It is undeniable that social media has changed how brands market themselves. Yachting brands have an elite and unique client base, which poses various challenges for digital marketing strategies when it comes to not only exclusivity and confidentiality clauses but also targeting the correct demographic, which is also changing.
A new wealth generation is slowly making its way into the yachting industry, full of digitally savvy individuals. So, how can yachting brands harness the power of social media to boost their marketing efforts to the fullest? Here we explore some key questions about social media, including when to post on social media and what is the most popular social media platform to target these new audiences.
How to use social media for yacht marketing
To gain the most from social media followings, yachting brands must stay current and relevant with premium content to reflect the superior nature of the industry.
A social media presence for yachting brands isn’t necessarily to convert clients but to showcase the unique lifestyle, tell authentic stories, and inspire followers.
Yachting brands need to create exciting and alluring content whilst maintaining the exclusivity, quality and bespoke nature of what they offer. Brands should also consider the industry’s global reach by knowing what is the most popular social media for countries and cultures with different digital experiences. With the correct content on each platform, brands must focus on the best platform for each country.
Twitter focuses on conversations and personal engagement with a brand’s audience. Whilst, of course, Twitter aids brand awareness, the main aim of Twitter for yachting brands is to build relevant relationships and offer personalised support with the use of replies and retweets. Twitter is about creating two-way communications, allowing your audience to engage with your content. Whether selling a yacht-related product or a yacht itself, it is a valuable platform to respond to your audience quickly.
It is uncommon to come across people who do not use Facebook, but it is about knowing what and when to post on social media to gain the full advantages of the platform.
Building and maintaining brand awareness is vital throughout all social media platforms, and Facebook focuses on the connection and interaction aspects of marketing.
Whilst there are various forms of content that you can post on Facebook, for yachting brands, it is a great space to tell stories. The Facebook algorithm favours longer-form videos; therefore, it is the perfect platform for brands to share videos such as yacht tours, travel vlogs or even how-to videos. Yachting brands such as Oyster have facilitated video content by posting multi-part series of building an oyster and showcasing content from their various sailing regattas.
LinkedIn has gleaned its status as a professional platform. It is a space to participate in industry discussions and share company news. Marcela de Ker Royer, a yachting content creator, known as The Yacht Lady, @onboardwithmarcela, suggests “sharing interesting articles on LinkedIn, where you share best practices and solutions that your products or service provide, is very engaging.”
This longer-form content is not only engaging but helps cement the brand as an innovative leader and expert within the industry. The platform enables leaders to share their expertise and knowledge through articles, building upon their influence and thought-leadership reputations.
Creating content consistently and frequently that showcases expertise is essential on LinkedIn. In particular, brands can post thought leadership content under a founder of CEO profile, which can then be re-shared to a company page. Not everyone is a thought leader; you need to be able to create and promote educational and helpful content to become one, and to be recognised as an expert takes time.
The power of images to fuel imagination is the underlying success of an effective Instagram marketing strategy.
Instagram can help yachting brands grow their awareness by showcasing the yachting lifestyle through images and videos. Using Instagram can easily frame the yachting lifestyle due to the visual nature of the activities.
Yachting brands should invest in a library of high-quality videos and photos across Instagram to use in various ways. “For yachting brands, the best platform is Instagram for brand awareness, but repetition and consistency are key while delivering value to the viewers and not always just selling,” states @onboardwithmarcela. Whilst a picture says a thousand words, brands should also be strategic with captions and ensure they are personable whilst staying on-brand.
The latest feature within Instagram for yachting brands to utilise is Instagram Reels; this allows users to facilitate a short video marketing strategy, sharing short clips and videos. These reels can enhance a brand’s voice and increase audience reach and interaction due to the more compelling nature of video content. Whether it is behind-the-scenes content, a sneak preview of a product, a snippet into yacht life or the latest cruising destination highlights, there is vast potential for content within reels, including the potential to go viral on the platform. Brands should also network with other creators; this cross-promotion helps boost audience reach.
TikTok is the fastest-growing social platform and a favourite among younger generations. As @onboardwithmarcela states, “Tiktok is for the younger generation to get to know your brands.” The platform is still relatively new, and marketing strategies are still in development; however, what is sure is that yachting brands should have a presence on the platform.
The platform is fun and lighthearted, which is okay for brands to embrace as long as messages are responsible on-brand at all times. One benefit to Tiktok is it can allow the yachting brand to be at the epicentre of the latest trends and trending hashtags, with a chance of going viral to increase audience reach. Another way to utilise TikTok is to use the live feature, as with Instagram, showing behind-the-scenes content and events such as boat shows. For the charter market, it is a great tool to show snippets of yacht tours and the lifestyle.
TikTok creators are currently shaping the social media landscape; this viral power of TikTok is vast, and brands can use influencer partnerships to help. For example, with 105.5k followers on the platform, @mrsuperyachts posts regular yachting charter and sales content with high engagement rates and the content creator @yachtlifestyle, with 351.7k followers, highlights the yachting lifestyle on their channel.
The power of influence
The yachting industry has been redefined over recent years, which also applies to the development of social media. The shift of influencer marketing has slowly infiltrated luxury industries with top-tier influencers.
Alex Jimenez, the popular yachting influencer with 876k followers, @theyachtguy, explains the development of social media throughout the industry.
“10 years ago, social media and influencers were laughed at; now you have major brands like Boat International to the CEO of Fraser Yachts who have almost completely moved from professionally curated posts into the style of the influencer reposting whatever gets likes and follows,” Jimenez said.
This brokerage role has developed significantly in the influencer age; Fraser currently has 92.2k Instagram followers. “The best marketing tool ever is word of mouth, and clients like to buy products or services recommended by someone they trust. That is why brands are collaborating with influencers to share their products or services to a big online community and audience that is relevant to the potential clients of the brands,” explains @onboardwithmarcela.
Most people spend at least a small portion of their day on social media; it has become an integral part of people’s lives and routines. The digital marketing landscape is so fluid that it is challenging to imagine the future. One potential development is the rise of popular platforms used primarily by Millennials and Gen Z, including TikTok and the continued popularity of short-form video content such as Instagram Reels.
The metaverse will also have its role in the future and how to use social media for yacht marketing. Facebook, or Meta, are building social metaverses and investing heavily in AR and VR technology. Across all platforms, there will be a rise in technologies like AR and VR, facilitating better and more engaging user experiences. On the image-led platforms, Non-Fungible Tokens are making their mark; creators can now showcase their NFTs on Instagram; Jimenez suggests “the NFT revolution isn’t far away.”
However vital social media marketing is becoming within the superyacht industry, brands must tread carefully regarding challenges such as privacy and confidentiality. Jimenez warns of copyright infringements on the horizon, “the industry has become super reliant on sharing content without permission because that’s the culture; however, that doesn’t make it legal,” he notes.
At Relevance Yacht, our digital marketing experts can help with social media strategies and marketing campaigns that deliver results. To learn more about how to use social media for yacht marketing, contact one of our consultants.