Grow your superyacht business: Seven marketing activities for the busy marine marketer
Written by Sarah Rowland
Last updated: 28/03/2017
As a small/medium marine business targeting the global superyacht industry, we know it’s a big ask to set aside the time and resources for those smaller marketing activities that really grow your business and its audience. However, as with many things, you’ll get out of your marketing what you put in, so it's important to prioritise those projects that will help you to get the job done well.
Yachting Pages lists seven small yet effective marketing activities to underpin your marine marketing strategy, putting the wheels in motion today to help your marine business stand out in the superyacht industry.
Where are we now? Where do we want/need to be?
Before starting out on any marketing activities to boost your marine or superyacht business, it’s a good idea to first set out to take an honest evaluation of where you are now.
Whether you’re just starting out in the superyacht industry; you’re already well known and used by local yachties, but find you are struggling to reach out further afield; or you have fallen off the radar at the hands of your competitors, it’s worth investing some time in proper market research as the actual situation could be better or worse than presumed.
Write a report and action list from your findings and have a marketing plan in place to guide your work and celebrate your achievements. Marine Business lays out a plan 10 steps for creating an effective marketing plan here.
Top marketing activities to grow your marine business
1. Create captivating content and business blogs
If you haven’t already started populating your business website or blog with content, you should start right away!
Educational and entertaining content is likely to be one of the biggest draws to your business website, introducing new prospects to your business and generating leads - it needn’t take up too much time, as you should already have the insight and information to hand to write great content.
Get started by thinking about your target market and industry as a whole: What problems do businesses and consumers face in your sector? You could write informative content articles to answer their common questions, address their frustrations and generally entertain on these topics.
2. Share business news
Your business might be doing great work, serving large superyachts and meeting big orders, but how do you expect other people to find out about this if you’re not distributing your achievements to the relevant media as news?
You should make it a priority to start sharing news stories and press releases about your business and its achievements as and when they happen to get the word out there. When you launch a new project, hit a new target or overcome a major hurdle, you should be excited to tell the industry and your customers. We recommend publishing the news item on your own website and social media channels before writing a targeted press release for other industry publications.
3. Get involved in social media
Both content articles and news need a place to be shared. Social media is the perfect place to do this, helping to further raise awareness of your business and its activities in the industry, and building a personality for your brand.
Social media can be a full-time job, but not all social channels are created equal. Work out which are the most valuable to your brand: Those that are used most frequently/preferred by your existing customers, new prospects and industry peers – just remember which content works best where.
4. Optimise your website with basic SEO
We’re sure you’ve heard by now that SEO, or search engine optimisation, is one of the best ways to naturally increase the visibility of your website in online search results, and not all aspects are as difficult or costly as they may first seem.
With increased content comes an even greater need to leverage the power of SEO to ride up the SERPs (search engine results pages), putting you in front of your target market as they search online for products and services. Get familiar with your content management system or make an appointment with your web developer to discuss keyword research and distribution, image alt tags, page-load speeds, 301 redirects and out-dated URLs.
5. Share knowledge
Another great way to gradually grow your marine business is to ensure you are sharing some of your hard-earned knowledge with the industry, placing you as an industry expert and trusted source.
As you stumble across content online, make sure to add your professional thoughts and findings to the comments section, and answer any crew questions you may find on online blogs/forums. You will of course have to follow the guidelines of each website or publication to be allowed to do this, with objectivity always in mind. Where possible, you could try adding a targeted link to any relevant content articles you may have published that explain your thinking in more detail.
6. Build authoritative links
Link building is a great marketing activity to increase the SEO ranking and authority of your business website or blog, demonstrate your industry knowledge and increase your online exposure.
It can be a big job, but should you find articles online that you can add value to, you should reach out to the editors and ask to feature in the article itself, sending over the information in exchange for a link back to your business website or original article.
As your business grows, you may also be approached to get involved in upcoming editorial opportunities and interviews that require a technical or expert opinion. If the piece proposed is a good fit for your business, find the time to get involved as these may hold the key to further opportunity and lead generation.
7. Generate online business reviews
Everybody trusts a previously reviewed or rated business more so than an unknown trader. Reviews are even more important in the superyacht industry, where crew are ultimately entrusting you with the multi-million pound asset of their superyacht owner.
Generating online reviews is as simple as asking your happy customers for some nice words about your product/service after another good job done. Past customers could also be contacted with a friendly email request and link to the correct page.
Make sure to measure, analyse and report
After all the hard work is done, don’t forget to monitor the success of your marketing activities and adjust. If you’re spending your limited time and resources here, it’s essential to evaluate what’s working and what’s not to find out where your efforts are best focused.