One of the many responsibilities camping, touring, holiday and glamping site owners have is to promote their parks to potential visitors near and far. It’s important to highlight all the aspects about your campsite that makes it a must-visit park. Campsites are located in some of the most beautiful natural places in the world and offer people a chance to really unplug and get away from it all.
Our mission is to make it as easy as possible for people to find and book campsites, and, in this post, we’ll be sharing a number of top campground marketing ideas.
This article covers the following:
- Online marketing - ways to market your campsite online
- Traditional marketing - retro marketing ideas still pack a bang for their buck and we’ll provide some brilliant tips using traditional marketing methods
The 15 tips below will make it easier for you to put together a marketing plan to highlight your camping park to potential guests who want to kick back and explore! And that means more bookings for you!
Online marketing tipsBy 2020 it’s estimated that 50% of all travel will be booked online and through mobile devices. Beyond 2020 this figure will continue to rise. Having a strong online and mobile presence is no longer really a choice. It’s an imperative for long term survival. These people looking for campsites online are tech savvy. They know how to search for information digitally and expect to be able to book online. Making sure they can find you easily online is a smart move to market your campsite.
Photos, photos and more great photos
We cannot stress how important they are. Especially when it comes to camping. They help potential visitors decide whether they will book a stay at your campsite or not. And if your photos are great, you’ll elevate yourself above your competitors. Invest in a good photographer for a morning and let them take some brilliant pics of your wonderful park. It’s an investment that will pay dividends for a long time, as you’ll be able to use these photos many times across all your marketing activities. Top tip: Share your photos across the main social media platforms - Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Google+.
List yourself on online directories
There is no doubt about the fact that people go online to research and buy products and services. Travel as a whole was one of the first categories to see the benefits of being visible on websites. Search online for local directories and list your campsite business on them. Yelp is a big one, so is Google Places, Free Index and Scoot are also directories, but there are many, some of which are local directories. Seek them out and put up the best profile possible for your park. Top tip: Don’t forget Campsited. It’s also free to list with us, without bookings, and we’ll market your park both domestically and internationally.
Send newsletters to past guests
Firstly make sure to get your guests email address, and their consent to keep them updated with news relating to your campsite. You don’t have to communicate constantly with them, once a month or even once a quarter is fine. Whatever the frequency however, make sure to have real news to share about topics your guests are interested in, such as hikes in the area, or great things to do locally if traveling with kids. Be sure to also include great photos, to show your park in its very best light. The key elements of a good email newsletter include an engaging subject line, to encourage people to open your mail, and an easy to read format. Mailchimp has many free templates to use. Top tip: Privacy laws insist that you have people’s permission to email them so read up about the privacy laws that you need to follow to ensure you can send email newsletters.
Set up a page for your park on Facebook
A Facebook business page is free to set up and market from. Many people rely on recommendations from their friends and family when they are booking trips, and will certainly check out your social media presence since most of us are on Facebook a lot of the time. The beauty of a Facebook page is that you can upload photos and videos of your campsite and your followers can comment on them. Visitors to your Facebook page can also star rate your park, so be sure to ask guest to do this as they are checking out. Top tip: Give each guest checking out a business card with details on how to add a star rating on your Facebook page.
Use nice videos of your park or surrounding area Think about how videos could show off your park to potential holidaymakers. Most smart phones can record good quality, and potential guests to your campsite will appreciate the opportunity to see videos of your park’s facilities, the location where your park is and the beauty of it’s surroundings. Videos do not need to be long. Most people are pressed for time so keep them short. Top tip: If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, drone footage really captures the imagination, and is well worth the investment.
Get reviews and testimonials - so your customers market your park for you Email every customer after they leave and ask them for a review. This activity also helps you identify issues that need to be addressed to keep your customers happy. Top tip: Be sure to let customers know that you post reviews on your website, and make sure they are happy for you to do so.
Make sure your website is mobile enabled - more than 25% of people book travel through their mobiles
Top tip and shameless plug: Your listing on campsited.com will be mobile optimised for any smartphone or tablet device. If you haven’t already done so, set one up today :)
Start a blog - and create blog posts regularly Choose a schedule that suits you. If you don’t have the time to write a blog post weekly, but can do it monthly or every six weeks, that’s fine, just make sure that you keep to the schedule that you put in place. Blog posts give you an opportunity to go into more detail about your park and potential visitors will often look for more information on a park that they’re interested in going to - and a blog provides them with just that.
Amplify your content
This one sounds a little too like a marketing textbook, but what it means is to get the content you create out there and in front of as many people as possible. If you have written a blog post, for example, you could share the link to the post on a hiking group’s page on Facebook. There may be a tourism body in your town that would appreciate you sharing one of your videos with them. Opportunities to share your content may not be immediately evident, but they do exist and as you build an online presence you’ll find them.
Make sure your website is optimised for Google
This is the most technical recommendation of all our tips, and if not addressed can have serious implications on your business. Top tip: If you want to find someone to help you with this, drop us a line. We'd be delighted to help you find someone locally to help you.
Traditional marketing tips
Be present and visible at local events You can’t beat talking to people in person. Doing so helps ensure that people visiting the area know about your park, come and stay, and do a lot of word-of-mouth marketing for you by recommending your campsite to people back home (and they will!).
Create brochures and pamphlets
These traditional marketing methods still work like gangbusters for campsites since you can ask local stores to display them for you and potential visitors can pick them up and keep them for when they are booking their next trip. It’s always a good idea to be mindful of the environment and use recycled paper if possible. Top tip: Bus and railway stations are great for letting lots of potential guests know about your park.
Keep abreast of local media - do this for both print, radio and online media
Local journalists across all three mediums are always interested in unique angles on things happening in the area in which their readers are based. You may be able to pick up coverage this way or by offering to sponsor a competition with free accommodation in your park as a prize to get coverage. Top tip: If you want to go the competition route, consider joining forces with other companies in your area to enhance the prize.
Attend travel shows and events
These can be expensive but it is worthwhile to test what your attendance at these events can do for your business. Apart from getting in front of people who are actively looking for information on travel topics, you will also be able to keep up-to-date with the latest travel trends that may have an impact on your campsite.
Nurture a relationship with your tourist authority
Local tourist authorities are aligned with national tourist bodies and their job is to make sure tourist revenue gets through to every part of the country. Find out who represents the tourist authority near you and get to know them and find out about opportunities to market your campsite using their resources and knowledge.
People are actively looking for a chance to unplug and get into nature and camping provides this opportunity in spades! Actively promoting your campsite both online and offline means that you’ll be in front of the very people who’d love to spend time at your park.
If you’d like to know more about any of these topics, be sure to get in touch. We’d talk about it until the cows come home! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like some help. We’d be delighted to hear from you.
Note: The image at the top of this post is Stanley Villa Farm Camping