There’s no question that outdoor retail businesses are growing; just take a look at the massive success of REI or Patagonia. Now is a great time to go into opening an outdoor business, but you’ll want to make sure that you know how to first build your customer base. It can be hard to get your name out there at first, but there are things you can do to help spread the word about your new business to get you started out right!
1. BUILD UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
If there is one thing that is absolutely key when it comes to marketing in the twenty-first century, it’s that social media is completely essential. This is especially the case for lifestyle brands like outdoor brands.
You want to communicate to your potential customers the kind of lifestyle they can expect to lead by purchasing your products. Building up a solid following on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and even YouTube is essential to communicating your brand.
2. GET BRANDED MERCHANISE
One fun and effective way to get your name out there is to sell, or even offer as part of a promotional campaign, merchandise with your brand’s logo emblazoned proudly on it. For outdoorsy people, you could start by including water bottles with your brand on it, custom Yeti mugs and tumblers, or even backpacks or bum bags with your logo!
The great thing about outdoor gear is that people always need something more to round out their camping rig or backpacking kit; offering promotional merchandise is a great way for them to positively associate meeting their needs with your brand!
3. START A BLOG
These days, a professional business blog is essential for marketing your brand online. Telling a story about your brand helps make sure you control the narrative around your products, and it also gives potential customers a great way to interact with your brand before they’re sure about buying. People love buying from sources they can trust, and adding the human element of a lifestyle blog to accompany your outdoor brand is a great way to communicate yourself in a trustworthy way.
4. ADVERTISE THROUGH INFLUENCERS
Influencers on social media are a huge industry these days, and they can be an efficient and fun way for you to get your brand known. Many models and creators with massive followings on Instagram, YouTube and other platforms may offer their services to plug their brand.
For an outdoor company, you may want to find a travel blogger or Instagrammer who may include a tag to your products in their photos. Just one imaged of a hip backpacker wearing your company’s hat while vacationing on a trendy EF Ultimate Break can be a game-changer.
5. MAKE SURE YOUR CONTENT IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZED
This is a more technical way of getting yourself known, but trust us, it will pay off. If you’re struggling to appear on Google search results, you may want to consider investing in SEO experts who can help build recognition online for your business. Most folks will never click past the first page of search engine results, so being buried on the second or third page can be a death sentence for a small business.
6. MAKE DEALS WITH KEY RETAILERS
Outdoorsy folks are a fiercely loyal bunch. When they find a retailer they love, they stick with them through thick and thin. If you can land a deal with REI, Cabela’s or even Dick’s Sporting goods, there’s a much higher chance people will purchase your goods. People trust these retailers to curate only the best, so having your name among other big names is key to a steady and consistent consumer base.
7. BUILD GOOD PRODUCTS
This perhaps goes without saying, but there are just too many outdoor brands that try to get by making a substandard product and passing it off as savvy and outdoor-ready. Outdoorsy folks prioritise quality over quantity; you only need one hiking backpack, and you want it to last for years. Your growth strategy should involve finding new customers and producing unique and useful new gear, rather than gear that breaks and has to be replaced often. Having good products will build your clout.
That’s our guide for how to boost brand awareness for your outdoorsy business! Have any other ideas? Let us know!