It’s Great Outdoors Month, the perfect time to grab an ice-cream, relax in the garden or sip a cocktail by the pool. Unless you’re in content or social media marketing obviously. With a month-long theme in full swing there’s no time to put your feet up. There are summery pictures to upload, Mother Nature-inspired competitions to host and campaigns to take al-fresco. So which brands are doing the Great Outdoors Month just right? And what can you learn? Let’s delve deeper.
Strike While the Iron’s Hot
It’s important to note that NOW is the perfect time to promote your outdoor products or services or to present your business from a more ‘outdoorsy’ angle. With lockdown restrictions STILL in place, many of us have decided to reconnect with nature and enjoy the simpler things in life. After all- who wants to wear a mask and be sanitised repeatedly in a shopping mall? In fact:
- Research from Destination Analysts shows that nearly a third of those traveling plan to visit outdoor-oriented destinations where social distancing is built into the experience. For example, South Africa-based Mantis Group, is seeing greater demand than expected for its secluded lodges and luxury safaris experiences. Promoting wellness and sustainable adventures through high-quality nature photography and videos that heavily glorify outdoor exploration, it’s easy to see why a Mantis getaway would be appealing in the current climate.
Top Tip for Marketers: When it comes to promoting the great outdoors, always use breath-taking imagery. Find shots that make people want to travel and enjoy what you have to offer. Delightful scenery, mouth-watering cuisine, animals frolicking in water holes? They’re all great starting points and the photography should be crisp, clear and eye-catching.
- A list of this summer’s top destinations for US travellers is basically a rundown of North American beach towns: Miami, Myrtle Beach, Key West, Cancun, San Juan, Honolulu, and Tulum are all on top, according to May data from Tripadvisor. For comparison, 2019’s list was dominated by big international cities such as New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Sydney, and Tokyo. This highlights people’s desire to stay outdoors while making up for lost time.
Tourist boards are responding to this trend accordingly, with ‘enjoying the Great Outdoors’ being a key marketing message. The Official Site of Greater Miami, for instance, offers a series of high-quality videos presenting outdoor experiences. A whopping 85% of people want to see more video from brands in 2021, so it’s definitely worth incorporating some kind of video content into your strategy, whether it’s on your website or across social media.
Don’t forget there are many types of videos to explore. From how-tos and explainers to social media takeovers, behind-the-scenes clips and go-lives, the world really is your oyster.
Brands Embracing the Great Outdoors Month
“Let’s go outside, in the sunshine.” OK enough of George Michael. But as it’s June, what are brands doing to embrace the Great Outdoor Month?
Believe it or not, an outdoorsy lifestyle doesn’t have to be lofty camping trips and advanced hiking adventures. It can be much simpler and this is something outdoor footwear and apparel company Merrell is promoting throughout the month. The innovative #DoltOutdoorsChallenge encourages fans to take life outside with challenges corresponding to weekly themes. Using the campaign hashtag, consumers will get the chance to highlight how they are living their best life outdoors for a weekly chance to win a $2,000 prize package from Merrell and Outdoorsy along with additional surprises and prizes.
- If you’re going to run a themed competition, make it accessible to all. Not everyone owns a tent or a campervan. But most people can take everyday activities outside. So, this is an inclusive campaign for people to enjoy. Enjoying the great outdoors doesn’t have to be expensive. Purchasing equipment and gear for camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, and so on can be made more accessible through the use of coupons and promo codes that mean you can purchase items at a discounted price – hop over to this site to find these deals.
- Create your own hashtag to make your content easily searchable and trackable.
- Provide an incentive. Collaborating with other relevant companies will promote brand awareness and also allow you to offer much better prizes.
- Provide strong calls to action.
- Use visually appealing imagery to promote engagement.
Knowing your industry is a must and that’s something Airbnb has nailed. They make it clear in news articles and blogs that they know exactly what they’re talking about. And provide relevant getaway ideas along the way. Check out this from a news blog.
Or this snippet of stat-based expertise…
Top tip for marketers. Don’t be afraid to shout about your industry knowledge. If you want to be considered thought leaders in your space, it’s important to produce content that reflects this attitude. This will also put people’s minds at ease and make them more loyal to your brand.
Head to Airbnb’s website and you’ll also see an abundance of outdoor themed content. Such content also meets the demand of those looking for fun-filled outdoor experiences. So, what is Airbnb doing right?
- Landing page with a strong CTA. Note the colour contrasts. All text is presented clearly and is easy to see despite the coloured backgrounds. This is something a lot of brands forget to consider.
- The landing page then leads to curated content making it easy for users to narrow down their preferences and click on content of interest.
Notice that ‘Pride, Outside’ features first as it’s also Pride Month. This lists 15 picks where guests can celebrate Pride off-the-beaten track. There’s also a selection of Outdoor Experiences designed to make each trip even more enjoyable.
- Interactive Map. Why make the purchasing experience more difficult than it needs to be? By providing an interactive map with prices and vivid imagery of outdoor locations as well as essential information such as ‘entire house’, guests have all the facts they need to be able to make an informed decision.
#3 Center Parcs
Many brands are embracing the great outdoors theme by creating content that’s specifically related to outdoor activities. This can be promoted through the month of June, but it can be a long-term way to showcase the activities you have to offer. The key thing to remember is that people are seeking outdoor vacations. And people’s reasons for being outside and not around others is not only covid related. Many want a break from all the “covid talk” and others need to recharge their wellness. So tailoring your content strategy to meet these demands is a must .
Center Parcs, for instance, has an entire section of their webpage dedicated to outdoor activities. This appeals to different consumers whether they’re nature lovers, adrenalin junkies, water babies and more, with a short snippet of content complemented by a carefully selected image. Visitors can then click on a ‘more information tab’ for further content.
When choosing imagery, make sure you don’t infringe copyright laws. You may have to seek approval from the image owner. Using your own photography is one way to avoid this problem. There are also many stock image sites that are sure to come in useful, including those that will help you to boost the inclusivity of your campaigns such as AARP (which rejects the stereotypes associated with aging).
#4 The North Face
Great Outdoors Month and Pride Month both fall in June. So, this is the perfect opportunity for a spot of sensitive and relevant corporate responsibility. The North Face, for example, have used their outdoorsy reputation to support Brave Trails, a non-profit summer camp dedicated to LGBTQ+ leadership. This is a great way to stay on brand and focus on outdoor activities while supporting a relevant cause throughout Pride Month. The North Face have promoted their efforts across social media with bright imagery and a detailed summary of what they will donate.
This then linked to The North Face homepage which features vivid, eye-catching and very poignant imagery as well as a strong tagline ‘We believe exploration is for all.’ A rainbow tent, as seen below, is the perfect way to draw the elements of this campaign together visually.
#5 Mountain Warehouse
As a brand, it’s important to create a calendar of national dates that’ll fuel your content marketing strategy for social media. For example, if you want to upsell a particular product or service you might decide that embracing National Camping Month is more beneficial than the more generic Great Outdoors Month. This is fine too and is something that Mountain Warehouse has done seamlessly. It’s all relevant, but by promoting National Camping Month on social media, Mountain Warehouse is able to link to specific camping content, which in turn features links to camping equipment. This is an excellent way to drive sales in a particular direction.
When it comes to social media content designed to promote products and services, don’t forget to:
- Be helpful. Provide problem solving content that people can use to their advantage. The more you do that, the more you’ll be seen as a go-to brand.
- Embrace current trends. Don’t forget that many people will be holidaying in their own country as a result of the pandemic and might be doing things they’ve never done before. So, it’s essential to do your research and check out what people are typing to find your brand. You can then use that information to fuel your keywords strategy.
- Share user created content mentioning your brand. This is social media gold as social proof is more persuasive than branded content.
Did you know that – 10.1 million households camped for the first-time in 2020, of which one-third attributed trying camping due to the belief that it is a safe way to travel and avoid crowds. More than 60% of these first-time campers plan to camp the same or more in the coming year; across all campers, families are the group most likely to spend more nights camping in 2021.
- Use the relevant hashtags and focus on national days relevant to your company.
- Maximise user-generated photos and videos in order to boost consumer engagement. Or upload your own shots with the help of filters or photo editors to make them as eye-catching and attractive as possible.
All eyes are on the great outdoors this summer and it’s easy to understand why. Get in contact for a tailored marketing solution for your outdoors/tourism brand. We produce articles, PR, video scripts, social media management and much more for your campaign.
Enjoyed reading Brands Doing the Great Outdoors Month Just Right ? Go ahead and hit share or buy me an ice cream next time we meet!