shooting activities in England