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6 brilliant content ideas for outdoor brands (with examples)

TAST Team

June 11, 2024

Outdoor enthusiasts are always on the lookout for reliable gear to support their active lifestyle season after season. But even though the outdoor market is tightly knit, there’s a lot of competition within it. Consumers may need durable backpacks, hiking boots and tents or want a windbreaker that will continue to perform for years. Either way, outdoor brands need to think outside the box if they want to hold audiences’ attention.

Consumers love to be in the know about the ways outdoor brands can help them make their adventures even more epic—whether it’s a new product being launched or the introduction of a clothing recycling initiative. And before investing in a new item, they want to know exactly how it’s made. That’s why many outdoor brands, including Patagonia and The North Face, shout about how they’re working to make their production more environmentally conscious, already a great starting point for content. 

If you’re an outdoor brand looking for actionable ways to tell your story and boost your marketing efforts, we have 6 brilliant content ideas (with examples) that you can use for inspiration.

6 outdoor content ideas for outdoor brands

Take your outdoor brand’s marketing to the next level with these 6 tried-and-tested content strategies.

1.   Capture the everyday through user-generated content

When consumers see real outdoor enthusiasts using products on their social channels, they can relate to brands on a personal and emotional level. Showing how regular people use your products in their everyday lives gives your brand a more relatable and authentic feel. Plus, it resonates with consumers’ organic interests and experiences. That makes it a powerful marketing strategy for outdoor brands.

Many brands leverage user-generated content as a core part of their social media strategy. That’s certainly true of Spanish mountaineering and outdoor brand Ternua. They encourage customers to share pictures of themselves wearing their gear on Instagram and to tag @ternua_official or use the hashtag #ternua. The best images are then featured on the brand’s website and social channels.

A collection of user-generated images of real people wearing outdoor gear on the Ternua website.

The best part about this kind of content? It’s about as authentic as you can get, and its grassroots nature means you can highlight people who are passionate about your brand with no expensive photoshoot required. That saves you time and money to focus on what matters most. Speaking of…

2.   Share your core values

Outdoor sports enthusiasts are serious about the causes they believe in. If you want to get them on board with your brand, selling gear isn’t enough. You need to be real about what you’re doing to make a difference. Take Patagonia. The brand appeals to conscientious outdoor sports fans by sharing how it’s working to have a more positive effect on the world. The impact section on its website has tons of information about its material-, environmental- and social-responsibility programs. They also use clear stats to highlight their progress each season and to hold themselves accountable.

A page from Patagonia’s website with clickable links to information about materials and environmental programs, social responsibility programs and where we do business.
Patagonia’s tracker with stats about their programs’ progress for this season.

This content can be easily shared on social media so customers can follow Patagonia’s journey and learn more about the brand’s efforts. Discover more about Patagonia’s content marketing strategy on our blog. 

Be sure to tread carefully, though. If you decide to adopt this strategy, you must be mindful of greenwashing. This is when you make environmentally conscious claims for marketing purposes without actually putting in the graft to make more responsible products. Consumers are unlikely to stick around if they doubt the actions behind your words, so it’s a big no-no. Especially now that the EU has adopted legislation to crack down on companies who make unfounded environmental claims for marketing purposes. Brands now have to back up their claims with verified reports, and anyone who fails to do so could face a fine.

The environment is a hugely important cause, but it’s far from the only one. You should focus on publicizing the causes you’re already passionate about and working to support. It makes for authentic, organic marketing material. And if you can show up with receipts to back up your claims, your customers are more likely to trust and respect you as a brand.

3.   Share sneak peeks of your newest updates

If you’re an outdoor brand with loyal fans, you’ve put in the hard work to grab their attention. So, how can you keep it season after season? One way is to build hype around a new collaboration or service by sharing a sneak peek on your website or via emails and social media. Teaser campaigns are an awesome way to pique interest and create an air of anticipation before you’re ready to launch. This goes for new product releases, but also for new initiatives or marketing campaigns.

Getting website clicks is a great way to increase brand awareness—about who you are and what you stand for. According to stats sourced by SproutSocial, 91% of consumers will visit the website or app of a brand they’ve already followed. (Plus, a further 89% will make a purchase.) Sneak peeks are a great way to engage with potential customers while you’re on their mindsespecially if your competitors offer a similar product or service.

The content you create doesn’t have to be complicated. The route-planning app komoot promoted its 2023 Women’s Rally in Arizona with a simple Instagram post featuring hometown cyclist Lael Wilcox to get participants excited about discovering some of her favorite loops.

An Instagram post from komoot sharing information about an upcoming Rally in Arizona in 2023 with an image of Lael Wilcox with three other cyclists.

Our advice? Try not to wait too long between your sneak peek and the launch or event. Otherwise, your customers might forget about it or get tired of waiting. Curious about how to keep the hype going after you’ve gone to market? That’s next on the list.

4.   Create how-to videos

When you sell technical gear, customers sometimes need extra help understanding how a product works. They may also want to see the features in action before making a purchase—especially if you’re selling an investment item. Or they may want tips about caring for their product so it can support them on their adventures for as long as possible. And according to SproutSocial stats, 44% of people prefer to learn about a new product or service via short video content.

How-to videos are an excellent way to get customers to engage with your products. They allow you to showcase your expert knowledge and build credibility as an outdoor brand. They also help consumers picture how the product can fit into their everyday lives without having to spend time reading reviews and browsing product information. And they can be a great way to promote a circular economy so the product has a more sustainable lifecycle.

Vango Tunnel Tents does this really well with their pitching instructions video. Customers are taken through the pitching process step by step—right down to how to hammer in the poles, adjust the fixings and pack it back down. Not only does this help with the buying journey, but customers can easily follow the guidance on their phones once they’ve bought the tent and are ready to pitch it.

You could even ask a sponsored athlete or influencer to star in your content to generate more buzz. Which brings us to our next point.

5.   Collaborate with outdoor influencers  

Influencer marketing is booming. Stats show the global influencer platform marketing industry is expected to hit $22.2 billion by 2025. Outdoor brands are as much about the feeling of sitting around a campfire or the exhilaration of standing at the summit as they are about the products and services that get you there. To tap into that sense of adventure, you should consider leveraging brand ambassadors and influencers in your industry to help people envision the lifestyle you’re all about.

Outdoor influencers use their adventurous spirits to bring your brand and marketing strategy to life. Consumers love to see real people using the products and services they’re curious about, so it’s a logical next step to harness this interest and turn it into content they can relate to.

Outdoor influencers can help build trust, hype customers up for getting outside and encourage them to support causes you believe in. This means you’ll benefit from increased engagement, enhanced brand visibility and the opportunity to tap into potential gaps in your market.

Jack Wolfskin recently partnered with adventurer, survival expert and former SAS trooper Bear Grylls by equipping him for his outdoor adventures and publicizing the collab on social media. Here’s an example post:

Looking for more ways to broadcast how influencers interact with your brand? We’ve got just the thing.

A screenshot from Jack Wolfskin’s Instagram page showing outdoor influencer Bear Grylls wearing some of the brand’s gear.

6.   Mini-documentaries

Mini documentaries are a powerful means of showcasing your brand’s values on a deeper level. They’re a chance to share stories and connect with audiences in an authentic and engaging way. And the examples are endless.

First up, Odlo’s Out For More webisode series is a must-watch. It follows the journey of French trail running team Odlo X-Alpi as they find their footing in a fast-changing trail world. You can catch the series in full on YouTube. But Odlo is leveraging this content across platforms, too. You’ll find snippets of it on the brand’s social media channels to increase awareness and build hype. 

Patagonia also regularly invests in long-form video content that tells the stories of incredible people – like trans climber Lor Sabourin. The brand also engages with Global Sports Activists—surfers, climbers, runners and fly fishers—who routinely test the brand’s gear in extreme conditions.

The North Face is yet another outdoor brand that creates documentaries as part of its content strategy. Road to Breaking 20 follows the story of ultra-runner Pau Capell on his journey to completing the Tour du Mont Blanc in under 20 hours. It’s a great example of human endurance—something The North Face heavily promotes throughout its website and social content.

The brand also creates editorials on The North Face Journal to support video content, giving itself more opportunities to share content across different channels and reach wider audiences. 

A screenshot of the Road to Breaking 20 editorial on The North Face Journal, which features an image of ultra-runner Pau Capell training in a green outer layer and shorts.

Need help converting your ideas into great content?

Marketing your outdoor brand can be tough—and reaching audiences across borders adds another layer to the challenge. If you want to deliver great brand experiences in more languages than you speak, you need copy and content writers who understand the nuances of the marketsand sportsyou’re targeting.

To save you time and hassle, we’ve built a team of linguists, writers and editors so you don’t have to. We’re well aware that no one size fits all. Just tell us what you need, and we’ll tailor our multilingual copywriting services to match. Sound good? Shoot us a message at hello@theactionsportstranslator.com to find out more.

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