3 Advertising Tips for Outdoor Activity Businesses and Gear Providers

May 21, 2020 Cox Media

3 Advertising Tips for Outdoor Activity Businesses and Gear Providers

Interest in Outdoor Activities is Surging—Here’s How Your Business Can Grow Its Customer Base

Even before the recent public health crisis, demand for outdoor activity gear had been on the rise for years. But with recent regulations and safety concerns turning people away from their regular summer activities, they are now seeking out new activities and entertainment options that let them get out of the house while minding the rules of social distancing.

If your business provides equipment or other services related to these outdoor activities, this growth in popularity is an opportunity you can’t afford to miss—especially if your company’s finances have been hard hit by recent economic disruption.

With some companies seeing outdoor toy and equipment sales increase by 50 percent or more, your business could use this wellspring of local interest as its own stimulus package to build up your sales revenue—but only if you’re able to build awareness among local consumers with a renewed interest in these outdoor activities.

Here are some tips to help your outdoor activities business expand its visibility among a local audience.

1. REACH CUSTOMERS THROUGH SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Many of your potential customers might be seeking out outdoor activity stores and businesses for the first time. As a result, they may not have a go-to company in their minds when they decide they want to get equipment for hiking, fishing, camping, or other outdoor activities.

Building a presence through online search, including SEO and paid search strategies, is essential. Similarly, social media can be a valuable element of your small business advertising strategy, allowing you to target potential customers based on their proximity to your business and the interests they’ve stated on their social accounts.

The targeting capabilities of social media and search give your business the precise ad delivery it needs to reach a relevant audience while generating strong ROI for your advertising efforts. Use these channels to get discovered by people actively searching for a business like yours.

2. USE AWARENESS-LEVEL ADVERTISING TO EXPAND YOUR CUSTOMER BASE

If you haven’t used cable TV, radio and other big awareness-level ad campaigns to promote your business and grow your customer base in the past, now might be the perfect time to invest into these strategies. With so many people discovering a renewed interest in outdoor activities, a large segment of your local population may have an interest in advertisements that tell them about local businesses that offer outdoor equipment.

Traditional advertising channels can help you generate mass visibility within your local area, establishing your brand and keeping it top-of-mind as local customers consider spending on new outdoor activities and entertainment. Given the recent surge in popularity for outdoor activities, your business is poised to attract a lot of first-time customers. For this reason, you need to invest in ad channels that extend beyond your existing customer base and help you draw in new business.

3. POSITION YOUR BRAND AS A LOCAL OUTDOOR EXPERT

Consumers dipping their toes into new outdoor activities will likely have a lot of questions and be in search of trusted advice. As an outdoor activities business, you should take steps to establish your brand as a local expert, and a place where they can bring their questions.

This expertise pitch is similar to the model used by REI, which prides itself on hiring retail associates who are active users of the outdoor equipment they sell. Leveraging your in-house expertise can help you develop trust with new customers. Even if safety regulations are restricting your in-store selling capabilities, you can get creative with digital videos that offer tutorials on how to build a fire, or how to tie a fishing lure to a line—and then highlight recommended products customers can purchase to aid in these tasks.

You can also use videos, social media, and your business website to promote guides and resources related to local activities and destinations. Recommend hiking trails to your customers, or offer guides on safe cycling on highways in your regions. These resources establish your business as an authority and build credibility among your target audience.

Trends in consumer behavior can have a huge impact on the current and future revenue potential for any retail business. As summer approaches, outdoor activities are on pace for record participation in many parts of the country.

Get ahead of this curve by creating an advertising strategy that can serve as a springboard for a very successful summer activity season. Don’t know where to start? We’re here to help.

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