Who to bait: Local communities and suburbs, or certain groups within desired suburbs.
Where to fish: Within neighbourhoods that are likely to engage with your business – either because you’re local, or because you fulfil an unmet public demand.
How to cast your line: A mass flyer drop distributed to doorsteps and letterboxes. If there is a certain business or person you’re particularly interested in hooking, attaching a note or delivering the flyer personally can be a great way to reel them in.
When to fish: When launching, rebranding, promoting a special or offering something new.
Best lures: Short, friendly copy, invitations to inquire, and clear contact information.
Avoid: Releasing all your bait at once. People won’t bite if your drawcards are already floating in the water. Also evade bad weather. Dangerous conditions yield poor results, wasting valuable time and money.
Who to bait: Past, present and potential consumers.
Where to fish: Email addresses.
How to cast your line: Create three separate email campaigns, targeting these specific groups. Distribute individually, or to entire list.
When to fish: When hoping (and able) to increase business.
Best lures: Website click bait and offered incentives (discounts, promotions, educational information about your industry etc.)
Avoid: Overfishing. Customers deplete quickly when constantly baited.
Who to bait: Pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and general passers-by.
Where to fish: Walls, telephone poles, billboards and store windows in busy locations (streets, shopping centres etc.)
How to cast your line: Organise something that will stand out from the surroundings. If the area is muted, go bright. If it’s busy, go minimal. Your poster should be eye-catching above all else.
When to fish: As often as you can! For the most exposure, cast your net across as many new areas as possible.
Best lures: Bold design, strategic placement, and creativity in size and shape.
Avoid: Re-using old bait. If you fail to keep things fresh, people won’t bite.
Who to bait: People within the immediate vicinity.
Where to fish: Directly outside or very near your business’ physical address.
How to cast your line: A clear call to action to draw people inside. (Sandwich board, window decal, welcome mat etc.)
When to fish: Every day.
Best lures: Intrigue, humour, and persuasive headline text.
Avoid: Fishing without a hook. Signage is the easiest way to increase brand awareness and drive foot traffic, so don’t neglect it.
Who to bait: Anyone online, potential followers in particular.
Where to fish: This depends on where your target market pools. Facebook and Instagram are excellent for promoting presence, while LinkedIn connects you with professionals. There’s also Twitter, Snapchat, Spotify and WhatsApp (just to name a few.)
How to cast your line: Setup accounts and upload information specific to each medium – profile picture, cover photo, contact details, descriptive bio etc. Connect with contacts that share similar or relevant interests. Consistently post content significant to your business and following.
When to fish: Regularly – every second or third day at least.
Best lures: Common interests, useful information, frequent updates, and an evident ‘understanding’ of your audience.
Avoid: Inadvertently releasing followers. If someone tugs at your line with a question or feedback, reel them in before they decide to let go.
If this is your first venture out on the water, don’t expect to immediately land a big fish. Building up your business over time will gradually help you navigate the endless possibilities of the wild sea – and the longline marketing that follows.