What would you think if I said there is a similarity between sporting clays shooting and inbound content? Do what? At least in my mind there is. Guess I’m a special kind of crazy. You see, I’m both a copywriter in the outdoor industry and a certified sporting clays instructor. There is a natural fit and it all has to do with the fundamentals.
You may know what sporting clays is. Let me provide a definition for inbound content. According to HubSpot it is, “an approach focused on attracting customers through interactions that are relevant and helpful — not interruptive. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.”
Did you play any sports in high school or college? If you did there was one thing the coach pounded into your head. You probably are thinking of it right now. FOCUS ON THE FUNDAMENTALS! How many times did we hear that? There are three fundamentals (not including safety) we focus on with sporting clays clients that are consistent with inbound content.
Body Position – In sporting clays you must stand and position your body to have a full range of motion: Feet shoulder width apart, square up facing your break point, and weight slightly forward. With targets coming from multiple directions across the course you must move to the target with your shotgun. Restrict your body movement and you miss targets. Marketing content is the same. You don’t write or share what you are interested in, but you must move your content to meet the needs of your target audience. Notice how I used that word target multiple times?
Sharing posts on Facebook that informs the audience about something of interest will engage them. Simply posting your latest sale items or promoting your business is a turn off. Does your business have a blog? When was the last time you wrote an interesting post totally unrelated to your business? Most of my blogs have nothing to do with copywriting but about other topics interesting to the hunting and shooting community. That is my target audience. Position your social media content to move to the target.
Gun Alignment – There are three points of gun contact with your body: hands, shoulder, and cheek. If any one of these three is off then you will not have proper gun alignment with the flight of the target and shoot above or below the clay. Likewise, trying to cover all methods of inbound marketing will also cause you to waste effort and possibly miss the target. Find those media your target audience uses the most. Those are your points of contact that align your content with your audience.
Facebook is the most used social medium so you HAVE to be there. What next? Are you trying to appeal to a younger market? Video on You Tube is a fast emerging market. As we’ve seen with President Trump, Twitter is a great way to instantly contact thousands of people. Find those 2 – 3 key points of contact and use them aggressively. Don’t spread yourself thin. That said, don’t be afraid to adjust those points of contact to align with the audience.
Focus – Even if you do the first two right, but don’t focus your eyes on the target you will miss the mark. We train and encourage clients to “focus small” or on the leading edge of the target as it flies. Here’s an analogy that most can connect with. If you have ever played a sport like baseball, tennis, or soccer do you focus on the ball when you hit it or the bat, racquet, or your foot? Of course the answer is the ball. So why would you look at the gun barrel when shooting a moving clay target? The answer is clear. It should also be clear that with inbound content you have to focus small on a specific audience.
And believe me, they are moving just as fast as a clay target. You can’t appeal to everyone out there. When we had a gun store we did not try to appeal to the “value” shopper. Someone looking for the lowest price will not be a loyal customer. Think about the ideal customer you want to appeal to and then develop your content to engage them. Guess what? They typically socialize with like-minded people and will share that content with them which expands your customer base. That’s how social media works.
So there you have it: Position, Alignment, and Focus. Didn’t think I could pull it off connecting sporting clays with inbound content did you? Many of the fundamentals in life are the same.