What is Marina Marketing?
Marina marketing is the process of promoting a marina or yacht service for business purposes. It can include both online and traditional advertising as well as modern digital marketing techniques such as SEO, website lead generation, social media promotion, and local listings optimization.
Why Marketing Matters for Yacht Services
Businesses who find themselves in a niche have both a distinct advantage and disadvantage when it comes to attracting customers. The advantage is that it can be easier to corner that market when people are looking for your services.
The downside here is that getting people to look for your niche service can be a difficult endeavor. If your product or service is centered around something that people aren’t looking to use regularly, finding new and unique ways to reach out to that audience is a must.
That is why marketing is so important for small, niche businesses. The vast majority of people aren’t even aware of that niche, let alone the business filling that niche. So, for yacht services, what online marketing services can be undertaken in order to capture some of that audience?
1) Build a Lead Generation Website
There is still a portion of business owners that believe that you don’t need a website. And sure, if you have an outstanding relationship with a small, localized community, maybe you can carve yourself out a nice little piece of real estate.
But without a website, there is a pretty good chance that you will be fighting to simply stay alive in the face of competition. This is because just about every business has a website. And why wouldn’t they? Just about everyone will visit a website before they actually visit that business.
The thing is that your website should be the place where you direct your potential customers. It gives the first impression of your business as well as any valuable information that potential customers may need to make an informed decision about your business.
Most of all, you should have a website as an easy, hassle-free means for customers to book services through. Making things as easy as possible on the customer is the key to making a sale that may not have been there previously.
2) Get Social With Social Media
Much like the crowd that doesn’t think websites are necessary, that same group also thinks that social media is unnecessary. But the fact of the matter is that social media has become an integral marketing tool for businesses of any size.
Look at Facebook. With a Facebook business page, you can display all of your pertinent information as well as photos of tours where customers are having fun to show those potential customers what they are missing.
Twitter and Instagram allow you to reach users directly by posting any updates to the site, deals that are going on, or responding to any problems that customers are experiencing. That direct customer interaction can be huge; when customers see that you are available and attentive, it leaves a positive mark.
Social media has graduated from a potential marketing tool to an absolute must. There are about a million other reasons that it is a great marketing tool, but the two reasons listed above should make it a clear case.
Get your yacht business on social media to begin tapping into the audience that you hope to reach.
3) Research Keywords The Modern Way
One of the most important aspects of digital marketing is a focus on search engine optimization (SEO). This is essentially the list of best practices that Google uses in order to rank websites for relevant keywords.
Those keywords are essentially how search engines separate sites into relevant results. If Google wasn’t doing its job on that front, searches would be useless because they would not be generating results. The focus on those keywords is what will make your website appear when a user types in that relevant keyword.
Using those keywords smartly throughout page content is how you can make the best use of them. Simply spamming them on your website no longer works; Google will filter it out or ban you if they think it’s worth a ban.
Utilizing these keywords can make your business one of the featured results for your geographic area. But you have to focus your SEO campaign on those keywords properly.
4) Distinguish Yourself From Competitors
While digital marketing is something that every business, big or small, needs to focus on, there is one other thing that needs to be considered: being unique. The simple fact of the matter is that any given industry, the competition is stiff.
This is because just about everyone is offering similar services. So, to stand out among those competitors, you need to make your business unique. Set yourself apart from the competition. What makes you a better choice than the competition? Figure that out and you will have a leg up on the competition.
This can be achieved by looking at your business model and focusing on the strengths. While you should always work to improve weaknesses, building on your strengths is what can make your business stand out.
Besides, a focus on those strengths means you understand what your audience appreciates and make it more readily available to them. Customers definitely appreciate that.
5) Focus on Creating Quality Content
It might seem like there are topics that have a finite amount of information or content that can be written about them. But the fact of the matter is that content is one of the biggest factors in Google’s SEO rankings.
Google places such an emphasis on content because they are looking to display the most informative, authoritative results for users each and every time. This is why your website needs to not only exist but have informative content that users crave.
Making your site an authority within the industry means that you give that audience a reason to visit your website. This can be achieved through blog posts where you offer DIY tips that are relevant, share videos, and other such things.
You don’t have to have daily posts to achieve this, but regular content will help keep you near the top of the search rankings for your keywords.
6) Use Engaging Visuals to Highlight Content
One of the most underutilized assets that any website has is its imagery. This entails both pictures and videos. The former is imperative because 63% of social media is made up of visual content. This means that it is more sharing of pictures and videos than anything else and is a part of the online culture.
Additionally, there have been studies that have shown that our brains process images faster than words. This makes images a far more effective and efficient way of communicating with an audience. Having a catchy image that draws the attention of your audience can mean the difference between a lead and another passerby.
And perhaps the biggest reason to implement images into your digital marketing campaign is this: using images on social media increases the likelihood of your content being viewed by a whopping 94%. This, of course, is under the assumption that your pictures are clear and of the highest of quality.
Not only that, videos have become the new chosen avenue for sharing content. Writing can get you so far, but there is a section of the audience that just doesn’t want to do it. That is where having interesting, informative videos can take you a long way.
Best of all, creating videos is far cheaper and more easily done. You can shoot videos on your smartphone and post them to your website easier than ever before. This is a must-have aspect of marina marketing online.
7) Open The Lines of Communication
One thing that some marina or yacht services struggle with in terms of their online marketing is inconsistent messaging and, or communication. Mixed or inconsistent messages can confuse or dissuade your audience, making them move on to another website or service.
When your messages are consistent, it reinforces that message across all platforms. That sense of authority and consistency is not lost on your audience; it will reach them subliminally and draw their focus to your business whether they realize it or not.
This can be achieved by ensuring that your staff is on the same page regarding a message. This way, no one gets confused or loses the message and you can keep that consistency that is so valuable.
8) Reviews Are Everything
Perhaps the most important aspect of Google’s SEO ranking is the importance of reviews. Simply put quality reviews, and a lot of them can boost your SEO ranking substantially. But reviews can do so much more than that.
Reviews boost the level of trust that the audience has in you. With plenty of positive reviews, people can feel as though they know your business. Most of all, they feel as though they can trust your business. That is a huge battle that all businesses wage and most don’t win.
The key here is to not hide or ignore negative reviews. If anything, an amicable response can help improve your authority in the eyes of your audience. When a customer sees that you handled a negative response with professionalism and courtesy, they won’t be so quick to dismiss your business because of that negative response.
If you use website software to manage your reviews, you will have a leg up on the competition and also encourage more feedback from previous customers who may not have the patience to go through the review process on Google or Facebook. With the software, it will streamline that process with minimal effort on their part.