It’s always exciting to throw an event for your brand. It opens up a ton of opportunities to connect with your customers, show how much fun your business can have, and drive sales. Since 2018, DAY Vision has worked with Highway Marine to plan and market the boat dealer’s annual boat show. While we have had tremendous success in past campaigns, we all wanted to elevate the event and the marketing this year. The team at Highway Marine expressed their goals for more leads, higher sales, and a higher turnout. With these benchmarks in mind, DAY Vision collaborated to create a comprehensive boat show campaign that included creating a concept, designing various digital components, securing the grand prize, and analyzing the results. Our team worked hard to research, plan, and execute each facet to run a successful campaign. Let’s dive into the details!
Conceptualizing the Campaign
The first step in creating any marketing campaign is to define the goals, objectives, and overall theme for visuals and messaging. At the start, we worked closely with Highway Marine to understand their target audience, the competition, and the budget. During these talks, the Highway Marine team mentioned how their boat showroom always feels like summer, with the boats, jet skis, and boating essentials. Based on the goals, insights, and that comment, we came up with the concept of “It’s Always Summer at Highway Marine,” which inspired the landing page, paid ads, prizes, and the look and feel of the campaign. This excitement was palpable, infecting the DAY Vision team and the customers who RSVPed and attended the event.
This campaign consisted of several digital pieces, including creating a landing page, designing paid ad campaigns, scheduling social media content, and running email campaigns.
Creating a Landing Page
The landing page was one of the first things we needed to tackle since this is where we get a count of people who plan to attend the event and leads for those interested in buying a boat. Our role was to create a landing page with RSVP forms, craft all the copy to communicate what the event would include, and incorporate images that inspired people to attend. We also had to ensure that we updated the page with any new information, such as vendors and activities.
While all these event details are essential to the event’s success, we also made sure that the back-end details, like SEO and mobile optimization, were taken care of to ensure maximum visibility and engagement.
Creating and Running Paid Ad Campaigns
Paid ads are a quick way to generate leads and drive traffic to the landing page. DAY Vision Marketing created two sets of paid ad campaigns for Highway Marine which included search ads, display ads, and social media ads. The ads were targeted to people who were interested in boating, located in the area surrounding Highway Marine, and had a high likelihood of converting. The ad budget was optimized to ensure maximum ROI and cost-effectiveness.
Creating and Scheduling Social Content
Social media is a must for any digital marketing since there is such a large and engaged audience on any platform. To successfully promote the boat show event across Highway Marine’s social pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, we created a social media content calendar that included post dates, caption copy, hashtags, and images that contained original content created by our graphic design team and images gained from major vendors like Yamaha and Godfrey.
The content focused on showcasing boats and their features, highlighting the activities at the show, and inviting people to RSVP and attend the show. Once we created the content, Highway Marine had the opportunity to review the calendar and provide feedback. After we reviewed and addressed the edits, the content was scheduled in advance to ensure consistency.
Creating and Scheduling Email Campaigns
Email campaigns are another effective way to reach out to potential buyers and keep them informed about the event. DAY Vision Marketing created a series of email campaigns for Highway Marine that included pre-event reminders, post-event follow-ups, and exclusive offers. The emails were personalized, engaging, and designed to drive traffic to the landing page. The campaigns were scheduled to go out at strategic times, such as early morning and late afternoon, to maximize open rates and click-through rates.
Organizing a Vacation Grand Prize
To incentivize people to attend the boat show and fill out the lead capture form, we worked with Highway Marine to organize a vacation giveaway as the grand prize. This giveaway proved to be one of the more complex parts of the campaign as we researched ways to put together an incredible vacation for our target audience. We spent some time brainstorming where to send people and which companies or travel agents would be good to work with, and that led us to Odenza Vacations. Through their packages and offerings, we were able to get a gift certificate sent to Highway Marine that gave the lucky winner $3500 towards any vacation of their choice. This way, the winner could go somewhere they were genuinely excited about, thus adding to the value of this prize.
In addition to this huge prize, there were other prizes that attendees had the chance to win, like boating enthusiast gift baskets and quality Yeti coolers. While there was a big focus on the vacation giveaway, all prizes were advertised on the landing page, social media, email campaigns, and paid ads to create buzz and excitement.
Reading into the Results
The annual boat show event’s marketing campaign yielded some impressive results. The organic social strategy engaged users by a remarkable 800%, indicating an increased interest in the event. The Google Display Ads campaign enhanced impressions and lead quality while decreasing overall spending. The paid social strategy performed about the same as the previous year but reached a more extensive audience. Although the ads did not yield more clicks than last year, the event saw a significant jump in RSVPs with a total of 396, compared to only 62 sign-ups the previous year. The main takeaway was that the ads were reaching the right audience, with a larger percentage of clicks converting to RSVPs.
That’s a Wrap
By working with DAY Vision, Highway Marine was able to promote and execute a successful boat show event that exceeded their expectations. We worked together to create a comprehensive boat show campaign that was a tremendous success. The team collaborated to create the concept, “It’s Always Summer at Highway Marine,” which inspired various digital components, the grand prize incentive, and print materials. The social posts, advertisements, landing page, and email campaigns all worked to shape the campaign results. When reviewing the analytics, the overall results were impressive, with increased engagement on organic social strategy, enhanced impressions and lead quality, and a significant jump in RSVPs. In the end, the hard work and careful planning resulted in a successful and memorable event for Highway Marine’s annual boat show.