The outdoor industry is booming. There’s more gear than ever – and yet, consumers still can’t seem to get enough of it. Travelers continue to buy new products for their next adventures, as if finding the right gear is part of the fun.
(Of course, it is!)
Outdoor travel enthusiasts are often a loyal bunch, but they’re also particularly open to new brands who might offer them their new favorite toys.
In an industry with so much innovation and so many options, standing out is a constant challenge. Social media is bursting with images of world travels and outdoor adventures.
So how do you get found online by outdoor travel enthusiasts?
1. FINE-TUNE YOUR WEBSITE DESIGN & HARNESS THE POWER OF EMAIL MARKETING
Think of yourself on a crowded city sidewalk with large signs every way you turn. Now think of a country road with one sign on it. Which one would get (and hold) your attention more effectively?
Translate that idea to your website. If you have a busy pattern with lots of neon or many different colors, are people going to know where to click? Will they know instantly what you sell? Or will they be overwhelmed and leave your site?
Your website design should be simple, clear and easy to navigate.
With so many different websites that sell similar products as yours, you’ve got to do everything in your power to get website visitors to stay.
Simplicity gives visitors some breathing room, and it draws visitors’ attention to your products and offerings – including the free offerings that incentivize visitors to join your email list.
Giving website visitors freebies, such as a free outdoor tips video or 10% off their next purchase, in exchange for their email address is an effective way to start building your email list.
3. PURCHASE ONLINE ADS
While every site should use SEO (search engine optimization) keywords to rate high on Google’s search engines, another way to gain customers fast is to use Online Advertising.
Used correctly, pay-per-click advertising can be low cost and very efficient.
You can purchase pay-per-click advertising from a number of search engine companies, though the most used search engine continues to be Google.
Google Ads are text only.
With each ad you get one headline, two lines of text up to 95 characters, and a link to your website. Even though you’re limited on words and characters, it’s important to use keywords related to your product, service, and target audience.
There is no minimum budget for these ads. You can set a per-day budget, or run your ads until they reach a total overall spend.
One of the biggest perks: You only pay when the audience clicks on or interacts with your ads.
Some individuals will still read your ad, but not click through to your site. We call this an impression, and impressions raise brand awareness.
Facebook ads work on the same principle as Google Ads. You’re limited to the Facebook audience, but you can more accurately target your audience based on key words and phrases people are posting about on Facebook.
Like with Google Ads, you only pay for what people click on. The major difference with Facebook ads is – you can advertise with pictures or images that can explain your product or service.
Facebook is now primarily a pay-to-play platform, with customers only seeing less than 1% of Facebook posts that are not paying.
That said, Facebook ads are low cost. And again, when used strategically, we’ve definitely found that they make a huge difference with our clients.
3. OFFER FREE SHIPPING
This Inc.com article states that more and more customers are coming to expect free shipping.
Plus, if you offer free shipping, the average customer buys more of your products.
Not a fan of offering discounts? Try this strategy: when someone signs up for your email newsletter, offer them a Free shipping code. That way you aren’t giving away something for nothing in return. You’ll gain their contact information for emails down the road and possible future sales.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA & INFLUENCER MARKETING
Social media is rapidly climbing the ranks as an effective marketing tool. Engage with your social media audience regularly by posting valuable content: content that’s entertaining, educational, anecdotal or otherwise useful and engaging.
Many industries are collaborating with influencers and micro-influencers to leverage social media as a marketing tool. The outdoor industry especially is discovering the value of partnering with influencers to get their products in front of consumers.
Reach out to influencers who promote the same values as you, and who embodies your brand, and talk with them about collaborating on sponsored content.
5. HOLD AN EVENT OR CONTEST
An event or contest doesn’t have to be just be part of your in-store retail strategy. You can have a one day only event that you promote on social media, your blog and in your email campaigns. Use hashtags to get discovered by consumers who might be interested in your giveaway.
By having an in-person contest or event, you can utilize another low-cost way to get more business – a press release with all the details. This can be a great way to increase your traffic to your website.
FREE DISCOVERY CALL
If you’re not sure about the state of your website, and how well it’s integrated with your larger marketing strategy, let’s talk about it! Your site is the face of your business, and it makes a big impression on your customers and potential customers.