It’s common to find yourself wondering “what direction should I take?” as you choose your next outdoor sports content topic, whether you’ve just started incorporating content in your marketing efforts or you’ve been doing it for a while now.
Maybe you’re planning a blog post, an article, a video, or some other type of content. Regardless of the specific type of content that you intend to create (there are 35 types identified in the accompanying content matrix alone!), here’s a plan of action to kick-start the process.
First, remember that your outdoor lifestyle consumers are all at different stages in the buying process. As they move through the purchase funnel, the content that you deliver will serve different purposes. Let’s look at four broad categories of content.
Content that entertains
The least hard-hitting content falls under the entertainment category. It can draw awareness to your brand, and appeals to emotions more so than reason. Between hunting, fishing, boating, or just experiencing the great outdoors, this industry provides lots of opportunity for emotional, entertaining, engaging content. Adding some humor into the mix works well here, as do other content items like quizzes and branded games.
Content that educates
While some outdoor gear has a very short purchase cycle, consumers spend much more time researching larger items such as guns or boats. Educational content (like entertaining content) is designed to appeal to users early in the purchase cycle, providing information that can help build awareness of product categories, features and trends. Content here includes press releases, how-to guides and trend reports.
Content that inspires
Outdoor recreation products sell when the consumer can see themselves enjoying or benefiting from using that item. Inspirational content helps make that connection. It can help move those prospects that already know of your product toward a purchase. Testimonials, celebrity endorsements and forums can all provide inspiration that helps a prospect pull the trigger on a purchase.
Content that convinces
Once a buyer has basic information about your product or service, they may have remaining questions that need to be answered before they are ready to make that purchase. Convincing content is designed to dig into the details. Webinars, data sheets, price guides and product feature checklists are all ideal content types for buyers as they move into the latter stages of the sales cycle.
Of course, content can address more than one of these points!
So next time you put on your content marketing hat and get ready to imagine a new piece of content that will capture the attention of outdoor enthusiasts, try starting with the outcome in mind. Identify what you want it to accomplish in terms of these four goals, and start building from there.