Welcome to the boat marketing podcast, where will feature tips and advice that will help your boating business grow and thrive while you’re listening. Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. And now here’s your host, Kristen Bachmeier
Hey, everyone, and welcome back to another episode of the boat marketing podcast. My name is Kristen and I’m the director of operations for Boat Marketing Pros. And today we’re going to talk about hashtags. I wanted to make it sound really exciting, even though it might not be all of that exciting, but it is exciting to somebody like me and hopefully somebody like you since you’re listening to a marketing podcast. So if you are unfamiliar with hashtags, hashtags are keywords or phrases with a, as I would call it, a pound sign in front of in front of them, you can put them anywhere in your social media post to connect to a specific topic, theme, event or conversation.
And what they really do is they really make it easy to discover posts around specific topics and keywords so that you can show your content to people who are interested in that. It really works. I mean, if you have an Instagram, if you have a Facebook, if you’re on Twitter, you kind of get the sense of how hashtags work. So you log in and say you click a hashtag, you see all the photos and content related to that hashtag.
So a lot of businesses, especially in the boating industry, will ask, you know, how can I use this effectively for my business account? Does it really make sense for me to use this for my account? And, you know, the answer to those questions will be, yes, I think everyone should be using hashtags with discretion, though. I don’t think that, you know, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter is going to be the place where, you know, you go on and let’s say you’re a boat club.
I don’t think that adding 15 to 20 hashtags is going to break down the door with new members. But I think it’s as a part of an overall marketing strategy. I think it’s important. But just want to set that expectation early that, you know, adding hashtag suddenly to your social media posts is not going to lead to more new leads at the drop of a hat. And so all of this is to say, you know, we’re going to give you some tips about how to properly use hashtags.
You know, with that explanation I just gave about what they are and why you can use them. So give you a little bit of insight as to how to use them and then use them to your business profiles advantage. So step number one is to do some keyword research around your industry or your niche. So in the marine industry, for example, some of the more popular hashtags could be revolving around if you’re a boat dealership and you carry a certain line of boats, check out what they’re using because they’ve already spent the time and the money to grow their audience.
You’re selling their products so you can piggyback off of what they’re doing. The best first example I can give of this is Robalo boats. And if you follow them on social media at all, you will see that they use hashtag Robalo Nation and most of their posts. And, you know, one of our clients sells that line of boats. We try to include those hashtags in their posts as well just to get in front of their general followers. So it’s important to start there.
Think about, you know, in your mind, what are some keywords or hashtags that come to mind. If you think about a post, do some research, though. First, don’t just assume that everybody’s using the same hashtags. You are. And some hashtags have thousands of posts each day, meaning that if you’re a smaller business, your post might get lost in a sea of others. And here competition matters, especially because most people don’t scroll through, you know, one hashtag for a long amount of time unless they’re really into that topic.
All that is to say to choose your hashtags carefully. You want to stay within, you know, popular hashtags, but you don’t want them to be so popular that you’re competing with one point three million other profiles. Another helpful feature that we found on Instagram is the recommended hashtags that will appear below the hashtag you searched for. So if you open up Instagram and I’m going to do this right now while I’m recording this podcast, we open up Instagram, go to the the search area and type in.
Let’s see, how about I just type in boating and see what happens. You type in your keyword, navigate a couple of tabs over to tags, and I typed in boating and what I’m seeing is hashtag boating. There are five point four million posts, boat hashtag boating life, five hundred and forty two thousand posts. Boating fails to to about twenty five hundred posts. Hashtag boating season, about one hundred thousand posts, boating lifestyle around ninety three thousand posts.
And when you log on Instagram and you look at these, you’ll get a sense of just how many people are posting about certain keywords and some of these you might even be surprised. So I looked up boating and I was kind of surprised to see a lot of boating dogs, boating dogs. So people posting with their dogs on their boats. That tends to be a pretty large one. Boating quotes another one boating days. So you just you know, you go on Instagram, take a look and see keyword you might have in mind or hashtag you have in mind.
Do a little bit of research to see how many people are posting what that hashtag and then find your kind of sweet spot where you don’t want to be in a sea of boating. What did it say, five point four million posts. So I think that’s a little bit too much, a little too big of an ocean to be in in terms of hashtags. But if you can narrow in on the ones that matter to your business, just, you know, with some post, but not that many.
And I think you’ll get a sense of this as you take more time posting on Instagram. Another really nice feature within Instagram is that you can see the posts related to the hashtag that you’re looking for. So, for example, I’m still on my phone here. I’m going to check out what people are posting related to hashtag boating life. So shows up with a real on the the left hand side, which for those of you that don’t know real, is Instagram’s version of Tik-Tok.
And then you scroll through and you just see all the posts. Some were posted seven hours ago, some are posted a few days ago. And there are just a lot of people posting about hashtag boating life. And the nice thing you can do here is when you click on a specific hashtag and you go to see all the posts that are related to that hashtag, you can also follow a hashtag. So I think that was a feature that Instagram introduced a couple of years ago.
And it’s really helped us from a digital agency perspective on behalf of our clients. We follow hashtags for the boating lines that they carry or like things like voting life. And then we see the other type of content that is getting put out there and gives us more of a gauge of what’s going to get engaged with, you know, what’s going to be a top performing post versus, you know, checking out some of these other ones that might not do so well.
So highly recommend doing research on hashtags, kind of like keywords for if you were working on SEO and then also following certain hashtags, because that really helps to narrow down the type of content you can put out there if you’re kind of low on ideas. So now that we’ve talked about what hashtags are, the purpose that they serve, how you can research some hashtags to include in your own social media. And I didn’t put this disclaimer up at the front of the beginning of this podcast, but I’m talking about Instagram exclusively here.
I think that Facebook and Twitter are completely different beasts by themselves. So Instagram, I think, is the most simple approach and one that relates the most to the marine industry as a whole. But anyway, just wanted to recap that part of why I’m talking about only Instagram. Next thing I want to talk about is a really common mistake that I think you should avoid is flooding your captions and your posts with hashtags. You know, Instagram’s AI and their platform overall is really smart.
So it almost knows exactly what’s in your photo or video as you post it. And if you’re oversaturating your posts with hashtags, Instagram will know which ones might not be related and it won’t help your engagement. If anything, it might hurt it. So, you know, I think Instagram I don’t know how new this data is. They could have changed it as recently as yesterday. But you can use a lot of hashtags. I think it’s up to 30, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend using that much.
I went to a couple of conferences about just digital marketing in general. And most of those conferences and sessions I attended, they said that you shouldn’t use more than ten hashtags per post. So find ten hashtags and don’t make them the same for every single thing that you post. Because if you’re posting different images, different video, it’s pretty clear that your hashtag should they can be related, but they shouldn’t be exactly the same for everything. So if if you take anything away from this podcast, just, you know, no more than 10 hashtags per post is the sweet spot to be in.
And, you know, one final tip that I have is a great tool for hashtag research, which is called flick. So it’s F is in fairy, L. I C. And then K, the tool checks for hashtags offer suggestions, filters using key hashtag metrics, metrics and other things. So when it comes to your hashtag strategy, you can do the research on Instagram that I just talked about, get a sense of what your audience and what businesses in your industry are doing, and then maybe use this tool called Flick and then find other.
That might be relevant and help you get a little bit more engagement. So here’s a good method to consider. Again, we don’t really recommend more than 10 hashtags per post, so focus on like one to two, maybe really popular hashtags, one to two moderately popular hashtags. When I say really were very popular, I mean, three hundred thousand to a million posts. Moderately popular would be eighty thousand three hundred thousand and then maybe one to two very specific hashtags.
So if you can get that formula right and make sure that it’s related to the thing that you’re posting or the content you’re posting, you might get more engagement, get a few more followers and the like. So that’s the goal. I also wanted to take a moment to talk about branded hashtags. We’ve had several clients that have come up with their own hashtag, and I have some thoughts about this and they’re not great. So when you come up with a branded hashtag, it seems like something really cool.
It’ll catch on. And it very well might. I mean, stranger things have happened. But unless you are planning to put money and time and other advertising into branding this hashtag outside of Instagram or Facebook or Twitter or whatever you’re using, I would not recommend using branded hashtags I mean, if it’s your business name, that’s one thing. But I think there is a client of ours that used a hashtag, the long story short, didn’t make any sense, didn’t generate any engagement or following because it was their own branded internal like slogan.
And nobody’s really going to be searching for that except you and maybe your team. So, again, unless you’re willing to run a contest or put some more advertising dollars towards promoting that hashtag, I really wouldn’t recommend very specific branded hashtags. So I just wanted to add a quick tidbit about that. You know, all in all, I talked a lot about hashtags today. And if you have any questions, don’t forget that we have our [email protected] email, you’re also welcome to come to our website and send a message through there. And all in all, you know, take the time to research some hashtags that you can use in your profile, incorporate those and then tweak as you go along. It might not work out the first couple of times. You might not get many followers or engagement, but on social media and digital in general, it’s all learning and adjusting as you go forward.
So that’s all I’ve got for you today. And as always, if you have any questions or any topics you’d like us to cover, just email us at podcast at bookmarking post.com. See you guys later.
Thanks for listening to this episode of the Boat Marketing Podcast. If you have any questions for Kristin and the marketing pros team, send them to podcast at both marketing pros dot com for additional resources and strategies to help grow your business. Visit both marketing pros dot com. That’s both marketing pros dot com.
Welcome to the boat marketing podcast, where will feature tips and advice that will help your boating business grow and thrive while you’re listening. Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. And now here’s your host, Kristen Bachmeier.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the boat marketing podcast. As you just heard, my name is Kristen and I am the director of operations for Boat Marketing Pros. And we’re a digital agency that helps marine industry businesses basically grow and harness the web. So we originally intended to talk about this earlier on in the year. Just a quick recap of the three marketing tools that you should include into your mix. Things sometimes don’t go as planned.
So we figured, you know, even in July and August, this is still pretty relevant. So today I wanted to touch on a few key tools that you should add to your marketing mix in this year. The last half of the year is already here. Or consider adding these things into your mix in 2022 because, you know, quarter four will be here before we know it. We’ll all be scrambling to get our marketing together.
So if you’re doing these things, that’s great. I still encourage you to listen and just make sure that, you know, you’ve got these three things taken care of and then you can always head over to another podcast episode if there is something that is more suitable for where you’re at and your marketing journey. So the first thing I want to talk about is having a responsive website, if you’ve been in business for any amount of time, whether it’s 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 years at this point in 2021, chances are you already have a website.
So pat yourself on the back if you’ve already got that taken care of. So first step is having a website. The next step is making sure that you keep it updated. So I think I read a stat just earlier this week and this was from 2020. So still pretty relevant. But I think it’s adults spend an average of six hours and 50 something minutes online per day. It didn’t get into the details about whether they’re on their desktop or their mobile or tablet, all collectively.
We spend a lot of time online and we’re accessing it on our phones, some people on their watches or maybe their Google home displays or what have you. So if you have a website, that’s great. But it’s also really important to make sure that your website is responsive. And if you worked with any sort of Web design company or digital agency or if you stay up on the news in any sort of digital marketing information you have seen or heard or had somebody talk to you about a responsive website.
So what that means is that if you have a website, it responds on a device such as a tablet, mobile phone or a PC. So a desktop computer, and it still functions properly for the user. They don’t have to go to a mobile dot, you know, your website, dot com, it’s all the same site. They can access the same information. It’s just easy, no matter what device they’re using. And what we’ve seen a lot in our space, especially in the you know, when you’re making a large purchase, such as a boat, users and customers will spend a lot of time researching that information and use different sources to do that.
So make sure that your users and your customers can view your information on their phones or tablets. And then also, you know, at this point, if your website is not responsive, it doesn’t work well on a mobile device. You’re going to get demoted in the rankings by Google just because in the last few years, they really honed in on that and made sure that, you know, websites are responsive, people can access them. And if they can’t, you won’t rank as well for the keywords that you want to rank for the next tool to add to your marketing mix.
And you’ve heard me talk about this before. You’ve seen it in our blogs and our newsletters. I highly recommend having a blog on your website. So we talked before in a previous podcast about what pages to include on your website. And blogging is definitely one of those sections you need to have. And it’s often met with some resistance just because it seems like such an old school thing. I think a lot of people still associate blogs with more of like a personal journal or personal opinion website or something like that.
But blogging on your website this year and for years to come is going to help you maintain or increase your organic search presence. And what I often tell my clients is that when you have a blog, you know, you can post a blog today. So we’re in just about August of twenty twenty one. If you can post a well-written piece of content in August of 2021, you might not see the benefits start to pay off in the next month, the next month after that.
But if it’s a well-written, optimized blog post, it could get you some traffic, you know, two, three, four, five, six, seven years from now, depending on, you know, again, if it was written well, relates to your keywords and whatnot. So we have one of our clients, a blog about Chaparral Boats versus Sea Ray’s. And this was something we posted, I want to say, just a few months ago, so earlier on in 2021.
So it might have been January, February, I can’t recall. So we posted that blog and then now we’re in July, almost August, and we’re seeing some traffic start to increase to that blog. So if you have an agency that can help you define your blog topics, help you write the blogs, because I know that, you know, people listening to this, you might be really busy and not have time to write blogs for your company.
But if you outsource that to a digital agency, you can invest some time and money into blogging now and then see those results and those benefits pay off long term. And then what that also does is it helps to, again, increase your organic presence and your keyword rankings and then it just helps you just really establish yourself on the front page of Google. So if you’re taking the time to blog and also run ads and also keep your Google my business profile updated, you know, you can just pretty much dominate that first page on Google, which just collectively will just pay off over time.
The third and final tool I want to talk about today is Google ads. You know, you’ve heard me talk about I think it was a couple of podcasts ago where I think I said if I could recommend any sort of digital marketing, if you’re running any paid campaign, the one thing I’d recommend would be Google ads. So I had a note in here for this podcast to say to ditch the TV and radio commercials. I don’t know that you should ditch those altogether if you’ve got the budget for that and you can accommodate TV, radio, print and digital, I would recommend doing that.
Then they have their place at times. But if you’re working with more of a limited budget, say you you’re a boat rental company, you target people in your immediate it’s a 20 mile radius. You have maybe 10, 20. 30 keywords you can get new customers with. So in that case, if you have a small budget for something like that, Google ads is definitely something you should add into your mix. I often say, if you want the most bang for your buck, use Google ads and very specifically, the search ads or PPC ads, as they’re called with that.
You know, the whole method behind that is to you have a campaign keywords directly related to your business. And when people would search for it and then your ad shows up for that keyword, it’s really easy to target, you know, within a certain zip code, within a certain mile radius of your business and things like that. And you can also run display campaigns. So if you’re driving, if you’re looking for brand awareness, run video campaigns on YouTube.
Just all in all, Google ads offers an amazing amount of opportunities for small businesses and big businesses to to advertise online and with a more modest budget. So just to kind of recap everything that we talked about here, you know, like I said, a lot of these are kind of digital marketing 101. But if you’ve been in this space for a long time, you might not have all of this in your mix. So if I were to say you need to focus on at least three things, it would be a responsive website, adding a blog and looking into running Google ads.
And that’s all I’ve got for you guys this week. As always, if there’s anything you would like to hear about from us or any topics you’d like us to cover, please, please, please reach out to us on our website or email podcast at BOPE Marketing Post.com. We’re happy to oblige and provide any information you’d like to hear. And as always, thanks for listening and we’ll see you in a couple of weeks for the next episode of the boat marketing podcast Happy Boating.
Thanks for listening to this episode of the Boat Marketing Podcast. If you have any questions for Kristin and the marketing pros team, send them to podcast at boat marketing pros dot com for additional resources and strategies to help grow your business. Visit boat marketing pros dot com. That’s boat marketing pros dot com.
Welcome to the boat marketing podcast, where will feature tips and advice that will help your boating business grow and thrive. While you’re listening, subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. And now here’s your host, Kristen Bachmeier.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the boat marketing podcast, it’s been a couple of weeks, and if you listen to the last episode, I talked a little bit about your website. You know, if you’re a boat dealer, the five sections or pages you should have on your website. But today we’re going to switch gears just a little bit, focus on I think, you know, what’s the latest and sexiest thing in digital marketing even today?
And that’s Facebook and Instagram. So we know that Facebook and Instagram are not so much new anymore, but they’re still wildly popular when it comes to businesses and growing their business and tapping into new customers and re-engaging with old customers. But I wanted to talk a little bit about how you can leverage Facebook and Instagram to get more sales. So in my mind, I think about Facebook and Instagram as a part of a marketing strategy. But there’s a lot you can do with Facebook and Instagram to help increase your sales outside of growing your overall brand awareness.
So today, just going to talk about that, a few tips for how you can tap into the worlds of Facebook and Instagram to reengage with old customers, find new ones, and overall just grow your business. So the first tip I have is that, you know, if you’re running a business, Facebook and Instagram page, I would just highly recommend that you plan to post two to three times per week. A lot of companies think you need to post every single day in order to make an impact.
And if you have the time, if you have the resources to do that, you definitely go ahead and make that happen. But in our experience, we found that the sweet spot for boating is around two to three times per week and to really focus on quality over quantity as far as the content that you would post. What we tend to find is that some of our clients want to focus more on inventory and more sales type stuff. But what we find gets the most engagement and contacts are posts that are more lifestyle related.
So you want to post about inventory. But I think a big tip that I have for you is to. Post images and videos that help your potential customers see what their lives could be like if they joined your boat club or rented a boat from you or bought a boat from you. So mixed in some of the sales content, along with some of the lifestyle content to get that happy medium of posts that you’re going to get more traction with, gets more engagement with, and hopefully get some customers out of it for specific content ideas.
What we’ve seen performs the best is typically pictures of sunsets, pictures of food, pictures of kids and pictures of pets. I’ve noticed, especially on Robalo social media, they post a lot about Robalo dogs on Robalo boats, which is actually quite fun. So if you can find, again, that mix of sales content, focusing on your business, focusing on your models, focusing on services you provide, and mix it in with some lifestyle photos, I think that will really help to engage your following and grow your following.
Also related to posting content, you want to make sure that you’re including hashtags that make sense. Hashtags apply to both Instagram and Facebook, but in our experience, we see hashtags have more of an impact on Instagram. And one of the biggest reasons for that is because users can follow hashtags on Instagram. So, for example, here at Boat Marketing Pros are we follow hashtags that have to do with boating in southwest Florida. So we’re in Fort Myers, Florida, just north of Naples and south of Tampa.
And we follow a lot of hashtags that are like hashtag Southwest Florida boating, hashtag Fort Myers boating. So if you can tap into those hashtags and learn what your customers might be following, see which hashtags have the most followers, use those with your content as well to help you gain exposure to some new customers. Another tip we have for leveraging Facebook and Instagram for your business and getting more customers and reengaging with your old ones are to leverage your sales team.
So depending on the size of your dealership or the size of your business, you might have a small sales team. Maybe it’s just you. Maybe you have five to 10 people. But I would recommend if you’re OK with it, that you encourage them to create their own Facebook pages, make sure that you monitor it to an extent, and ensure they’re not posting content that conflicts with your brand. Maybe you work with a digital agency that can help you manage that.
But if you leverage your sales team and if they love boating, if they love what they do, it’ll come more naturally to them. One of our clients has a sales guy who often creates videos, posts pictures of his customers on their boats. And in general, we find that that promotes him as a salesperson, helps him get more customers, but in turn, also helps to grow your following and helps to grow people who would come to your dealership to buy a boat from you or to rent a boat from you or to join your boat club.
So and they’re also the ones who are interfacing with the customers. And you get to, as you know, the business share their content. So your sales team is out there making the content for you and then you get to come in and just share it on your pages, which is kind of nice, and it helps to increase engagement all around. So if you can if you’re comfortable with it, you know, find your sales team and ask them to do some of their own social media marketing because it just helps everyone.
Next tip, and I think this is probably one of the bigger ones, you know, if you listen to our podcast before, you know, we talk a lot about boat shows, how to prepare for them, how to market for them, and then as a part of marketing, when you attend a boat show, you definitely, definitely, definitely want to post about boat shows you’re attending and then also post during the boat shows that you attend.
So we’re down in southwest Florida. So our quote-unquote boat show season is roughly between, I would say, October and April. The weather’s beautiful. You can always snap good photos because there’s hardly any rain. And if you’re attending an upcoming boat show, here are the things you need to do. First, add it to your website and the last podcast episode I talked about the sections need to have on your website and a boat show calendar is one of those sections.
So add it to your website. Add the event to your Facebook so you can if you have your Facebook page all ready to go, you have the option to create events so you don’t have to create an event with the event organizers unless they require that. But what you can do is say, you know, boat your boat dealership’s name at so-and-so boat show. So this way you can send this event to people who are like your page, get them to interact with your page a little bit more.
And in general, you just capitalize on that name in that content and get in front of people who would be searching for that boat. So users tend to flock to Facebook to find out information about local events. And if your company has posted that as an event, you could be one of the first companies that they see in addition to that kind of sidetracking a little bit. But if you’re posting the event on your Facebook, I would also recommend that you post it as an event on your Google my business page.
So not Facebook and Instagram related, but I think it’s an important tidbit nonetheless. So that way you can be recognized as one of the top companies that shows up when people search for that boat show and then try to do it. And as advances, you can just to make sure that you get in front of even the event organizers themselves. Next tip is to not be afraid of Facebook advertising. So Facebook, as we know, owns Instagram as well, which makes it really convenient for us as digital agency because we can log in to our what’s called the Facebook business manager and run clients, Facebook and Instagram campaigns, right from the same place.
So when I talk about posting content on social media, that’s more so posting organically and we get into the ad space is and this is where you create Facebook and Instagram campaigns. So Facebook advertising is a great tool for connecting you to local customers who might not know about you yet, but they’re interested in the same types of things that you offer. So, for example, boating, water, sports, and other outdoor activities, you know, a lot of what we see in our data is that if somebody is interested in boating, they’re also interested in other outdoor things.
So kayaking, maybe camping, RV, anything you can think of that takes place outdoors so you can capitalize on an audience that you might not thought of before, but that you can tap into using Facebook ads and then with a modest budget. And even I’ve had clients who can run campaigns for flat hundred dollars or you can run campaigns for up to thousands of dollars. But depending on your locale, who you’re trying to target, what kind of services and boats you offer, you know, with a small or modest size budget, you can reach a lot of people.
And then in addition to that, if you have a list of customer data, you can upload that into Facebook and then create ads that will then serve to those customers if they have a Facebook account associated with that email that you have. So you have a lot of flexibility there in terms of finding new customers, engaging with old ones, and then maybe inviting what we call lookalike audiences. So people who are like your customers already. The next tidbit I have for you about Facebook and Instagram is going to be to make sure that you respond to messages and comments to your page.
I think a lot of people and myself, I’m guilty of this, too. People often forget that social media is meant to be social. If you have the time and I recommend you make the time or hire a digital agency to manage this for you. But if you’re taking the time to post on your Facebook and Instagram or whatever platforms you might be using, make sure that you also log in, see what people are saying, comment back to people if they’re commenting on your photos or your status updates or your updates to your page and engage with them.
So if somebody sends a message, make sure you reply. It doesn’t have to be detailed, but just a simple acknowledgment of it. You know, as a digital agency, we manage this for several clients and we have a strategy and a process in place for, you know, if somebody asks about this boat, we say we reply with something like call this number to get more information. So it doesn’t have to be super specific all the time. But just make sure that you try to reply as much as you can.
And then as you do that, you’ll get certain, I think Facebook does this where you get a badge, where it’ll say, you know, company. Within one to two hours, so that’s kind of helpful for customers who might find you on Facebook. So, again, if you’re taking the time to create the content to post, to make sure that you also try to make some time, maybe a couple of times a week, a few times a week to log in and respond to people who are interacting with your page.
And again, a digital agency can manage this for you. You just have to give them pretty much full autonomy and then or a set of guidelines that they can use when it comes to replying to people. Doing this will help increase your following and just in general, your visibility on Facebook and Instagram. So I highly recommend doing that along with posting quality content. And you’ll be surprised, I think, to see how quickly you get some more engagement, maybe a few more followers here and there.
And that’s all I’ve got for this list of helpful tips for leveraging Facebook and Instagram. You know, I’d love to know what your thoughts are on Facebook, what your thoughts are on Instagram. Are they good or the bad or indifferent? Do you use it? You know, if you have anything that you’d like to share with me, I’d love to hear it. You can email me at a podcast about marketing post.com. Until then, I will talk to you all next month when we head into August already.
And until then, make sure if you have any questions, like I said, email podcast about marketing post.com. And we’ll see you next month. Happy Boating.
Thanks for listening to this episode of the Boat Marketing Podcast. If you have any questions for Kristin and the marketing pros team, send them to podcast at both marketing pros dot com for additional resources and strategies to help grow your business. Visit both marketing pros dot com. That’s both marketing pros dot com.
Welcome to the Boat Marketing podcast, where will feature tips and advice that will help your boating business grow and thrive while you’re listening. Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. And now here’s your host, Kristen Bachmeier.
Hello, everyone, and hopefully you all had a great Fourth of July holiday and enjoying the week so far. Thanks for listening. This is another episode of the boat marketing podcast. And today we wanted to talk a little bit about your website and really focus on the five pages that you should have on your boat dealership website today. We’re just going to focus on boat dealerships if you’d like to hear some tips for any other marine industry type websites for boat rentals, boat service or any of those, just feel free to email me a podcast at Boat Marketing Post.com and I’ll make sure to cover it in a future episode.
For now, though, we’ll focus on boat dealerships. And at this point, it’s 2021. And I hope I don’t need to make this podcast about why your boat dealership needs a website and that you have one by now. And if you do have a website, that’s great. You’re done with the first, probably hardest step. And just so you know, it’s really only the beginning. When you make a website, obviously, you want your business to have a place online, but have you thought about the content on your website?
Is it built to convert what we call in the industry, as you know, tire kickers or converting customers into actual leads? So a part of what I’m going to talk about today is some of the sections you should have on your website in order to get those qualified leads. And then also some additional tips for what should go on those pages. So to start start with the five pages that I think every boat dealership must have on their website. And here we go.
So first and foremost, inventory. So now that 2020 and 2021 have been completely explosive for the marine industry. So having inventory on your site might be a little bit of a job right now because there’s no inventory really to display, depending on what type of boats you’re selling. However, if you think about where we will be in a post-pandemic world, what that will look like, you know, it’s really important to have inventory on your website.
And now more than ever, customers are pre-shopping online. Most of the time you know, based on data that we see, most customers know which kind of both they want. They know what kind of brand they want because they’ve gone and done additional research on their own. And so when you display your inventory on your website, you want to make sure that it’s listed in a way that makes sense to the end customer. So, for example, break your inventory down, buy new versus used or preowned.
A little tidbit here is that I know that preowned sounds like a little bit of a nicer word, but in the search space, so on Google, what we see is a lot of people search for used boats. So that’s just something to keep in mind when you’re naming your boat pages. Another good example tip I can provide in terms of listing your inventory, make sure, if possible, that you can list it by the boat brand. So one of our clients, you know, they sell Grady white boats. So we make sure that on their website we have new boats is the top line item. Then you get into great white boats and then each of the subsequent models of great white boats that have come out for that model year. So it makes sense to the user. They know they’re looking for a new great white boat and they can just filter down that funnel to see the boat that they’re looking for. The next big section you’d want to have on your website is a section for service.
So both service and boat maintenance if your dealership offers those services to your customers. But I highly recommend that you have an entire section about that service and parts on your website. So make sure that you break down, if you can, maybe a recommended service schedule or at least the types of services that you offer. And most importantly, you know, a call to action for if somebody wants to inquire about service for their boat. Some of our boat dealership clients also offer mobile service. So if somebody is out at a dock and they can’t get their boat to start and you’re able to come and help them, just make sure to highlight that on your website as well. The next big section you’d want to have on your website is going to be a blog. If you listen to any of our podcasts downloaded, any of our white papers or read our blogs, you’ll see that blogs are pretty common. It’s a great marketing tool. We mostly recommend this for SEO purposes.
So the more content you can easily add to your website, the better off you will be. And this more often than not includes having a blog on your site. Some tips for blog topics that you can include on your website are, you know, if you have a new boat model that’s coming out, if you’re attending a boat show, especially some of the bigger ones. So where we’re at in Fort Myers, Florida, the Fort Lauderdale boat show is a large show that a lot of the boat dealers and marine industry businesses go to in Fort Myers. Locally, we have the Fort Myers boat show, which is what we kind of refer to as the kickoff to boat show season. So you can write a blog about both shows you’re attending new product announcements, anything any news about your company, any news about new features as it relates to maybe some rigging and accessories and those kinds of things? So just when it comes to blogging, it sounds a little bit silly. People still attribute a blog to being a personal space for a journal or for opinion pieces and whatnot. But blogs on websites nowadays, especially for businesses, are really meant to drive traffic through SEO, help you get ranked better in Google and a blog is just an easy way to do that. The next big section you’d want to have on your website is a contact section. So you focus on your inventory, focus on your blogs and your service section, and calls to action all throughout the place. But make sure that you have a contact page that lists the important information about your business.
This includes your phone number or phone numbers. If you have more than one location, your addresses, and a contact form. And if you do include contact form on your website and you use a customer relationship software of some sort like Salesforce, just make sure that you work with your web developer, whoever is managing that for you, to make sure that those leads who are contacting you on your website are also getting added to your CRM. We also recommend to try to include what we call a quick contact form on each individual boat listing.
So. As a user is viewing a boat, say it’s the rebels are 360, and then you want to on that individual boat page list of forms that somebody looking at that boat, they can very quickly send their name, their email, the phone number to contact you to inquire about that boat. You know, we’ve worked with boat dealerships for years, and these quick contact forms have proven to be highly converting contact forms and account for many of the inquiries that come in for any specific boat listing.
So that’s another little tidbit for you there as far as contact forms. Last but not least, one of the biggest sections I would recommend to have on your website would be a section for events. So as we know, if you’ve been in the marine industry for quite some time, boat shows are huge for driving sales, for driving, you know, marketing. And I think a lot of boat dealership owners already know that. But if you’re attending boat shows and you’re probably investing a lot of your time and your money to get ready for these boat shows, I would highly recommend that you have a major place on your website for those boat shows.
Capitalize on the opportunity of adding those upcoming boat shows to your website and if you can try to do it as soon as an advance is possible. One of our clients attends a boat show in November every year and we try to have that that event on their website no later than, I would say, February or March, just to capitalize on people who might be searching for that event already. And as somebody who is attending this boat show, as a sponsor or a vendor, you know, your website could show up first for when somebody searches for that boat show at some cases know we’ve seen that we add boat shows to our clients’ websites well in advance, and then we see that our clients then rank on the first page for when people search for that boat show. So they’re not even searching for that client. They’re searching for a boat. So that’s a little bit unrelated. But because they’ve added their event to their website, they show up in the search results for when people search for that. So if you don’t have your boat shows that you’re attending listed on your website, try as hard as you can to get those listed and maintain a section just dedicated to boat shows and a boat show calendar. That’s all I’ve got for you today.
And with that will see you in a couple of weeks on the next episode of the boat marketing podcast, Happy Boating!
Thanks for listening to this episode of the boat marketing podcast. If you have any questions for Kristen and the Boat Marketing Pros team, send them to [email protected] for additional resources and strategies to help grow your business. Visit boatmarketingpros.com. That’s boatmarketingpros.com
Hello, everyone, and welcome back to another episode of the boat marketing podcast. My name is Kristin Bachmeier and I am the director of operations for Boat Marketing Pros. We are a digital agency that focuses only on marine industry and boating industry businesses. And today, I want to talk to you a little bit about what I probably know the best out of all of the digital marketing tools, and that’s Google ads. So the title of this episode is Can Google Ads Really Help Your Boat Dealership?
And this doesn’t apply to boat dealerships. This applies to boat rentals, boat clubs. I think pretty much all businesses within the marine industry space. I think Google ads, I can confidently say that Google ads is something that everybody should consider.
So if you’ve been pitched any sort of digital ads, whether it’s through an agency or a friend, somebody that knows digital Google AdWords or now it’s called Google ads was probably a part of that pitch. And you’ve heard them throw terms around like paper, click retargeting, display YouTube, not really sure what it meant, if it would be worth it to your business, nd, you know, I’m here to tell you in this episode that the short answer to can Google ads really help my boat dealership? The answer is yes. So in my opinion, in the digital space, if you listen to the last episode, I’ve been in the digital space for just about a decade now, and I have seen consistently over and over again Google ads deliver amazing results for our clients and specifically in the boating industry.
So it’s the results that we’ve seen that have absolutely blown me away. The clickthrough rates, the conversion rates, and just the growth that some of our clients have been able to see as a result of Google ads. So I wanted to talk a little bit about that today. Some key benefits about why Google ads, you know, it’s worth it and why you should consider it, if not for this year’s strategy, because I know we’re halfway through the year already into next year.
Why you should consider it for your own marketing initiatives. So I would say to start out the first major benefit of Google ads is that it’s very flexible. So whether you’re a small business of five people or a large business of five hundred people, you can use Google ads to market your business. The budget can be pretty much anything you want it to be. Obviously, you know, as an agency, we make recommendations to clients about budgets, but you can have a small budget or a really large budget.
And then to be able to change that, you can do it at the drop of a hat. So you simple, simply log into Google, click a couple of buttons and you can pause a campaign, you can start a campaign. It’s just overall, it’s a really flexible tool for small businesses to use for their marketing. The next key benefit, I would say, is the low cost, so this really depends on your business and what your marketing budget allows you to spend on digital, which I think should be a significant portion.
But the low cost refers specifically to the Google search network, or you’ve probably heard PPC or pay per click. But most of the time we have clients who are boat dealers or boat rental companies that can get a click to their website for under four dollars. So what that means is that if you sell a boat, say it’s worth, you know, one hundred thousand dollars or two hundred thousand dollars. No, whatever your price point is, you can I can confidently say that often you will be able to get clicks to your website for under five dollars.
So somebody pays or you pay four dollars for somebody to click your ad, come to your website, they turn into a final sale. I think that return on investment pretty much speaks for itself. We’ve seen that time and time again for a lot of our clients, you know, no matter the industry. So. Another benefit of Google is that it’s more than just the search network you don’t have, you’re not limited to just the pay-per-click option.
You can look into display ads, which are the banner ads that you see throughout the Web. You can look into YouTube or video ads and also retargeting. Retargeting is where somebody comes to your website and lets say that they don’t contact you or don’t submit an inquiry of any kind. You can then retarget them with ads to come back to your website later on as they browse the web. So you don’t really see the quick conversion through some of those other campaigns, like display ads, YouTube ads, and retargeting ads, or more so for brand awareness and not so much, you know, driving somebody to contact you right away.
So overall, between the flexibility, the low cost, and the sheer amount of options that you have, if your dealership or your boat company is not using Google ads already, I would highly recommend that you consider it. Maybe talk to somebody about what it would take recommended budgets and all of that good stuff. But, you know, in the end, I really do think that Google ads can help your boating business grow and you can see a big return on your investment pretty quickly after you start.
So I’d like to know if any of the listeners here have run Google ads before. If so, what did you think you have about the experience? A good experience. We love to hear your story. You can email us at a podcast about marketing post.com and maybe we’ll reach out and share your story on a future episode. In conclusion, thanks for listening. And we’ll see you in a couple of weeks on the next episode of the boat marketing podcast.
As always, feel free to drop us a line at podcast app, boatmarketingpros.com with any questions. Thanks again. And Happy Boating.
Hi, everyone, and welcome to the next episode of the boat marketing podcast. My name is Kristen Bachmeier and I am the director of operations for Boat Marketing Pros, which is a digital agency that focuses only on marine and boating businesses. So today we’re going to talk a little bit about video walkthrough of boats. Should you do them? How do you do them? Why you should consider doing them. And a little bit of a few tips about how you can use them to cross-market throughout the digital realm.
So to kick things off. First, I want to get into a little bit of the why. So I think covid-19 really taught everybody a lot about tapping into technology to keep business going. Now, obviously, the boating industry was a little bit differently affected than other industries because we know that everything just kind of exploded last year. But that doesn’t mean that you should hold back on your marketing initiatives. And one of our biggest clients that we have there are boat dealership here in Fort Myers.
They had a lot of customers start to request video walk-throughs or virtual tours. I don’t think that that will just stay in 2020 and during this pandemic. I think that virtual walk-throughs, video walk-through, and just video tours of boats, kind of like houses will just continue to grow and if not, begin to become a key part of your marketing strategy. So diving into a little bit more of the why so with video walk-through is to give potential customers a virtual look at what to expect.
It’s convenient for them. It’s easy for them. And depending on where your business is, you might be able to tap into a seasonal audience that isn’t necessarily in your area all year long. So we are located in Fort Myers. Everybody around here knows that when the season comes, it’s between, say, October to April. So in those months between April and October, if you do a virtual walk-through, is you have a way to connect with your customers who might not physically be in your location.
Now, seasons vary from business to business, but you get a general idea. And in addition to giving customers that virtual look at what they can expect, you can use the video. To me, this is more important. You can use your video as a way to cross-promote on other channels. So if you take a video, walk-through of your top-selling model, you can take that video posted on your blog, posted somewhere on your website, put it on social media, put it on YouTube, and just adding that content kind of benefits you across the whole business, so those are the two big ways, obviously the first one, again, being giving customers a convenient way to look at boats that they might be interested in. And secondly, they help those videos can help you market your business online content already creating use it to continue marketing and just kind of repurpose that content. So now that we’ve covered the why, going into a little bit about what you’ll need to record the videos.
So. Typically, what I recommend is that, you know, if you’re comfortable doing this by yourself, you know, on your own, that’s fine. But typically the person that’s the best to record those videos would be one of your salespeople, preferably someone that’s really comfortable with recording, is really charismatic, enthusiastic, and is just clear that they love to connect with people and being on camera. So I think that type of person adds a little bit of dimension to the video and just makes it a little bit more fun, which will cause people to interact with that more.
Second. You’ll need a camera, typically a camera phone will work. So most of our clients have used just their iPhones or they have an Android phone. You know, the camera’s pretty good quality, so it’ll capture what you need it to capture. So any watchable video quality is enough. I don’t want you to get hung up on needing it to look like a professional production, because in the world of digital, especially in the world of social media, it’s you know, any video that you can post is just great content.
As long as you can see what’s going on in the video, you don’t want it to be super grainy, but as long as it’s, you know. Medium to high-quality video, you should be fine. The last thing that you’ll need is a popular bootmaker model, you don’t want to necessarily go through your entire lot and take a video walkthrough of every single one, but maybe find the top three to five brands that you carry and focus on maybe the newest model or the most popular seller or just one that’s going to generate a bit of interest, you know, outside of a single customer wanting to look at it, but maybe one that will be of interest to people browsing your website.
Or if it’s a top search model, it’ll help, you know, your organic search traffic. So that’s what you need to record the video and then we’ll get into the “what” now. We’re going to get into the house. So obviously, first tip, don’t hit record until you’re on the boat. Record horizontally if you can. So that means you hold your phone landscape mode. And the reason for this is everybody’s so used to just taking their phone, holding it the way they would just hold it normally taking a video or picture.
And that’s great for social media. But when it comes to posting this content on your website, if you can have a horizontal version of it, that’s going to be really helpful for your web design team or for yourself. If you’re updating it, it’s just good to have it. It’s good to have a horizontal version so you can use it on your site. If you have the time. If you have the resources, you know, you can record it both ways so that we can use the vertical one on your social media and then the horizontal one on your Web site.
But either one will really work. But horizontally is better for your website. Try to keep the video to 10 to 12 minutes any longer than that would probably cause users to lose a little bit of interest. You want to be detailed enough so the customer can get a good feel for the boat, but any longer than that could cause them to lose interest. And then typically, when you’re getting people, just general users on the Web or people using your website, watching videos any longer than that might cause them to exit a little bit early.
And if you’re comfortable with this, I don’t think every video should be marketing. Come down and see us come to you. Don’t want to be super silly all the time. But at the same time, at the end of the video, you probably want to include a call to action, such as call us that this phone number to learn more about this bow or to schedule a tour of other boat models like this, just something that gives the user an indication that you want them to do something.
And then during the video, make sure to cover the top features, so like maybe the engine that it uses, maybe the navigation system cooler in storage, you know what you can use that boat for, whether it’s fishing or water sports or just something that helps them, helps the customer or the user see themselves with their friends, with their family on that boat and how they might be able to have fun with it. So you want to make it a little bit and also personable but just help the user see themselves on that boat in the future.
A little bit of a bonus tip, so if you have your say, you have your video. It’s all done and you want to take it to the next level. What I would recommend doing is to get the video transcribed and then post it as a blog on your website. And the reason for this is that if you post a video on your site, that’s great. The more content you can have, the better. But if you add that extra level of getting it transcribed with the text, that helps your website get noticed more by Google and Bing, and other search engines because it’s able to read and index the actual content.
So we use the tool. It’s called rev dot com. So R E V as in “very” dot com where you can pay a small fee or think it’s at the time I’m recording. This may be a dollar per minute, but it’s really easy to upload your video. You get a transcript back and then you can use that in various marketing materials and especially helps the best of you. So that’s all I’ve got for today’s episode. Thank you for listening and we’ll see you in a couple of weeks for the next episode of the Boat Marketing podcast.
As always, feel free to drop us a line at a podcast at Marketing Pros Dotcom with any questions or anything you’d like us to cover in future episodes. Thanks. And Happy Boating.
Announcer Welcome to the boat marketing podcast, where will feature tips and advice that will help your boating business grow and thrive while you’re listening. Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. And now here’s your host, Kristen Bachmeier Kristen Hey, everyone, and welcome back to another episode of the boat […]
Announcer Welcome to the boat marketing podcast, where will feature tips and advice that will help your boating business grow and thrive while you’re listening. Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. And now here’s your host, Kristen Bachmeier. Kristen Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the boat marketing […]
Announcer Welcome to the boat marketing podcast, where will feature tips and advice that will help your boating business grow and thrive. While you’re listening, subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. And now here’s your host, Kristen Bachmeier. Kristen Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the boat marketing […]
Announcer Welcome to the Boat Marketing podcast, where will feature tips and advice that will help your boating business grow and thrive while you’re listening. Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. And now here’s your host, Kristen Bachmeier. Kristen Hello, everyone, and hopefully you all had a great Fourth of […]
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