No matter how beautiful your site, it still cannot speak for itself. Your campground needs you to advertise on its behalf. But there’s good news: searching for great campground marketing ideas just got a whole lot easier.
In this article, we’ve pulled together 12 campground marketing ideas to help you find campers and help campers find you.
- 1. Update your website
- 2. Build your email lists
- 3. Engage in influencer marketing
- 4. Add a blog to your site
- 5. Tell your story
- 6. Partner with RV dealerships and camping outfitters
- 7. Think local
- 8. Host various events for diverse groups
- 9. Provide incentives and discounts
- 10. Stay active on review sites and local listings
- 11. Create clear objectives for social media campaigns
- 12. Get on government websites and registers
- Listen to the experts
Get the expert marketing advice and tools you need to increase visits and word of mouth.
1. Update your website
Perhaps the most crucial campground marketing idea is the most obvious: optimize your website. Include all of the latest information and a layout that is appealing and easy to navigate. Make it search-engine friendly with a clean interface, tight security, and keyword-rich pages. At the bare minimum, you should include:
- A Homepage
- An Events page
- An About page
- A Contact page
You can use a tool such as Constant Contact’s website builder to help you structure your website. Choose one with industry-specific templates that can help you display all that your campground has to offer.
2. Build your email lists
Continually build these lists, gathering the information of interested individuals whenever possible. Use collection tools on your website, offering potential clients something for their email address, such as a list of the top ten tents or an exclusive discount on camping supplies like firewood.
Stay connected with regular updates. Whenever possible, segment your lists according to interest or demographic to ensure that people receive relevant information.
3. Engage in influencer marketing
Solicit product placement and endorsements from social media influencers. Contact individuals with large followings that look to them as experts on outdoor recreation, camping, RV life, or the local scene.
Offer them discounts — or even free stays — if they post about their experience at your campground. You can also use these offers to reward social media activity and encourage more online engagement.
Identify your target market, and then make sure to find a good fit for your site and brand. If you deliver a more minimal, rustic experience, you probably don’t want to contact an influencer who posts about the glamping lifestyle and the latest outdoor gadgets. Look for someone prepared to be enchanted by the rugged beauty of nature and your unwillingness to interfere with it.
Don’t forget to repost material as it pops up on your feed! It’s a fabulous opportunity to develop your online network and to build a compelling library of posts and pictures.
4. Add a blog to your site
Start a blog sooner than later. You can use valuable content to improve your performance in Google searches and to personalize your brand. Moreover, customers appreciate expert advice — as the individuals behind the REI camping guide understood. Their camping guide is an excellent example of the type of useful and engaging content you can include on your blog.
5. Tell your story
With the competition saturating the internet, there’s more need than ever to connect with your customer base on a personal level. Use your website and blog to add content that humanizes you.
- Why did you start or take over the campground?
- What’s the history of the place?
- Who’s involved in the campground operation?
Tell your story in a memorable way that will get potential customers excited about booking their next camping adventure with you.
6. Partner with RV dealerships and camping outfitters
Remember that you have natural partners in the tourism community. Ask them to place brochures in lobbies or at counters, and offer to do the same at your campground.
The same principle applies when it comes to digital campground marketing ideas. Ask about the possibility of being featured in a relevant email or even being featured on their website.
You should also visit trade shows and other events aimed at the travel industry. Develop connections with people in adjacent businesses.
7. Think local
Even more than the tourism industry, local businesses are your natural allies. You can send business to nearby grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and activity outfitters.
At the same time, locals are a key demographic for you. They’re the most likely to take short weekend trips or camping overnights with their family. Stay on their radar and earn their loyalty.
Get involved with local events as well. You can give away camping packages for a raffle, sponsor a game, or man a booth at an information fair.
8. Host various events for diverse groups
One thing that campers research before choosing their destination is the activities they can expect onsite.
Create different experiences that cater to different ages and interests. You might set up an arts-and-crafts night for families with young children, host a hiking meetup for singles, or create a night for bingo in the woods.
9. Provide incentives and discounts
You want to encourage both loyalty and new customers with your offers. You can offer discounts in return for customer referrals, customers inviting friends to events, deals on a future stay, or a seventh night free.
10. Stay active on review sites and local listings
Whether or not you respond to your reviews, you have a presence on review sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google. Engage with both happy and unhappy customers, keeping a positive tone no matter what they say.
In addition to talking to your clientele, you should be sure all information on these sites is up to date and accurate. The majority of people use Google to search for a business like yours. Inaccurate information robs potential campers of the chance to visit your beautiful campground.
11. Create clear objectives for social media campaigns
The subject of social media marketing can be overwhelming for small business owners. There are so many different channels and different ways of using them. Fortunately, there are tools to help you create and manage your social media posts from one platform.
It’s not always enough to assert yourself on social media. You also need to pick the right platform and target the right people with the right content.
Ask yourself what the objective is with any marketing initiative. Whom do you hope to engage? What social platforms are they using? What action do you want them to take upon seeing your post or advertisement?
Paid social media advertising can be a very efficient way to use limited resources. Each ad should end with a clear call to action. You might have them:
- Sign up to be notified of events
- Follow your account
- Visit your website
- Take advantage of limited-time deals
- Reserve a campsite
When possible, incorporate a sense of urgency into your message. Instill the idea that they need to act quickly or risk missing out.
12. Get on government websites and registers
Your state has a State Visitor’s Bureau or tourism website geared towards celebrating local attractions. You can list your campground on these sites for people searching for a campsite in your area, especially people looking from outside the state.
Listen to the experts
These 12 campground marketing ideas are a great place to start! For additional ideas, check out the Constant Contact blog, which offers regular posts on digital marketing for many industries, including recreation businesses.
If you want a more thorough overview, try The Download, a comprehensive guide to digital marketing put together for professionals like you.