Utilizing Digital Tools to Better Market to Your CampersJun 23, 2021
Most in the outdoor hospitality industry have read about or are seeing for themselves the huge surge in interest in RVing and camping.
Kampgrounds of America Inc. recently released a monthly report that details how they expect more than 53 million campers to head outdoors this year.
That is a mind-blowing number!
For RV park, campground and glamping park owners this is a key time to be thinking about how you market to all of the new campers hitting the road and how you utilize digital tools to better understand the campers that are staying at your park.
Why is this important?
Because if you have a better understanding of who your campers are then you can better target messages that appeal to them. It also gives owners guidance on improvements and upgrades they should be performing at their parks.
For instance, through surveys an owner sends to campers after their stay, they may discover that campers want more of a certain accommodation type or a certain amenity. Maybe the owner was moving in a different direction on improvements, but this information can give the owner a chance to change the park’s course and put in amenities that campers really want.
According to Brian Searl, CEO and founder of Insider Perks, a marketing firm, knowing how to analyze your park’s digital data can also help you learn how effective your digital ads are and where to place them for more effectiveness.
“That is why we work so hard to track everything, because park owners want to know how effective their ads are,” he noted. “We can utilize the data to make adjustments every day on the digital ads owners place. Some owners will just set up a digital ad placement and leave it alone for a few months. That isn’t the most effective way to reach people and see a good return on investment.”
What tools should you be using?
I am just going to briefly look at the top tools you should already have in place and maybe a few others you have never heard about.
Google Analytics: Understanding the basics of Google Analytics is the backbone of any good digital strategy. You can go to the Acquisition tab or the Overview tab and see where people are coming from, whether it's referral traffic, organic, coming from your paid ads or social media, and then you can drill down into things like referrals.
Then you can see Source Medium too, which is a little bit more efficient way of seeing where campers are coming from.
Google Analytics offers so much more too, including free training on how to better use the data it collects.
Facebook Insights: Offers similar information to Google Analytics but of course it is all focused-on data coming from a specific Facebook page. You can tell where people are coming from, what attracted their attention, see comments, better understand the growth of your Facebook page and use the data to better place Facebook and other digital ads.
Hootsuite: Platforms like Hootsuite allow park owners to manage multiple social media accounts from one platform. It helps make park owners more efficient when it comes to working on social media. A common complaint is the time it takes to utilize all of these digital tools, this platform works to ease that burden.
Call Tracking: There are numerous companies, like CallRail and G2, that offer call tracking capabilities. Why bother? Because COVID actually led to an increase in the number of phone calls campgrounds are seeing. Plus, park owners are going to want to track data from all their campers, even the ones that call to reserve a site. These platforms offer a way to track where the calls are coming from, record calls, why they are calling and so on.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): This isn’t about just collecting an email and leaving it at that. A CRM system allows for park owners to collect data on a particular camper and create what amounts to a customer profile, with details on what sites they have stayed at, what they have purchased at the park, when they normally stay…etc. and helps to tailor a marketing campaign focused on that camper.
There is so many more digital tools available. It really is mind blowing to think about how much has changed in the last 20 years and how marketing involves a lot more research and thought to remain effective for a business.
Too much to handle? There are numerous marketing companies that service the outdoor hospitality industry that can help you sort through all of the questions you may have.
Understanding the tools that are out there is important as you look to keep campers coming back for more.
While the industry works to sell a way to disconnect from modern technology, that doesn’t mean your marketing campaign has to.