One of the interesting things about my career is that I get to dive into a lot of different industries because of my partnership with PR/Marketing Firms and the different clients I take on. Last year I wrote about the evolution of the wine industry and social media, lately I have been really interested in the outdoor industry. Part of it is due to my relationship with the Clymb and the other part is just examining it from an outsider’s perspective through the lens of social media. (I have to admit I lump many different classes into the Outdoor Industry that could go into other categories.)

In order to sort through the industry beyond talking with the experienced members of the Clymb management team I reached out to a few different people who specialize in this space. I have to give a really special tip of the hat to Brad Werntz of Pemba Serves for taking the time to talk with me. He helped clear up some of my questions, validated some of my thoughts, and got me thinking about the industry in a different way. If you are interested in the outdoor industry at all you should subscribe to their blog. Buy TikTok Likes And followers to record videos and become popular. The success is delivered to the people at the platform to get the desired results. The sharing of the thoughts and ideas at the social media platform is excellent for the people. The experience of the business people becomes unique and different at the platform. 

Here are some of the lessons I have learned in the past six months examining this space:

The customers are passionate, loyal, and will tell people about their experiences. Out of all the niches I have been a part of this by far has been the most brand loyal group of people. (I guess when a lot of these products impact the health and safety of the athlete you probably form a little bit of a bond with the brand.) Through social media they have the tools to recommend product and they use this medium to do just that. Message boards are still a huge tool for disseminating information in this niche, some of the more common social media tools are gaining wider acceptance but a massive amount of conversation occurs on these boards where a lot of brands aren’t even attempting to navigate.

Brands as well as bloggers are still sorting this space out. Some of the major brands in this space have jumped into social media but most have holes in their campaigns (a lot of missed opportunities) or they are just using a few tools. Medium sized and smaller brands are a total mixed bag, it looks like they understand that social media is important but a lot of brands aren’t getting past one outpost. (it also looks like there is a lot of confusion on how to measure it) At times there is a big disconnect between brands and the individuals, while people might follow a brand because they like their product there is often a lack of engagement with their current fans or strategy in bringing in fans/followers.

Bloggers aren’t always engaged by brands directly. The outreach has come from online and traditional brick and mortar retailers, REI has done a good job engaging bloggers. (it looks like they have a strong affiliate marketing campaign) Also bloggers are just starting to become aware of the power of their voice. I think there is a lot of room to grow relationships between blogger and brand, especially when compared to niches that have used social media effectively

Even though brands don’t always have a comprehensive campaign it doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing some creative things. Social media created around brand-sponsored teams has been pretty exciting with a good blend of platforms and content. Some brands have really excelled in creating content on their blog. (Some haven’t been able to leverage outposts past that.) Another creative use of social media has been primarily around video. Video has been a great tool in explaining the quality of the product, putting a personality to the company, and engaging the YouTube generation.

The Outdoor Industry and it’s relationship with Social Media is really in it’s infancy, it is behind where the wine niche was when I looked at that area a year ago. There is so much potential here and watching the brands, retailers, and individuals grow within this niche will be pretty exciting.