Some years ago in the hot summer, my son John and I were fishing with Larry Nixon, one of the most famous and successful bass fishermen of all time. We’d stopped in the middle of Kentucky Lake. Larry handed me one of his rods and reels with a new Strike King jig.

“John, cast that jig out about 25 yards, let it fall to the bottom, hop the jig across the bottom two or three times and watch your line as the jig starts to fall over the lip of the underwater drop-off,” he told me. “As the line falls, when you see it twitch, set the hook.”

At that time, I never had done any structure fishing, but since I was sitting in the boat with one of the best bass fishermen in the world and was there to learn, I followed his advice. After I set my hook, the last guide on my rod tip dove for the surface of the water. After a relatively short fight, I brought up a 4-1/2-pound largemouth, made some pictures, and released the fish.

“Why did I catch that bass out in the middle of the lake, Larry?” I asked.

Nixon explained why and how bass would hold in deep water in the summer, why he picked that particular color of Strike King jig for me to fish, and why we should catch some more bass using this technique. As I watched, Nixon put a 4-pound, a 5-pound and a 6-1/2-pound largemouth in the boat on his next six casts and then announced, “that’s all the bass we need to catch out of this area. Let’s leave this spot, and go to another one.” On that day, I also learned how to use a depth finder to locate bass in open water and other tactics for catching bass in the summer.

Using the photographs I took and the information I learned from Nixon, I sold several magazine articles and newspaper articles. In each article, I reported on the rod, the reel, the line, the jig and the methods we used for a highly successful day of bass fishing. In this classic example of content marketing, Strike King Lures gave my son and me the opportunity to fish with Larry Nixon. During the time we fished together, I learned new techniques for fishing and how to use new lures to catch more bass. Then I informed my readers about how they could catch more bass using the strategies Nixon had taught me and also told about the products I’d used. I wrote the articles to help readers become better bass fishermen.

Strike King Lures knew even then the value of content marketing. The company had provided me with an expert to teach me how to fish better in the summer, using the company’s baits. Then I could teach the readers more productive ways to fish. That same system has been used to communicate timely, entertaining and educational information to outdoor consumers for many years. Today the delivery system has changed to get that information to the consumer more quickly and in the form he or she prefers through the Internet.

“Content marketing is a buzzword I keep hearing these days,” says Colin Anthony, Director of Content at Outdoor Hub. This type of marketing shouldn’t be confused with the term ‘advertising.’ Content marketing is an approach that adds value to the consumer’s life with some form of education or entertainment. For centuries, businesses, social groups and even governments have leveraged education and entertainment to influence a consumer’s opinion. However, the one key variable that has changed is the delivery method.”

The Internet has many vehicles that allow consumers to get the information they want, when they want it, from experts in the outdoor industry and from other outdoor consumers who’ve experienced similar problems and found ways to solve them through the Internet. We’re seeing an increase in the number of online magazines that consumers can get for free. Social media usage, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest, is expanding by leaps and bounds with outdoor information for the consumer. Many outdoor companies and consumers are reading daily outdoor news from newsfeeds like the Outdoor Hub and others. In this series of articles I’ll be publishing on Outdoor Hub, I’ve talked to some outdoor industry leaders about how they’re using content marketing on the Internet to help their consumers get the information and entertainment they want in a timely manner, whenever and wherever they want to access it.

Image copyright iStockPhoto.com/almagami

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