2020 – what a year this has been for transformations, especially into the digital world. The whole human race had to adapt quickly to the new “normal” while the lockdown for COVID-19 was in full force in almost all the countries in the world.
Has the lockdown affected the way we do business, not just our social interactions with each other? Yes, for sure!
We have discovered what meetings should have been e-mails, how much we can do from home, and how can technology help in our day to day activities in the business world. While proven marketing and sales strategies in the yacht charter industry were primarily boat shows and exhibitions, 2020 and COVID-19 changed it from the ground up.
So, how does digital marketing fit in the yacht charter industry?

Today digital marketing is more important than ever. From first-hand experience, I know that very little was done before 2020 in that area by the charter companies in the yacht charter industry.
Charter agents were the ones who invested a lot of time and money in SEO, Google Ads, social media interactions, and strategies.
However, the main pain remains when it comes to the yacht charter industry – how to get new direct clients, for both sides.

As mentioned before, boat shows were the ones in the past getting all the attention, and while they have served their purpose of getting the visibility to the charter companies and charter agencies, a rare few people would say- Hey, let’s go book a boat for vacation on a boat show! They will come to look at the boats, however, in the end, they will end up on the internet and search for a boat to charter.
Many “newcomers” in the yacht charter industry that would like to sail are Millennials or the Z generation. For them, it is all about the experience and the story. They rent a yacht in a destination that can offer them just that- the story and the experience. And what better way to tell your story than by your digital presence?
So, how to do it and attract direct clients?

Here are 3 simple steps you need to start with:

1. Concentrate on creating a good website with an emphasis on the user experience. Google recently announced that they are changing their algorithm in 2021 with the accent on UX (user experience) on a website.
Some of the things to consider for your website are:
Mobile-friendly site
– No misleading content on your website
– Quick page loading
– Usage of HTTPS on your website
Core Web Vitals that include Loading time, Interactivity and Visual Stability

2. After you have developed your website, time is for the content. The content you are going to have on your website needs to be rich, and rich means content that is unique to you and has keywords valuable for the business that will make a difference for you on a search engine.
While you would think once you put the website online with the content and it is the end of the story, I am sorry to tell you, it is not.
You need to constantly update it and work on the content to get better and better. To see results for SEO optimization you need 6-12 months. It is a slow process but the effort will pay off in combination with your digital and content strategy.

3. Invest your time in creating a social media strategy. This became more relevant than ever. People are spending a lot of time on social media and there is a need to have a presence on at least one.
Why at least one you ask? Well, to know how to make a social media strategy, you need to know your ideal customer. Knowing who is your ideal customer and targeting them on certain social media is something that makes a huge difference for your business.
If you have doubts or think this is a challenge that you need help with – Hire an agency to help you and work closely with them to get the best from their expertise and your expectations. You can do a lot if you have set up your digital marketing strategy on the right foot.

The most important thing is to test and invest. While charter agents and B2B business is an important part of the yacht charter world, and it needs to be, keep in mind, you are also doing this for you and your customers for the long run.
Just keep going and do not give up.
Marketing is part of the present world and you need to be part of that now.

Till next week,
Keep it digital and sail away.