Marketing Videos For Recreational Businesses

In my blog a few weeks ago I discussed five questions I always use to start planning any marketing video. You can read it here. Once again I’m going to continue looking the practical application of these questions for various business sectors. This week I’m looking at hobby businesses that deal with customers’ discretionary recreational spending.

What Do I Mean By A Recreational Business?

“England is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, anomalies, hobbies, and humors” – George Santayana

A hobby can be anything from a lover of films who visits the cinema every week, to an enthusiastic camper. It can be a DIY champion who spends their time constantly creating or a wargamer patiently collecting their model soldiers and preparing strategies for the next game. It is the dedication and ongoing collecting and improving that makes hobbyists valuable customers. As an example customer group I’m going to focus on those supreme collectors and hobbyists, wargamers. Once upon a time, (long, long ago) I was a senior retail manager for a major wargames company so this is an area in which I have personal experience both as a hobbyist and a retailer.

1.Who Are My New Customers?

Recreational BusinessLike most hobbies wargaming is a vibrant subculture with its own dialect and etiquette and knowledge base. It comes in several flavours, historical, fantasy, science fiction and has related hobbies such as role playing and competitive collecting card games. The hobby itself has three main areas of focus; collecting miniatures, building and painting the models and playing wargames.

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Our new customers will be people who enjoy collecting. They will be mostly teenagers. They will mostly be above average academically. They will mostly have no religion and they will mostly be boys. For some interesting stats take a look at the results of some research here. There are older wargamers but the majority of them came to the hobby as teenagers themselves. If your business specialises in one aspect of the hobby it may be that you can attract customers from other areas but that is not growing the market. To grow the market new customers are required and that means targeting younger people, targeting women, and targeting father/child pairs where the father was a player when he was young.

2. Where Are My New Customers?

Your new customers are looking at miniature and model boards on Pinterest. They are looking at games clubs groups on Facebook. They are reading wargames forum pages and they are searching for good miniatures manufacturers, rules publishers and scenery builders. Your videos need to go to those groups, boards and forums. They are also the casual viewer who has never heard of wargaming and doesn’t know anything about it. They are looking for something to do but don’t yet know what that is. They are the people who will see your video and sit up in their chair. It will catch their breath and make them realise that this is the hobby for them.

3. What Are They Looking For?

Recreational BusinessThey are looking for advice on how to paint and model to a higher standard. They are looking for reports on epic wargames. They are looking for clear explanations of often quite obscure rules sets. They are looking for groups of similar people where they will be welcome. This is their recreational time and we want to help them spend it fulfilling the ideal they have in their heads. We want them to see a world that they didn’t was available to them, in which they can play.

4. What Do They Want To See?

They want to see games, miniatures and models presented in the best light. Beautiful images that will inspire their imaginations and their ambition for collecting, building and painting. Wargaming isn’t just about the game taking place on the table. Even the most historically fastidious player enters into a fantasy of commanding an army in the field. What fires the imagination is the soldier eye level view of the battlefield. The battalions of painted miniatures with flags unfurled storming across the table to destroy the enemy. To entice the new player our video has to pander to this fantasy and explain how our rule set, range of model troops or range of modeling accessories will help them fulfill that fantasy.

Recreational Business

5. What Makes Them Decide?

Unusually here it is the fantasy that comes first and the practical help that is the decider. So to really attract a new player we want to show them how our rules work. Show them armies waging war across the tabletop, and show them how they can build up a collection steadily and affordably. This information needs to be simple and matter of fact in delivery. This is the practical back-up to the fantasy enticement.

What Are The Elements I Would Use?

My marketing video for a wargames company would be a microscopic fantasy epic told in two minutes, from the point of view of a soldier only 28mm tall. I would edit with pace and use effects to add real life explosions to the table. I would use the sound of battle and weapons and rousing music. I would use the gallows humour of the soldier at war and the visual language of the war film.

I would follow up with a whole series of “How To” videos covering all of the practical aspects of the hobby. A video on constructing models. One on painting to make a miniature an inch tall look like a life size person. I would show them how to scratch build their own scenery and then show them our range that will be better than anything that they can build to give them something to desire and aspire to.

As with any recreational activity we are creating videos that pander to customer’s fantasies in the first instance. We then give aid by offering practical advice. Finally we instruct them on how to expand their hobby for themselves while showing them the ready made solutions that we sell and that are better than what they can produce themselves. This is the path we create to turn those mildly interested into the converted hobbyist.