Many people attend boat shows with the purpose of educating the public on the basics involved in boating. They are an excellent place to gain practical, hands-on knowledge that is useful as a member of the boating community.
From a digital marketing perspective, social media is one of the best ways for boat dealers to engage with the right audience and promote their boat show. Successfully marketing your boat show on social media can bring many positive results, including:
- Brand recognition
- Increased website traffic
- Networking with potential business partners
- Relationships within the marine community
Marketing Before the Boat Show
If you still do not have social media accounts created for your boat dealership, club, or other marine business, it’s time to set them up. Business pages on Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter are an easy way to stay connected with your industry in the digital world. Before your boat show, you should plan and publish multiple posts promoting it. Let’s dive into some subjects to hone in on in your social media marketing as a boat dealer preparing for a boat show.
Basic Event Information
This is pretty straight forward. It’s important to make the date, time, location, and registration information visible on social media. People will most likely not attend an event that they know nothing about. While you may be sending out press releases, distributing print marketing, or spreading awareness of the boat show by word of mouth, posting about it on social media too will only multiply the audience who hears about it.
Sneak Peak of Boats
The boats at a boat show are of course the main attraction. This type of event gives buyers the chance to see the inventory of various manufacturers all in one place. Share sneak peeks of “crowd favorites” or new boat models that are going to debut at your boat show.
Use their excitement to your advantage and offer them an early insight into what they can expect to see from your dealership at the show. It will get your company name in front of them, and they might immediately come to your table at the show if they are expecting to see something they saw a post about on your social media. People like to get an early look at new boat models.
Deals and Promotions
Many boat dealers use boat show season as an opportunity to make incentives for potential buyers. In late fall and early spring, dealers and vendors are anxious to get a jump start on the new season to make a deal.
Create incentives for attendees to come to your table at the boat show, offer lower pricing, package deals, or special financing promotions specifically offered at the show.
Marketing During the Boat Show
Instagram and Facebook both have features that allow you to go live during an event. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic when large gatherings aren’t safe, many potential leads may be unable to attend your boat show in person.
Have someone on your marketing team go live during the event. Live videos can be used to showcase special speakers, new boat models, networking opportunities, and more.
Hosting a live video on social media will ensure you don’t miss out on getting in front of the eyes of people who can’t physically attend. You can also save and post the live video once it is over.
Instagram and Facebook stories are also a great way to connect with your online audience. Stories can be used to share photos of your company at your table. You can also share “merch” or “swag” that you are giving away. Many vendors offer things like pamphlets, accessories, shirts, and more.
Most vendors and manufacturers will have some kind of display. Even if someone is not boat shopping this year, it can be exciting to see what’s new or trending, and they might spot something that intrigues them.
Marketing After the Boat Show
Once the boat show event is over, the marketing doesn’t stop. Have a member of your team take notes of what they learn/share with attendees at the show and incorporate it into your social media. You can also write a blog about the boat show and cross-promote it on social media.
You can also use polls on Instagram and Twitter to ask your audience what they liked/disliked about your live coverage of the show. You could have one follower who was unable to attend the boat show but enjoyed what you had to say, therefore encouraging them to connect with your business later.
Hopefully, by the end of the boat show, you’ve come up with a list of new leads. We’ve all been to an event where we found a vendor or brand that we LOVE, but forget about it after the event is over. Make sure to reach out to the people you connect with at the boat show. This shows them that you valued getting to chat with them, and are eager to work with them moving forward. Going the extra mile makes a huge difference in your reputation and customer service.
Social media offers many creative outlets to spread awareness of your dealership at boat shows before, during, and after the event. If you found these boat show social media marketing tips helpful, I encourage you to check out more of our blogs about social media marketing in the marine industry.
If you would like one-on-one help with your social media, schedule a call with us at boatmarketingpros.com/schedule. We are excited to help you achieve your marketing goals.
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