It’s no secret that camping has exploded in the past five years. But how do you make sure campers find your campground?
You’ll of course need a website, some good photos of your property, and a way for people to book campsites.
But how can you advertise your campground to stand out from the competition?
We’ve learned over the years from our campgrounds exactly how to find success in spreading the word about your campground. Here are 7 ways to get started advertising your campground.
1. Google AdWords
According to Forbes, “97% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses.” People are actively searching on Google for RV parks and investing in pay-per-click advertising (PPC ads) will make sure your website is at the top of the page.
With AdWords, you can select search terms related to your campground and only pay for the ads that get clicked on.
2. Partner with local events and organizations.
Partnering with local organizations and events is an easy way to establish your RV park within the community. To give your campground more visibility, consider any of these questions:
- Are there any festivals or community happy hours you can participate in or host?
- What local charities or non-profits could your campground help support?
- Could you facilitate local Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts groups?
- What if your campground hosted community events like outdoor movie nights or recreational sports leagues?
3. Trade shows and campground association events
Joining a campground association means that you have a network of campground owners in your corner. Local and regional associations provide advocacy, support, industry resources, and marketing for park owners.
4. Team up with local RV dealerships.
RV dealerships are getting more business than ever.
According to Go RVing, RV ownership is up 62% in the last two decades, with no signs of slowing down. Couple that with the fact that multiple industry reports indicate that 46 million Americans went RVing in 2020.
Partnering with an RV dealership is a great way to connect with new campers at the height of their interest. Connect and see how you can collaborate, whether it’s offering free nights for new RV owners or asking the dealership to feature brochures from your campground.
5. Social media
Engaging with guests on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram is not only a way to foster community, but it’s an easy opportunity for advertisement. Similarly to AdWords, boosting posts on Instagram or Facebook enables you to select the exact audience you’re trying to reach.
We’ve seen a number of our campgrounds increase reservations just off of boosted social posts on Facebook. For example, you can target and uniquely market to audiences living in nearby areas that are interested in camping. You’ll only pay for the people that engage with your promotional post.
In addition to boosted posts, you can create new opportunities to connect with your guests such as:
- Polls and surveys to better understand your guests and the type of experience they’re looking for.
- Sharing high-quality photos and videos of your park to set clear expectations.
- Giveaways and contests encouraging guests to follow your social channels or leave an online review of your campground.
For more inspiration, Inspired Camping also has a list of ways to easily leverage social media to connect with guests.
6. Curate reviews.
Considering that almost 10% of Google’s entire search algorithm is driven by reviews (Podium), data suggests that online reviews are a huge component of your business.
Staying on top of your park’s reviews is a good way to ensure that your campground attracts the right attention stays on the top page of any searches for camping in your area.
- Campground Reviews
- The Dyrt
7. Online bookings
Taking reservations online will grow your park’s business and reach new markets faster than anything else on this list.
In addition to the ease with which campers can see your availability and book their site, online booking platforms also have channel partners.
When you sign up with a booking system like Campground Booking, your sites are automatically featured on all of our partners’ websites as bookable sites. This has amounted to an additional 80,000 nights booked for our parks through channel partner sites.
Our parks receive a 25% increase in annual reservation volume and an extra 2 million hits from advertising through channel partners like Travel British Columbia and GoRVing Canada.
Additionally, joining a membership program like Good Sam casts an even wider net through features like trip planners, and searches by accommodations and regions. Good Sam even brings some parks more than half of their annual reservations.
Advertise Your Campground
There are a lot of practical ways to advertise your campground without spending too much of your marketing budget. To quickly and easily expand your audience consider the following:
- Google AdWords
- Partnering with local organizations
- Attending trade shows and association events
- Teaming up with RV dealerships
- Utilizing social media
- Collecting and managing campground reviews
- Taking advantage of online bookings and channel partners