Author: Cassie Gasaway
Everyone seems eager to offer opinions and marketing advice for your archery shop, even if it’s not relevant to your unique business. You’ll usually discover what works and what doesn’t through trial and error, but sometimes someone offers revolutionary advice that makes things click now.
We asked four ATA members to share the best marketing advice they’ve ever received. Maybe you can apply these strategies or concepts to your business.
Convey your story to your potential customers. Photo Credit: Paducah Shooter's Supply
1. Tell Your Story Every Chance You Get
Chance and Kacey Clanahan, owners of Paducah Shooter’s Supply in Paducah, Kentucky:
“We were told to brand our company by telling our story,” Chance Clanahan said. “In every sale, we provide customers the means to make memories in the woods or on practice range with their families. By sharing our business’s background story through marketing, we help customers decide where to shop. They can buy from a box store, or our nearly 40-year family operation, with staff who provide extensive knowledge and service.”
A local marketing agency shared that advice with the Clanahans, and they’ve applied it in their Facebook videos, Instagram photos, and TV, print and radio ads. Clanahan said “telling your story” is vital for family-owned businesses.
Try to keep the same username across all social media platforms if possible. Photo Credit: G4 Archery
2. Claim Your Brand on Multiple Platforms
Jason and Jessica Harris, owners of G4 Archery in North Plains, Oregon:
“Our best marketing advice is to claim your company name on all platforms, including email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, eBay, website domains, etc.,” Jason Harris said. “Even if you don’t intend to use them right away, you’ll own the usernames so you can use them when you’re ready. They’ll be of great value to your company’s success. Today’s world offers many marketing channels. (Claiming your brand on multiple channels) creates brand recognition across all platforms.”
Harris adopted this concept from the high-end outdoor retail industry. He calls it the “REI theory,” and said many industry reps and partners call G4 Archery “the REI of the archery and outdoor world.” His team uses many online and social-media platforms to push their products and services, and promote inventory from key brands.
“As we grew and expanded, marketing channels made us so much more successful than we could have been without them,” he said. “It really lets you be a successful modern shop, and not just another ma-and-pa shop.”
Select your marketing agency carefully or manage your social media in-house. Photo Credit: Gateway Feathers
3. Evaluate Every Dollar You Spend and Make Your Money Count
Zach Miller, sales manager at Gateway Feathers:
“I’m reading ‘The No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing’ ebook,” Miller said. “One tip we’re applying immediately is this: Each dollar sent out must come back with more, or must meet predetermined objectives.”
After analyzing the company’s expenses, the Gateway Feathers team brought their social-media marketing in-house. The agency they left behind didn’t funnel traffic to their website and mailing list, nor did it increase sales or track efforts to increase sales.
“We’re honored to support our sponsored archers and hunters, and we’ll increase our ways of giving back to the community and sport,” Miller said. “Those marketing dollars are well-spent, but if we work with an agency in the future we’ll be much more selective. In the meantime, we see this as an opportunity for internal growth and self-reliance. We’ll guide our efforts by the strategies and principles mentioned in the book.”
Own your niche and focus on what you do best. Photo Credit: Victory Archery
4. Find Your Niche and Stick to What You Know
Devin O’dea, marketing and graphics manager at Victory Archery:
“RubLine Marketing told us: ‘Don’t try to be the best at everything. You’re not, and it will show. Continue to define your niche, perfect your product, and show your customers what makes you stand out,’” O’dea said. “That (advice came) at a time we were exploring some categories outside of Carbon Arrows. At Victory Archery, we’re the carbon arrow experts, and we make the best carbon arrows money can buy, period. It was good advice!”
Victory Archery is owning its niche, and vows to focus on carbon arrow innovation and production.
Get Marketing Help
Want more good advice? Connect with a MyATA service provider. These ATA-vetted companies offer ATA members expert support and discounts. They also provide ATA members great educational services, including podcasts, videos, webinars, resource guides, or presentations and Coffee Talks at the ATA Trade Show.
The ATA partners with Jackson Marketing, RubLine Marketing LLC, and Approval Payment Solutions/VIV for top-shelf marketing advice. Visit www.archerytrade.org/myata-service-providers to explore your options.
Questions? Contact Nicole Nash, ATA’s range and retail programs manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.