Building an Active Community with Outdoor Voices

    September 11 2018

    Outdoor Voices is paving the way for activewear with their focus on authenticity and creating a culture based around community. They've built a cult following with their signature colorblock designs, technical apparel for recreation, and trademark #DoingThings hashtag. We got to sit down and chat with OV's Content Developer, Zeyna Sy, about selling a lifestyle instead of just a product, celebrating creativity, and using social media to connect and grow.

    Hi Zeyna! Give us an overview of yourself and your background.

    I'm the Content Developer at Outdoor Voices, an activewear brand based out of Austin, Texas. I grew up in London, but I've spent the last few years in New York and, as of last year, LA. I was––and am––so energized by New York, but California has given me the mental and physical space to use all of my energy. It's the perfect place to work and play.

    Tell us more about your role at Outdoor Voices. What is a typical day at work for you, and how does OV break away from the "typical" workplace?

    There really is no "typical" day for me, and that may be my favorite part of the job. Some of my best days are spent traveling, connecting with sporty, adventurous women across the country, and sometimes even the world. We're fostering a community of active people through our social channels, and that's easily the most rewarding part of my work. One of the great things about OV is that creativity is celebrated every single day. We're given space to experiment and try new things, always while keeping our customers top of mind.

    What are your techniques for curating + creating content that focuses on establishing a brand lifestyle, while ensuring that you sell product without being too salesy?

    We encourage people to show us the ways they're being active through the hashtag #DoingThings. Scrolling through our social feed, you'll see people in our gear dancing, skateboarding, or even rock climbing. It's cool to see the range of activities people like to do, and that sense of realness is what resonates with people the most. Our brand's voice and content acknowledges the human, not superhuman.

    "Our brand's voice and content acknowledges the human, not superhuman."
    Tweet this.

    What are some of the top traits that you think are essential to being an efficient digital marketer, and which has OV done that has helped it thrive?

    People organically tag us in their photos, which is how we collect a lot of our content and find some of the most engaged members of our community. For me, the top content producers are people who are truly out there, regularly taking part in activities. They're the experts––they know which paths to take, what shoes to wear, and where to snap the best photos. We simply support their favorite activities with our product. It's the perfect harmony.

    How has OV worked to establish a two-way relationship with its audience and customer base?

    Customer feedback is essential. It's about building trust, just like in any relationship that you have. We have a live chat feature so that we can solve the needs of our customers within minutes. We also use our social channels, especially Instagram, as a tool to have two-way conversations. Often times, those two-way conversations are essential for us when thinking about product solves and tweaks.

    Besides the #DoingThings hashtag on IG, what are some other breakthrough ways that OV has encouraged its audience to share content about the brand?

    I like to think of the OV followers as an extended community that we get to engage with through both familiar and unfamiliar activities. The great thing about #DoingThings is that it doesn't mean one thing, it could mean doing the most or doing the least. Once you remove the pressure, people are more inclined to engage.

    What are some of your favorite tools to staying on top of your social media channels, tasks, organization, and reporting to help you work 100x more efficient?

    DashHudson! It's a great tool for tracking engagement and follower growth. The software serves as extra eyes and ears for us, helping us find interesting and influential people in our community to spotlight.

    Outdoor Voices was one of the first brands to help kick off this current wave of health, wellness and fitness, and has stayed ahead of the curve in all aspects. With more and more fitness and athleisure brands hitting the market each year, how does OV continue to break away from the noise?

    A lot of activewear brands are quite intimidating, while OV is always lighthearted and supportive. For us, it's not about how fast you run or how much you sweat, we just want you to get out there. Our mission has helped us build community and trust in our customers. That, and we continue to make quality products that not only look great but are made to sweat and live in.


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