Reeling in fish/hunt prospects with more digital marketing

An expanded emphasis on social media is one of the new marketing directions inspired by Travel Manitoba’s latest Fish/Hunt Summit, held on April 10.

Based on feedback at the summit, Travel Manitoba will soon launch a new “Fishing in Manitoba” Facebook page with a designated community manager. It will become a central hub for information collected from many sources, including lodge operators, hunting/fishing outfitters, influential fishing forums and blogs, and media.

“Until now, we’ve relied mostly on Travel Manitoba’s own social media channels to engage fishing and hunting enthusiasts, but the 18 outfitters and operators at the April summit encouraged us to try a different approach,” said Hunt/Fish Consultant Shel Zolkewich.
“Their input was a big help in developing the 2014/15 marketing plan, which has now been approved and endorsed by the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association.”

Another new promotion for 2014/15 will be a sponsorship program for hunting and fishing television shows. Travel Manitoba will offer a one-time sponsorship of $5,000 to shows featuring content exclusively focused on Manitoba.

“For the first year, we’ll focus on hunting shows,” Shel said. “We’re working out the criteria now.”

In total, nearly $570,000 will be invested in a comprehensive, multi-faceted marketing strategy in 2014/15:

  • Production will soon begin on a new hunting television commercial featuring waterfowl, upland game birds, bear, white-tailed deer, moose and caribou. Airtime will be purchased on specialty outdoor networks like Sportsman Channel and Pursuit.
  • Two group media trips will feature Manitoba’s unique outdoor opportunities. A July media tour will feature fly-fishing for brook trout on the God’s River, with Elk Island Lodge acting as host. In September, media will experience waterfowl hunting at Kaska Goose Lodge on the shores of Hudson Bay.
  • Travel Manitoba will do more digital marketing in the Minneapolis market, building on the success of previous media e-blast campaigns, which have caused clear spikes in web traffic and click-through rates.
  • Sports tie-ins will include sponsorship of a Chicago White Sox Throwback Tailgate event and advertising during the September-December hockey season.
  • The Fishing and Hunting Guide, listing all Manitoba lodges and outfitters, will once again be distributed in key markets in the northeast United States. The future of the publication had been in question, but summit participants advised that there is still plenty of value in print marketing of this kind.
  • Fishing will be the focus of one-quarter of all brand airtime, including television and Air Canada in-flight advertising.

Probe Research was once again commissioned to facilitate the four-hour Fish/Hunt Summit and capture ideas and discussions.