5 Essential Digital Marketing Tips for Outdoor Brands

Morgan Nicholson
February 8, 2022
Are you using SMS to reach your customers? How about UGC? Here are 5 tips for outdoor brands to succeed in 2022.

We know what it’s like to be in the early stages of cleaning up your digital channels. So, if you’re a digital marketer in the outdoor apparel industry, you probably landed here because you’re looking for ways to hike up your numbers and make your online presence a bit more…adventurous, shall we say?

As avid problem solvers and consummate nature enthusiasts, the team at Good & Gold has compiled some hot digital marketing tips for those working in the outdoor industry. Without further ado, here are 5 ways you can reach new peaks online. 

1. Leverage User-Generated Content 

User-Generated Content (UGC) isn’t a new concept, but it’s become an essential digital marketing tool for outdoor brands looking to capture attention and increase brand awareness. 

If you’re new to UGC and how it relates to outdoor branding and digital marketing, think of it as a way to source content from your followers through hashtags and shared social media posts. Unlike influencer marketing, the goal is community-driven by encouraging anyone to freely share their experiences with your brand over their personal social profiles or elsewhere online. 

Ways outdoor brands can create UGC:

  1. Create a hashtag that encourages people to share their experiences with your products. 
  2. Contact specific followers and inquire if they’re interested in contributing a guest blog post. 
  3. Hold contests (more on that later).

The crown jewel of UGC elevating outdoor digital marketing is REI’s #OptOutside campaign. As of this writing, #OptOutside has been used over 18 million times on Instagram alone. In contrast, more than 4 million people have shared free digital content over Instagram using the branded #REI1440Project, showing UGC's growth potential for outdoor apparel brands. 

2. Let Your Values Guide You  

Digital marketers in the outdoor apparel industry should pay close attention to the rise of ethical branding. For example, Accenture recently found that 60% of people started prioritizing environmentally friendly or more moral purchases during the pandemic, with 90% intending to continue. 

Patagonia inspired digital marketers after launching Action Works (a web platform for environmental grassroots organizations), publicly supporting innovative family leave policies, and protesting digitally by closing their online store to protect and increase awareness of Utah's incredible landscapes. They also didn't shy away from promoting environmental initiatives or their social responsibilities online. 

We are lucky to work with values-driven brands like Oak & Oscar, with whom we had the pleasure collaborating to support causes like the Saving the Boundary Waters Project over their digital marketing channels. 

3. Hold Cross-Channel Contests  

Looking to grow your social following or reward your email subscribers? Run a giveaway contest!

For inspiration, take a look at Poler’s Instagram giveaway, a local example we entered (and didn’t win…). We like this contest because it uses lifestyle content aligned with the Poler vision, uses a mix of non-branded and branded hashtags, and offers a cross-channel experience that drives people to their website. Their contest also became one of their most successful posts to date in terms of engagement.  

Online giveaway tips for outdoor brands: 

  1. Align the giveaway with the digital brand experience
  2. Partner with an organization to cross-promote your giveaway
  3. Use email marketing to alert subscribers 
  4. Use paid media as an added promotional boost
  5. Create a landing page and a signup form to continue engaging with subscribers

4. Text Your Customers (Seriously!) 

We're excited about SMS marketing because it has an average click rate of 36% and can convert 47% of subscribers. It's also become one of the fastest-growing channels that digital marketers in the outdoor apparel industry should consider. 

An outdoor apparel brand in Oregon called Revolvr uses text messaging to promote sales and events. We like their SMS marketing because it's informative, non-intrusive, and serves branded content that elevates the digital experience. 

Before you add SMS marketing to your digital marketing rucksack, it’s important to know that every business using it must implement and follow specific compliance rules based on their state and country codes. 

5. Level Up Your Email Automations 

Digital marketers in the outdoor apparel industry should make sure automated emails are fully optimized and contributing significant revenue. Automated flows like a welcome series will produce 4x higher open rates and 10x better click rates than other emails.

We've helped brands like Seek & Swoon, Stumptown, Olympia Provisions, and others by creating automations that have increased email revenue by more than 1,000%. 

Essential email automations for outdoor brands: 

  • Welcome Flow
  • Abandoned Cart Flow
  • Browse Abandonment Flow
  • Post-Purchase Flow
  • Re-Engagement Flow

If you’re looking for more advice around digital marketing for outdoor apparel brands, or need someone to bounce a few ideas off of, let’s talk over a hike! We would love to make sure you’re setting forth on the right trail.

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