Launching a marketing plan and fishing a new stream have a lot more in common than you might think. To be successful in both requires a ton of research, lots of hard work, and a willingness to reach outside your comfort zone.
Understand what you’re fishing for.
The first step in scoping out new water is understanding what kind of fish may live below. Loading up your fly box with streamers won’t do you much good if the stream is full of rising brook trout. The same can be said for your marketing campaign. You need to understand who your customers are and what they are biting on. At a minimum, spend time looking at your visitor analytics. There is a ton of information in there about your customers. Ask questions like: How many visits did I get last month? What are their demographics (Facebook demographics, Google Demographics)? What are their interests? Where did they come from?
Read the water.
Armed with a good understanding of what we’re fishing for it’s time to head out to the water. One of the best things about fishing is once you learn how to read water you can pretty much catch fish everywhere. The deep pool that holds fish on your local stream will probably hold fish in deep pool on a new stream. You just have to know what to look for. The same thing is true with reading analytics. Once you understand where your customer “lives” and how he’s getting to your site, converting them is much easier.
Here’s an example.
You’ve spent a ton of time running contests on your Facebook page giving away free gear, just for signing up. You’ve built up a solid following. A quick look at your analytics shows a big fat goose egg on your conversions from Facebook referrals in the last 6 months. But that email you sent out last month turned into $1,000 in sales. If you take the time to “Read the Water” you’ll see that the majority or your customers don’t live on Facebook. Does that mean you should ditch your social media efforts? No way. But it might mean those give away contests aren’t working. You need a new strategy for collecting and converting Facebook followers.
This is a lot to digest and I’ve got a little more ground to cover. In part 2 I’ll go over Bringing the right gear and Creating Realistic Expectations.