Video transcript below.
The new season is just around the corner, which means that it’s time to make sure your business gets the online attention it deserves. How can you make this happen in 2021?
Because of COVID, more and more people have been drawn to outdoor activities, especially fishing. This recent shift has introduced a new type of angler. Younger customers, who are either first-timers or used to fish as kids, have started booking charters in much greater numbers.
In fact, over the past year, there’s been a 50% increase in bookings from people in their late 20s and early 30s, making this age group the most influential for fishing charters in 2021. According to our research, these numbers will keep growing.
In this article, you’ll receive five insider tips on how to prepare your listing for the 2021 season and how to attract these new types of customers. Let’s take a look.
1. Set Expectations & Grow Your Reviews
The younger generation is used to making purchases online. In that way, a good review score is much like a good first impression. Our data has shown that the best way to achieve a good review score is through setting clear expectations.
For people who haven’t fished much before, it’s super important to be clear about what’s included in the price and what customers should expect. Here are a couple of ways you can do that.
Your trips are your bread and butter. Use the trip details on your listing to let customers know about what you’re offering. The most important things you should check are:
- Your prices. Have they changed at all since last year? And do your prices on FishingBooker match those on your own website? If you’re not sure, be sure to check and update them as soon as possible.
- What’s included. Once you’ve set your prices, you should also make sure that it’s clear to the customer which amenities and services are and aren’t included in the price of your trip.
Should customers bring extra money for bait, fuel, or tips? What’s the amount of fishing compared with travel time? Are snacks and drinks included? Make sure you mention this in the trip descriptions so people know how to prepare.
It’s a big turn-off for customers when the trip they reserve isn’t available. To make sure that this doesn’t happen to you should:
- Keep your calendar up to date. Accurate availability is one of the keys to receiving bookings. More bookings equals more reviews, and that leads to, you guessed it, even more bookings!
- Check your availability settings. Customizing your short notice settings and overall listing seasonality can give you a lot of flexibility when running your business. Not only that, it can drastically improve how many of your booking requests turn into trips.
Once you’ve done all this, all that’s left to do is to ask your customers to leave a review. Your FishingBooker customers will always receive automatic review invitations, but you can get even more reviews for your listing by inviting your own customers to write them for you.
These are just some of the top ways to attract happy anglers onto your boat that will eventually lead to great reviews on your listing.
More and more people, especially younger customers, are used to seeing videos when making important purchases. Fishing charters are no exception.
On average, listings with a professional-style video get 80% more bookings and 300% more traffic than those without one. We expect these trends to increase in the future.
It’s always great to upload a video of an awesome catch from a recent trip. You can also encourage customers to leave videos in their reviews, and you can share them yourself in your replies as well.
But take it a step further, and your video can be a full introduction to what you offer, letting you speak directly to your customers. We found that a great formula when making a video for your charter is to include a short blurb about:
- Yourself and your business
- Your boat
- Target species
- Where you’ll be fishing
Here’s an example of a video that has all of the above:
We’re currently building up a program that will create these promo videos for you with a professional crew. These will be available in certain areas and we’ll reach out to you if you become eligible, so be sure to stay tuned for more info on this.
Ultimately, videos increase trust because customers want to see proof of what they’re buying online. So upload your awesome fishing videos and watch it pay off in the long run!
3. Refresh Your Photos
Just like videos, photos are also something that younger anglers look at when deciding who to book with. The important thing is to make sure you upload pictures that accurately depict your business.
Also, your pictures should show the reality of your fishing trips. Photos of trophy fish are awesome, however, you also want to show pictures of your most regularly-targeted species, so that customers know what they can expect to catch.
Most importantly, younger customers like to see pictures of people fishing, laughing, and having a good time on your boat. Just like with videos, you can encourage your existing customers to upload photos when leaving reviews. You can attach photos when you respond to these reviews, too.
And finally, don’t forget about your profile picture under the Captain Bio section. This way, customers will know exactly who they’ll be fishing with before they decide to book.
4. Revamp Descriptions, Species, and Packages
We already mentioned the importance of trip descriptions but, as you know, customers pay close attention to the overall way you describe your business as well. In fact, customers will react the most if your main focus is promoted clearly. Here are a few things you may want to mention:
- Your target species
- Focusing on fishing for meat vs. focusing on sportfishing
- Your experience and qualifications
- Your boat
If you want to know more about how to set up individual components of your listing, give this article a read.
On FishingBooker, your descriptions are optimized for keyword purposes so that your listing ranks well on search engines like Google and Bing. But you know your business much better than we do. Be sure to go through your description and trip packages and let us know if there’s anything you want us to update for you.
5. Make It Easier to Book with You
Younger and more tech-savvy anglers expect flexibility and ease of booking. Setting up features like Instant Book and cashless payments will attract these types of customers and make you stand out from the rest of the competition.
On average, listings with Instant Book get up to three times more bookings compared to those without it. In fact, almost 70% of our bookings worldwide come through the Instant Book option.
Cashless payments are another upward trend and are becoming increasingly important for the charter fishing industry.
- If you don’t yet accept credit cards, consider changing that for the upcoming season.
- If you’re in the US, you can set up FishingBooker’s Online Payments and we’ll process the full trip payment on your behalf, so you get reimbursed for your trips automatically.
Online Payments aren’t just a customer magnet, mind you. Research has shown that captains using Online Payments reported a 63% drop in cancellations, while increasing bookings by 10–15%.
New Clientele, New You?
With so many new customers getting into fishing, there’s a lot to hope for in 2021. But will it be more challenging to run trips for this new clientele? We’re willing to say that it won’t be! With the tips we showed you today, you’ll already have a head start. More importantly, the core of your business will always be what you do best – and that’s providing a great customer experience.
So remember to update your listing, keep your calendar up to date, and freshen up your photos and videos. Enable Instant Book if you haven’t already, and consider upgrading to cashless and Online Payments. From our side, we’ll do our best to make running an online business easy and seamless!
So there you have it. These were our tips for attracting and keeping younger customers. Do you have any tips to share? What are you most excited about for the upcoming season? Drop us a comment below!