Episode 2 – How the Right Internet Marketing Can Increase Your Boating Sales

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Using internet marketing can help you increase boating sales and increase your bottom line, but you have to do it the RIGHT way. We’re breaking down the basic steps to getting your internet marketing strategy set up for success.

In this episode, Boat Marketing Pros CEO Hary Casimir is joined by Digital Marketing Manager, Sydney Fahrenbruch. Read the transcript below, transcribed by https://otter.ai

Harry

Hey, Harry Casimir here with Boat Marketing Podcast. Thank you so much for joining us. We have an awesome episode lined up for you today. It’s about how the right internet marketing can help increase your boat sales.

So with that, we’re going to just unfold some of the key things that you can do in the digital world so that you can not only increase your bottom line, but increase your brand awareness, and be present when that potential customer search for you online. Without further ado, let me introduce, Sydney, our Digital Marketing Manager here. I will be asking her some questions and kind of going through the motion of unpacking what it takes to help boat dealer increase their boat sales.

So, Sydney, why don’t you introduce yourself, and give us an idea of what we’ll go over today.

Sydney

Okay! So hello everyone. Again, my name is Sydney, Digital Marketing Manager, here to help you guys understand how using the right internet marketing tactics can help you to increase your boating sales.

So, I guess the first thing that we want to start on is why internet marketing is important for boat dealers and for pretty much anyone in the marine industry. There are a couple of key reasons I want to touch on.

I think anyone can see, we’re in a highly digital world. So, internet marketing is important, really for any industry, but for this industry in particular.

First of all, having the right internet marketing and a good online presence establishes your brand and your credibility. If someone’s coming to you to buy a boat, it is a really big purchase. So you want to establish that relationship of trust and If you have a great website that they can go to and gather all this information that’s going to do that. As well as the awareness that some of the things we’re going to talk about are going to build. If people are like, oh, I’ve seen you online, when I go search for a boat dealer, you’re the first person that pops up that establishes that credibility.

Then second of all, it’s going to get you in front of the right users. Through the methods that we’re going to talk about – the right person that is interested in your product, the right demographic of the person in your area, you’re going to be able to get in front of them through these targeting methods that you can use.

Then last but not least, internet marketing, just, in general, has a lower cost than a lot of traditional advertising and will increase your return. Things like print advertising and magazines or newspapers, things like billboards, things like radio or TV can be very expensive and not necessarily have the same audience and volume of lead generation. So, this is something you can do that is actually less expensive and you will most likely get more leads from.

Harry

That’s awesome. Well, thank you, Sydney.

So I guess we’re just gonna dive in into some of the key elements that can help a boat dealer, well whether you boat dealer or boat club or rental, before we get into the specific detail – what are, if you could break this down into five to six things that these businesses could use to ensure that their sales can be increased? What would you list them as?

Sydney

Okay, so if I had to list those most important things, number one will definitely be just a website, in general, to start with, which I’ll elaborate on that how a website is basically your best lead generation tool. Then, kind of in tandem with the website is SEO or search engine optimization. And then from there, there’s also local SEO. Then two other great marketing tools and lead generation tools, are social media and pay per click advertising. So that’s kind of an overview of what we’re going to talk about.

Harry

That’s fantastic. Well, let’s just get right into it.

So tell us a little bit when it comes to the website, what are the things that a boat dealer, whether it’s a boat dealer or a boat rental club, what are the things that one should be aware of? As you know, most of these business owners, they are not webmasters, so many of them relying on their team or an outside agency that they hired to do this work. Also, what are the things that from a layman’s term, dumbed-down version of this – what are the things that the general manager, the marketing director, or the owner of those dealerships, what are the things that they should be aware of when it comes to your website?

Sydney

So yeah, as you said, not everyone is going to have very technical knowledge of everything. So these are just a few key points to make sure your website has. Whether that is, as a business owner communicating that to the team or working collaboratively with an agency to figure out how you can do that.

So like I said, the website is definitely the top lead generating tool that you can have when it comes to digital marketing. That should really start with a good design, a user-friendly design that’s going to prominently display your listings. That’s really the main purpose that you want your website to have. So when I say user-friendly design, essentially, you are just thinking of the end-user, whose goal, as a boat dealer, is going to be to want to purchase a boat from you.

So make sure that your website is designed in a way that when that user comes to your website, they’re gonna be able to find what they’re looking for, and easily browse through those listings. So obviously, as you said, you might not necessarily have the technical knowledge to do that. But whether that’s going on your website and looking for those pain points that a user might reach, and figuring out how you can make it easier for the end-user to really reach that goal.

Then a couple of other things. I touched on SEO, which is search engine optimization, which is making your website rank better in search engines. There are kind of two sides to that, which is a content-driven side and then the technical side.

So your website should incorporate a keyword-driven content strategy. Think about the things that those users might be searching for, and figure out how you can incorporate that throughout the site, which could be through blogging through just the content on the website, like landing pages.

And then again, when your site is built on, make sure that the technical steps that are necessary for Google to crawl and index your site are done. Most business owners are not going to be experts on the technical side of that, but it’s just something to be aware of to make sure your agency or whoever you’re working with is keeping that in mind.

And then last but not least, in terms of being a lead generation tool, your website should always include prominent calls to action throughout. So make sure your phone number is there, make sure there’s a contact page where they can email you. Make sure on whatever boat listing pages, there’s a call to action of – if you’re interested in this boat, here’s how you can contact us get in touch with us, that should be kept in mind throughout every aspect of the website.

Harry

That’s fantastic. And if I can echo what you said your last point here and even add a bit to it, a website is one of those elements in your marketing piece that could be one of the most powerful you have.

The key here is to ensure whenever the user gets to your website is really to present that information in those calls to action – it’s not is not just a quick button – but make sure the phone number is clear. Your navigation is clear and we will have a podcast regarding specifically about how to layout the website, but for now, we’re just gonna go over the quick overview. But make sure you have proper navigation buttons on the homepage, which will depend on what kind of market you are what kind of boats you are selling. Possibly add a search right on your site. So that way the user does not have to think too hard.

If you only carry two brands of boats, you can really present this in a way that doesn’t push them to search or even look hard, because that way you don’t waste their time to get them the information they need. Sometimes when you make you help people get to the information they need, they make a quicker decision. And that decision can lead to sales for your organization.

So those are the key elements and make sure the call to action on your website is right in front of the user. That’s including making it easier for them to get to where they need to go.

So I guess the next step, I know you mentioned SEO, and I would love to learn a little bit more about some of the key elements included inside that. How does a business owner, the general manager, or the marketing director that’s listening to this podcast, how do you actually have an optimized website? Your website is almost like having your building – your mom and dad and their cousin will only know about it until you tell people about this building.

Now you have a pretty website. No one knows about your website. Obviously, people that work for you will know, people that work with you will know, but how do you let the world know through SEO that this website is the place to land?

Sydney

Yeah, exactly. As you said, your website is the tool that you want to get people to, but you have to do other things to start driving that traffic to go there. So that’s when the marketing side of everything really comes in.

So when it comes to SEO, it can be very complicated. Just because it’s not really a one size fits all approach. There’s a lot of elements that go into it. So I think in a later episode, we’ll definitely touch on breaking it down every element that kind of goes into it, to get more understanding of it.

One of the main aspects of it that I want to touch on is what we call Local SEO, just because it is a little bit different in a way, from traditional steps you take on your website. Local SEO is something that’s, I don’t want to like say it’s easier, but it’s a little bit quicker and easier to do because it incorporates your local Google My Business listing.

So as most people know, when you search on Google, there are a couple of different ways the search engine results get pulled in. A lot of times you see those map listings get pulled in. That’s kind of where local SEO comes in. It’s a good way to establish your local presence and drive searches. So, if you’re in Florida, if people are searching “near me”, or they search your city’s name – a lot of times, it’s going to trigger Google to pull in these map searches.

So, to start working on that, you just claim and optimize your Google My Business listing, and then start driving traffic based on those local searches. And you can also get reviews through here which is great because reviews are really important to establishing your credibility and that trust that we talked about. So this will also pull in reviews if you have those. It’s a really good way to kind of start building your brand’s reputation and to help with ranking well in search engines.

Harry

That’s fantastic. So could give us an idea if I’m not familiar with the technical side, but if I was adding my business to my Google business, it should be easy. How do you go about getting your business there? Is it already there? Is there something that you have to do? Or is it does Google automatically grab your business and add it to the map for you? How does that work?

Sydney

Yeah, so that it does depend. Because Google does kind of scan the information that they have to pull in information. So it may have already added your business to the map.

But all you have to do is go to google.com/business. It’s very simple to get started. And from there, you can type in your business’s information and see if it’s already been added to the map listing. And from there, you can claim the listing as your own, and it’ll give you a couple of options on how you can verify that. Either, they can call your phone number that’s listed under your business, and they’ll give you a code to enter to verify it, or they can send you a postcard in the mail. So it’ll get sent to your business’s address with a code that you can enter to verify it. Just to make sure that they can, verify that you are the person that owns that business.

From there, you’ll have your listing claimed, and you’ll be able to edit information, add new information, link off to your website, you can even share posts to make it almost like another form of social media through there – and get started on all that. So, the process is fairly simple to get started to claiming your listing.

Harry

That’s fantastic. Well, thank you. Thank you so much. That’s great information for those who want to go in by themselves and figure out how to grab your business. I hope this helped. And again, as we go on through this, if there’s ever a time, you have questions you would like to get to help with some of the stuff that we have here, feel free to just email us and then we’d be more than happy to help.

So with that – now we have the website, we’re getting our local SEO. Onto the next step, you mentioned earlier is social media. How this can make a big difference in your online presence and possibly get in front of more clients ultimately to sell more boats.

So can you dive into social media for us and how does that affect the overall message that we’re trying to push out there to get more clients or more customers to come to buy boats from us?

Sydney

Yeah, so social media is a great way to continue to increase your boating sales in two ways. We touched on before your credibility and your trust, it’s really important to the customer when they’re making a big purchase for you.

So they can go to your website and see this great website you have with all your listings. And then just having another place to go to engage with you get more information about your business, see that you’re posting, you’re active, all those kinds of things kind of help build that trust. And then again, it is also a tool to drive new business and generate new leads to get in front of more people on there that maybe didn’t already know about you.

So there’s kind of two sides of social media, there’s the organic side, and then there’s the paid side. The organic side, you can just – it doesn’t cost anything to do other than your time or work with an agency. You can just post and I would recommend for a boat dealer or most boating businesses, whether they’re rentals or clubs to focus on Facebook and Instagram. Because I think that’s where a lot of your users are going to be most engaged just based on the demographics, as well as those mediums are very visual and I think with a great product like a boat, you can be very visual with your content to capture people’s attention.

So really just posting to engage your existing fans and then get in front of new customers and your target audience if you have very shareable things. It can be, just sharing your boat models and featured listings, sharing things around your dealership, like we just sold a new book today, something like that. Special offers, if you have manufacturer promotions, things like that, just pushing things like that out and sharing them.

And then you can also utilize paid advertising through social media on Facebook in particular, you can get really targeted with the demographics. So whether that’s just basic demographics like age, gender, marital status, geographic location, things like that. And then you can also utilize interest & behaviors so you can target people who are interested in boating, interested in fishing, interested in the specific brands that you carry, even just people who are, outdoor enthusiasts and things like that –  and build out those audiences from there, and then get the things you’re posting in front of them.

Harry

That’s fantastic. Now, can you again, coming back as I mentioned earlier, just like my Google My Business. If I’m no technical person, I just happened to be part of this organization that’s selling boats, whether it’s the digital marketing director, the salesperson, general manager, the owner, how do I go about getting my social media set up?

And that almost be like a two-part question, but the first one, how do I go about getting my social media set up? And the second question inside the same one is, do I really need a social media presence? Why should I have one?

Sydney

So I’ll start with the second part of the question just to kind of lead into it. So I would say yes, I do think you need a social media presence. As I said, it is just a way to kind of establish your credibility and your visibility online. I know me personally and a lot of people that, if you were interacting with a business, and you were going to make a large purchase with them specifically, something like purchasing a boat, which can be very expensive for some people, one of the bigger purchases that they’re gonna make, you want to really do your research on that company that you’re giving your money to. Having a website is great, but I think having social media really kind of takes you to that next level of establishing your credibility.

Then just building your online presence so people can know who you are, and then new users can find you. Because SEO is great and you can put a lot of time and energy into your website and getting that ranking but this is a whole other piece of the pie a whole other set of the market that you can utilize.

And like I said, with it being so visual, I think there’s just a huge opportunity for this industry, and you would be missing out on a lot if you didn’t have it.

So I personally would say, yes, you do need it. And if you don’t have it, you do still have your website, but you are missing out on a lot if you don’t have it. So that’s kind of how I feel about that.

Harry

So how do we then, I guess, segment into the first question that we reversed. Again, I’m not a technical person, how do I go about getting my social media account on and coordinated with my website?

Sydney

So to manage a Facebook page, you do need to have a personal Facebook account. I would say most people have those, but not everyone does. So if you don’t, you would just need to go to Facebook and get that setup. For Instagram, you don’t need to have a personal account. You could just start that from scratch if you wanted to.

Facebook has a really awesome tool called the Business Manager, which kind of allows you to have everything all in one place and manage that. So if you wanted to set up a page for your company, you would just go to their website, which is just business.facebook.com. That’s a place where you can start, and then it really just walks you through the steps of how to create a page. Just set up your page, fill in all your business information.

And then, of course, you’re gonna want to cross-promote everything. So make sure your Facebook page is linking off to your website and make sure that your website is linking off to your Facebook page. And then if you do want to run ads, you do have to set up an ad account. But again, you can start at that business manager page and set it up all through there. And Facebook really walks you through the steps on how to set things up yourself. And then of course, if you are working with an agency, they have experts that can help you every step of the way.

Harry

Fantastic. So now we touch on the website. We get our SEO, your social media is set up. The next thing is pay per click, you mentioned Pay Per Click for PPC. How does that tie in back to the website, and eventually ultimately helped me increase sales?

Sydney

PPC or pay per click is basically online advertising that you can do where you only pay when someone clicks on the ad or clicks through your website. So, as we talked about in the very beginning, a lot of this stuff is a lot cheaper in terms of your investment that you’re going to do. This is a great example of that. Because if you have a radio ad or a TV ad or a billboard, you really don’t know how many of those people even really look at it and pay attention to it, let alone are actually going to follow up with your business. So in this, you’re really only paying if someone clicks on the ad and goes through to your website from there. Of course, maybe not every single one of those people is going to convert into a new lead, but you’re saving a lot more money by using an advertising method like this.

So there are a couple of different platforms. But the most popular one by far is Google Ads, and there are a couple of different ways within Google ads that you can utilize this. One of the most popular ones is search ads, which basically allows you to bid on specific keywords. So if someone is searching for “boat dealers near me”, “boat dealers in my location”, the name of the specific boat, boat brand you carry, names of a specific model, etc – you can bid on those keywords to have your website appear in the search results. It will come up just like a text result, when you search on Google and you see a list of websites come up, it’ll come up among those. Then if someone clicks through to your website, you’ll pay a small amount. This can vary depending on competition, but I would say on average, you’re going to pay around $2 per click, could be a little bit less could be a little bit more. So you can kind of get an idea of that to where to set your budget.

There are a couple of other advertising methods. There’s retargeting, which I feel like everyone kind of knows what retargeting is because we’ve all seen it happen to us. They just don’t know what it’s called. It’s when you’re browsing online on a certain website, and then you see an ad for them pop up later. That’s what retargeting is. So Google allows us to gather certain data on who visits our website, so if someone visits your website is browsing around, but they don’t take that conversion action, whether it’s making a phone call, filling out a form, etc, we can follow them and serve ads to them as they browse to drive them back to the website.

There’s also display that serves banner ads which are similar to retargeting – so if you’re browsing on a website and you see an ad on the sidebar that says, you “boats for sale” and click through to the website. That allows you to use similar targeting demographics as we talked about on Facebook in terms of, you can target people based on who they are. Because Google gathers data on its users. So their interests, what they’re shopping for, their age, where they are, things like that. You can build an audience and say, I want to serve these ads to these users. And continue to drive traffic to your website.

Again, you only pay when someone clicks on the ads, those display and retargeting, which are banner ads are typically a lot cheaper than search ads, usually less than $1, round, maybe 30 to 50 cents per click. So your investment is very worth it relative to what you’re going to get out of it.

Harry

That’s fantastic. And this is fantastic information here in terms of what you detailed out. I mean, there are three ways – that if I could summarize what you just said to me, there are three ways it’s really texting ads display, ads and retargeting. And we just covered and just Google, obviously Pay Per Click can be applied to many other platforms as well. Including Bing, which we’re not gonna go into the detail right now. We will have a podcast dedicated to just two different search engines. Thank you, Sydney.

Now, we covered the website we covered the SEO, we cover the social media, we covered the pay per click – but before we go into the summary of this thing, I want to do a quick overview of some of the elements, also that you can include that we will eventually have individual podcasts for – but on your website itself.

One of the things that I would suggest people do is make sure you have a blog that regularly gets posted on. So at least once a week, a new blog post. Also get someone, or the agency you deal with to shoot at least one video a week to give a study, or give a demonstration, or give an idea. Kind of become that resource center for the customer when they search or when they come to your website.

So it’s not just, they don’t just come for the boat, although that’s what you want them to stay for. But they can find additional information, it’s very informative information. For example, you can have a blog post about how to get your boating license, and it states whether it’s Michigan, Florida, wherever that might be. There’s something that a person might be searching for, find that information, and read about it. And since they’re on your website, just browsing and guess what happened. Before you know it, that person may become a potential customer. So keep that in mind. To have a resources section on your website. That holds your blog, your videos, and so forth.

Another thing that we see does miracles is making sure you have testimonials from your customers, right? It’s very easy nowadays to capture customer testimonial, whether it’s through Google My Business itself, which is the review section on Google, whether it’s Facebook. Sometimes follow up directly with the customer, or if you have the agency that you work with, that’s dedicated to the reputation management for you that can handle all the reviews, but make sure those are on your website so that it gives the potential customer social proof to come back.

Another thing that I would highly recommend for internet marketing, we do have on our website, we do have a checklist, the Ultimate Checklist For Book Dealers. Those are the elements, some of the things that we cover in this podcast, you can download that checklist for free and go over the details.

One of the other elements of internet marketing that I want to mention is ADA compliance. This is a very hot topic and we’re not going to cover ADA here on this podcast, I do just want to mention it because it is really, really important that your website is put in compliance. And compliance really solve a lot of different issues on your website not only it allows more people to visit your website and have access to your website, but also it gets you out of legal trouble, and so forth. So we highly recommend that now, on this very fast round.

Sydney, is there anything else that I did not cover? I mentioned the resources section on their website. I mentioned the ADA compliance. I mentioned the checklist. Is there anything else before we get into the overview and summary of this podcast?

Sydney

I think you pretty much covered it and just, another way that stuff can be utilized – is the more content you have things like blog posts, things like videos, things like testimonials, you can always repurpose the content and cross it across the different channels that you have.

So if you have a video that you, recorded to use on your website, you can also use that on social media. And you could use it as a video ad on YouTube through Google. Blogs are great for your website, great for SEO, you can also post those on social media to drive more traffic or you can pull even quotes from your blogs use as graphics on social media and things like that. So, all these things will make the full circle of all your marketing efforts coming together, and you can kind of use whatever content you have and repurpose it. So it’s great to include all of that in your internet marketing.

Harry

That’s fantastic. So again, thank you so much, Sydney for a lot, you unpacked a lot on this today. So do you have any final words or any suggestions you could give for listeners and takeaways for today regarding internet marketing?

Sydney

I think overall, your ultimate lead generation tool for internet marketing is really going to be your website. So really start from there. Make sure you have a good design, make sure you have all your listings and all your boats displayed there, and make sure you have calls to action throughout. And then everything else you do, from social media to local SEO on Pay Per Click is really going to be focused on driving that traffic to your website, and then the traffic to your website will ultimately result in you getting more leads. So it’s really just a whole process. That starting with a good foundation is my best recommendation.

Sydney

Awesome. So, again, Sydney really unpacked a lot for us today. Again, kind of if we were to break this down.

Again, have your website really good to go – a good website, call to actions. Make sure you get your SEO ready for your specific demographic, for your specific location, for a specific brand you carry, the models you carry. And then making sure that you always present in the social media – you may think that you may not need social media but social media is one of those, the aspect of our lives now that can’t be denied, you have to accept it for what it is and really be part of it. And where you may not love it, but it is what it is, and your customers are there and if they are there, you might as well be there.

If you want instant results, PPC is the way to go. SEO takes a little bit of time. Social media take a bit of time to build that awareness and visibility, but PPC you can turn on PPC right now. And as long as you have proper call to action making sure you help the potential customer find the information that they are looking for – PPC is guaranteed to bring people to your website and possibly turn them into leads. So again, some of the key elements as we discussed is making sure on your website, you have a resources section and making your website easy to use & user-friendly, making information available to people always making sure you’re always ADA compliant as well.

So with that, we as I mentioned we do have a checklist on our website at boatmarketingpros.com if you would like to get a handle on this. Please feel free to head there now. It’s boatmarketingpros.com. On the homepage, click on Download Checklist and we will get a copy to you right away. And you can kind of start checking the boxes to ensure that your website meets what we mentioned here.

Again, thank you so much for tuning in. We would love to give you even more information as we proceed with more podcasting and just stop by anytime. Feel free to visit us at boatmarketingpros.com. If you have any comments, tips, any questions, any subject you would like us to touch base on, email us at [email protected] For more podcasts go to boatmarketingpros.com/podcast.

Published: April 21,2020
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