The Avalon Dive Center wanted to share their passion of scuba diving with the community of Blacksburg, Virginia and surrounding New River Valley, located in the depths of the Appalachian mountains. However, it seems, that's where you find the craziest, most passionate people in scuba. They'll go anywhere and do anything just to log some bottom time. We wanted to take that passion and help the Avalon Dive Center share what they had to offer.
In the mountains, away from any coast or major body of water, no one thinks about scuba diving which is associated with warm, tropical climates. No one thinks about getting scuba certified in January while there's two feet of snow on the ground. How do you draw people into a sport when it's probably the farthest thing on their mind at that moment?
Everyone wants a Spring Break to remember. Working with us, the Avalon Dive Center (ADC) was able to ward off any thoughts of cold and snow and get a dozen divers per class, certified in the dead of winter and provide the means to travel to the Florida Keys for a Spring Break trip those students will never forget. While their friends were swimming in the ocean and laying on the beach, these students were doing that after a morning of diving on a sunken World War 2 vessels, drifting above gorgeous tropical reefs and seeing animals they've only been able to see on TV.
Marketing was key in this project and we spent a lot of time on branding and ways to get ADC's message out. The foundation started with a beautifully designed website with the key messages ADC wanted to get out: Dive Training, Gear Sales, Travel and Expertise in the field of Scuba. We also provided the capabilities for ADC crew members to update the site themselves, manage classes and everything else they needed to run their business's web presense without needing to come back to us for content maintenance.
We then utilized Facebook to build a community of those who were enthusiastic about the sport, which turned into those people advertising ADC's services to their friends. Once someone took a class or went on a trip with ADC, they would mention it in their Facebook profiles, or share a link with their friends from ADC's Facebook page. The result was a fast moving, highly energetic response to ADC's key messages and the community quickly grew into a powerful force from which to draw from.
Maketing materials included flyers, business cards and other traditional print material to hand out, post around town and on campus, and otherwise inform the community about ADC's efforts. This allowed ADC to reach out to the community in a more personal and face-to-face manner rather than relying on purely digital means.
It seems everyone does SEO, but few do it right. We hit the search engines hard to get ADC the highest in the rankings for their target audience. The proof is in the results.
A heavy marketing push, a strong online presense was the first glimpse people got to see of ADC and it drew them into the shop to sign up for classes and purchase gear from ADC's retail selection. But that's just the beginning and we're working closely with ADC to bring them the latest and greatest in marketing, brand management and technology so they can concentrate on running a scuba business, not an IT firm.