Madsummer motoryacht

Digital Marketing at FLIBS 2019

For the third consecutive year, our head of SEO and yachting specialist Nicolas Saugnac attended the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Accompanied this year by Jackie Torres, a yacht advertising specialist, originally from Miami. The immense show gathered over 1,500 yachts, hundreds of suppliers and numerous marketing managers. Here is our take on yacht marketing around FLIBS 2019.

The industry is unquestionably changing compared to a few years ago, where companies’ branding was muddled and the stands were not set up on time. This year the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show featured a much more mature industry. Most of the stands featured professionally built structures instead of the traditional tents and the show offers interesting seminars for both professionals and yachtsmen.

Vida and Book ends at FLIBS 2019 by the Superyacht Village
Vida, Book Ends and Mr. Loui at FLIBS 2019

One of the newest additions this year was the superyacht village, located at the Pier 66 Marina, the area was dedicated exclusively to larger vessels. Unfortunately, it did not see heavy foot traffic as the rest of FLIBS and might have missed out on opportunities. However, we heard positive feedback that motivated buyers and professionals visited. Featuring an extensive air-conditioned lounging area, it is a much more appreciated part of the show to hold professional meetings or client meetings.

From a digital marketing perspective, the competition around FLIBS is growing exponentially. Most companies are now advertising their presence at the show with Google Ads. In the two weeks prior to the show, we tracked over 10 brokerage houses and dozens of shipyards advertising with keywords like “FLIBS 2019”. The organic positioning FLIBS related pages also increased, with more companies becoming SEO savvy. In an increasingly competitive environment, the specialised knowledge of Relevance helped our clients to be at the top of their game during the show. Relevance generated dozens of qualified leads for Worth Avenue online a few days prior to the show.

Madsummer and Pheonix 2 At the Superyacht Village in FLIBS 2019
Madsummer and Pheonix 2 At the Superyacht Village in FLIBS 2019

A majority of our discussions with marketing professionals indicated a stronger interest in the digital world and a clear shift away from print advertising. The traditional media channels remain a necessary element of communication strategies, as these channels retain a majority of the mature yachting audience. However, analyzing which channel attracts a better quality audience, at a reasonable cost, is more complicated with traditional methods. Social media influencers also played a big role in the show, with many of them touring yachts to promote brokerage houses. These shows present a great opportunity for the shipyards and brokerage houses to introduce their products to the traditional media as well as newer digitalized and social media. It seems to us that shows are increasingly becoming a vitrine for buyers and influencers to see by their own eyes what they have been witnessing online for months.

Relevance crafted efficient strategies for their clients for FLIBS, from promoting yacht models and brands to attracting a wide range of customers prior to the show. At the show, Relevance arranged for influencers and media personalities to visit and interview a selection of our clients. Get in touch with us to see how you can best leverage future yacht shows.

Photo Credit: Sun Sentinel and Florida Daily Post

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