As the slow season approaches, you may be wondering how to keep your outdoor property thriving. The good news is that you don’t have to wave your end-of-summer business goodbye just yet.
You can boost your busy season reservations while encouraging guests to come back again next season. Here are some great hospitality marketing strategies for your outdoor business that will keep your property at the top of your guests’ “come-back-soon” lists.
As the busy season ends, one of the easiest ways to maximize the number of people coming back to your property in the off-season is to run some last-minute promotions.
A revenue management system can help guide you with dynamic pricing in what the right price to charge during the slow season will be as well as easily adjust those prices as the summer season fades. Whether this special pricing is solely for those guests that visited during the busy season, or if it is broad-reaching, reducing your prices for the advanced booking of off-season stays will allow you to bolster your late-season profits.
A lot of the campground marketing you see is for first-time customers. However, if you change up your hospitality marketing efforts to offer "returning customer" or "early-access" opportunities, you can capture the attention (and the business) of customers who already know and love your property.
Making it easy for these customers to pre-book for the next season shows that you appreciate them, and that can build a good relationship based on loyalty and value. You can promote these next-season offers for returning guests through guest marketing and experience tools with your reservation management software. The right tool will come with several built-in email templates and the ability to segment your database using a range of selection criteria to target specific audiences with relevant messaging and promotions. These promotions can be referrals, early bookings, paying upfront, free upgrades, and all sorts of other options, as long as you're giving customers a deal they can feel good about.
Promote to Locals
Your hospitality marketing doesn't have to be based on only bringing in people from far away. While the busy season may be flooded with out-of-towners, and the locals may avoid visiting during peak times, the end-of-summer is the perfect time to remind your community of the wonderful getaways they have at their fingertips.
Summer’s end is a great time to focus on ensuring your website, Google My Business and social platforms are up-to-date and optimized for local search. This helps locals find you easier on search engines as well as showcase any partnerships you may have going with food trucks, breweries and other local businesses.
Ask for Reviews From Summer Guests
As the slow season nears, a big part of your hospitality marketing efforts should be centered around reviews from your summer guests. This effort is definitely season-agnostic, but as the summer is peak fun-time for many visitors, an extra end-of-season push may provide some exponential growth in your online presence. That may mean more off-season customers, as well as more visitors the next time the busy season comes around.
Make sure you get reviews and information in a couple of different ways to see the most benefit for your property. For example, you want to ask your guests for reviews or satisfaction surveys during their stay or at check out. Then, you can also follow up with automated emails after they have left to ask them to review you on popular online platforms, such as Google, Yelp, and Trip Advisor.
Promote Your Property on Social Media
There’s no denying the power of social media when it comes to marketing. From advertising to reels, you want to connect with guests on social media (both potential and recurring) as a part of your hospitality marketing strategy.
By encouraging “follows'' on your social media channels during your visitors’ stay, you’re maximizing the opportunity for guests to see your posts during the off-season, too. Engaging content can spark a thought for them to start planning their trip for next summer, making it more likely they'll come back to visit you.
Optimize Your Website
Oftentimes, ensuring your website is updated and optimized can be too much of an undertaking to complete during the summer months. But with peak season dying down, you can shift some of your time and effort to increase the value of your campground marketing by ensuring your website is designed for future growth. To do that, consider optimizing all of your site's pages for keywords, online bookings, and traveler trends.
During this end-of-summer time, you might also want to start researching current and projected trends you can begin implementing, and potentially upgrade your software for a smoother transition between seasons!
You Don't Have to Fade With the Slow Season
The number of visitors to your outdoor property will wax and wane over the year, but you don't have to completely fade out as the slow season approaches. Take the opportunity to sneak in some last-minute end-of-summer hospitality marketing plans. Plus, learn how to make the most of your upcoming downtime with partnerships and other unique marketing tactics in our guide Avoid Fading With the Slow Season.