Digital Storytelling Ideas for Outdoor Brands

Posted by Lena Haines on Jun 7, 2016 8:00:00 AM

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Every brand has a story to tell, but it's all about the delivery when you're talking to your audience. It's not just about putting your products in front of consumer's faces, its about them creating a relationship with your brand. Giving your brand a human or emotional side is one of the best ways to hit your consumers where it counts; in their hearts and their wallets. Engage potential customers through digital storytelling. 

Tell a story, don't sell a product

When you're looking at creating digital stories for your brand, first make sure it's authentic. People will see straight through your attempts if all they see is product placement and contrived adventures. Instead, engage someone who knows what they are doing and tell a story about them overcoming a challenge or achieving a new goal. Your story will become their story because your audience is going to occasionally see your product throughout your images or video content. Giving a narrative to that story makes it easy for your audience to relate and understand how your products are a part of that story.

Yeti does an amazing job at "Tell a story don't sell a product." I drank their KoolAid and can't wait for the next bit of their video content to come out. The most recent piece, Tootsie, is a story of a hardworking janitor and the first award winning female BBQ pitmaster in Texas. Watch it, cheer, crave bbq and then buy your damn Yeti. 

Pick a trending topic for your audience

Being socially conscious is a hot topic in the outdoor industry. Why don't you tell the story about the cotton farmer who sent his daughter to college because your company chooses fair trade cotton. Or maybe your products are made in America and you tell the story of how you brought jobs to a community that was in the dumps after the economy plummeted in 2008. Maybe it's as simple as posting a small Vine video of your pro staff doing a funny running man challenge.  Take a look at what your audience is buzzing about and figure out how you can get involved!

Center your story around your consumer

I'm sure you already know why your product makes your customer's lives better, but maybe they want to hear it from a fellow consumer. I know that I will read through every review before I buy an expensive piece of gear. I think Patagonia's Worn Wear campaign is amazing because not only are they encouraging you to fix your old products before buying new, they are also telling the stories of the garmets and the experiences the owners had with them. It's incredibly relatable and has created a ton of content for them via Instagram photos and video.

Tell your consumers about your company culture

Do you provide a great place for your employees to work? Good for you! For me that means having a flexible schedule, wearing a flannel to work and bringing my dog Jasper so he can sleep on my feet all day. Most likely that matters to your audience. When they see a company that treats their employees well, they are more likely to trust the products you put out. It's also another layer of transparency and authenticity you can offer to your audience.

Zappos is killing it with characterizing their company culture-- you can read a great article from Forbes here. 

These ideas are all a good place to start when coming up with story ideas. The trick is to be creative with how you get it into the hands of your audience. Figure out where they are hanging out online, and give one of your staff a day to take over your brand snapchat account. Maybe it's offering up a story on Twitter about your favorite adopted office dog (Jasper) on #NationalPetDay. Whatever you're doing, make it interesting, entertaining, relatable or engaging and your watch your audience grow.

If you found this blog helpful, check out these other related topics:

Social Media Marketing 

Topics: Branding, Marketing Strategy

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