Ready To Get More Customers At Your RV Park?
You might be a new RV park owner, considering purchasing an RV park (or multiple RV parks), or expanding your RV park campsites and want to be sure you’ve got enough clients to justify the investment.
We have over 100 RV park clients throughout North America who use our monthly service plan for their websites, and we’ve seen various marketing ideas. So, based on our experience, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common (and not-so-common) RV park promotion and marketing ideas.
Not all of these RV Park Marketing ideas will work for you
Choose a few of the ideas this season, and see what works for your RV park business. Then, add a couple over the next few seasons, and pivot away from the ideas that weren’t as successful.
1) Partner With A Local RV Dealership
When someone buys an RV, what’s the first thing they want to do? Try it out! Offer a cross-promotion with a local RV dealership. When they sell an RV, they can give away a coupon for a free weekend at your campground.
RV Dealerships are always looking for ways to stand out against the competition, and their target market is also your target market! Offering a free weekend to try out a new RV might be the unique selling proposition they need to make their sale.
This introduces new RVers to your campground (which means they’ll hopefully come back again). Remember, anyone who shows up with this coupon has just purchased a new RV and might also be a new RVer. Offer them an extra hand at backing into their site, setting up, and answering any questions they might have.
Have a welcome package for people using this coupon to provide them with information about seasonal rates at your RV park and a calendar of upcoming events that they may want to come back to for.
In exchange, be sure that you recommend this RV dealership whenever someone mentions upgrading their RV.
2) Hold Community Events – Fundraisers, BBQs, or Group Picnics
Community groups are often looking for spaces to hold local events. If you have the space, get the word out so that everyone around town knows about your campground and how to get there, and allow people to come and see your property in the process.
3) Host Saturday Night Music
Not only is a Saturday night concert a great reason for your regulars to come back on weekends, but, like the community events above, it’s a great opportunity for local musicians to promote your location and invite their friends to come out to hear them play.
Charge a few dollars for the entrance fee, and give that money to the artists. Sell some drinks and snacks to people who visit as a way to cover your costs for clean up or staffing for the events.
If you don’t have an inside space for the concerts, hold it under the stars on Saturday nights with a rain date on Sunday nights.
4) Social Media Marketing: Promoting your RV Park with Digital Marketing
Social media marketing is a great way to promote your RV park. However, the best success we’ve seen is when a park takes a few things into consideration before creating an account and posting a picture online:
- Choose a single social media platform to start with: Don’t try and conquer a Facebook page, an Instagram account, or a Twitter channel, and create videos for YouTube all at once. Focus on one platform until you’ve seen some results before expanding.
- Engage people who know Social Media: Do you have an employee who won’t get off their cell phone while at work? Pay them an hour per shift just to create social media posts for you.
- Find a local blogger: Offer a free camping weekend for their family in exchange for posting on their social media channels about your campground.
- Cross-promote with small business owners in your community who are doing well on social media, and offer them a free weekend of camping in exchange for some cross-promotion. Let them choose a product or service to trade that you’ll post on your Facebook page.
- Cross-promote with others in your industry. Find a business that you can partner with on cross-over products instead of just a local business that is doing well on social media. A camping supply store, a local kayak rental company, gas stations, a hardware store with camping gear, or even a local grocery store that sells marshmallows and hotdogs can create a related promotion for your campground to help you reach potential customers.
- Social Platforms Love Consistency: Being consistent doesn’t have to mean a daily post, but you can’t expect results from posting on social media only once this week, then nothing for 2 weeks, then 3 times the following week. Assigning this job to a staff member will help you stay consistent and can be part of their job requirements.
- Engage with prospective customers: If someone leaves a comment on one of your social media channels, be sure to reply. If someone sends a private message asking about rates or availability, then help them out right away. If someone posts on social media about how they’re visiting your RV park or campground, leave a comment like, “Thanks for visiting,” or, “See you next time.”
5) Create opportunities for people to promote your RV Park on their personal social media channels
Setup a photo booth in your RV park’s clubhouse, create a cutout around your sign where people can stick their faces for a family photo or hold contests to have people decorate their RV site for holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or Springtime (or make up an event specific to your park – for instance, your park’s Anniversary Celebration, this year’s Opening Weekend Party, or Dress in Blue Day.)
People who use social media regularly always look for something to post on their accounts. Give them opportunities, and then comment when they post to let them know you appreciate them sharing. Now, whoever follows them on social media is learning about your campground or RV Park, and you’ve reached a wider audience.
6) Get Your Campground In Local Listings
Your community probably has a chamber of commerce, local business listings, or an online business directory of some sort. Be sure to search in your city, county, and a wider range of areas for opportunities to list your business and share your website online.
7) Participate In An Affiliate Or Discount Program
At first, an affiliate program may seem like you are actually losing money. If you give a 50% discount to members of Passport America (for instance), it may seem like you’re just losing that 50%. But, in reality, you may be gaining customers who wouldn’t have otherwise stayed with you.
As full-time RVers ourselves, when we’re visiting a new area, we often start our search with PassportAmerica parks and will often choose one to stay at that offers a discount for some or all of our days there.
Consider the discount part of your advertising budget – you’re cutting your regular prices, and Passport America is advertising which is bringing more business to you that you may not have seen if you weren’t listed in their directory.
8) Send Out A Monthly Email Newsletter From Your RV Park
If you’re going to send out a newsletter, more frequently is fine, but a monthly option is a minimum. Use an online service like MailChimp.com to allow people to ‘unsubscribe’ from your email if they choose to while protecting your other subscribers’ personal information.
While this won’t necessarily create new business, it can help you create repeat business – consider the people who have visited your park over the past year (not seasonal guests). If you could send out an email and get 5% or 10% of them to visit again this weekend, how many empty campsites could you fill?
How often has a camper come in a few weeks after you’ve opened for the season and said, “So, when did you open this year?” Having an email newsletter allows you a direct channel to let previous customers know when you’re open!
It’s not all about selling campsites, though. Use this as a tool to keep your RV park at the top of someone’s mind. So, even if they don’t come back THIS weekend, the next time they decide to go camping, they’ll consider you.
Ideas of what to include in Your RV Park email newsletter:
- Introduce a new staff member.
- Let people know about an upcoming event or include a list of events coming up this month.
- Simply promote a “We have 21 available spots this weekend, so we’re offering a 10% last-minute discount for Friday – Sunday stays!”
- The pool is open for the season.
- Join us for fireworks to celebrate the holiday.
- Happy 50th Anniversary to John and Jane Doe. Celebrate this weekend with cake at the clubhouse.
- Families: Come try out our new playground.
- The weather is going to be PERFECT for camping this weekend!
- Free firewood weekend – stop by the office to pick up all the firewood you’d like for your campfire this weekend.
- Dress In Blue Day THIS SATURDAY! Our staff will wander the park handing out candy to anyone dressed in blue, and we’ll have a prize on Saturday night for the top 3 best “Decorated in Blue” RV sites.
9) Invest In A New Campground Sign
You would be amazed how often we’re designing a website for a campground, and the campground owners don’t have a proper sign.
What is a proper sign for my RV park?
- Can be easily seen by someone driving down the road
- Indicates where to pull in for your driveway – not the middle of your property, but right at your driveway
- Is well lit if someone who is running behind after dark (or has gone out to run an errand while staying at your park)
- Not overboard on information – just who you are (logo), your street address, and your website
- Is large enough that it doesn’t get confused with a temporary sign (no small coroplast signs that could be confused for one of the college painting summer job signs on an electric post)
How many customers drive past your park all the time but don’t even realize it’s there? It’s hard to know, but a proper sign will help.
10) Complete Your Google Places Listing
We probably don’t have to tell you how important Google is for getting new clients, but we’re amazed at how many people don’t have a complete Google listing, either because they don’t realize that it’s there or they don’t understand the importance.
A google listing is simple to complete. Google your business, then click “Claim this listing.”
Upload 10-20 photos of your park – the same ones you’ve used on your RV park website – complete your phone number, put in your office hours, and add a description of your most popular amenities – your pool, clubhouse, playground, or dog park for example.
Reply to any Google reviews that have been left by people – positive reviews with a “Thank you” and negative reviews with “Would you have a moment to call our office? We’d like to make this right.”
11) Ask For Reviews From Your Current RV Park Customers (and display them on your RV Park website)
Claim your listing on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Campendium.com, and of course, Google. After someone has stayed with you, send a follow-up email that says, “We hope you enjoyed your stay with us, and we would appreciate your feedback. Please click here to leave us a Google review, and in exchange, we’d like to give you 10% off your next weekend – just remind us of the review when you book again.”
We recommend focussing on reviews on Google. While the other sites are great, Google reviews appear under your business listing when someone searches for your business and are easy to set up so that they appear automatically on your website when someone leaves a new review.
BONUS: Have An Updated and Fully-Functional RV Park Website!
Yes, this is a clear and blatant promotion – which is why we lumped it into the ‘bonus’ category. But if you do all of the 11 steps above to bring more attention to your RV Park and someone still can’t find your website or navigate it on their phone properly once they’ve pulled it up, then you’ve lost that customer on the last step.
Here are a few boxes your campground website HAS to check if it’s going to work for you and your customers:
- It works on any mobile phone screen without someone having to scroll back and forth to read all the information.
- You have bright, high-resolution images of your RV Park. Nobody is confident that you have a beautiful RV park if all of your photos are stock photos of a family eating at a picnic table, just the flames of a campfire, or a kid smiling while floating in a random pool. As RVers, we want to see your ACTUAL park photos to know what we’re getting, and if you won’t show your actual park and only show stock photos, we’re concerned about what you’re trying to hide.
- Clear information for rates and your address. If we can’t find your address, we don’t know if you’re near a particular landmark we want to visit or if you are on the other side of the city from where we want to be. Do you have 50amp hook-ups? A pool? A dog park? Is your park only for 55+? These are make-or-break details for many RVers. If you have any of these things, you need to let us know.
- How to book a site. Do we book our stay online? Should we call the office? Do you need us to complete a contact form? When your website loads – before someone even has to scroll through it – give visitors a button to ‘Book A Site’ or ‘Contact Us.’ Don’t make it difficult for people to figure out how to become your customer.
- Your website has to be current. Too many campground websites are outdated. We get it – you paid someone to build the site, and now they want to get paid a one-hour bench fee again every time you need to make a 10-minute change to your site. But if your rates still say “Our Summer 2014 Rates” (I actually DID see this on a website recently), then what else in your campground is being brushed off?
We created an RV Park website service that allows RV park owners to keep all of their costs at a minimum while still keeping their website details updated at all times, as well as consistent formatting for ever-changing online standards with new devices, screen sizes, and technologies that are being released.
There you have it! 11 Ideas To Get More Campers To Your RV Park!
Have a question? Contact us, and we’d be happy to help.