How Influencer Marketing Can Activate Outdoor Brands All Year Long
Marketing seasonal products, such as outdoor gear, can be challenging. Fewer people are buying hunting apparel and rifle accessories as the hunting season winds down, or a surfboard in the heart of a New England winter.
Though the off-season may not be the ideal time to market a particular seasonal product, there’s no reason you can’t work on brand activation or product activation with influencer marketing all year round.
Influencers have a lot of sway when it comes to showing off the latest and greatest in an industry, and the same goes for the outdoor industry. With a dedicated audience of outdoor adventurers, showcasing your best product with an influencer or highlighting your brand can drive traffic from an audience looking to see what else you have on the offer.
In-Season Products Bring Off-Season Product Activation
Maybe the summer athletes aren’t looking for apparel and gear in the middle of a cold winter, but they’re thinking about it. Maybe they enjoy some winter sports in their off-season, such as skiing or snowboarding.
A fisherman may not be shopping for new fly-fishing gear until the season approaches, but they’re still thinking about fishing. Same with athletes, hunters, kayakers, mountaineers…the list goes on.
Highlighting the in-season products, such as a new snowboard or the latest in thermal undergarments, could pique their interest. Even if they don’t buy that product, it could drive traffic to the site and get them looking at other products – such as the mountain bikes and kayaks.
Influencers have a lot of leverage for this type of brand and product activation. After reviewing a product, the influencer can talk about why they like this product and the brand’s other products, leading the audience to wonder about those products, too.
One of the most beneficial and unique aspects of influencer marketing is that the audience is so dedicated and passionate. They built a relationship with the influencer and give their recommendations more weight. With a strong audience, an influencer can review a crossbow and inspire the non-hunter in the audience to check out the hiking gear from the same brand/
In addition, outdoor brands typically have audiences all over the country, if not the world, and the temperatures, climate, seasons, and activities may vary. Just because it’s winter where you are doesn’t mean there’s not a watersports influencer in California ready to tout your best paddleboard. Then, when the season comes back around, your brand may be the first that comes to mind.
Marketing for Diverse Outdoor Enthusiasts
While there are certainly outdoor types that only enjoy their one outdoor hobby, many take part in outdoor activities during all or most seasons and enjoy a wide range of adventures.
When these outdoor enthusiasts follow outdoor influencers, they’re looking for the best products and newest trends from a trusted source, even if that particular product is not what they need. This provides a valuable opportunity for influencers to promote your product and brand, boosting your recognition with the audience.
If your outdoor brand offers a wide range of outdoor products (think Gander Mountain), then having an influencer campaign can promote your brand as an outfitter that caters to every type of adventurer. If you have a limited range of products in a niche, say watersports or contact sports, an influencer can promote one activity and indirectly draw attention to the other activities – and the products you have to offer.
Building a Partnership with an Outdoor Influencer
The influencer ecosystem has content creators in virtually every niche you can imagine, including general outdoors and niche activities. Finding the right influencer is vital to successful brand activation for an outdoor brand, especially if it’s taking place in the off-season.
Ideally, an outdoor influencer should have a niche audience of dedicated followers that rely on their expertise with outdoor products and trends. Depending on the scope of your product offerings, you may want to choose an year-round outdoor enthusiast or a niche enthusiast that’s focused on one category of activities, such as thrill sports, nature photography, or wilderness tours.
Remember that it’s more important to find an influencer with an audience that aligns with your brand and products, rather than a big-name influencer with a large audience that may or may not care about your brand.
Harness the Power of Influencer Marketing for Outdoor Brand Activation
For many outdoors types, the end of one season begins an impatient waiting game until that season rolls around again (unless they’re year-round adventurers). Think of professional sports leagues airing commercials that tap into the passion of the fanbase, amping them up for the season ahead. They don’t quit in the off-season, and neither should you. Influencers can keep your brand’s name and products in the spotlight, no matter the season, and generate interest from passionate outdoor enthusiasts.