Naturally, for a growing audience of consumers, this spawned a newfound appreciation for outdoor sports. And with participation at an all-time high, it has also led to sizable (and lucrative) new opportunities for outdoor brands.
Of course, for owners of these outdoor brands, it is now imperative to take full advantage of this growing market segment and the many opportunities it presents. But a big question for many: How do I make my brand stand out to consumers — and specifically, to the new consumers in the outdoor market?
When your outdoor brand is ready to capitalize on the growth opportunities presented by today’s pandemic-enlarged audience of outdoor enthusiasts, consider these five TBAO-recommended ways to better connect with the new outdoor consumer:
1. Do your research
It’s vital for outdoor brands to know exactly who their new customers are, what they need in their products and services, what drove them to choose the brand, and what the brand can do to keep them coming back. And by implementing post-purchase customer surveys, brands can discover all of these things and more, then use the garnered insights to retain existing customers — and attract more like them.
Pro tip: Be sure to send your surveys soon after your customers’ purchase journeys are complete, while the experience is still fresh in their minds. And try to limit your questions to 10 or fewer, all addressing one or two predetermined specifics you’re looking to learn more about. (For more tips on customer surveys, check out this TBAO blog article.)
2. Create valuable content
Always be mindful to create content and messaging that add value for your new outdoor consumer — and that covers interesting and informative topics related to your brand. Subject matter that tends to go over well with audiences of outdoor consumers include:
- How-to articles and videos related to your brand’s products, offerings or segment (for example, with a heavy brand focus on outdoor cooking, TBAO client FIREDISC regularly shares articles and videos related to grill setup, cleaning and recipes)
- Articles and videos covering the basics in your segment (for example, topics such as “Best tackle choices” for a fishing-gear brand or a series on “Deer season tactics 101” for an apparel brand specializing in camouflage hunting gear)
- Content offering inspiration for your new outdoor audience to take their newfound passions to the next level
Pro tip: Be careful not to scare your new customers off with too many hard sales pitches. While presenting your brand’s offerings is certainly understandable to consumers (and even expected on occasion), make concerted efforts to provide regular installments of the kinds of informative, interesting and helpful content discussed above.
3. Engage new (and repeat) customers
To keep your brand top of mind with your new outdoor consumers — and to keep them engaged with your brand and its offerings — develop targeted email campaigns created just for them.
With your brand’s email campaigns, new customers can be segmented based on:
- Engagement: Those who regularly engage with your brand’s emails and its website may have a higher potential to purchase, so serving them with updates on new offerings and deals can be highly effective. On the other hand, those exhibiting lower engagement levels may need a push to re-engage, such as with a special offer.
- Purchase history: It’s often effective to serve repeat customers with different content than potential customers, including upsells, accessories, tips and tricks, etc.
Pro tip: To get the most out of your brand’s email marketing campaigns, begin by carefully contemplating your target audience and your specific campaign objectives. This TBAO blog article offers five solid tips on maximizing the effectiveness of your e-commerce campaigns.
4. Employ automated emails
To push new customers farther down the path to purchase, automated emails can be set up to automatically send out when website visitors perform specific actions. These often include:
- Abandoned browse emails to lure potential customers back when they’ve viewed items without adding them to their shopping carts
- Abandoned cart emails to spur further consideration when potential customers add items to their shopping carts without completing the purchase
- Welcome emails to thank consumers for joining a mailing list or similar, and often to establish stronger consumer-brand connections by, for example, telling the story behind the brand and/or its offerings
Pro tip: When selecting an email platform for your outdoor brand, there is a range of powerful options to choose from — but they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Read this TBAO blog article for more on which platform might be best suited for your brand’s specific objectives.
5. Reward your customers
When new customers join your brand’s family, reward them! Small gestures such as handwritten thank-you notes, inexpensive brand-related gifts, discounts and invitations to special events (digital or in-person) can go a long way toward creating a strong bond with a new customer.
And for repeat customers, setting up a loyalty program that provides progressively larger discounts and even free products and services is a great way to keep them coming back … and even eventually becoming brand ambassadors who spread the good word about your company and its offerings.
Pro tip: For marketers, creating true brand advocacy among consumers is an achievement that can pay exponential dividends, as few marketing tactics are more effective than word-of-mouth recommendations from consumers’ friends and family members. Check out this TBAO blog article for some expert guidance on how to turn a typical outdoor consumer into a passionate brand advocate.
When initially connecting your outdoor brand with the new outdoor consumer, keep in mind that creating a positive first impression is vital. And from there, work to develop a trusting relationship with these new consumers that keeps them coming back … and could eventually turn them into ambassadors for your brand.
Could your outdoor brand benefit from working with a group of experienced marketing professionals to help it better connect with the evolving outdoor consumer? At TBA Outdoors, we’re here to help you build stronger connections with your new and old outdoor consumers via tried-and-true tactics such as research, content development, customer journey optimization, direct-to-consumer strategy, and DTC assets such as website design and email campaign creation. We can also help your brand develop a solid new-customer strategy that delivers the best customer experience possible. Our fully integrated marketing firm boasts a team of seasoned specialists (and outdoors fanatics) who can cover all aspects of marketing — including email marketing, SEO, brand strategy, creative, social media, e-commerce, analytics, public relations and much more — all in one place. And as certified brand strategists, we can also help you with the big-picture adjustments sometimes needed to put your outdoor brand on a course to long-term success.
To get started with professional guidance ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost your outdoor brand’s overall performance and identity, contact us today.