You’ve heard of ad blockers, right? They’re the little snippets of software that promise to remove banner ads from web browsers, giving you a crispy, clean internet surfing experience. If you are using an ad blocker, you know that—most of the time—they work.
In fact, ad blockers work so well that about 25% of the global internet population was using them in 2019. In 2020, that figure is expected to rise, meaning traditional forms of advertising are becoming even less effective than they already were online. So what’s a business owner to do when ads seem to be going to waste?
Get creative. Hire a content creator.
What is a content creator?
Content creators are individuals who can help you build and design ads and brand content that often breaks through the barrier of ad blockers. These days, we often think of content creators as synonymous with Instagram influencers. However, while social media is a huge part of content creation and an effective way to raise brand awareness, content creators aren’t just relegated to the ‘Gram. They can be writers, videographers, photographers or strategists—anyone who will generally throw a wrench in your board meeting with an outlandish, outside-the-box idea that might just be crazy enough to work.
Content creators are being hired to produce a staggering variety of brand content, including but not limited to: tweets, blogs, ads, photos, animations, slide decks, PDFs, press releases, print materials, infographics, comics, web plugins, web apps, and even physical spaces like trade show exhibits and meeting rooms.
They usually prefer to work freelance. They might even be a bit maverick. And you should listen to them.
Will hiring a content creator help?
Surveys indicated that 70% of consumers would rather learn about a brand from an article or video over any kind of traditional advertising. In our world, you’d be astonished at how many well-known fishing tackle brands seem to be missing that message. But it’s a message that really does resonate.
How many times have you walked into a tackle store and seen a copy of a newspaper or web article printed out and slapped on the wall? No, not about fishing lures, but about the business itself. How many times have you seen a TripAdvisor sticker slapped on a tackle shop’s door? Most retailers already recognize that the images and words resonating around the web and in print carry a lot of weight. But I’m not sure how many brands in our industry realize they can create those images and those words.
If you’re sitting around waiting for a media outlet to notice you, you’ll probably be waiting for a very long time.
On the other hand, if you utilize a content creator to write a press release about your next seminar or tournament and send that to your local media outlets, you just might trigger a wave of exposure. While you’re at it, you can use those images for social media. And you might even be able to slap together a promotional video for the event that you can use as a Facebook or Instagram advertisement specifically targeted to anglers in your area.
Can a content creator hurt your business? There’s always the possibility that they go rogue and lay an atomic bomb on your brand’s social media outlets. But a creator that does that won’t have your job or any others for very long. In most cases, hiring a creative to bolster your traditional marketing efforts is a win-win.
Where can I find a content creator?
I know. We’re talking about content creators like they’re some sort of elusive animal. In reality, they’re abundant.
By the end of this decade, more than half of the U.S. workforce is expected to be working freelance. There are a lot of socio-economic reasons for that, but as of 2019, the figure was already at 35%. In the global business world, employers are utilizing freelance search-and-hire websites like Upwork and Fiverr to find qualified digital creatives.
If you’re a small business, hiring an individual freelancer could be an excellent route for acquiring your own content creator. Larger businesses may want to consider any of numerous public relations agencies already operating in the fishing industry that employ full-time staffs of in-house creators.
But the fishing industry doesn’t usually work like every other industry, does it? In my experience, potential employers would do well to not only explore the usual outlets (like LinkedIn), but also peruse Instagram and—perhaps more effectively—the aisles of ICAST.