If there is one thing I know for sure, I know that marketing is critical to the success of any business, and I know this is one of my least favorite things to do and it’s a weakness because I don’t like it. You may be thinking, then how are you going to own an RV Park without marketing it?
Hi, I’m Mechiel Kopaska the host of the Fearless Innovator Podcast, and today, is my 50th Episode and I’m going to talk to you about something I don’t even like and I’m going to share with you how I’m going to market my RV Park.
First, let me give you a little background on what I’ve been learning about marketing in the RV space. In 3 words, It’s a mess! What do I mean by that?
I’ve been searching for RV parks for the last 2 years. I have done everything from driving around on country roads to find them, I’ve downloaded I don’t know how many Apps in an attempt to locate them, I’ve Googled and used multiple search engines, I used Prop Stream – a paid subscription for Smart Real Estate Software for Investors, I’ve used county records, word of mouth and referrals from friends. And if you’re looking to find an RV Park for sale, that’s a whole new series of problems!
Do you know what the common theme is? Mom and Pop and the majority of RV Parks don’t advertise, so you can’t find them unless you drive around. Some RV parks will use a combination of different Apps to advertise on like Camp Florida, Campendium, RV Life, Harvest Hosts, etc., but then some won’t. The big conglomerate parks like Sun Resorts will use their own marketing strategy.
Then you can sign up to use Campspot or Newbook as your reservation system and they help with some marketing too, but it’s not broad enough to capture the attention I’m looking for.
The ole standby is using Billboards! Billboards are still popular and there’s printed materials at rest stops.
Searching for an RV Park was painful and a huge time suck for me. This got me to thinking, that if I’m having such a difficult time just trying to locate parks to either go look at or go buy, then people that are searching for an RV Park for their vacation must be having the same problem.
To prove this, I logged into several Apps in an attempt to locate a park I wanted to visit on vacation. My search proved that not all marketing is created equally. Each app or Google search yielded different results, but I was able to find a park that I liked but it took some time!
Now to take this a step further, I was now trying to envision me sitting down at a computer and going into each of these apps, setting up accounts and creating my RV Profile to ensure my listing would appear in these apps. Then I thought, shoot, I also need to be creating profiles on FB, Instagram, etc.
After thinking about this for a few minutes, I said to myself, “self you need to spend your time somewhere else doing something else you’re great at rather than attempting to be great at something you’re NOT great at”.
So, I began my google search for a marketing team. I wanted a team of people organized strictly around the RV Market and specializing in promoting my RV park to the world, that had a huge footprint and team players that had specific roles that would market my park across multiple platforms without Me lifting a finger.
I found several in my search but I’m going to be honest that if someone used the word I in the online presence it immediately turned me off, because I knew it was a team of 1.
I know from my IT days that it’s best to use a team of individuals because not everyone is great at everything. Meaning, web designers are best at web designing and social media gurus are great at creating content and posting daily on FB, Instagram etc., this typically isn’t a strength for a web designer.
I ran across a lot of I’s, but I skipped right over them. Sorry
Then I ran across a team in California. At first, I thought California is a bit of a stretch beings we’re in 2 different time zones, but then I saw their name. Their name alone drew me in. Big Rig Media, I’m not sure their name meant what I was thinking, but when I hear big rig, I think, it takes a big rig to either pull an RV or it could reference a Class A RV. I read their content on their website, saw they have a team with the specialized skills I needed, and they even shared content on other RV Websites that they had developed. I then jumped over to look at their RV Websites and found one that interested me. I went back reviewed more content and then whacked the button to setup a meeting.
When the call was scheduled, it said that Jeff Beyer the CEO and Gregg Kuperstein their Chief Growth Officer, would be attending.
Within one day, I was on a conference call with the CEO and CGO. Who does that? I almost felt a little intimidated.
What a call it was, we were only on the phone for maybe 20 minutes, but here’s what I learned.
The number one search engine for RV Parks is, you guessed it Google and number 2 was FB and all those other apps I mentioned before were just a blip on a map. I would waste my time setting up each of those apps.
I also learned they have dedicated skills for Web Site development, Graphic Design, Copywriter, social media, and Content Marketing.
Can you imagine if I had to hire out and manage all of those skills just to get my website up and productive and marketed on Google and FB? I wouldn’t have time for the RV park if I had to do that!
I don’t know how to market on Google and get my park to the top of the search engine and I clearly don’t want to learn it now! But I do know who does!
Here was my favorite takeaway, 50% of RV Travelers will use the internet or Apps for searching, the remaining 50% still call the 800 number to talk to a person. My hope was that this statistic had a much higher internet use. The main reason that RV’ers want to pick up the phone is because there are too many variables when booking an RV. If it were to just select your dates, how many people and pick a spot, that’s easy. But when you book an RV, they want to know, are you traveling with a group, the type of rig, your tow vehicle and the length of your rig, bundle this with the date and number of people, it just becomes too cumbersome, so they pick up the phone.
I went on to learn that when I choose them, they will need at least 12 weeks for development and about 6 months before opening the park to begin their marketing.
I now know that my marketing budget will need to be 6 to 8% of gross sales. This will certainly help me when preparing my budget numbers for the investor.
I learned about Outdoor Hospitality – this is the space that RV Parks are in. I’d never heard of that before and in a later episode I tell you what I learned when I Googled Outdoor Hospitality.
I also learned the golden number of RV Sites I need to entice the big players when I go to sell my park. I’ll just keep that one a secret for now.
The best compliment, I can give this team is, they are doing a GREAT job of marketing to me. On a daily basis, when I get on Google or FB, who’s face do I see, Jeff Beyer. I’m confident that if they are marketing to me on daily basis, that my RV Park will popping up everywhere. They are certainly in this game to win! I will definitely be calling them back when it’s game time!
I’m Mechiel Kopaska of the Fearless Innovator Podcast, I hope you enjoyed this episode.