If marketing were a vast ocean full of fish, it wouldn’t be the loudest call or the flashiest lure that snags the attention of your right people––it would be the right lure and skilled techniques that capture their attention.
Cheap bait will never be anything more than cheap bait, stanky and gross. Just imagine the last time you sat on a dock and cast a line with one of those garish plastic worms attached… most likely, you sat holding an empty line all day.
Think of your customers like those discerning fish that know fake worms from the real deal. Your right people will be lured in by your content bait (not clickbait!) that’s genuine, content that offers them real value and feels authentic.
Making Your Tackle Selection
Your bait isn’t just a lure on a hook; it’s a promise of the value you’re offering your customers. Your tackle box might house a range of bait, but knowing what to use when can be the difference between a passive browser and an active customer. In exactly the way a pro angler would choose their tackle with care and intention to attract the right kind of fish, so you too must do when selecting your marketing strategies.
Cast Where It’s Warm
We don’t recommend cold casting, ever. It’s a bit like fishing in a barren lake. You might get a few ripples along the water, but you probably won’t catch a fish. Fishing among your warm connections, though, that’s the good stuff. These are the people you’ve reached out to personally, people you’ve shown a genuine interest in, people you’ve provided value to right off the bat.
Warm connections are like those snazzy, sparkling lures that coax all the big fish onto the hook. Your audience is drawn in by your compelling brand story and well-crafted narrative, and they enjoy an experience that resonates deeply with their interests and needs, punctuated with those personal touches that make them feel valued.
Craft Alluring Content
Yes, we know it’s tempting to try to grab the information of every cute fish that swims by, but ambushing the school when they’re only seeking information merely scatters them and scares them off. To hook them and reel them in slowly, your content should attract them.
Alluring content should be appealing and nourishing and should be served up in a way that piques interest and lures them deeper into their journey with you and your brand. If you offer up quality, relevant content, they’ll keep returning for more. Then, and only then, can you begin to point them to your products and services successfully.
If you’ve been around awhile, you already know that trust is a key component in successful marketing. There’s a reason we say things like, “Customers must know you, like you, and trust you” before they’ll do business with you.
That takes time, consistency, and a commitment to providing value without strings attached. You don’t want folks to take your bait but then feel tricked or duped. You want the people you lure into to view your business as a trusted partnership, not just another fisherman trolling the seas for low-value connections. Toss the low-value connections back.
This might require a mindset shift, but unless you want to compete in the world of low-value products and services, bottom fishing with prices that continually trend downward, you need to reframe yourself as a brand that’s in the expertise and trusted resource business. Your customers are your partners, and they can trust you to deliver what they want and need and deliver it well.
Practice Persistence and Patience
Some of the most skilled pro fishermen worldwide understand that patience is everything and that giving up too soon can be a big mistake. You could say that successful marketing mirrors that wisdom.
Smart marketers understand that success won’t happen overnight and that it will take persistence and perseverance. It will also require a deep understanding of your audience, what they want and need, and the ability to pivot and adapt your strategies when necessary.
In fishermen’s lingo, it’s about casting your line using that shiny, attractive lure, waiting patiently for the perfect moment before hooking and reeling them in with strong campaigns that resonate.
Tips to Ensure Your Bait Gets Bites
When creating content for your audience (or baiting your hook), it’s important to keep a few do’s and don’ts in mind if you want it to attract the right catch.
- Do know your fish! Or your audience, rather. Collect all the intel you can on their interests, demographics, and behaviors. You can use tools like surveys and analytics to help understand their needs and practice social listening.
- Do design an attractive lure. Create content that’s tailored to your audience’s most pressing problems and questions, and make sure it looks nice and is easily digested.
- Do test your waters. You can use A/B testing on different content types and messaging to evaluate better what’s landing well and what isn’t. Then, make data-driven decisions to refine your strategy.
- Do keep your line tight. Regular communication with your audience increases engagement and adds value. You can do it using things like blog content, newsletters, and social media.
- Do set a deep hook. You can do this by crafting content and offers that are personalized and that make your customers feel valued, seen, and special.
- Do reel them in with gentleness. Relationships built over time with valuable, consistent content will point customers to your products and services naturally, without pressure.
- Don’t overfish in the same watering hole. Bombarding your audience with repeated messages is SPAM, not value. Commit to keeping your content fresh and different to help cultivate and maintain engagement.
- Don’t catch and release. Yeah, we know it’s a thing in actual fishing, but in marketing, once you’ve got a lead on your hook, keep them there! Use related opportunities and content to keep them interested.
Though marketing successfully can sometimes feel like a fruitless fishing expedition, you can improve your results tenfold when you remember that the right bait is the key to a good catch. Overwhelming your audience with a net full of gimmicks will be much less impressive than luring them in with valuable, authentic content that satisfies their needs and over-delivers what you promise.
Mastering this kind of bait will lead to more than just hooking a customer or two. You’ll build a real following of people who are ready and waiting for whatever you decide to offer next.