Resources and Guides to Help Your Park Prepare

IN Part One we made the case that online advertising & digital marketing is the now, not the future, and focused on the foundation of your modern marketing efforts – your website and marketing on Google & Facebook. You can check it out here, now that your prospect has found you, in Part Two we’ll focus on the next steps, which include:

CLAIM & BUILD-OUT YOUR ONLINE DIRECTORIES

Other than your website, the most visited places your future customers will interact with you will be your online directories. These include your Google My Business listing, Bing, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Campground Reviews, and Good Sam.

Need some convincing?
  • Google My Business listings can account for upwards of 50% of your website’s organic traffic just by viewers clicking on it.
  • 68% of searchers contact a business directly from the Google My Business listing.
  •  If the listing is incomplete, 41% of searchers are likely to leave your profile and keep on searching. They will move on without you. But even with numbers as powerful as that, here’s the current reality… Only 44% of local businesses have claimed their Google My Business listing!

This is good news for YOU because YOUR Google listing will catch the viewer’s attention, not your competitor who has foolishly neglected this important detail

Whether these directories are where the prospect found you – or went to vet you – you’ll want to be sure these heavily trafficked sites present your business as professionally and accurately as your website. Why? Because many directory visitors will initiate contact right through the directory platform, completely bypassing your website.

Make sure your contact information is correct, your business hours right, and photographs are professional. You even have the opportunity to add an overview about your business and a few common Q & A’s.

Each online directory will have a slightly different process for claiming your listings and they’re all pretty straightforward. Most importantly, most are free. So…

  1. Claim your directories, which for outdoor hospitality properties include… Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Campground Reviews, and Good Sam. All you need to get started is to look for the link that reads – Own this business? Or Claim this business.
  2. Follow the prompts and build out the listing with your business’ information and photos.
  3. Keep it up to date. Now that you have your listings claimed and built-out, the next key area is:

CUSTOMER REVIEWS

The power of reviews is undeniable. When customers share their experiences – whether positive or negative – other viewers consider these reviews to be more trustworthy than paid advertising. In fact…

  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 97% of consumers say reviews influence their buying decisions.

In order to engage with reviews, you must first have claimed the listing. Good or bad, right or wrong, you will get reviews…and likely quite a few. And whether they’re positive, negative, or neutral, they will have a massive impact on your business. So some key points to remember are…

  1. Be a great business! Apologies for being blunt here but you can’t hide anymore. If your reviews are poor, you will lose future customers who go there to check you out. And you simply cannot use excuses like “that person was just difficult.” That may be true for one, but when 74 other people give you 2 stars out of five, well, enough said.
  2. Responding to every review can increase your number of reviews by over 12%. Offer a heart-felt thanks for every good review and consider a bad review as an opportunity to learn and improve. Then do just that – and thank the reviewer for helping you. In fact, other statistics show that of the customers who received a response from a company after posting a negative comment, 33% turned around and posted a positive review, while 34% deleted the original negative review.
  3. Encourage new reviews – and of course especially good ones. You can either have an automated email that goes out a few days after your guest departs or you can actively encourage guests to leave a review during any one of your regular interactions with them.

Reviews are one of the most important elements of doing business in 2020. They truly have the ability to make or break your hospitality business.

And as just as importantly, they provide you real-time insight on the guest’s experience that you can act on and implement immediately.

The key message here is to treat reviews as a strategic priority for your property.

And, if you need help with any of the recommendations above, we’re happy to help.

Jeff Beyer is CEO of Big Rig Media, a leading expert in developing comprehensive and integrated branding, website development and digital marketing platforms. Founded in 2000, the company has focused on retaining dedicated team members in each of the key disciplines of a technologically savvy digital marketing program, setting the company apart from others. For more information visit www.BigRigMedia.com.

This article first appeared Jan 17, 2020 in Campground Industry E-News – Issue 560

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