When Instagram was launched in 2010, it became the new hot social media platform almost overnight. Everyone from famous philanthropists to Olympic athletes and billionaire businesspeople, as well as millions of ‘normal people’, created an account, and a new social era was born.
Today, Instagram’s success shows no signs of slowing, with more than one billion active monthly users including a number of greatly successful luxury yacht Instagram accounts. This platform particularly lends itself to the luxury industry, with Instagram’s luxury lifestyle brands (such as yacht brokers and yachting media) amassing a considerable number of followers and a high rate of engagement. Take for example the international yachting media profiles such as @superyachttimes, which has a total of 358,000 followers, and @boatinternational with 312,000 followers. Leading yacht broker @fraseryachts has a very popular page with 72,300 followers.
Why do Instagram’s luxury lifestyle – especially yachting – brands do so well?
Instagram allows its account holders to showcase a window into their interests, aesthetic and personality, inspiring their audience through photographs and videos. So it is hardly surprising that when this imagery contains beautiful, streamlined superyachts sailing across azure blue seas, featuring breathtaking backdrops from across the world, followers just can’t get enough.
Arguably, most of the followers of Instagram’s luxury yachting brands and brokerage houses, such as @worthavenueyachts or @yachtzoo.official, do not visit these feeds to buy a superyacht or book a yacht charter – many will simply be aspirational visitors trying to gain insight into the world of the ultra-rich. Recent research shows that 80% of Instagram users have made a purchase based on something they discovered on the platform, but this survey was not focused specifically on luxury goods. However, evidence cited below suggests that luxury yacht Instagram accounts which showcase multi-million pound superyachts or exotic yacht charters do provide a great boost in both interest and sales.
The 47m charter motor yacht LOON has 56,6000 followers on her account @motoryachtloon, which her captain Paul Clarke believes has been partly responsible for her success on the charter market this year. The account was created in 2017, when there were fewer superyachts on Instagram and therefore the ones that were on the platform got even more attention. Regular photos of the 154ft luxury motor yacht and its collection of water toys and delicious catering quickly attracted a large following, which continues to grow.
“It is surprising how many of our followers can charter the yacht – out of 60,000 there are probably 10 to 20 people that can afford to and that is all you need. Our Instagram account alone has generated around three million dollars’ worth of charters over the last three years,” Captain Clarke told the Superyacht Times.
Successful yacht Influencers
The success of yacht influencers is also testament to how well yachts work on Instagram, with these influencers often generating global exposure and potential conversions through the social media platform. At the top of their game are influencers like @theyachtguy and @theyachtchef who post inspirational photos and videos that give followers a snapshot of their lifestyle on board luxury yachts.
Theyachtguy’s real name is Alex Jimenez, a native New Yorker who has made a living by taking photos of yachts. He is now followed by 856,000 people and is thought to be one of the most influential media personalities in the superyacht industry. Meanwhile, @theyachtchef is known by his friends as Dean Harrison, the Australian head chef on ARIENCE, a 61 metre superyacht built by Abeking & Rasmussen in 2012 and available for charter. His stunning posts of life onboard ARIENCE are viewed by thousands and offer those interested a window for this luxury charter yacht.
How to get the best from your luxury yacht Instagram feed
Creating a successful luxury yacht Instagram page requires two things: good quality camera/lighting tools and a social media strategist bursting with ideas. Superyachts are at an advantage in that they are already stunning examples of design, technology and style, which many people would happily look at for hours on end, but with the market for yachts on Instagram increasing saturated, just posting a selection of random pictures won’t be enough to secure you millions of loyal followers.
Shots that allow followers to picture themselves onboard a particular yacht living out their dream, be it tucking into a gourmet meal served overlooking a Caribbean bay or water-skiing behind a tender, typically do well. Better still, videos capturing the superyacht in motion gliding through the water, or showing kids being towed on an inflatable behind the speedboat, helps to make the yacht even more real for fans. The Instagram Engagement Report recently revealed that video content was far more effective in getting followers to engage than photos, with video posts generating an average 150 comments to photos 65 comments. Videos of up to one minute do well on Instagram feeds, whilst there is now the possibility to upload longer videos on Instagram’s IGTV application of up to one hour. The benefits of this YouTube-esque feature is that the videos count as posts, and do not disappear after a day like Stories do.
This feature can be particularly useful for luxury yacht brokers who, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the confinements that have ensued, have been forced to find other ways of marketing yachts. Instead of welcoming potential clients on board at yacht shows, or during onsite shipyard visits, companies have been able to create dynamic and exciting content and upload it to their IGTV channels.
Instagram may be led by imagery, but It is also important to make sure that the words you do use are carefully edited with thoughtful and on-brand captions which help to paint the perfect picture. You should also make sure that you add relevant hashtags to help build your following and attract potential clients to your online community. Use hashtags sparingly – the general consensus is that 11 is the perfect number although you can add up to as many as 30 – and carefully. If you would like to be noticed in the yachting industry, make sure you use hashtags such as #yachtlife #superyachts #yachts. It can also be a good idea to include hashtags that refer to your location.
Instagram is one of the most influential communication methods of the 21st century and a platform that every yachting business should pay attention to. To discuss innovative ways to boost your business through social media, contact our team today.