As we leave 2020 behind and say hello to a fresh 2021, it’s a good idea to update ourselves on the marketing trends that we could be set to endeavour this year in order to better place our dive shops. Last year was all about video, tweaking your business practices to handle COVID and virtual events. This year, there are a few new trends that you should ensure that you are familiar with. In this article, we’ll look at “11 Marketing Tips” that will assist you this year with your marketing plans and efforts.
Ensure You Are Set-up for eCommerce
This year, we’ll continue to see growth in digital transactions due to the pandemic. Does your dive shop have an eCommerce platform? Do you have the capability to sell PADI courses, dive equipment and dive trips online via your website? Overcome lockdowns and geographical hurdles by selling your products and services online. Don’t be limited to just your website – utilise your social media platforms and Google My Business to display and promote your products also.
Join the Virtual & Hybrid Events Upsurge
As we try to adapt to a changing world and discover the ‘new normal’, we will continue to see an explosion of virtual or hybrid events. As consumers remain wary with booking too far ahead and in an effort to practice social distancing, we will continue to see virtual events grow in 2021. Whether it’s a dive show, a webinar or a virtual dive trip – continue to engage your customers through the digital space.
Get on Board With Short-Form Videos
With video content being on the rise for many years now, it will continue to grow in 2021 – however, it’s the length of your videos that needs to be edited. Consumers tend to be time poor with short attention spans, due to this you need to ensure you adapt your video content length. Short-form video is the way to go this year. Leverage the power of short-form videos by embracing platforms such as Instagram Reels and TikTok to reach the Gen Z and Millennial markets.
User Generated Content Is the New Word of Mouth
Consumers trust peer content over advertiser’s content, that’s been the case for a few years now. It’s because of this trend that User Generated Content (UGC) – reviews, videos, social media posts and any other content that gets posted about a brand, outperforms brand-related content. Keep offering exceptional customer service and “going the extra mile” for your customers in order to encourage UGC for your dive shop!
Chatbots Are More Important Than Ever
With Artificial Intelligence (AI) being used more frequently in today’s day and age, it’s no wonder that Chatbot usage will continue to grow in popularity. Some of you may ask “What’s a Chatbot?” – Simply put, it’s a software application that is used to conduct online chat conversation rather than with a human being. These virtual assistants provide 24/7 customer support for those more repetitive queries however sometimes they can be very frustrating for the consumer when they don’t work seamlessly. Hopefully 2021 sees this technology flourish so it saves time for your dive shop.
Growth of Geo-Fencing
Geo-fencing is a fantastic marketing tool which should be explored and embraced. It allows real-time targeting based on a user’s location. For example, you may set your target area to be within 5km’s (3 miles) of your dive shop so that when that potential customer enters that 5km (3miles) zone, they get a push notification such as a text message or other form of marketing communication. This type of marketing can be especially beneficial if you are trying to target digital customers to try and turn them into brick-and mortar customers.
Nano Influencers Becoming More Popular
Influencer marketing is still going full steam ahead however there looks to be a trend that shy’s away from using premier influencers (those with an extremely large fan/follower base). The ‘nano’, or ‘micro’ influencer, is more like the average person however their fan/follower base is just that bit larger than the average person. They are typically easier to enter into a contract with and come at a fraction of the cost and effort. The diving industry isn’t shy of being contacted by influencers, so choose wisely.
Rise of Visual and Voice Search
One trend that is changing the whole search engine optimisation (SEO) landscape is the increased popularity of visual and voice search. A few companies have already started utilising these trends, for the visual search space there is Google Lens, Pinterest, CamFind and Bing Visual search. Visual search allows the searcher to upload an image and enter that as the search, rather than text. Voice search (like Siri, Alexa and Cortana) has been around for a few years now however it continues to grow. What has been interesting in this space is that consumers don’t use the same keywords when they talk as when they type. Due to this, a lot of companies are having to alter their SEO strategy to incorporate speech keywords.
Show Your Passion for Sustainability
Consumers are becoming increasingly passionate for the environment – and this trend definitely sits well within the diving industry. As consumers become more educated and aware of environmental issues, they are becoming more responsible with their buying habits. As a result, they are choosing to do business with sustainable and eco-friendly brands – ensuring that the companies they purchase from are just as concerned about the environment as they are. This is especially evident in the younger generations.
Try to Dominate “Position Zero”
A “featured snippet”, also known as “position zero” is a special block above the organic search results that Google sometimes shows for certain queries, usually questions. It contains a summary (in the form of a paragraph, a list, a table, or a video), as well as the page title, link to the webpage from which the answer originated, and a URL. With so many internet searches conducted without a screen and since it is said that approx. 40% of all voice search answers come from position zero, ensure you are competing for this position on the search engine results page.
Automation is all about making things easier. Wouldn’t it be perfect if you could automate as much of your marketing efforts as possible to give you more time to teach courses, fill tanks, sell gear and occasionally have a day off? Embracing automation within your dive business will help you to increase productivity and streamline your systems, providing you with the foundation to outperform your competitors by freeing up staff and resources. The more that you automate – the less you need to do!
As you can see from the 11 tips above, most of these concepts aren’t new and ground-breaking – they are simply gaining momentum and becoming more developed. Which tips can you adopt in your Marketing strategy? For assistance in implementing any of these strategies, please don’t hesitate to contact your regional team.
- PADI Americas: [email protected]
- PADI Asia Pacific: [email protected]
- PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa: [email protected]
Marketing & Social Media, marketing, marketing plans, marketing tips, marketing trendsPADI Pros