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5 Tips on How to Promote Your Water Sport Rental Business Activities to Senior Citizens

03/10/2021

While the information on the most populous states inhabited by senior citizens in 2020 is still unconfirmed, Statista claims that California, Florida, and Texas were the most populated states by them in 2019. If you live in one of those states and are looking into improving your watersport rental business model in adapting your operations better for senior citizens, you have stopped at the right spot. Read these guidelines to find out how to better attract retired community members to your rentals or boat tour experience.

Table of Contents

 


Tip #1: Offer Activities that Provide not only Fun but also Benefits to Their Health

Many sources on the internet and other mediums will point out how it is important for senior citizens to be engaged in physical activities. Some will even encourage water activities specifically for them. This research suggests that there is a tendency for organizations to promote an active lifestyle to older generations. Statistics indicate that at least a third of older Americans follow such recommendations. This means that there is a significant opportunity for watersport tour operators to promote their activities to this age group. Focus on healthy aspects as it comes to this to do the trick, speaking of which…

Tip #2: Focus on Promoting Leisure Activities as Opposed to Risk-Taking or Thrill-Seeking Watersports

There is a subtle difference between extreme sport and recreation. While the former is for those looking for an adrenaline dose, the latter is not much. However, it could still satisfy the adventure purposes. Instead of looking to sell the breathtaking unusual water-based activities like cage diving that can harm their heart rates, think about family-friendly watersports like stand-up paddleboarding or dolphin tours

Semrish (2017) suggests following these steps for adapting your website to the senior community:

  1. Use Relatable Language. Avoid asking DM you on social media for inquiries, and that you provide extra lit services at your rentals if you want to be understood.
  2. Don’t Assume Other People Make Their Buying Decisions. Speak directly to them and consider providing a permanent discount to those who are 65+ years old.
  3. Make Things Easy for Them. Do not make your website too complicated for them to navigate through. They may not know what a hamburger menu is or even something to click on. Just state your call to action clearly wherever possible on the website, preferably on each page. Examples of call to action can be “click to book” or “call to book”.
  4. Market to them how they are used to. What channels do you usually use to announce your seasonal discounts? If you say website and social media, then you probably are missing out on this point. Baby Boomers are used to tangible things like mail through which they would be finding out what is happening. Consider investing your marketing dollar in local magazines like Ourseniors.net that provide the resources to search for senior living services of all types!
  5. Understand Their Criteria is Different Than Younger Generations. When you are selling service to potential customers, it’s basic marketing knowledge that you are not selling them “the service”, but what comes as a result of it. We have already talked about the concept of building on the experiential turn in our separate blog; you should check this out. When it comes to seniors, they don’t necessarily want the same things as other want. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t want the same service. The theme here is that it is likely for seniors to look for health benefits they are involved in lately, such as physical activity, which can be easily achieved by kayaking in the summer and winter seasons.

In that case, you will likely favor the SEO algorithms for your website to show up in top search results for this demographic and, thus, capture these leads since traditionally, seniors are more loyal & less likely to explore.

Tip #3: Make Your Rental Facility Accessible for Them

Senior generations saw a lot in their lives and most likely even more than our blog’s average reader. To that end, they may not necessarily be in their best shape at their age. For that reason, it is very crucial that your rental facility is able to accommodate them. Start with the basic things like your dock maintenance by ensuring that it simply does not have any nails to trip over. Just remember that CDC reported in 2016 that falls were a leading cause of injury and death in older Americans. Additionally, if you are thinking of only starting a jet ski rental business specifically, you may find these guidelines helpful.

Tip #4: Develop Social Media Presence & Do the Blog or Podcast Series Discussing the Benefits of Watersports for the Older Generations

If you listened to our podcast episode where we talked about why it is important to study your market and what different strategies you can use for promoting your watersport business, you would have learned by now that tv and traditional advertising are a way to go for chasing the senior community but is it always the case though? 

Studies confirm that senior people are not as old school as everyone considered them. For example, did you know that at least 70% of senior people on Facebook login to it daily? Now you know that, so go ahead explore the resources it offers to promote your business! Additionally, do not take such development for sales purposes only, but consider using such a platform for creating brand awareness (learn more here).

The Senior Caregiver Podcast was named to be of the greatest podcast shows for senior people, which talks about cast experts in various fields, from memory care to nutrition and much more. This podcast also offers a welcoming space for discussing issues that you and those you care most deeply about often encounter while also providing valuable daily wellness tips. This proves an idea of how senior people care about their wellness, so why not develop your own podcast series that will discuss it from a watersports angle, just like we do our podcast series for watersport business owners?

Additionally, blogging was proved to be the most effective way to increase the traffic to your website. They can also read your tips and suggestions on how to improve their senior life since they are active on the internet and can come across your business that way. Another idea to consider is becoming a guest writer for one of the most popular blog series for senior people, as this article suggests. 

Tip #5: Partner up with Local Non-Profit Organizations or Care Centers

Finally, give some time to think about establishing partnerships with local organizations where senior people are likely to be. Suppose you consider the leading states in the number of senior people inhabited (CA, FL, and TX). In that case, you will see many companies next to potential watersport locations (e.g., peninsula, lake, and such areas). 

Let’s take Plano, TX as an example, which was considered the leading city in the U.S. in percent of seniors in the workforce in 2019. You will see many caregiving and nursing homes in there, like Comfort Keepers or Amada Senior Care, standing next to Lewisville Lake, where a bunch of watersport entrepreneurs runs their rental businesses. The beauty is that the are many examples like this one out there you could refer to.

Collaborations with local senior-oriented organizations (e.g., non-profits) are a win-win situation for both parties because they will mutually benefit your sales, marketing, and implementation (Doyle, 2020), to name a few; here is why:

Sales

An increase in sales, an improvement in return customers, is what you can achieve with nonprofit partners. Studies confirm that consumers are looking for companies to support causes (e.g., social, environmental, etc.); some are willing to pay even more for services. This can help you develop new products, get more elusive customers, and be more competitive in changing markets. A win for non-profit here is having a partner that can appeal to the organization’s social and fiscal sides.

Marketing

Overall visibility and brand recognition are what you can both enjoy at no extra cost through such a partnership! Since consumers want to see companies supporting causes, it is possible to attract media attention, online engagement, and enhanced reputation through word of mouth. Nonprofit enjoys the increased engagement and level of donations, while watersport business attracts new customers. Ultimately, this a great motivation for both parties to focus on the potential byproduct.

Implementation

Small nonprofits, specifically, offer a “foot in the door” that larger organizations tend not to. To get in touch with a larger nonprofit (e.g., Red Cross), there are many things to get through. One of those can be donating a lot of money. When considering initiating a partnership, plan to start small. For example, kickstart the partnership with more ease and less hustle via small nonprofit to immediately make the difference.

The examples of basis for collaborations can include the following: 

  1. Your website promotes the health benefits for seniors to get by doing watersports, while senior-oriented organizations promote your services to their consumers through their channels.
  2. Organize a mutual charity event; both of you can co-host that. For example, organize a kayak racing event where the winner gets a discounted membership for using both of the services.
  3. Create cross-merchandising that would be associated with both partners.

By the way, take a look at one of the other examples for organizing cooperation with local businesses we discuss here.

Conclusion

To wind up, U.S. senior population is steadily growing, which means it is a huge market for the years to come. What is more important is it is an untapped opportunity by watersport tour operators. Research for this blog indicates that there is no watersport rental that would follow any of these suggestions. 2021 represents a year for unfolding opportunities, and the seniors are waiting for you to sell their services; they just do not know it yet.

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