Before I sat down to write this blog post (after taking my wife to the farmers market in Salt Lake City) I did some research. I read a bunch of articles about Digital Marketing for The Outdoor Industry, and what I found was a lot of fluff. Yeah yeah – know your target audience. Yes, you should be aware of how your product is different than your competitors. Yes, content is king. Blah blah blah. But let me tell you what the best in the business are ALL doing, that you SHOULD be doing.
Why should you follow what the best in the Outdoor Industry are all doing? Because as a friend of mine said when I asked him about weight lifting: “if you wanted to become a big dog, and you asked the big dog what they did to get big, and the big dog tells you they ate lots of dog food – then I suggest you eat lots of dog food.”
Here is the basic Digital Marketing Strategy pretty much everyone who is anyone in the Outdoor Industry is using.
#1: SEO – Get found when people do a google search for what you sell
#2: Re-marketing – (yes use the darn cookies) – If you go to Black Diamond’s website, or Backcountry, or REI, and you leave their website, you are going to see their ads pop up on every website you go to after that. That is called the Google Display Network. Then, you are also going to see their ads pop up on your Instagram and Facebook Feed. Everyone who is anyone is doing this. You should be as well. And the truth is, re-marketing ads are very inexpensive.
#3: Empty Cart Marketing – If you leave something in your cart and don’t execute the purchase on the Power Systems website, you immediately start getting emails about it. And if you wait seven days they usually give you a 25% off coupon. Market back to the people who “almost bought.”
#4: Email Marketing – People who love the outdoors love their brands, and they like hearing from you. Make sure you are capturing people’s emails and then e-mail them high quality content. Let them know what is going on with your company. And then when it is Memorial Day or 4th of July, you can let them know about your sales.
#5: Instagram – Notice I didn’t say Social Media. I am not saying you don’t need facebook, but for Digital Marketing for the Outdoor Industry, Instagram is where it’s at. Come on. We are outdoor people. We love to see the outdoors and what people are doing out there, and Instagram is a visual platform. Oh, and you should also be running ads on Instagram. They are cheap, and a good way to build a following.
#6: Photography – Action Video – Drone Video —-Look at Patagonia’s website, or Black Diamond, or REI and look at their images. Look at their flyover drone shots. Look at their videos. You either need to begin learning photography and videography, or pay someone to do it for you. Those wide angle, telephoto nature shots – are what your customers expect to see when they come to your website. Why? Because they visit other websites in the Outdoor Industry and they come to expect a certain look and feel, and if you don’t meet that expectation, they just leave (even though they don’t know why).
#7: Shopify or Big Commerce – I remember one of my mentors saying to me about “appearances” – he said, “The longer the sign on your door screams “struggling young entrepreneur” the longer the struggle is going to be.” Yes, you can get a canned website from websitesforfishingguides.com – but your site is going to look like everyone else’s. Yes you can build an ecommerce platform on Weebly – but look at them and then go look at ecommerce sites in the Outdoor Industry and tell me whether you think someone is going to take your seriously? What about WooCommerce? I love WordPress for websites, but I hate the look of WooCommerce. I suggest Shopify for 99% of people, and then you can aspire to move over to BigCommerce if you get as big as Camelbak or Petzl.
One of my mentors used to tell me – remember to get the big rocks in first. That was his way of reminding me that you have to do all of the “big things” right in marketing, and then you can start drilling down into other things. But the things that are going to move the needle in Digital Marketing For The Outdoor Industry are the things I have mentioned here. You HAVE TO get these things in place and get them working for you before you start worrying about influencer marketing and other methods of digital marketing.
I hope this helps. Especially if you are just starting out or have been around a little while. Focus on getting really good photos, videos, and drone footage, and then make sure lots of people see them through the means I mentioned above.
It is hot as blue blazes in the Salt Lake Valley today. But tomorrow morning – Off to Park City for some early morning mountain biking. I hope to see you out there!
Sincerely – Tim
Stay Wild Digital Marketing is located in Salt Lake City Utah, and designs websites and digital marketing campaigns for businesses in the Outdoor Industry. If you are interested in an estimate to work with us, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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