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The chaos that came with the coronavirus pandemic has proven to be a real test for civilization as a whole and America in particular. Many individuals and communities have risen to the challenge and served as testaments to humanity’s resilience, adaptability, and ability to flourish during the worst of times. Moving Traffic Media will be taking a look at the changes the coronavirus has inspired and necessitated. This will be an ongoing project given that the dust of the coronavirus pandemic can’t settle until after it’s stopped wreaking havoc on the United States.

The first place we’ll be looking is the impact of coronavirus on kayaks.

Trends

Source: Neil Patel

At first, boating, like most industries, appeared to be devastated by the pandemic. But a look at trends on Google and Pinterest reveals that, quite quickly, people developed an interest in boating, particularly in kayaks.

Source

Explanation

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, the cancelation of Canoecopia, which was scheduled to start on Friday, March 13th 2020, rattled manufacturers and sellers alike. Soon enough, however, retailers and manufacturers couldn’t move their products fast enough! Demand was simply outpacing inventory, and not solely because of supply-chain interruptions. People just really wanted kayaks!

Boating in its many forms is an outdoor activity that lends itself to social distancing. For people who like working but couldn’t go to the gym, boating became more appealing. At first, it wasn’t possible to go out on the water everywhere and people were generally discouraged from venturing outside. This created a hunger for outdoor activities. Once shelter-in-place restrictions started being relaxed, people really took to the waters. Now it’s much easier to find where to boat, and even where you can launch a canoe or kayak. And while getting kayaks and other types of boats may still be a challenge, supply has begun to increase.

Opportunities

Kayaks and other boats are sold by many big name retailers, but there are three marketplaces in particular, which are all owned by Boats Group, that have a large share of the online boating market:

While all three sites saw an increase in traffic, Boat Trader, a marketplace for boat dealers and private sellers, saw the biggest gains. But that doesn’t mean that there’s not room for competition! This is what we found when taking a closer look with SEMrush

Keywords

The keywords that bring the most traffic to Boattrader are the phrases “boat trader” and “boats for sale”. 

Meanwhile, the keywords related to boating are frequent search terms, particularly “kayak”, which also happens to have the lowest CPC!

With demand so high for boats that many retailers have backlogs, smaller businesses can capitalize on the glut of demand with a kayak oriented PPC campaign and a content strategy that prioritizes kayaks. And there’s a lot to write about!

Content

Excluding domains belonging to the popular travel company Kayak, Ubbersuggest reveals that many of the articles that rank highest for kayaks aren’t really about kayaks or buying kayaks.

Ubbersuggest also offers some ideas for content that’s more relevant. 

By answering the questions people are asking about kayaks, you could be moving traffic in the direction of your website. If your content is about what potential customers or people interested in kayaks want to read, then they’re more likely to spend more time on your website and explore it further, both of which will improve your placement on search engine result pages (SERPs).

If, on the other hand, your content isn’t something that people want to read, they’re more likely to quickly leave your website, which will hurt your ranking on SERPs. Additionally, if you’re getting links to your business from websites that have nothing to do with kayaks, that will actually count as a strike against you. That’s why it’s better to get links from pages that are authorities on kayaking but may get less visitors than a link from a popular website about dogs that gets a lot of visitors but has nothing to do with kayaking, and is only linking to your page because you have pictures of dogs in kayaks. 

Community

Since boating in all its forms connects people, it can also be useful to set up a Slack so that customers become a community. A group chat application like Slack creates the opportunity to exchange ideas, resources, have fun, and to keep people talking about your brand. You can also encourage people to share video and pictures with one another, which creates highly sharable content for social media. Just make sure to ask for permission and to give credit where credit is due!

Doing good is a great opportunity to raise a company’s profile, and something like kayaking creates the perfect opportunity for charitable giving. A company could sponsor an event where people pledge a certain amount of money for every mile kayaked. Or, people could kayak 2.23 miles in honor of Ahmaud Arbery, who was lynched while running that distance. The money raised would then be donated to a foundation that empowers Black people. 

Bottom Line

The interest in kayaks caught many people off guard, particularly retailers and manufacturers who feared coronavirus would be disastrous for the industry. Now there are people who ordered kayaks in June who may not get them until August! If it’s coronavirus that sets the stage for the explosion in demand, then that demand will be sticking around for a while because coronavirus isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. That makes now the perfect time to for businesses who haven’t reached out to digital marketers to do so because there’s still a significant share of the market to tap into!

 

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