A Journey To Booking: A joined-up marketing approach

Posted in topic Marketing insights on 21st November 2018

Connecting the dots with a joined-up marketing approach

In the first in a series of articles, director Andrew Hampton discusses how you can piece together all the vital elements of your holiday park’s marketing

Now, more than ever, understanding and creating a joined-up marketing approach is vital to your holiday park or campsite’s ongoing success. The sheer scale of holidays and experiences available to those seeking a UK getaway is quite staggering and if holiday parks are to compete and continually attract new audiences then generating and executing a flexible marketing plan should be in the forefront of your efforts.

As an introduction to a basic connected marketing plan we will examine a “journey to booking” looking at the challenges, tactics and some helpful tips to what will ultimately be the primary conversion that holiday businesses will chase. We will look and gain an understanding of some fundamental steps throughout the journey in which businesses can make improvements and monitor impact toward that aim.

Marketing is a continual and evolving cycle, it takes effort, trial and error and perseverance. Mix into that the challenges of constantly changing technology and it is easy to see why some businesses fail. Whilst I will try and offer relatively simple instruction there can be no doubt certain elements do require expert help.

Pitched supports holiday parks and campsites of all sizes with these day to day challenges. We employ a team of professional and dedicated individuals with a blend of skills to compliment your own marketing. So if you feel your business could benefit from this expertise and guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out for some help and advice.

Search

Generally speaking, all marketing journeys start with some form of search. For families and friends seeking UK holidays that search can be quite a lengthy and invested process, typically involving many different forms, some of which we will explore here…

Conversations

Many people under-estimate or indeed don’t recognise a simple conversation as a form of search. Ask yourself though, embarking on a Google search along the lines of “Where should we go on holiday this year?” Would yield such a broad set of results it would be near impossible to find a clarifying answer that would satisfy your criteria. You would however, ask a friend or relative that very same thing. If that person you asked was a lucky visitor to your holiday park last year (and in-turn had an amazing time) that simple conversation could have such power to embark the search towards a your parks direction ahead of anyone else. So, put simply – Would your current guests say amazing things about you? If they would, try to find ways to encourage them to do so.

Referrals

In a similar way to conversations, listening to others that have had a qualified and genuine positive experience at your holiday park massively compels a visitor’s search toward your business. Websites and forums are where these referrals can be so strong. Ensure you are rating well amongst the leaders – Trip Advisor, for example – and research how positive the conversations about you are told across other sites or forums.

Search Engines

To chase that all important top page position is now determined by so many factors ranging from the content on your website and your keywords, to the actual technologies your website is built-upon. This is one of the areas without ongoing technical expert help you can get massively left behind. Something you can investigate and impact, though, is actually what your search results say…

Top Tip: Read your Google listings

Your website visitors are reading these results and making an informed choice whether to click and visit or pass you by. We, as business owners or operators, rarely read actually what these results say. Read these results and ask yourself this: is what you enough to entice you to click? If it doesn’t, change it to something that would.

In order to easily find all of your search results, head to Google and type ‘site:’ followed by your website address – for example: site:www.myholidaypark.co.uk. This will return every single page indexed into Google and allow you to read what these snippets say with greater ease.

Social Media

Nowadays Social Media channels are a huge driver for search, no longer do people simply login to check what their friends are up to, they utilise the platforms powerful tools to explore, search and gain inspiration.

My advice is to concentrate one or two channels and exploit them well, rather than try to go for every single channel and execute them badly. Facebook, still leads the way for holiday park audiences but look out for Instagram as a rising star and also don’t underestimate YouTube as a powerful search tool.

Investigation

Be mindful about trends and topics that you can capitalise on, by this I mean such examples as TV Shows, Films, Books, Magazines and Topical News. Whilst these media forms do not directly instigate a direct to business result, they do inspire and can embark a visitor on a search in your general direction.

A great example of this is the TV Series ‘Poldark’ which has captured the hearts of people both in the UK and abroad. The regular and dramatic landscapes of Cornwall shown throughout the episodes have inspired so many viewers to physically visit the county and experience the landscapes for themselves. When marketing our businesses we should constantly seek advantages and jump on the band wagon of these trends where and when we can.

In part 2 we will look at your website and the key role it will play in your marketing strategy.

Andrew presented a Journey To Booking a the 2018 Holiday Park Resort & Innovation Show. Download your copy of the presentation here