81% of shoppers conduct online research before they consider buying something. Thus, if your sporting goods business doesn’t have a solid digital marketing strategy, you’re likely ignoring a large part of your target market.
But running a successful digital marketing campaign is difficult, and there’s a lot of contradicting advice on what works. Some think that paid marketing is the best approach, while others prefer organic forms of marketing.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do is experiment, so in this post, we’ll explore eight digital marketing strategies you can test out. There’s no telling which one will work best for your business, but if you try each method, you should eventually end up with a way to increase your sales.
1. Google Shopping Ads
Google Shopping Ads are powerful because they put you in front of potential customers when they’re ready to buy.
Unlike Google Search Ads, which are just blocks of text, Google Shopping Ads are much more eye-catching. Shopping ads include an image of the product you’re advertising as well as the price of the item.
Setting up these ads can be challenging as you’ll need to create something known as a “Product Feed.” This is a technical spreadsheet that contains various details about the items sold by your store. If you don’t know how to set up this document, hope is not lost. You can get around this problem by hiring a freelancer that understands the platform.
2. Creating Video Content
Content creation is one of the best ways to generate an audience for your sporting goods business. Creating an audience is important because, once you have an audience, you can sell them stuff. Because video content is easy for people to consume, it’s one of the best content formats to produce.
You should primarily focus on creating content that educates your audience. For instance, if your sporting goods store sells bicycles, create content that teaches people how they can maintain a bike. You can then upload this content to Facebook or YouTube.
Always give people a call to action at the end of your video. Ask them to sign up to your email list or to subscribe to your channel.
In doing so, you’ll be able to market to these people again and again, thereby keeping your brand “top of mind.” Thus, when they’re looking to buy something that belongs to the sporting goods niche, they’ll think about your store.
3. YouTube Ads
If your video content isn’t getting the exposure it deserves, think about running some YouTube Ads.
With YouTube Ads, you have the option of running two different kinds of video marketing campaigns.
One option is to run a campaign that’s designed to generate direct sales. For example, you may have an ad that promotes a specific product. Your goal with this ad is that people buy the product after seeing the ad.
The other option is to run a brand awareness ad. With this kind of campaign, you might promote an educational video that isn’t designed to increase sales directly. Rather, it’s designed to increase the subscribers you have on your YouTube channel or even increase newsletter signups. Once you have the audience, you sell to them at a later date.
The kind of campaign you run will depend on your goals.
In the long term, brand awareness campaigns can give you the chance to establish a name in your industry. Once you have an established name in the industry, you’ll be able to generate sales, even without advertising.
Ads designed to generate sales can produce fast revenue for your business. But if you stop running these ads, you’ll experience a sharp drop in revenue. This is because you have no online presence outside of these revenue-generating ads.
If you hate the idea of creating videos, you may instead want to consider blogging. Blogs can be an incredible source of traffic, but it’ll likely take a long time for you to see some traction.
Competitors and wary Google algorithms mean that high rankings are not easy to achieve.
But you can make things easier on yourself by creating high-quality content. If you do this, Google will likely reward you as you’re providing people with a better user experience, which is something Google values. High-quality content also attracts more backlinks, thereby making it easier to achieve high a ranking.
5. Create a Facebook Group
If you create a Facebook Group, you’ll be able to build a community around the niche your business caters to, in this case, sporting goods.
This gives you the chance to position your brand as an authority on a topic. Thus, people will then feel better about buying from your store, because they’ll feel as though they’re buying from experts.
Sometimes, you’ll want to think about how you can create a Facebook Group around the hobby your store caters too.
For instance, if your store sells running shoes, it might be better to create a group based on running, rather than specifically running shoes. This’ll expand the potential scope of the group, making it easier to grow.
6. Run Banner Ads
Banner ads might sound like an outdated approach, but they still work well. The key is to target websites with a relevant audience. For instance, if you sell ice skating equipment, it might be worth targeting web pages related to skating rinks.
Google AdWords has a massive inventory of sites you can target, so it shouldn’t be too challenging to find relevant sites. Just be sure to split test your ads over time so that you can generate the best return possible.
7. Host a Podcast
Podcasts have recently experienced a huge surge in popularity, and you can get in on this trend by hosting a Podcast of your own. There are no hard rules on what your Podcast should be about, but it helps to think about your target audience and what they’d like to hear.
If cyclists represent the majority of your audience, see if you can interview some popular cyclists. Your audience will enjoy hearing about how this person trains and what they do to improve their skills. You could also create content where you talk about recent developments in the world of cycling.
Consider creating a wide range of content and then observing what your audience responds to. If something generates a disproportionate response, build on this by creating similar content in the future.
8. Influencer Marketing
Success with influencer marketing comes down to finding influencers with a relevant audience.
Suppose you want to increase sales for a product related to cycling. A “cycling influencer” with 100,000 followers, will often produce better results than a “fishing influencer” with 1,000,000 followers.
A lot of influencers don’t make a lot of money from their Instagram accounts. Because of this, many of them are willing to hear about any sponsorship opportunities you can bring their way.
Will These Digital Marketing Strategies Work for You?
Digital marketing has the power to transform the fortunes of a business. Deciding on the right digital marketing strategy, though, can be tricky.
In this post, we’ve explored some of the digital marketing strategies you can use for your sporting goods business. You have the option of creating video content, but you can also go down the blogging route too. If you want to build awareness around your brand, you can use YouTube Ads to kickstart things.
As mentioned in the intro, it’s crucial you experiment with all the options that are available to you. Though it’s hard to say what approach will work, it’s important you double down as soon as you find a method that’s delivering results.
Need even more digital marketing tips? Check out this post to learn 9 creative marketing tips you can put into action right now!