Fishing with Spam: Are There Better Ways to Find Customers?
Truth be known, I’m not the most enthusiastic fisherman you’ve ever met. But as an avid outdoorsman, I do enjoy an opportunity to visit a wooded area by a lake or river and a fishing trip is as good an excuse as any to do so. For a successful trip, I start by scanning the area for likely places a fish would live (in a small cove, under a dock, or by a downed tree) as opposed to simply tossing a line in the center of the water and hoping a random fish swims by. I also use the proper bait according to the type of fish I plan to catch.
See where I’m going with this?
Fishing for Customers in the Right Waters
The same strategy is useful for a successful marketing campaign! When “fishing” for customers, find areas on the internet where people who express an interest in what your product or service provides are likely to be. This is common sense. If you sell fishing poles, avoid advertising on websites that offer tips for applying makeup–while beauty sites may well have visitors who enjoy fishing, there is no reason to think anyone reading that page is in the market for buying a fishing pole. Even the best “content bait” isn’t likely work here, right? (It might look “spammy,” but more on that later.)
A better online destination for your content might be about the Appalachian Trail, because people who enjoy hiking tend to also enjoy fishing. The ideal site, however, would be a fishing blog where everyone who visits is clearly interested in fishing and probably gets excited about new gear.
Spam can take a multitude of forms, offline in the form of snail mail coupons, telemarketing calls, or in some cases an odd TV commercial for a product very few people use. Online spam has more to do with unwanted emails, annoying pop-up ads, repeat social media posts on on random sites, or fake product reviews.
The common thread is these methods of advertising force people with no interest in the service to actively participate in the marketing campaign by deleting the message–or tricking them into engaging by eliciting fear or confusion. They’re generally unwelcome messages.
On the other hand, non-spammy content has contextual relevance: it allows people to become aware of the company and how to contact them if the need ever arises, without invading anyone’s private space.
Modern Spam: Does it Work?
Whether or not spam works is open to debate, and to a certain extent, how it is used. Personally, I get emails from a company that I don’t mark them as spam because I know why they have my email (it’s not exactly unsolicited, in other words), they offer a great product for a great price, and I want to stay in touch with them for when I need to make a purchase again next year. But it is annoying to receive 3-4 emails every week when I’m not interested!
Another potential spam I don’t mind receiving is every fall and spring is an email advertisement for clothing. Twice per year isn’t overly antagonizing; the business has reason to believe I need to buy seasonal clothes and the ads seem targeted for me as they promote the outdoor style of clothing I wear outside of work.
But is this the best way to “fish” for my business?
Content Marketing: A Better Option to Find Potential Customers
A successful marketing campaign strives to let potential customers know what your company offers so that when they are ready, they know you exist and how to purchase your product or service. Just as important is to make potential clients feel your company is responsible and trustworthy, rather than giving your company a reputation for being irksome. People understand your need to advertise and the enthusiasm you have for the product or service you offer, as long as it doesn’t become annoying by needlessly interrupting our daily lives. As long as it doesn’t come across as spam!
That’s why modern content marketing has become so valuable. A content marketing strategy is designed around meeting buyers’ needs at various spots along the sales funnel or customer journey. Much of it is inbound-oriented, designed to collect leads and/or drive action to a next step that brings a potential customer closer to finding a solution. It’s relevant, timely, and not unexpected: it’s everything that spam isn’t.
Is this article spam? Of course not. It’s on the WriterAccess website, and if you’re reading this you’ve made several clicks to get here knowing the article was about marketing. Our customers and talent base are interested in the topic. I also offered enough information about my interests to let you know I’m a real person rather than a bot, and although I hope you’ll contact me through WriterAccess if you feel I can serve your content writing needs, I can also recommend 10,000 other great writers and guarantee someone is else available and perfectly suited for your needs. Now, I don’t know if fish will eat pre-cooked canned spice ham, but I feel confident in knowing you dislike spam internet advertising, right?
Andrew M’s most recent work history involves giving consultations and writing. Business propositions, sales pitches, marketing material and informational articles are some types of writing he conducts for his clients. Most of these are oriented toward the construction trade, architectural field, real estate market, or small business operations that Drew has extensive experience with.