Top 12 Online Marketing Hacks for Scuba Diving Companies & Instructors
Online Marketing – as a scuba lover is it one of those things you’d rather push to one side? Instead, you wish you could descend into the ocean, floating around in calm bays and looking out for the next turtle or nudibranch. We hear you!
To make your life a little easier, we have collected the Top 12 Online Marketing Hacks for Scuba Dive Companies:
- Use the right channels for your audience
It is hard to know where to start and where to stop. Scuba Divers have one fantastic advantage: Their work is heavily visual. Wait, what? Well every time you go scuba diving, you will see plenty of wonderful animals, exotic plants and other scuba friends underwater. It may be normal to you, but the world wants to see it. So forget about all these platforms which make it hard to share any visual content (photos, videos, live stories etc. ) and only focus on the platforms that let you shine. These are Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. And maybe Pinterest if you have some energy left.
- Content is Key – Create and use your blog!
We can’t stress enough about writing blog posts and actually having a blog integrated into your website. Why? you ask.. High quality content is the most effective way to be seen online – Google will rank you higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). People can find you more easily, since posting fresh, valuable content, consistently with improve your search engine optimisation (SEO). Don’t know what to post? You have it all in front of you, don’t think about “creating” something impressive, but document what you do all day. Your audience loves to know how a Scuba Dive Company operates, what they do and how they work. Let your dive guides dive with a camera each day and take photos and videos for your Social Media Platforms and your blog. The best side effect? When people see how you work and the amazing things you see and experience, they will trust you more and want to experience the same things with you (which in the end means, more bookings for you!).
- Vamp up your photos for Instagram instead of using filters
So your dive guide took some wonderful photos of the reef – but he forgot the red filter? Or did he follow a turtle and the photo is a little blurry? No worries, there are plenty of options to help you fix this in minutes. For example, you can download the mobile app Snapseed. With this you can easily fix any saturation, exposure and white lights but also any other settings you wish to change. It is super easy to handle and the outcome is fantastic. If you like to do it rather on your PC other than on your phone you can use the pixlr express web app which is user-friendly and has all the functions you need. For more image editing tools and apps click here.
- Stay Local
When we think about the internet, we usually think globally, which is great! But Scuba Dive companies are locally connected to their dive area. This is why you should opt to do a lot of local marketing. In your social media posts use hashtags for your local area and in advertising focus on location based as well as interest targeting. Also, have special deals for locals and advertise them online, so people can find you and become a loyal customer if they live in your area.
- Use long tail keywords!
Long tail keywords are phrases with three or four keywords combined which are very, very specific to your product. So you could use “Scuba Diving Great Barrier Reef for Beginners” or “Live aboard tour Ningaloo Reef West Australia” or you can even put in “Scuba Dive Holidays Great Barrier Reef Airlie Beach” – each keyword phrase has less traffic than a short tail phrase such as ‘scuba diving’ but the great thing is, people will find you more easily and faster than with a short tail Keyword, and those that use long tail search are usually more targeted and are showing buying signals. This is also a great way to integrate your local area (see point 4) and promote it.
- Use Facebook Ads instead of Google Adwords – and be really specific with your targeted audience.
Google Adwords can get pretty expensive pretty quickly if you’re not experienced therefore not generating as much return on investment as you would like, especially for smaller businesses. You usually pay per click and that doesn’t mean you will get a conversion. For Dive companies we highly recommend Facebook Ads and using campaigns for different objectives, for example a campaign to gain email subscribers who you can nurture into sales and for promoting a special offer you may be running for quick wins. The best ads use images and videos well to grab attention and then clearly show value to promote engagement. The target audience for your ad should be very specific, too broad and you won’t get good conversions. Imagine your ideal client, who would that be? Then choose all their demographics (eg. age, gender, location). Then choose a couple of interests and behaviours, it is a good idea to test these one at a time to see which are most effective, there are hundreds to choose from but try interests such as ‘scuba diving’ or specific pages that they like related to scuba diving. Be as specific as possible in your targeting as results will be much better than with a non-specific broad audience.
- Engage with Bloggers and Instagrammers
This is a seriously under-utilised tactic for dive companies. Invite bloggers and Instagrammers with a high quality following that represents your target audience (quality is more important that follower numbers) and give a discount or free service in exchange for posting about you and sharing their experience with their followers. Offer them a free day trip or even a free small course if you wish. And let them talk about you on all their platforms. Very important here is to write up a contract beforehand so you know what you will offer and what the blogger/Instagrammer will return, treat it as if you were outsourcing a marketing campaign to a marketing agency (a blog post, photos, videos, online reviews, several posts on Facebook and Instagram for example).
- Use relevant popular hashtags
This one can be tricky indeed but very helpful for you to get more followers on Instagram (also helpful for Twitter and Pinterest). Search your top 20 hashtags before you start posting. Think about your long tail keywords and try to transform them into hashtags. You want to be specific and don’t choose hashtags with very high usage as your post will just be lost amongst them. So when you start searching, try your keywords first and check how often these hashtags have been used so far (IG shows this number next to the #hashtag, when you search). Aim for usage between 10k – 250k times. When you post your photo or video on Instagram, write a very interesting caption with 3-10 hashtags in it, post the photo and then you can add more relevant hashtags in the first comment to broaden the reach of your post and add a few that describe the photo a bit more.
- Have a winning website with all your information and an online booking system
This is one of the most famous mistakes scuba dive companies tend to make. Their shop and their service is outstanding but their website doesn’t reflect that. Yes, Scuba Divers love to come into the shop and look for a great tour, a lovely dive guide and a top notch dive boat and equipment. BUT many customers will check out all your competition online beforehand and may want to book in advance online. Maybe they don’t have time to shop around, maybe their friends already recommended your tour and all they want is booking with you for a specific date and have their trip secured. You can even include your rental equipment for divers to add on during the booking process.You website should be a reflection of your brand and service, modern, fast and very easy-to-use.
- Team up with hotels & tour agencies – and use their online presence!
The dive industry is a hard one with a lot of competition. But why don’t you collaborate with some hotels, guest houses and tour agencies – and help each other out? You can offer your clients a better deal at the hotel while the hotel can offer their guests a better deal with you. And the best part; You can promote each other on each other’s Social Media channels. And suddenly you reach a whole new bunch of potential clients with the help of a reliable partner in the tourist industry who recommends your business. Win-win-win!
- Online reviews
We’ve saved the big one til last! Online reviews are so important for your business. TripAdvisor alone has 300 million users! I often speak with small tourism businesses who say that more than 70% of their bookings come from TripAdvisor. Do not ignore online review sites; ask every customer if they will kindly leave you a review on TripAdvisor, Google and Facebook and make sure your information is up-to-date on each of these platforms to display the best possible image to potential customers reading your reviews.
- Grow your email list
Why is email so important? You own your list… social networks will come and go, but your list of contacts will remain. Use a tool such as Hello Bar to collect email subscribers by giving away something for free such as a PDF guide, this is called a lead magnet. Then set up an automated email series to nurture these people, you can use tools such as Mailchimp to do this cost effectively.
We hope these tips will help you to step up your online marketing game. If you have any questions or aren’t sure how to implement the above? We’ve got you covered, learn more about our online marketing services here or just drop us a line or join our Facebook community for free marketing tips.
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