5 min read

Fishing for Bidders: A Guide to Auction Advertising

Fishing for Bidders: A Guide to Auction Advertising

As someone who has spent the majority of my life blissfully ignorant of the intricacies of fishing, I found myself in an unexpected situation recently. After years of avoiding TikTok, except for the occasional video shared by my children, I finally succumbed to their persuasion and created my own account. Little did I know, I was about to embark on a journey that would not only introduce me to the fascinating world of fishing but also provide me with a fresh perspective on my professional field - auction advertising.

After a few minutes of setting up my account and indicating my content preferences, I found myself falling down a TikTok rabbit hole. Hours slipped by as I was engrossed in video after video of fishing - an activity I had only dabbled in a few times and never given much thought. From catfish noodling in muddy rivers to deep-sea fishing in tumultuous waters, I was introduced to a myriad of fishing techniques that were as diverse as they were captivating. I'm not a fisherman, nor do I harbor a particular interest in fishing. Yet, I found myself inexplicably drawn to these videos. As I delved deeper into this unexpected exploration, a realization dawned upon me. The art of fishing, with its myriad techniques and strategies, bore a striking resemblance to the field of auction advertising. This revelation served as the inspiration for this article.

Just as fishing techniques are used to catch fish, auction advertising techniques are used to attract bidders. In both cases, the goal is to attract and capture the attention of the target. In this guide, we'll explore how the principles of fishing can be applied to auction advertising, with a focus on the cost, both in terms of time and money, associated with each technique.

Mi_Gente_Photo_of_a_young_woman_in_short_denim_shorts_standing__0fe2f9be-003b-439f-b148-820ba26b0fdeHand-Gathering: Direct Outreach

Hand-gathering in fishing is the simplest method, requiring minimal equipment and direct contact with the catch. In auction advertising, this is akin to direct outreach methods like telemarketing and personal emails. 

Just as hand-gathering requires knowledge of where to find the fish, direct outreach requires a deep understanding of your target audience. You need to know where they are, what they're interested in, and how to reach them. This method is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort, but it can be very effective when done right. However, it can also be costly in terms of time, especially if you're reaching out to a large number of potential bidders.

To effectively use direct outreach, it's important to personalize your approach. Know your audience, prepare a script for telemarketing, be respectful of their time, focus on the benefits of the auction, and always follow up if the potential bidder seems interested but isn't ready to commit.

Mi_Gente_photo_Hawaiian_man_spear_fishing_18022386-3edd-4a54-b804-7f37f40e02ccSpearfishing: Targeted Advertising

Spearfishing is a more targeted fishing technique, requiring precision and accuracy. In auction advertising, this is similar to targeted advertising campaigns. 

Just as a spearfisher aims for a specific fish, targeted advertising aims for a specific demographic or interest group. This could involve targeted social media ads, PPC campaigns, or SEO strategies. The key is to understand your target audience deeply, so you can create ads that will catch their attention and make them want to bid. This method can be cost-effective if done right, as it allows you to reach a highly targeted audience with a lower overall spend.

To effectively use targeted advertising, it's crucial to identify your target audience and choose the right platforms to reach them. Create engaging ads, use the targeting features provided by the advertising platform, and always test and adjust your campaign based on its performance. Remember to set a budget and monitor your campaign closely to ensure you're getting a good return on your investment.

man-6342665_1280Netting: Broad Reach Advertising

Netting is a fishing technique that involves casting a wide net to catch as many fish as possible. In auction advertising, this is similar to broad reach advertising methods like mass email campaigns, print media ads, or broadcast advertising.

Just like netting doesn't discriminate between types of fish, broad reach advertising doesn't discriminate between types of audience. The goal is to reach as many people as possible, in the hope that some of them will be interested in your auction. This method can be effective for large auctions with a wide variety of items, but it can also be costly, especially if you're using expensive advertising channels like TV or radio.

To effectively use mass marketing, it's important to segment your audience for email campaigns, create engaging content, use a clear call to action, and monitor your results. For print media ads, know your audience, create eye-catching ads, and include all the necessary information. For broadcast advertising, choose the right time slot, create engaging ads, and include a clear call to action.

angler-3071970_1280Angling: Content Marketing

Angling is a fishing technique that involves using a baited hook to catch fish. In auction advertising, this is similar to content marketing strategies.

Like an angler uses bait to attract fish, content marketing uses valuable content to attract potential bidders. This could involve blog posts, videos, or social media content that provides value to the audience and attracts them to your auction. The key is to create content that your target audience will find interesting and valuable, so they'll be more likely to engage with your auction. This method can be time-consuming and requires a significant investment in content creation, but it can also be highly effective in attracting a loyal audience.

To effectively use content marketing, it's crucial to know your audience and create valuable content that resonates with them. Use a variety of formats to reach a wider audience, promote your content to ensure it reaches your target audience, include a clear call to action in each piece of content, and measure your success using analytics.

trap-3529928_1280Trapping: SEO and PPC

Trapping is a fishing technique that involves setting up a trap and waiting for the fish to swim into it. In auction advertising, this is similar to SEO and PPC strategies.

Just as a trap is placed in a location where fish are likely to swim into it, SEO and PPC strategies aim to place your auction where potential bidders are likely to find it. This involves optimizing your auction website for search engines, bidding on relevant keywords, and making sure your auction appears in relevant search results. The goal is to attract people who are actively looking for auctions to bid on, and guide them to your auction. While SEO is a long-term strategy that requires time and continuous effort, PPC can lead to immediate results but can be costly depending on the competitiveness of the keywords you're bidding on.

To effectively use SEO, it's important to conduct keyword research, create quality content, optimize your website, gain backlinks from reputable websites, and focus on local SEO if your auction is location-specific. For PPC, careful keyword selection, compelling ad copy, relevant landing pages, a smart bid strategy, and regular testing and optimization are key.


As I reflect on this unexpected journey from TikTok novice to fishing enthusiast, I am struck by the parallels between the art of fishing and the science of auction advertising. Just as a seasoned fisherman selects the right bait, casts his line with precision, and patiently waits for a catch, an effective auction advertiser must also choose the right strategy, target the right audience, and patiently wait for the results. It's a delicate dance of strategy, patience, and a bit of luck - whether you're angling for a prized catch or bidding for a coveted item.

In the end, my foray into the world of TikTok and fishing has not only provided me with hours of entertainment but also valuable insights into my professional field. It's a reminder that inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. So, whether you're an experienced auctioneer, a novice advertiser, or someone like me who stumbled upon a new interest through a social media rabbit hole, I hope this fishing-inspired guide to auction advertising serves as a useful tool in your arsenal. Remember, in the vast ocean of auction advertising, it's all about knowing your target, choosing the right technique, and being patient. The fish, or in our case, the bidders, will come.

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