Marketing your campground is a tough task. Not only do you have to make yourself known to campers and RVers near and far, you also have to distinguish what makes you a must-visit spot.
To develop the most effective marketing campaign to set your campground apart, here are 9 tips to consider.
1. Partner With RV Dealerships And Other Businesses In The Area
Co-marketing your campground may be one of the most effective ways to gain more exposure in the local area and reach your target market. Think about it: If someone’s shopping for an RV, they’ll also be needing destinations to explore! Contact RV dealerships (both local and outside your city) to see if…
- You can take some brochures there yourself, or mail them there, to be placed in the lobby
- Your information can be included on the RV dealership’s website
- Your information can be featured in any email newsletters, or direct mail pieces the RV business mails to their customer base
When marketing your business locally, share the spotlight by talking about other businesses that your target market may be interested in patronizing at some point during their stay. For example: You could promote complementary businesses, such as area grocery stores, grocery delivery companies, recreational supplies stores, and locally-owned gas stations.
It’s also effective to print out a pamphlet of “Things To Do” in the area to distribute to your guests. Local business owners may reciprocate by posting flyers of your campsite around their business, recommending you to patrons, or simply including you in some of their marketing materials.
2. Participate In Local Events
Increase your visibility by demonstrating your dedication to the local community. Sponsor charity events in your town, set up a booth at area festivals, and contact local media to get your business known. This can be an effective way to expand your local presence and stay “top of mind” for locals and residents that may be planning a staycation or looking for area campgrounds for a short weekend retreat.
Increase your visibility by demonstrating your dedication to the local community.
3. Promote Incentives on Facebook
“Think of ways to cater to your guests’ core needs during a camping trip, and make sure to promote these extra services and incentives in all your marketing materials.”
Campers who are comparing offerings from different campsites in the area may be more likely to pick yours when there is an added incentive, such as a discount for extended stays, a free breakfast at an area diner or restaurant, or complimentary services such as laundry service or grocery delivery. Think of ways to cater to your guests’ core needs during a camping trip, and make sure to promote these extra services and incentives in all your marketing materials. Use Facebook to promote these special offers and encourage fans to share these posts with friends to broadcast the news to a wider network.
4. Don’t Forget These Tried-and-True Marketing Tactics
Traditional marketing tactics can also generate some extra business. Try these out:
- Distribute colorful brochures, flyers and pamphlets about your campsite: It worked for the lemonade stand when you were 7, and it’s still an effective way to generate business today.
- Build your customer email/mailing list: Collect names and addresses of prospective customers at every opportunity. Whether the customer calls the campground with questions or requests information online, make sure a staff member notes their name and address to enter it into a database. Building your email database lets you send targeted emails about upcoming specials, your campground, and other news, which can generate more business and help you stay in touch with your customers. For more best practices on growing and managing your email list, read on here.
- Buy a targeted mailing list: You can also purchase targeted mailing lists from marketing companies that have collected names and addresses from customers who opted to receive information.
5. Tap Into Local and Online Media
Consider writing a series of articles about things to do in the area, the benefits of camping, and other lifestyle topics for local magazines and newspapers that will allow you to include your contact information within the article. Alternatively, reach out to local bloggers or online publications to do a writeup about your campground. This can help you gain some local exposure and encourage readers to contact you for more information.
6. Attend Trade Shows And Travel Events
Set up a booth at RV trade shows, travel shows, and lifestyle events in bigger cities near your campsite. You can collect contact information of booth visitors to build your mailing database at these events; meet RV dealership owners and other industry professionals; and also promote your campground with brochures and flyers. If you use a camping reservation software, you can even promote your online booking abilities and encourage mobile bookings onsite.
7. Get Listed In Local Online Directories
“Make it easy for people looking for a campsite in your area to find you via online search.”
Make it easy for people looking for a campsite in your area to find you via online search: Get listed in online directories like Google, Bing, and Abaco (formerly Yahoo! Small Business). With Google, your business name will show up on the first page or first few pages of Google Search results and on Google Maps free of charge. Some of the most widely-used and visible directories to get listed on include: Google Places, Bing, Abaco Small Business, and Superpages. You can submit your listings for free, and will show up in the directory within a few hours of submission.
Another online tool to help attract more customers: get listed on campground and RV review sites, such as RVParkReviews.com.
8. Reach Out To The State’s Visitor’s Bureau
Consider how many travelers will be searching for campgrounds in your area by using the state’s visitor bureau website. Get listed on the main website and inquire about any marketing opportunities available in newsletters, brochures, and direct mail pieces the visitor bureau sends out regularly.
9. Run Online Ads
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC ads) are another option for securing a high placement on search engine results pages. Your ads will appear in the “sponsored” section of the first page of Google or Bing search engine page results. Simply select keywords that your target market may be using to find you, such as “campgrounds in [your city]” or “camping in [your city],” or perhaps “RV parks in [your city].” You only pay for the ads that get clicks—hence, pay-per-click advertising—so you can control your daily spending and tweak your ads as you go for maximum impact.
From increasing local presence to generating interest on Facebook, there are several ways campground and RV park owners can target customers. Use these tips and strategies to promote your business through multiple channels and confirm more reservations season after season.