Video Marketing Strategies for Outdoor Brands

Digital marketing is changing quickly and many outdoor brands—expert at navigating the mountains, slopes, and rivers of the wilderness—need a little help navigating the digital marketing frontier. Video is one of the best and most cost-effective (you read that right) ways to brand your company.

Video is one of the fastest-growing methods for customers to obtain information about outdoor products and brands. If a picture speaks a thousand words, a video speaks a million. For outdoor brands, video also serves as an effective way to reach your target audience, specifically with new targeting capabilities of video hosting platforms like YouTube.

If a picture speaks a thousand words, a video speaks a million.

CostEffective Marketing Through Video 

“I’m a huge proponent of YouTube,” says Josh Weum, digital ambassador for Google Adwords. “Television audiences are shifting very quickly to YouTube, and yet the cost of being on YouTube is still at a low price point, so it can be a great investment.” According to Weum, every business should be doing something with video hosting platforms, whether with low-budget DIY videos or by hiring a video team. And you can do more than product reviews and how-tos. Outdoor brands should be using video to showcase their products, services and even their company culture.  

REI stores have done a great job leveraging video as a part of their #OptOutside campaign. REI stays true to its culture—and its core customer—by encouraging shoppers to skip the Black Friday craziness and spend the day outside. This year the retail brand took the campaign to new heights by incorporating fan photos into the campaign on their website.

“We’ve learned recently that video is one of the main catalysts to driving interest in a brand,” says Weum. “Video is very emotionally engaging. If you’re a brand that isn’t very well known, YouTube is a great way to build your brand and get in front of your target audience.” 

Video Production for Beginners 

Although the idea of creating a marketing video can be daunting, all you need to get started is a plan, some inexpensive equipment, and a simple setup. You don’t have to break your budget in order to have effective video marketing. “You can shoot a decent-quality video on many smartphones, especially if you have one of the later releases,” says Tyler Sickmeyer, CEO of Fidelitas Development, an advertising and marketing agency that specializes in video production. “I recommend getting an inexpensive tripod to avoid the ‘selfie’ video look or shaky hands. If you have a lot of ambient noise, a headset or microphone can help with sound quality. Then, just find a place with good lighting and give it a try.” 

In this product video from Slumberjack, the front- and back-end brand bumpers were obviously filmed with a drone or other fancy device, but the narration and product demonstration shots were all filmed with a basic camera and tripod setup. The addition of a few graphic elements round it out and make it look quite polished without requiring a huge budget, big crew or extensive time commitment. 

Using Video Platform Targeting  

Once you’ve determined the audience you want to reach, hosting platforms like YouTube have refining options to let you target your message. “With YouTube, you can target your audience by age, gender, location, and even by interest,” says Weum. “So if you’re selling hiking boots, YouTube can help you reach outdoor enthusiasts. You can get your video in front of people with a high likelihood of actually buying your product.”  

Targeting for search and for video continues to evolve. Google AdWords now offers in-market audience targeting, allowing you to gain visibility with people who have been looking for what you sell. Targeting technology continues to get more granular; now you can even target specific channels that you want your video to show up on. “Targeting with video is at least as comprehensive as search, and in many cases, a lot more specific,” says Weum.  

Video builds trust, increases engagement, and drives sales. Video hosting platforms now allows outdoor brands to target their audience with even more precision than standard search engine marketing. Video marketing presents the opportunity for a company to not only effectively gain brand recognition, but establish a deeper relationship with their audience. 


This content was provided by OIA member Tyler Sickmeyer, CEO of Fidelitas Development, with help from Josh Weum, digital ambassador for Google Adwords.