Marine Sales Marketing & Web Design
The recreational boating industry, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), contributes over $170 billion to the U.S. economy. Since boat shows often fuel boat sales, one of the keys to successful marine marketing is to utilize online tools to reach boating enthusiasts. Here are ways we can help you elevate your business to attract prospects for your marine products.
Keys to Successful Marine Marketing
- preparing for exhibitions and digital marketing
- planning phases for pre-show, floor-show and post-show
- creating content for website, social media, email and ads
- using analytics to measure campaigns
- learning from results to refine future campaigns
- Digital Marketing for Boat Shows
The marine industry is very diverse, and it encompasses rowboats, sailboats, motorboats, yachts, as well as watercraft products. Boat shows unveil new models and share information about sailing and fishing tips, boating safety and taking proper care of your boat to ensure durability and performance. Mostly boat shows are built around themes, such as anniversaries, holidays and seasonal activities.
Promoting boat shows through digital marketing is no different than promoting any traditional trade show. Prize drawings are common at these shows to add excitement. Your website should feature articles on these concepts, along with colorful, eye-catching photos. Adding a boating calendar to your site is another helpful technique for drawing attention to boat show dates, mixed with boating history and upcoming water events.
Tapping into the Boating Lifestyle and Experiences
Connecting boats with lifestyle and experiences should be a big part of content development for your marine business. Storytelling through blogs and images on your website can have a dramatic impact on your engagement, sales, and conversions. Some of the ways you can diversify your web content are through interviews with boating leaders, adding outdoor videos and reviews of boating events.
Your website should convey a spirit of fun and adventure the instant users arrive at your home page. From there navigation should be easy to find content such as articles on boating tips, upcoming shows, and industry developments. Emphasis on the boating lifestyle in your blogs can lead to interaction with followers, and other boating thought leaders. Cross-promotion with more popular bloggers is one of the keys that leads to base growth of your website followers.
Another idea for attracting boat lovers is to provide content that can’t be found elsewhere online about boat racing, boat repair and getting boat financing. Remember that sailing and boating are complex topics, but what internet users of all topics commonly seek is simplification through headings and details.
Capitalizing on Visuals
Videos and photographs are critical vehicles to attracting consumers of the boating community. The rise of visual marketing is attributed to the fact that it’s easier for people to learn more information in a short time through what they see rather than what they read. Some of the ways to grow your online followers with visuals include:
- optimizing images for SEO using tags
- providing boat demonstration videos
- discussing product features in videos
- using high-resolution photos
- creating a personalized experience with visual storytelling
Gaining the proper high-quality video footage to attract a target audience may involve working out licensing deals with other entities. This approach can help you save money from investing in high-quality video and photographic equipment.
If you are hesitant about investing in video, Omnicore reported in 2018 that video content is 50 times more likely than text to drive organic search results. Even more eye-opening is a study by Search Engine People that adding a video to a post boosts organic traffic results by 157 percent.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a driving force behind attracting a target audience to a specific website. One of the most reliable ways to drive traffic to a physical establishment through online marketing is to appear in local search directories. According to Google statistics, 30 percent of mobile searches relate to location. Furthermore, 50 percent of local searches result in mobile users visiting a store within a day. Another revealing statistic is that 96% of mobile search traffic is driven by Google.
More in-depth research shows that organic SEO yields six times better results than pay-per-click (PPC) ads, according to New Media Campaigns. Online advertising, however, is a faster way to reach a target market. The key to organic SEO is to craft content on your site that users are already searching for. Just make sure the content is unique from other sites so that it isn’t viewed as duplicate content by search engines, which prioritize original content and penalize duplicate content.
Crafting creative, informative and compelling content is the gist of successful SEO. By building content around keywords such as marine and boating along with unique terms that describe your business, you increase your chances of ranking high in search results. Using the name of your city or neighborhood as keywords have been proven to help narrow the competition in search results if your company does not have many competitors in your region or community.
Other local search resources besides Google My Business are Yelp and Angie’s List, which include customer reviews. Adding your business profile to these sites will increase your chances of connecting with mobile users looking for reviews about local businesses.
Expanding Yacht Club Memberships with Social Media
Yacht clubs make up a solid foundation for bringing buyers of yachts together in one community. The key to growing memberships is using a combination of social media and newsletters. The first step is to start an account on a social network such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and then build a list of followers based on your existing marketing lists.
Social networks are useful for sharing original content from your website or newsletter, which then directs followers through a sales funnel. You can build your social media presence by paying attention to social media trends, such as information from the SXSW Convention, which is an exhibition for the entertainment and tech industries. Here are insights learned from the 2018 convention about social media:
- users seek online communities as a fast way to gather information and share stories
- privacy has become a major issue, especially when sharing stories and images about family and friends
- users are moving toward smaller, more intimate networks to share personalized stories
These user values interestingly parallel the values of yacht club members in traditional physical settings.
Other Digital Marketing Considerations
Make sure your branding is clear and stands out from competitors for both users and search engines to understand it. Internet marketing grows stronger every year because it saves time, money and energy since clicks are more efficient than driving for miles for users to find what they want. Developing an email marketing list and distributing a regular newsletter provides enormous advantages. Make sure you use a responsive web design.
Digital marketing is similar to sailing in the sense that it requires careful attention to navigation, clear direction, choosing destinations and tracking where you’ve been. Contact us at Simplemachine to learn more about how we can give your marine business more online visibility.