Targeted Marketing for Coastal Businesses
Boaters and other coastal travelers are searching for pinpoint weather and tidal data along with harbor information during their coastal travels, and US Harbors puts your business in front of them whether they’re on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. US Harbors gives you access to one of the largest audiences on the coast.
Every year over 4 million boaters visit the pages of USHarbors.com to check our tide charts, review our onshore and marine weather forecasts, check nearby buoy data, browse stories and photos, and search for coastal businesses — many of them on a mobile device. Our website, and our customers, look great on every screen, from our users’ desktop computers at work to their smartphones on the go. Put your business on mobile in front of our highly targeted audience of boaters.
Do you want your brand to be seen and remembered by people who love the coast? Our range of Banner Ads (Medium Rectangle, Desktop Leaderboard and Mobile Leaderboard) are flexible packages that can be tailored to find the audience you want. Contact our Sales Team today. See our Digital Advertising FAQ section for more info.
Do you want your business to be seen by visitors to your Harbor? Join our coastal network of over 4,000 businesses, and included in our Business Directory, on our Maps and listed in the Harbor Guide for your Harbor. You will also receive news and offers to help your business get seen by an active coastal audience. All basic listings are FREE – sign up today!
From only $19.95/month you can get an extended business listing, with photos, logos and a longer description and be featured on all your harbor page. From only $29.95/month you get all that and 5,000 monthly impressions in your state. You can also share your stories and news so you can tell the world what you do best.
Click here for the latest Media Kit: Media Kit Fall 2019.
Contact our Sales Team today 1 (207) 593-0011 to design the best marketing plan for your company.
Q: Which package is best for my business?
A: One way to determine which type of advertising is to ask yourself the following questions:
- Where is my audience?
Our packages range from hyperlocal (your ten nearest harbors), state-by-state targeting up to national (all 23 coastal states). If you are looking to get more foot traffic in your business, you may want to look at the more localized of our offerings. If you can ship products anywhere in the country then targeting larger regions may be better for you. Example: An engine repair shop would require the hyperlocal Business Membership product.
- What do you want your audience to do?
You may be looking for someone to purchase a product through your site, or to contact you about services you provide, or for your brand to stick in their mind. Example: A manufacturer of fishing equipment who wants their name to be known by potential customers would be best suited to a Banner Ad Campaign.
- When are you busiest?
Are you working year-round, during the summer, or for a specific annual event? Example: Events like boat shows do best with the short-term, high impact Billboard ads, linking directly to the ticket purchase page.
With these answers, you can determine which ad package is good for you. And of course you can always contact us and we will be happy to help!
Q: What are ‘impressions’?
A: Our Banner ad packages, and the ‘Commander’ level of Business Membership, are based on impressions. Anytime an ad loads on one of our pages, the ad server counts it as an ‘impression’. The majority of pages on our site have three ad units; so any given page can have three ad impressions.
Q: What does ‘CPM’ mean?
A: CPM stands for Cost Per Mille, where Mille is 1 thousand impressions. Our base rate is $6 CPM for annual packages, starting at 25,000 impressions for $150 per month. Our ad server will display your ads evenly throughout your campaign up to the impressions ‘cap’.
Q: Why can’t I see my ads?
A: If you are advertising on our site with an impressions-based package, you may find you visit the site and you do not see your ad. The reason for this is due to the sheer number of visitors to our site. As mentioned above, there are 3 possible impressions every page load, and we have ~17 million page loads a year. This gives an average of 4.25 million impressions every month across the site. An ad program set to deliver 25,000 impressions a month nationally* would therefore have a 1 in 170 chance of appearing on a page you open. This doesn’t mean that potential customers are not seeing your ad!
*This is an extreme example, we would recommend ad packages at 25,000 impressions/month be targeted state-by-state to avoid excessive ‘dilution’.
Q: What makes a successful ad campaign?
A: The metric by which ad success can be measured is the Click Through Rate (CTR), what we call the Engagement Rate. We get this number by dividing the number of clicks an ad receives by the number of impressions delivered. Our benchmark for a successful ad campaign is .1%, or 1 click for every 1,000 impressions. Our banner ads can get as high as .73% and our Billboard advertisers can see up to 5.5%.
Q: How can I make the most of my ad campaign?
A: If your Engagement Rate is lower than you would like there are some steps you can take to get your ads performing better:
- Update your ads – we do see that over time CTR will go down due to ‘ad fatigue’. Keep your ads fresh. We can upload new ads into you ad buy at any time during your campaign.
- Refine your targeting – check that the states/regions you have selected are right for your product/services. We can add or remove states from your targeting at any time.
- Ensure your ads have a clear Call To Action (CTA) – an ad with a button or a link with ‘Learn More’ or ‘Sign up today’ will perform better than ads that are just an image and/or logo.
- Consider where your ads go to – what page on your site do you want users to go to? The shortest distance between the ad and the desired action will see greater success.
Q: Why should I advertise directly on US Harbors?
A: There are many ways to advertise online, and the option to use programmatic networks to target potential users anywhere on the web can be appealing for many. However, there a many reasons why the direct option, especially on US Harbors, is the better choice:
- It’s about Context – US Harbors is wall-to-wall coastal information; tides, weather, navigation, boating stories, fishing reports and so on. If your business is based on the coast and/or serves the needs of active coast visitors then your ads make sense on our site. They are as much a part of the content as our articles.
- It’s about Content – Due to the location- and activity-specific nature of our site content, we don’t need to track our users browsing history or physical locations to infer anything about them. For example, instead of targeting ads based on where the users are, we target the places they plan to visit. Our users have genuine intent to be active on the coast; a web user’s browsing cookies only indicate a passive interest.
- It’s about (avoiding) Algorithms – Have you ever seen a programmatic ad that made no sense for you? Ever searched for something, changed your mind, and then all the ads you see for months are for that thing? The algorithms might think they know you, but they can be way off.
- It’s about People – You can pick up the phone and call us. We will work directly with you to make the most of your ad campaign, and we will give you the time of day no matter how big or small your budget – it’s who we are.
We do display the programmatic ad networks on our site, however the ads of our direct advertisers are always given higher priority.
Q: How will I know my campaign is working?
A: We will provide regular updates on the progress of your ads, and an in-depth report at the end of the year. We can also provide a snapshot of your campaign any time you request, and can provide reports that break down the campaign by ad materials, targeted state, mobile vs. desktop, day of the week, and more! On top of that we add a tracking link to your ad so you can see the results yourself. If you use Google Analytics, you can see users arriving from US Harbors in Acquisitions>Campaigns>Overview.
Q: How do I cancel my ads?
A: In the first year of your ad campaign ads require either 1-month notice, or a cancellation fee equivalent to 1 month of advertising, in order to be cancelled. After the 1st year of your ad campaign, ads require 5 days notice prior to the monthly billing date of the 16th. A notice of renewal is issued 10-14 days before the annual renewal date. See Terms and Conditions for more detail.