Prepper Marketing is Based on Trust, Not Just Message
If there’s one core quality that preppers value above all else, it’s trust. They need to trust in the items and supplies that they purchase in order to guarantee the safety of both themselves and their loved ones in the event of the unthinkable. They need to trust in themselves, knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that they’re ready should a severe weather storm, or if some other unfortunate incident should finally arrive.
With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that “trust” is also one of the core techniques that you will use to attract the attention of this community through online marketing channels. If you can establish yourself as a true authority in terms of products prized by the prepping community like generators, survival gear and more, you will find a bold new market just waiting to be tapped for years to come. You’ll have access to a dedicated, passionate community of like-minded individuals who are all ready to engage, share and purchase at a moment’s notice.
Why Online Marketing is So Effective for Selling Emergency Preparedness Supplies
One of the major reasons why online marketing is so effective for selling emergency supplies has to do with the immediacy of the information that is available. Think about things from the perspective of the prepper: they’re looking for constant, accurate and up-to-date information about everything they need to be ready for something like a winter storm. This includes car supplies, food supplies, fire-starters, water purification products and beyond. If a new water purification system hits the market that is better than the one they currently have, they actively want to know about it. After all – the safety of both themselves and their loved ones is potentially at stake.
Because of this natural level of engagement built into the community by its very nature, the relationship between marketer and customer is actually significantly stronger than it is in just about every other type of target audience. If someone buys a new stereo system, they’ve likely made a purchase that will last quite awhile. They may stop researching new speakers, receivers and other components for years as their current setup is more than enough to “get the job done.”
When it comes to the prepper community, however, you’re talking about a completely different situation. If their home town suddenly gets hit with a severe winter storm and they don’t have the right fire-starter, the consequences are a lot more severe than just not being able to hear their favorite television show in crystal clear HD audio. They may not be able to stay warm during the storm, or they may run out of clean drinking water while “bugging out,” or if they’re stuck inside for an extended period of time.
Because of these concerns, this community is actively and constantly engaged with various Internet resources, combing over websites, newsletters and more in an effort to make sure that they have access to every last item they need when they need it the most. This organic requirement is one of the core tenants of the relationship between a marketer and his customer in this marketplace.
E-Mail: The Key to Reaching Preppers Online
One of the single most important weapons in the marketers arsenal in terms of reaching their target audience of preppers online comes by way of e-mail. Even if you take preppers out of the equation for a moment, e-mail marketing has STILL proven to be one of the most effective channels of communication in terms of sheer ROI alone – beating out things like SEO, Internet display ads and more.
The reason why e-mail marketing is so effective in the prepper community in particular feeds back into that larger idea of trust. These days, e-mail is more personal and more intimate than nearly any other type of avenue you may experiment with. People carry their smartphones with them everywhere they go and studies have shown that most people check for new messages multiple times a day, if their phones don’t automatically alert them when one arrives. According to Business Insider, 90% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 even sleep with their smartphones beside their beds all night long. In those terms, even the word “intimate” may be something of an understatement.
So people are already naturally invested in e-mail marketing materials. When you add back in the larger idea of trust that preppers thrive on, the results are even more staggering. Because most e-mail service providers automatically filter out SPAM messages, any targeted message that arrives in a customer’s inbox is naturally seen as more trustworthy than others. Personalizing these messages to the user deepens that connection even further.
Think about e-mail in comparison to something like social media. Social media may be great for giving everyone a voice, but it also goes a long way towards proving that no two voices are created equally. Social media can be a constant information overload, making it difficult for a prepper to weed through spam messages and irrelevant tweets to get at the heart of the data they’re really after. E-mail, on the other hand, is sleek, clean, and effective – the information they want automatically appears in their inbox at the moment they are the most receptive to it.
Planning Effective Online Campaigns
Because planning and strategies are so important to the preppers themselves, it should come as no surprise that a detailed strategy will also be required on behalf of the marketer to succeed with this community online.
The first step to planning an effective online campaign involves learning as much about what your preppers are actually preparing for as possible. Consider as much local data as you can to create niche campaigns targeted at specific areas of the country. A prepper in Cleveland, Ohio isn’t necessarily going to be concerned with a hurricane, but he WILL likely be worried about a devastating winter storm. This allows you to take your marketing one step further by not just offering general survivalist items, but items that will actually serve them well in the situation they’re trying to get ready for.
Think of it like this: your customer has a problem and you need to communicate why only your business can provide an adequate solution. If you don’t know precisely what that problem is, you can’t make that statement in good faith – or at least in any type of credible, effective way. By building a customized online campaign from the ground up to target individual buyer personas based on things like “getting ready for winter weather” versus “hurricane preparedness” versus other key times of the year, you’ll instantly establish yourself as a trustworthy source of valuable information in their eyes. Once that connection is made, you’ll have dedicated access to a passionate customer base that is ready to return to you to help them accomplish their goals on a regular basis.
The Tools Needed to Succeed with the General Prepper Audience Online
Some of the most important tools that you’ll need to succeed with the prepper audience online are targeted e-mail lists. Prepper e-mail lists and survivalist e-mail lists will allow you to segment your target audience even further, separating them into categories like “people who just want to be prepared for an unexpected winter storm” and “people who are focused on a potential hurricane or other natural disaster and beyond.” This will allow you to go much deeper in terms of the level of personalization that you can offer, strengthening your connection even further.
Tools like programmatic advertising can also be a way to accurately target preppers with new products and services based on items they’ve either already purchased or shown interest in. If someone buys a survivalist flashlight, you can automatically target them with ads for items such as batteries, generators, water purification systems, bunkers, educational materials and more.
If you make it as easy as possible for them to get the information they’re actively looking for, then everyone wins.
Marketers get to properly leverage one of the most powerful and actively engaged audiences on the nationwide by providing the preppers what they value the most: the peace of mind that only comes with knowing they are prepared for the unexpected at all times.
Preppers are also a skeptical bunch, so make sure you can back up any claims and offer the best, most truthful information. Preppers are seeking to survive and protect their families with your products and services. They are not a forgiving bunch if they learn claims made in your marketing are not true, so be prepared when you market to such a sophisticated audience.