There’s no doubt that Coloradoans love their outdoor life. So much so that about 3.2% of the state’s economy can be attributed to outdoor recreation alone.
In 2019, that came out to around 787.6 billion dollars. And there were no signs of this stopping during the pandemic.
These are exciting statistics no matter what your outdoor business might be. But it’s still an indicator that there are countless outdoor businesses in Colorado jostling for consumer attention.
Having so much competition can make it hard to form genuine connections with potential customers. And connection is an essential part of driving conversions when it comes to social media marketing.
With endless social media ads offering what seems to be similar products and services, what will make potential consumers choose yours?
Don’t be discouraged, because we have the secrets to standing out. The latest one? Mastering TikTok.
Why You Should Use TikTok for Outdoor Marketing
If you’re not yet familiar, TikTok is a popular app where all content is a 15-second to 1-minute video. They include tons of filters, editing options, and ways to interact with other videos.
TikTok was founded in China in September of 2016, and launched globally the following year. By 2020, it was the most downloaded app in the world. Today, it boasts over 1.1 billion users, 34% of which are on the app every day.
Why pour money into video ads on multiple platforms that will be sent into the abyss, when you can share your company organically on TikTok?
The platform includes high-tech algorithms to help ensure your videos are fed to your specific audience personas.
Users are given 2 feeds to scroll through: “Following,” where they only see posts by pages they’re following, and “For You,” an entire feed dedicated to personalized recommendations based on the videos the user has previously interacted with.
TikTok tracks everything you could dream of and more to target your audience: location, interests, activities, purchases — even the length of videos they prefer!
Thanks to this algorithm, some businesses have managed to go viral almost immediately. And while we can’t guarantee you’ll gain instant fame, we can assure you you’ll be reaching audience members with a lot less upstream swimming than on other platforms.
You might be thinking, “Sure, there are a lot of people on TikTok. But what about fans of the outdoors? Are they really scrolling through videos?”
The answer is yes, and it shows!
Many outdoor brands like yours have found recognition and success using the platform.
There are plenty of authentic ways for outdoor brands to creatively utilize TikTok and build relationships with your target audiences. Keep reading to find out how your outdoor brand can get ahead of the competition on TikTok.
Find Your Niche Audience
To attract a more engaged audience, it’s important to find and communicate your niche. Take your niche a step beyond “the outdoors,” and think about what else your audience persona would want.
Is your persona a millennial adventurer with a child in preschool? In that case, maybe your niche is outdoorsy parents who love to take their kids camping, and are looking for inspiriting and educational content to support this lifestyle.
While it’s tempting to try out everything at once, you’ll need to make sure your content is consistent. If people know you’re creating content they love and that you do it regularly, it creates the urge to follow you for more.
Take Men with the Pot, for example.
Men With the Pot started as two friends who liked to brave the elements and create some delicious campfire recipes. The TikTok videos they made ended up blowing up so much that they began selling out of their cookbooks and special wilderness knives.
By having high-quality, fast-paced videos that feature a combination of delicious recipes and rugged scenery, they created unique content that stops people from scrolling.
Right off the bat, the imagery creates the urge to go camping. You can almost smell the food through the screen, and the inspiring nature scenes spark the desire to go explore.
Their entire TikTok features videos in this style. They found a niche that worked, and stuck with it! Simple as that.
Tell Your Story with TikTok Trends
TikTok has tons of “trends” — whether it’s a special dance to a popular song, lip-syncing to sound bites, or storytelling prompts like “Tell me about a time when…”
There are a few perks to trying out these trends.
For one, they add a sense of community. Millions of people joining in the same prompt creates an instant bond — like having an inside joke with a bunch of strangers.
Trends also easy to find. When someone uses a trending sound, the sound they chose is displayed at the bottom of the video.
People can click the sound, and see others who have participated in the same trend, starting with the most popular video. This is another way for users to stumble upon your brand, and it creates an immediate sense of relatability.
For this example, check out the TikTok of Olivia Deihs. Olivia is a consultant who helps plug women into outdoor careers.
While Olivia could simply create a video listing her services, she decided to instead spice things up a bit by doing a dance to a trending TikTok song.
Olivia isn’t a professional dancer, which made her TikTok more accessible and relatable. She told a bit of her story and was clear about her intentions on the app, all while having some fun.
How to Connect With Influencers on TikTok
Chances are, as a business owner, you can’t spend every day taking epic outdoor adventures and making TikToks about them. But many TikTok influencers can — and boy, do they!
Aesthetics are a huge focal point of a successful TikTok. When it comes to the outdoor industry, that means plenty of professional nature shots.
Utilize the great work of those already creating this imagery without reinventing the wheel. Search under popular and relevant hashtags to find an outdoor blogger or a TikTok influencer who focuses on nature.
Start simple. By searching the hashtag #Colorado, we came across Dave Kozlowski. Dave is an outdoor photographer in Colorado who has the most popular video under the #Colorado hashtag, with a whopping 9.8 million likes.
Dave would be a great influencer to reach out to. Offer cross-promotion, discounts, or services in exchange for regular shout-outs on his page.
Imagine if this viral TikTok account had a sponsor. What would that look like? Perhaps it would make a great ad for ice skates. They could be tagged in the caption, along with a feature the skater enjoyed.
Or maybe it could be for winter camping gear, and the speaker could do a quick image of the coats and gloves keeping them toasty while they’re out on their ice skating adventure.
Get creative, and welcome the influencer into the ideation process. After all, they know their audience best.
How to Measure Your Success on TikTok
While likes and views are a good gauge of the success of the post itself, when it comes to TikTok marketing, you’ll want to dig a little deeper.
Make sure you’ve upgraded to TikTok Pro to access their analytics features.
Here, you can evaluate things like:
- How many followers you’ve gained and what days they followed. This can help give you an idea of what drives follow conversions.
- How many people viewed your profile, and when. A feature that can help you determine whether your content is taking users beyond viewing your post.
- Which posts are performing best. Evaluating the features of these posts can help you put together your own recipe of best practices.
- Audience demographics for your profile and each video. This gives you insight into who your content is currently being fed to, and what content tweaks you might want to make to better address your target audience.
- Days and times when your followers are most active on the app. Use this as a guide as to when to post.
- Popular sounds your audience saves and listens to. These are clues as to which trends you can try or songs you can use to drive more traffic.
As you better define campaign goals, you’ll find these analytics will be a crucial guide to achieving them.
Pro Tip: Explore Other Platforms, Too
TikTok users often link to other platforms they’re on. This helps enhance a sense of community. It also allows you to expand on the type of content you serve your audiences without easing up your by-platform strategy.
When it comes to products and services for the great outdoors, Pinterest is likely the next place you’ll want to send the followers you draw through TikTok.
Pinterest is also heavily aesthetic-based, but with more focus on on-site sales and web traffic.
Learn more about how outdoor brands can boost their organic presence with Pinterest >