Author: Cassie Gasaway
How many customers have you added in the past year?
Do you dislike your answer? If so, how can you recruit more regulars?
Retailers often get comfortable (or stuck) marketing their products, classes and services with standard, repetitive promotions. It’s essential to promote those offerings, but it’s also important to vary your marketing strategies. What appeals to one customer might appall another, whether it’s taking classes or shooting the latest bows. To intrigue different customers, you must speak different languages.
It’s much like bowhunting. Do you hunt the same spot every time, year after year, if you don’t see deer? No. You scout new areas, look for fresh sign, and move treestands to better spots. Take that same approach when marketing your store to the community. If customers don’t respond to your website or social-media posts, try something else. Try to figure out what they like, and give them reasons to visit your shop.
Here are five ways to promote your business to different audiences and attract more customers.
1. Share What Makes Your Store/Business Special
Once people know you have products, classes and services, explain why those options are so much better at your business. Do you have a flexible product-return policy? Do your classes certify Level 3 National Training System coaches? Do they know you’ve been servicing archery equipment over 20 years? Are you dedicated to your customers’ success? Are you available at odd hours to handle last-minute bow issues? Do you have a customer-rewards program?
Identify what makes your business unique or different from your competitors. Share those features with your community.
2. Encourage Folks to Try Something New
School is out and kids are bursting with energy. Parents, meanwhile, are trying to channel that enthusiasm while entertaining them. Act now to encourage entire families to try archery. After all, it’s a family-friendly activity that gets everyone outside and invigorated. Pitch the fact that archery is fun, safe, challenging and rewarding.
Or tap into their adventurous side and explain how archery provides opportunities to travel the state or country. And don’t forget bowhunting, which engages folks in nature, inspires them to scout and hunt new areas.
Please note: Many archery groups and organizations canceled or postponed events to fight COVID-19. But the pandemic also sparked interest in bowhunting when commercial meat supplies shrank, and people searched for sustainable protein sources. Make the most of that mindset and momentum. For more information, read ATA’s article “Capitalize as Hunting Interest Surges After Pandemic.”
3. Share Archery’s Health Benefits
If fun, exciting activities aren’t enough for some people, they might like heart-healthy incentives. Archery and bowhunting offer it all. Both improve physical and mental health. Drawing a bow and shooting regularly strengthens your arms, core, hands, chest and shoulders. Plus, walking to retrieve arrows engages your lungs, heart and circulatory system; and being outside is healthy. It reduces stress and boosts your immune system, making archery ideal for health-conscious Americans. And if they bowhunt, they can also harvest lean, organic protein.
Explain how bowhunters help contribute to conservation. Photo Credit: Dewclaw Archery
4. Explain How Archery, Bowhunting Help Wildlife, Wild Places
Many archers overlook their role in conservation, so don’t expect newcomers to see the big picture. Explain how archers and bowhunters improve habitat, train hunters, study wildlife, and increase access to public lands by buying licenses and paying federal excise taxes on archery gear through the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act. The P-R Modernization Act, passed in December 2019, gave states more flexibility in how they use those funds. Tell newcomers they help wildlife and wild places near home and nationwide by shooting archery. Click here to learn more about the process, and how to easily explain it.
Thank your customers for supporting your business and remind them how much their patronage matters. Photo Credit: Xtreme Archery
5. Ask Your Community to Support Your Business
Communities help people connect with small businesses. Remind customers of your roots and community spirit. If your family owned and operated your business for two generations or more, let customers know. If your business supports your family, tell your community how much you appreciate their business. Make those human connections.
Small businesses play big roles in communities. Remind folks about the service and attention they’ll receive at your business. Introduce yourself. You’re the one who owns the business, answers the phone, donates to community events, and sponsors school and church youth teams. Wear your commitment to your community proudly. It’s a natural way to attract and hold new customers.
Those marketing strategies show archery’s unique, positive qualities. Once you’ve intrigued your audience, help them get started. Remind them you’ll answer questions, and offer expert advice and product recommendations. Trying a new sport can be intimidating, so offer support and guidance. Better marketing strategies give people compelling reasons to visit your store, and ensure your brick-and-mortar store survives in an online world.
For more help, log into your MyATA member dashboard and click “Download Free ATA Resources.” Select “Marketing Resources” under the “Downloads” dropdown menu for free resources that help you promote your business.