Mountain Bike Manufacturer Marketing
The global phenomenon of mountain biking is still in gear.
And while some speak of industry slowdowns, there is huge demographic of 12 to 72 year old’s participating in the sport. Research and Marketing’s report forecasts that the mountain bike market is poised to grow by $3.13 billion during the 5 year period of 2023-2027, accelerating at a CAGR of 5.4%.
It has unusual appeal as part adventure, travel, socializing, fitness, and competition. As trails are developed across Europe, and North and South America, there is more reason for mountain bikers, male or female, young or old to devote more time to travel and participation. And given bikes are evolving, the buying cycle is quickened with the result that bikes are now $4000 to $10000 instead of $400 to $1000.
And mountain biking is intimately tied to the travel market where travelers are looking for adventure.
The Year Ahead is Beckoning
2024 should be an amazing year for mountain bike manufacturers, resorts and bike shops across the globe. There has never been a better time to invest in organic content marketing given the size and buying power of this market.
And while the focus might be on mountain bike sales, there is a fortune and after-market accessories and services.
The industry targets many age groups, yet younger riders are making it one of the fastest growing sports across the world. It’s not a local phenomenon and there is an intense culture and vibrancy that drives participation and sales revenue across the globe.
Mountain bike companies such as Orbea, Norco, Trek, Cannondale, Santa Cruz, Specialized, Yeti, Fuji, Diamondback, Salsa, Kona, and smaller manufacturers such as Druid, Kross, BH, Thömus, compete for visibility and sales in a crowded marketplace. Small local bike service shops too will be clamoring to be heard in a market that’s being squeezed hard by Google and Facebook. They will be in need of more creative and powerful mountain bike marketing strategies.
With the help of a talented marketing agency or SEO consultant, you can build a profitable business in the mountain biking sector. It’s overflowing with opportunity for bike builders, service shops, bike resorts, hotels,, as we’ll discuss in this post.
New Technology Plus an Economic Recovery
With new carbon fiber mountain bike prices reaching above $15,000, mountain bikers must see a tremendous benefit from the sport of mountain biking. The rise in prices over the last ten year is shocking. We’re tapping into something really important in our culture.
It’s the bike technology that will tame the mountain terrain and open up a level of excitement tourists and recreational athletes thought impossible. Mountain resorts are very important to their local economies and more resorts will be built to attract mountain bikers.
What Drives Mountain Biking as an Industry
These 6 elements of this biking culture make it an economic power:
- popular sport with billion dollar spend worldwide
- advancing bike technology that attracts big money consumers
- associations with destination vacations
- social occasions for groups, families and friends
- eco-friendly type of activity
- health, fitness and excitement
- big sporting events to create awareness and excitement
- repair and maintenance services draw in local community businesses
An exhilarating industry to be involved in.
A Dynamic Market Place
The full mountain bike market is composed of mountain bikes, rider and bike accessories, vacations, bike parks, repair businesses, tours, and more. There’s plenty of innovation as well in bike branding and custom building. A good reputation in the industry can translate into strong customer loyalty and a great brand is a product of marketing.
For entrepreneurs with an eye on the big picture, there are many paths to profitability ranging from products to adventure experiences. With demographic changes, bike technology advancements and the travel and event tie ins, only your imagination limits you.
Big Mountain Biking Resorts Provide Big Boost
Big mountain bike parks and resorts in Switzerland, USA, Canada, France, and other countries draw millions every year. The spinoff economic activities and the fact ski resorts need to fill summer season bookings, ensures mountain biking will remain an essential part of the vacation marketplace.
The brand boosting value of these big resorts and events shouldn’t be ignored as part of your marketing mix. Video, photos and merchandise from the events allow marketers to keep them alive continuously and capture excellent brand value. And events are powerful focal points for social media marketing campaigns.
CrankWorx offers a series of mountain biking spectacles across the world. One of its flagship resort locations is in Whistler Village Canada. These big industry events help digital marketing achieve real life impact with tens of thousands of visitors.
The big Crankworx Rotorua events held at Whistler BC, New Zealand, Australia, and other exotic and prestigious locales around the world gives the sport reach legendary status with the mountain biking crowd. And new events such as Megavalanche create millions of YouTube video views, as crowds of daredevil riders race down from the top of mountains.
Here, even non mountain bikers are thrilled with the tricks, racing events, and spectacular race park terrain with its stunt jump features.
Mountain Biking Market Growth Forecast
Stats on the mountain bike segment aren’t easy to find (except expensive research reports) however, Technavio suggests the market will grow by $2 billion. One company below, Accel is selling one billion euros in product each year. It’s a big market for bikes and accessories alone, and no one company is even close to claiming a dominant market share.
Add on assembly and repair services, online sales, adventure travel and accommodations, along with events, and an entrepreneur or SMB manufacturer has a golden opportunity. With powerful marketing strategy, the limits are high.
The market for mountain biking has grown due to a number of factors:
- development of mountain bike parks and more trails
- cross country, downhill, freeriding, and dirt jumping submarkets
- development of mountain bikes
- evolution of materials and component technology
- development of electric mountain bikes
- availability of low cost mountain bikes
- popularity promoted through Youtube and self-video craze
- growing young demographic
- mountain biking is a thrill
- growth of adventure travel
- family vacations often involve casual mountain biking
- growing number of kids and female riders
- growing variety of MB clothing and accessories
Top Priorities for Mountain Biking Related Businesses
Bike manufacturers need reach, visibility, impact, engagement and more just like any business in other other industries do. Without these, they can’t establish a brand or create market share.
Content Marketing for Mountain Bike Manufacturers
Content for mountain bike manufacturers include full color pdf product sheets, event and bike demo videos, and full color photographs. Just watching a few mountain bike videos on Youtube or Vevo lets you in on the sense of excitement, adventure, ambition, and technology use in this amazing sport.
We know it’s a big industry, with big brand names, big event locations, and a diverse and growing consumer market. But are there opportunities to grow market share and even dominate a sector?
Absolutely, there are plenty of marketing niches/segments from beginners, to kids, to carbon fiber to the new electric mountain bikes. And spending on mountain bike marketing could be much higher in the years ahead. All markets mature and competition will increase. Marketers will need to work smarter to maintain share and sales revenue.
Given the poor search results on Google and lack of reach on Facebook, and lack of high visibility in other media, we’d have to say that an effective marketing campaign including SEO could be very effective.
Videos for new products can be very powerful if they can gain consistent and high ranking reach to buyers via Youtube or Google search.
How To Excel at Mountain Biking Marketing
- conduct an digital marketing audit: you must know your market and what UVP will resonate with your audience, and what digital assets you’ll need to win.
- create your brand statement and determine how your digital assets will get that brand positioning across
- consider customers desires, pain points, and immediate issues they’re facing as they ponder their participation
- plan your assets: video, product/service photos, spec sheets, keyword focus, content topics, and who will be your content (blogs, social posts, photos, video, web design) producers and how much it will all cost
- create your SEO and content strategy and your social media strategy
- set up analytics and tracking
- keep optimizing your content and sale funnel conversion rates
Good Content Ideas
Bike shops and manufacturers both benefit from focusing on key benefits the new bikes present:
bikes should focus on carbon fiber, long throw suspension, and 29″ wheels since these are in demand and can help you build significance to customers
- develop blogs with suspension details, stats, photos, illustrations and stories – describe for the suspension makes the ride more fun, safer, rolls over big obstacles, and makes tough situations easier and helps reduce rider fatigue which may lead to accidents
- describe the benefits of the lighter, stiffer carbon fiber frames and technology, and talk about the carbon technology itself to take the mystery out of it so they know it’s a wise decision
- interview top riders such as Kilian Bron or Danny Macaskill about what they look for in a bike
- interview top Youtube mountain biking influencers and celebrities
- a blog about why mixing components in a custom built bike is the wisest decision
- do a head to head comparison of bikes where your brand will stand out as better
- include some videos where you ride down a resort trail, and thus get your audience truly engaged with you (authenticity)
- do some instructional videos where you explain techniques and how the suspension of your bikes is key
- do blogs and videos about specific mountain bike parks (major and some they haven’t been to)
- blogs on nutrition and flexibility training
- stories about the first mountain bikers which broadens the context of the user experience
- review specific mountain bikes and discuss key features that average riders will appreciate
- a guide on how to choose the right mountain bike
- a post on why a mountain bike needs to be custom size and custom designed
- posts on the best mountain biking vacation destinations (go on one and take video)
- posts on big mountain biking events such as Whistler or Megavalanche
- a post on families who mountain bike together (interview one such family you know of)
- a post on the best mountain bike accessories and best MTB tires
- a post on mountain bike trail building
- a post on the different types of mountain bike trails (technical, flow, dirt jumps, cross country, free riding)
Of course, the more immersed you are in the sport
Great Video is a Big Driver of Engagement in Mountain Biking
These 6 videos peak all the right emotions via the audience’s desire for excitement, belonging, friendship, challenge, fright, coolness, accomplishment, adventure, and impossible terrain. They reflect the diverse allure of this sport and the inspiration, adventure, and accomplishment that mountain bikers seek.
It’s hard to deny the power of video today when you see the number of views and shares they generate via Youtube alone. Videos like these can propel very successful marketing campaigns for mountain bike brands.
This first video has been popular for 10 years, for millions of views!
Mountain bikers are increasingly diverse in gender and age, but they all love the excitement of the sport. Great video is a must for any mountain bike manufacturer.
This company has risen due to strong marketing and growing franchise locations. A popular brand and one that has risen in stature with serious riders. However, their social media performance appears to be lagging badly, and you’ll find this a common fact with companies not willing to hire the talent and spend online.
Switch BACK Travel is an all purpose recreational equipment review site. They have reviews of mountain bikes and present them in an easy to read format on their website. They’re ranking well on Google which is really important.
With 65,000 followers on Facebook they’ve done well, however overall on their social media sites, they’re not getting good numbers of shares, likes, and links from their posts.
From these examples, you can tell there is demand in the mountain biking market. It’s your value proposition demonstrated many different ways that builds intent in your audience. That requires a full content marketing effort that reaches customers continuously, carrying them through their purchase.
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