Digital Marketing for the Sporting Goods & Recreation Industry

The sporting goods industry is projected to continue growing over the next few years, with an increasing demand for fitness and athletic equipment and footwear. Recreational activities such as cycling, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, fishing, golf, and running are expected to lead the way.

It’s important to take a fresh approach to digital marketing for sporting goods, ensuring visibility to the industry’s target audience. With the right strategy, companies can become more competitive in Google Ads and Amazon for sporting goods and recreational products.

How can I leverage Google Shopping in sporting goods?

Google Shopping for the sporting goods and recreation industry is constantly evolving. Some ways to increase performance include product optimization, campaign organization and bid strategy.

To capture the correct audience, make sure your product information is optimized with applicable keywords and product details. This makes it easier to be found from your customer’s search queries. To further narrow the audience and ensure quality traffic, make use of negative keywords to prevent wasted spend.

Segmentation of product groups in your Google Shopping campaigns plays a large role in the efficiency of your ad spend. Through the proper use of campaigns, ad groups, product groups, custom labels, and a bidding strategy, we can target your audience through easy-to-manage product breakouts.

Google Shopping was the ideal channel for a sporting goods client, but they struggled to find success in managing it themselves. They came to Vertical Rail for a new Google Shopping strategy to broaden brand awareness and improve traffic overall. Our plan included optimization of their product data feed to improve visibility, along with manual management and regular adjustments of their campaigns. In only 4 months, the company experienced a:

  • 178% increase in clicks
  • 172% increase in transactions
  • 201% increase in revenue

Is it beneficial to use Google Search Ads for sporting goods?

Google Ads search campaigns can generate positive results in the recreational sports industry, when a solid marketing plan is in place. One of the keys is understanding the seasonal flow of the sporting goods industry and improving conversions during the off-season.

When it relates to sports performance, many customers are very brand loyal. If the brand is already well established, then consumers often specifically shop for a particular product by brand. Search ads in the sporting goods industry can emphasize a great price, availability, return policy, a loyalty program, or establish authority as a seller in the industry.

When a cycling company that tried to self-manage Google Ads for sporting goods and was unsuccessful, they came to Vertical Rail. Our team implemented an advertising strategy to improve the company’s ROAS, increase revenue, and boost conversions during the off-season. We restructured their search campaigns using researched keywords, and optimized their landing pages to lower costs. Within 1 year, the business saw a:

  • 400% increase in impressions
  • 334% increase in transactions
  • 323% increase in revenue
  • 1,000% increase in ROAS

Should I implement MAP monitoring in the sporting goods industry?

If you manufacture a product that is sold by various resellers, MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) monitoring is critical. Manufacturers should work with resellers to maintain a friendly relationship, rather than create cutthroat competition. One of the best ways to establish a good relationship with resellers is to establish proper MAP agreements that establish pricing tactics, where resellers can and cannot compete with the manufacturer. Vertical Rail has helped our clients to create and enforce these guidelines.

What experience do we have in the sporting goods and rec industry?

Vertical Rail has experience in digital marketing for local, national, and international sporting goods brands. These programs include SEO, content creation, and PPC campaign maintenance and management for Google Ads, Bing, Yahoo, and Amazon.

As a Google Premier Partner, we have a high level of support available for our advertising across Google. If one of your products has an issue, we are more connected with support teams at Google to help us resolve the problem.

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