Written by: Mar Reguant
In our previous articles, we have seen the utility for ferry companies to “go online”. There are many advantages, such as the possibility of attracting clients from all over the world, or developing a customized marketing strategy adapted to your potential clients. Everything should be tailored to convert the visitors of your website into leads, and then to close them into customers.
In this article, we are going to focus on how to attract those visitors (also called strangers) to your website.
Marketing for ferry services is quite difficult and particular. Especially because you have to adapt to the consumers’ different buying behavior. Indeed, you have to identify the different types of customers that could be interested in your offer. You can use the “purpose of travel” as the basis of your segmentation and differentiate various segments in which you can choose to focus.
Now that you have identified your typical clients (also called “buyer personas”), you have to find a way to draw their attention and convert them into leads.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving your website to attract more visitors from the online search engines. Because nowadays, everyone uses Internet to look for information.
Thus, the content of your website should include keywords that these engines can find easily, that your targeted client would look for. Indeed, 60% of strangers will click on the first three entries of the search engine and this is where you should be, without using Pay-per-click (PPC Ads). But how can you do?
You have to work on what your prospects would seek for in Internet and then make a list of the keywords they would use to inform themselves. Thus you have to do some research about your buyer personas’ needs and categorize them.
You can make a list of the keywords, do research about alternatives regarding the trends of the sectors and adapt to the vocabulary that your buyer persona would use (the words can be different in function of the age of your prospects). You can also use tools like Google Webmaster to find some ideas.
The search engines are more and more intelligent and they can also understand the purpose of the research, so here are some advices about the content:
1. Use keywords that are close to the search queries: play with order and with synonyms.
2. Use multiple variations of keywords.
3. Try not to be repetitive and try to delight with your content.
The search engine from Google will valorize the websites where people are staying longer, so you should be able to propose a good user experience. Make sure that your website is intuitive and easy to use.
Furthermore, 70% of Internet users are going through mobile, thus your web page should be adapted to any screen size.
A good way to attract strangers to your website is to propose valuable content. By responding to your consumers’ informational needs, you will create a relationship and it will be easier to convert them into leads.
Content is important, but how to create remarkable content?
There are three main steps in your buyer’s journey and you can create articles responding to every of these steps. We are going to take the example of a ferry company in Greece to explain it better: imagine a client around 40 years old from United Kingdom that wants to go on vacation in Greece with his wife and kids, but he doesn’t know where to go yet.
Remember that this example was tailored for a specific type of client: 40 years old consumer going on vacation with his family. The research would be completely different for a 25 years old couple, even for the words used. That’s why you should clearly define your buyer personas (typical clients).
Social media is very important to enhance the visibility of your content. Nowadays, 80% of marketers and 60% of sales professionals find qualified prospects on social networks. There are three steps to follow if you want to be efficient with social media and attract customers to your website.
This first step consists in doing some research about the most effective social media strategy. You can interact with your ideal target and gather information about your buyer persona. This is a way to discover new trends about your market and define your SMART objectives (Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Relevant; Timely).
In this step, you have to make sure that your publications are perfectly matching the image you want to give to your brand. Optimize your profile with the logo of your company, a description and links to your website. Create a style guide and adapt your content to every different social network. For example on Twitter you should be creative and convince within 140 characters (don’t forget to add an image), but on LinkedIn you can share high value content in long format.
Finally, analyze the results of your social media campaign and find the most effective social network for your business. Don’t forget to publish on a regular basis and personalize your answers when you are communicating with customers.