Best Impressions

Best Impressions

best impressions main pic

The staycation boom of recent years means that UK holiday park operators now have access to more potential customers than ever before. This growing market brings extra challenges: how can parks best increase their visibility and rise above the competition? “Now, more than ever, understanding and creating a joined-up marketing approach is vital to your holiday park or campsite’s ongoing success,” says Andrew Hampton, one of the Directors of tourism marketing specialists Pitched. It’s taken as a given in these digital days that at the centre of any integrated marketing strategy is a well-designed website. “As the saying goes, first impressions count,” says Andrew. “Your website will be the first port of call for 99% of your customers, so it not only needs to stand out from the crowd but work seamlessly too – across all devices.” With traffic from mobile devices likely to equate to over 60% of all traffic to a website, Andrew advises his clients to spend more time thinking about the user experience on mobile: “Does the site display properly, is it easy to navigate, can users easily start an online booking, and can they find all the information they need?”

GOOD LOOKS
Visual appeal is key in creating a lasting impression on potential customers and authenticity helps to avoid potential pitfalls later. According to Andrew, park operators shouldn’t be tempted to scrimp on imagery and video: “People can spot a stock image from a hundred paces – they want to see pictures of where they will be staying, not something from a magazine shoot in America.” To be effective, websites must not only look good but drive bookings and enquiries. More often than not, customers need a nudge in the right direction and adding high visibility Call To Action (CTA) messages throughout a website helps to get people into the online booking process quicker. Ensuring high visibility of your website mbest impressions pic 2eans embracing the so-called ‘dark arts’ of SEO and PPC. Nurturing your website with regular, well-considered content as part of aSEO strategy is almost certain to help your organic traffic build over time but PPC can offer quick wins for those with bigger pockets. According to Andrew, PPC can be an effective way to cheat the system and propel your site to the heights of Google but a word of caution… “£100 here and there really isn’t going to cut it. During peak booking periods, park operators must be prepared to spend well over £1,000 a month if they want to get their ads in front of enough eyeballs to have any sort of impact.” Modern technology is continually opening up new marketing channels. According to Industry Expert and Managing Director of Key Digital Agency, David Lakins, Voice is an area that is having a huge impact. Incorporating Voice into your marketing strategy means focusing on two areas: Optimising your website for voice search, and developing your own voice assistants. “Voice searches change how your guests are searching. If your park website is going to answer the natural language questions people now use to search, your content is the first thing that should be reviewed,” explains David. In simple terms, this will mean incorporating longer voice-friendly key phrases and using question phrases in your content, for example, by creating an FAQ page on your website. Most voice searches take place from a mobile device, which gives an even greater reason to ensure your site is optimised for mobile. For David, effective marketing for holiday parks is about “having a strong digital presence - not necessarily being good at everything - but showing your guests that you understand them and the way they want to connect with a park.” Key Digital is at the forefront of looking at ways in which parks can use Voice for connecting with guests - particularly ‘in-stay’.With the popularity of voice control devices increasing in the home, it seems natural that the next step will be their use in holiday accommodation. Last year, Amazon started to trial their new Alexa for Hospitality system and as David says, “Watch this space…” Increasingly, Social Media channels are a vital route to market, as well as a key customer service tool. David believes that “more than anything, parks need to focus their attention on treating social networking as a preferred way to connect with guests.” He recommends looking beyond the three main channels of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keeping an eye on the chosen platforms of the next generation of consumers. David also advises that park operators consider using influencer marketing as part of their content strategy. This means developing “meaningful customer relationships and turning them into park advocates”, as well as building links with existing influencers. best impressions pic 3Harnessing the power of video is also critical to successfully generating engagement and building followers. For most parks, effective digital marketing means time to call in an expert. According to Smart Marketing’s Caroline Farrar, using an outsourced marketing expert brings “a valuable, outside perspective to your park, leading to fresh ideas and programs that drive results.” Caroline has worked as a Marketing Consultant for Holgates Holiday Park Group (six 5 star parks in North Lancashire and South Cumbria) for the past three years. “Initially, my core focus was on their digital strategy, social channels and a new website build. Now this extends to a monthly, retained service providing marketing support and strategy guidance. Measurability and budget management is also key to this support.” According to Holgate’s owner Michael Holgate, Caroline’s great digital knowledge fills an obvious “skills gap” in their business.With digital activity now accounting for 80% of the Holgate’s marketing budget, tracking and being able to offer a demonstrable return on investment is an important part of Caroline’s remit. A fundamental advantage of digital marketing is the ability to more easily measure success and ROI. Google Analytics is one of the most popular tools, and the good news is it’s free and easy to use! Andrew Hampton says Google Analytics should be “your best friend.” His agency, Pitched, use it on a daily basis. “Once configured, Google Analytics will record everything you need to know,” says Andrew. “From revenue from social media and email campaigns to your PPC performance, this is the place where you can view it all with relative ease.” With this increased, modern focus on digital marketing, it’s important that park operators implementing an integrated marketing strategy don’t ignore offline opportunities such as print (see case study) or more traditional communication channels.

SNAP HAPPY
PR may be ‘old-school’ but park owners should not dismiss it. Jon Boston specialises in PR consultancy for holiday parks. The bulk of his work, he says, is helping parks to gain editorial coverage both in print and online, and where possible on television and radio. But he wonders if some parks aren’t missing a trick when it comes to gaining free publicity: “The staycation boom is increasingly putting the spotlight on Britain’s tourism industry, and editors are often keen to feature interesting examples of what accommodation providers are doing to woo new customers,” he says. “Parks have a particularly strong hand to play here because they can usually offer a much more diverse and exciting alternative to more traditional options such as hotels and holiday cottages.” Jon recommends picking up on an interesting news angle that is likely to engage editors, and including quality imagery: “Fielding a good story is important – but just as crucial is supplying a great photograph to go with it.”

GLOBAL APPEAL
Finally, park operators should consider developing partnerships with larger groups to achieve greater economies of scale, or even working with Online Travel Agents (OTAs). David Lakins believes that OTAs are “the biggest threats to parks at the moment” due to the size of their budgets and their powerful marketing spend, which leaves many parks unable to compete. But if you can’t beat The Power Of The Print Brochurethem, why not join them? Mara Casadio, Marketing and Content Executive for Pitchup.com, says that OTAs can help parks avoid risk associated with promotional activity since commission is only payable on a successful sale. They can also help parks reach certain customer segments more efficiently. “With international tourists to the UK at an all-time high, parks can target this untapped market via OTAs,” explains Mara. “Pitchup.com is now translated into 16 languages. Nearly 25% of our traffic now comes from outside the UK as a result of media promotion, as well as other international activity including SEO, paid search and newsletters.” Pitchup.com’s investment in their award-winning mobile site means that they have a strong appeal to a younger, international audience who can book in just a couple of minutes, even whilst travelling. Parks are not necessarily investing twice or competing for the same sales lead. Mara explains: “One major group found an overlap of only 3% between their Pitchup customers and their existing customer database.” According to Jon Moxon, Business Development Manager of Hoseasons, the Booking Agent’s size and scale, accommodating over 1.75 million holidaymakers each year, means they can offer “unrivalled access to the UK self-catering market.” Parks can benefit from cutting-edge technological and booking solutions, as well as dynamic pricing software to maximise yield. Jon continues: “As part of the partnership, owners also have a dedicated account manager who draws on a huge bank of expert knowledge and data to provide our partners with the insight they need to best run their businesses.”

The Power Of The Print Brochure
Located near Penzance in West Cornwall, Kenegie Manor offers self-catering cottages, bungalows, apartments and barn conversions. Alongside website development, SEO and PPC services, Pitched also handles the park’s printed material. The annual brochure continues to be a big source of bookings and enquiries. The park also sends out several postcards and mailers to promote offers or to push quieter, shoulder weeks and months. Ed Newbold, owner of Kenegie Manor, says: “Print still has a huge role to play in the industry and, even in this digital world, is a vital part of our overall marketing strategy.” He continues: “In this post GDPR era, where email databases have been reduced, print continues to serve us well. An email can be deleted, easily forgotten or go unnoticed. A brochure will be picked up time and again and serves as a reminder to regular and new guests. Our brochure and mailshots have proven to be not only excellent marketing tools but also an important driver of bookings.”

 

 

 

 

Unmissable Event

Unmissable Event - Cover Photo

The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation show beckons…

The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show is an unparalleled opportunity for holiday and leisure entrepreneurs to make the most of their resorts, holiday parks and attractions by delivering first-hand the very best in advice, products and services. The event has grown considerably since 2016 and is set to be the most exciting and comprehensive instalment yet! Combining world class experts, face-to-face advice, 150 inspirational seminars, 350 leading suppliers, workshops, unrivalled networking and live features all under one roof - these two days are truly unmissable for anyone in this sector! Whether you’re relatively new in the holiday market and looking for inspiration and advice or an established business looking for new and exciting ways to improve your offering, the event covers everything you need to run your holiday business more efficiently.

Discover all the latest technology and trends from within the sector and find out more about current marketing and business strategies. The industry’s most innovative and influential figures will pass on their peerless knowledge and advice and ultimately help you stand out from the competition and increase your occupancy rates. Join some of the industry’s most progressive and ambitious suppliers and find absolutely everything you need to develop your holiday business whether it’s accommodation, marketing, booking systems, food and drink services, leisure equipment or energy companies. Running alongside the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation show again this year is the Farm Business Innovation Show, the Family Attraction Expo, and the Country House Innovation show. New for this year, we have the Public Space Innovation show, and Destination Hotel. Register for free tickets to attend via the website. Looking forward to welcoming you to the event on the November 7th & 8th, NEC Birmingham.

Aqua Spa SuppliesAqua Spa Supplies: Stand 1232

Aqua Spa Supplies are suppliers of accessories and equipment for spas and swim spas. They will be showcasing their End 2 End Covers - Roll on, Roll off covers for spas and swim spas and a host of other equipment. Look out too for spa brands including American Whirlpool, Vita Spas and the Villa Tub.

Aqua Spa Supplies
Tel. 01245 477 400
www.aquawarehousegroup.co.uk

Businesses For SaleBusinessesForSale : Stand 1802

If you’re looking to sell your business, BusinessesForSale can cost-effectively help market your business to over 1.2 million buyers every month. They connect business buyers and sellers. There are 4,000 leisure and holiday related businesses on the site, as well as thousands more businesses and franchises for sale in every sector imaginable. We’ll be displaying a handpicked selection of current businesses for sale at the  stand. Come and find the inspiration for your next business venture.

BusinessesForSale
www.BusinessesForSale.com

Forbo FlooringForbo Flooring : Stand 1556

The impact of the interior scheme and the overall ambience of a building can play a crucial role in a visitor’s experience to any holiday park or attraction. As such, on stand 1556 at this year’s Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show, Forbo Flooring Systems will be highlighting the benefits its range of flooring solutions, which are suitable for a wide range of applications across the leisure sector, can offer to improve visitor experience.

Forbo Flooring
Tel. 0800 0935 258
www.forbo-flooring.co.uk/leisure

GemParkGem Park : Stand 1636

The GemaPark management system is web based Park Management and booking system that allows you to manage all your customers and bookings easily. Take online bookings and payments. Record meter readings and invoice owners. Email booking confirmations, balance reminders and welcome letters automatically. Manage your availability from our interactive chart. Link with other systems to increase bookings. Access from multiple computers, Low monthly fee instead of a large purchase price with full training and support.

GemPark
Tel. 01983 282420
www.gemapark.co.uk

HPS_Sept2018_issue_68pp_LR-1Holiday Park Scene : Stand 1950

Don’t miss the Holiday Park Scene magazine team who will be exhibiting on stand 1950. Call by to tell us about how your business stands out from the crowd or to discuss promotional opportunities for your products and services through the industry’s biggest and best magazine for park operators.

Holiday Park Scene
Tel. 01353 666663
www.holidayparkscene.com

Light SauceLight Sauce : Stand 202

Light Sauce is the leading importer and distributor of light-up, flashing LED and glow novelties in the UK. Trade suppliers for over 15 years to family attractions, holiday parks, theatres, local government, schools and charities. With long term partnerships in China and the Far East they are able to design, brand, source and manufacture products that complement and promote your organisation. Light Sauce specialises in the volume supply of light-up toys to order but with large UK based stocks and a wide choice of products for next day delivery throughout the UK.

Light Sauce
Tel. 0845 470 6060
www.light-sauce.co.uk

Marquis SpasMarquis Spas : Stand 10-710

Marquis today is one of the leading manufacturers of hot tubs and swim spas in the United States, with distribution around the world. Long noted for our product quality and unique high-flow therapy systems...Marquis’ dealer network around the world annually rates it with SpaCertified as among the very best suppliers. A UK network of dealers present a full range of Marquis products and offer UK consumers excellent sales and service experiences as well. Marquis’ three dedicated holiday park models, the ‘Relax’, the ‘Getaway’ and the ‘Escape’, offer an array of sizes and features to give you the perfect hot tub for a perfect holiday.

Marquis Spas
Tel. 1-503-838-0888
www.marquishottubs.co.uk

NBB Recycled FurnitureNBB Recycled Furniture : Stand 1012

NBB Recycled Furniture manufacture an expansive range of outdoor furniture using 100% recycled plastic. There are many advantages of the material: the non-porous properties mean that it will never rot, splinter or corrode; it is graffiti proof and easy to clean; and it does not require annual upkeep in fact it is completely maintenance free! Recycled plastic is extremely robust and hardwearing making it great for heavy use areas such as holiday and leisure industries; public parks and gardens; schools and businesses! All of products are guaranteed for up to 25 years, more reason to replace your old timber furniture today!

NBB Recycled Furniture
Tel. 0800 1777 052
www.recycledfurniture.co.uk

Park Leisure Solutions LtdPark Leisure Solutions Ltd : Stand 1230

National suppliers, Park Leisure Solutions launched their brand new Climacube Hot Tub Heat System earlier this year. The Climacube Heat System offers the very latest energy saving heat technology, dramatically reducing running costs, increasing usage, reducing the carbon footprint and enabling customers to use their hot tubs all year round, at the desired temperature without the concern of cost. Customers are already benefiting with installations producing significant reductions in their energy bills. Unlike conventional heat systems, Climacube will heat your Hot Tub in around 4-5 hours from cold with a consumption of only 1KW per/hour with a COP of over 3.5 in minus temperatures.

Park Leisure Solutions Ltd
Tel. 01202 691166
www.parkleisuresolutions.co.uk

PitchedPitched : Stand 1742

Pitched are the smart choice for the holiday park industry, from online booking management software to website, brochure and email design as well as management of social and email campaigns, SEO content and data analysis. The new name in booking software, suitable for independent and holiday park groups of all sizes. Built specifically for caravans, lodges, cottages, glamping, touring and camping pitches and management of owners and holiday home sales - our GDPR ready software comes with stylish customer steps and is simple and easy to operate. Unlimited users working simultaneously with individual security rights. Securely hosted, and all data encrypted and backed up. Convert browsing to booking, giving you more time to run your park. Arrange a demo either by calling today or at the show.

Pitched
Tel. 01726 418 118
www.pitched.co.uk

Portrait PoolsPortrait Pools : Stand 3406

The multi-award winning, Portrait Pools team specialise in the construction, build and design of home indoor swimming pools, commercial swimming pools, spas and saunas, pool refurbishment, pool maintenance and pool accessories. A swimming pool says so much. Especially when it is built to your precise specifications and to exacting standards.. Most people will have a vision of their own swimming pool in their mind`s eye. Portrait Pools have the experience and expertise to open up the countless possibilities, and to capture the essence of your lifestyle. Portrait loves nothing better than to take what you thought an impossible dream and turn it into stunning reality.

Portrait Pools
Tel. 01625 466200
www.portraitpools.com

Suntrap SystemsSuntrap Systems : Stand 1444

Specialists in supplying lifts and hoists providing disabled access into swimming pools, spas and hot tubs, the team will be displaying three different models from its extensive range of lifts, all of which are suitable for both commercial and private use so whatever the size, shape or type of pool and whatever the budget, we can offer a suitable solution. Suntrap Systems is a long established company with more than 20 years’ experience which offers a specialised service to both private and commercial customers, and enjoys a reputation for quality, reliability and a personal service you can depend on.

Suntrap Systems
Tel. 0121 428 1155
www.suntrap-systems.co.uk

Superior SpasSuperior Spas : Stand 10-703

Add a touch of luxury to your holiday home or letting business, and boost your revenue by up to 60% with a Superior Spas Holiday Let Hot Tub, while ensuring you stay firmly within the parameters of the HSG282 guidelines. Established in 2009, Superior Spas are the UK’s largest distributor of hot tubs and spas. We pride ourselves on quality craftsmanship, commitment, reliability, and competitive pricing. Hailed as one of the best Holiday Let Spas retailers on the market, we have been named as the official supplier to Sykes Cottages. Our range of Holiday Let Hot Tubs is specifically designed for heavy usage and minimal maintenance. They come in a variety of sizes, making them the ideal choice for any garden, decking or outdoor area.

Superior Spas
Tel. 01246 559071
www.superiorspas.co.uk

The UK Ramp CompanyThe UK Ramp Company : Stand 1424

The UK Ramp Company provides design, supply and installation of Modular Pumptracks and Skate Ramps throughout the mainland UK. The company’s core customers are holiday parks and councils. We pride ourselves on providing second to none customer service from the initial enquiry until the end of life of the products.

The UK Ramp Company
Tel. 01923 678432
www.theukrampco.com

Trimax Mowing SystemsTrimax Mowing Systems : Stand 1330

Trimax Mowing Systems design and produce tractor-powered mowers with the highest level of finish and minimal maintenance. It is this that makes them a turn- to equipment manufacturer. The company began in New Zealand in the 1970’s with tractor-mounted mowers to cut grass beneath kiwifruit vines. Innovative developments, pioneered in flail blades and multi-spindled rotaries meant rapid advancement into amenity and sports surface mowing and exporting well beyond down-under. The Trimax name is now known everywhere by professionals who maintain grassed sports facilities, golf courses, public amenities and holiday parks.

Trimax Mowing Systems
Tel. 01933 652235
www.trimaxmowers.co.uk

Wilby LtdWilby Ltd - Park Protect : Stand 1440

The Park Protect policy has been specifically designed for Holiday and Caravan Parks and provides outstanding cover and value for members of the scheme. As a park insurance specialists, Wilby currently arrange insurance for more than 100 parks across the UK, from the North of Scotland to the South coast of England. As well as providing insurance to caravan parks across the country, as members of The National Caravan Council we are actively involved in the industry and know the challenges faced by parks. We have a team of advisers with a wealth of experience in dealing with touring, holiday and residential caravan and park home resorts of all shapes and sizes, so you can be sure you are dealing with a company that knows the needs of your business. As the scheme is developed specifically for the park industry it offers a range of extra benefits including Stock of holiday and residential homes £250k. Landscaping following a loss £5,000. Site services, inc underground pipes £10k. Contract works cover £25k.

Wilby Ltd – Park Protect
Tel. 01422 358 525
www.wilbyltd.co.uk

World LeisureWorld Leisure UK : Stand 1841

World Leisure (UK) is a multi-award winning provider of design, technical and installation services for the water leisure industry. Offering full turnkey packages, from design and installation through to commissioning and continued maintenance support, World Leisure`s extensive industry experience and a proven track record provide peace of mind to contractors and clients. Providing tailored solutions to meet the exact needs of each individual project, World Leisure partners with manufacturers and specialist equipment suppliers of the highest quality to ensure projects are completed on time and to the highest industry standard. Recent projects include the London Olympic Aquatic Centre, Lagan Valley Leisureplex (Northern Ireland), Ellesmere Port Sports Village, De Vere Scottish Urban Leisure Resorts, Brookfield Multiplex Centre Point, and the Defence & National Rehabilitation Centre`s new world class facilities at Stanford Hall.

World Leisure UK
Tel. 01722 284883
www.worldleisureuk.co.uk

World Of RidesWorld Of Rides : Stand 3441

For nearly 50 years, World of Rides has been the leading UK manufacturer of children’s leisure rides in the United Kingdom. From premises in County Durham the company supply major shopping centres, retailers, visitor attractions, fun farms, holiday parks, garden centres, family entertainment centres and hospitality centres that include national and single-site operators. The company boasts vast knowledge and experience ensures that every ride we manufacture is rigorously tested both in the factory and on-site before being released for sale. Customers receive the very best advice on the profitable and safe operation of their rides.

World of Rides
Tel. 0191 49 20 999
www.worldofrides.com

 

Key Seminar Sessions

Andy SuttonTheatre 13 - Wednesday 13.15 - 13.45

Andy Sutton

Maximising food and beverage in the holiday park industry One of the areas within the holiday park sector that has always been a struggle to maintain, is the food and beverage operation. The issue has been how to manage and carefully balance the gap between seasonal business, your offerings, and if you allow external business on park to contribute towards the success of your F&B. During my talk, I will discuss how you can look at simple options within your business, how to maintain out of season trade, and how to keep control whilst making a healthy profit.

 

TDawn Beeheatre 10 Thursday 11.00 - 11.30

Dawn Bee

Online Booking: Win and keep the customers you want Taking Online bookings may feel like losing control but this seminar will show you how you can use it to gain more control over the type of customer you attract. Repeat customers are the mainstay of most holiday park businesses. We will cover how you can use automation to set off on the right foot to create a lasting profitable relationship with each customer.

 

 

Steve HassenmullerTheatre 10 Thursday 13.15 - 13.45

Steve Hasenmueller

Marquis – The Ultimate Holiday Park Hot Tub Program Holiday Park guest turnover and high hot tub usage create unique requirements for a safe and effective low-maintenance program for hot tub owners. Get a complete overview of the Marquis Holiday Park program and models which address these unique requirements with specific features and designs.

 

 

Book your free tickets today - visit www.holidayparkshow.co.uk

 

 

 

No Quick Fix

no quick fixNo Quick Fix

I will start with a confession. Wisper it quietly, but there is no ‘quick fix’ that will instantly fill your holiday park with customers, especially in the quieter months. That magic button for your website – the one that will send bookings through the roof is, well, I’m afraid just a myth…
So, it’s time for a reality check. The only way to ensure your park is best placed to turn those clicks and enquiries into bookings and sales is to have a proper strategy in place. It can be really frustrating to see large volumes of traffic coming to your website but so few of those continuing to book their holidays. Abandoned bookings and poor conversions rates are an obvious sign that all is not well somewhere in the online booking process.

JIGSAW PIECES

Whether you own a large group of holiday parks or you’re just starting out with a few touring pitches, your online booking platform is arguably the most important piece of the jigsaw. You can spend thousands of pounds per month on marketing but, if it’s all let down by a process that inhibits the booking process then you’re wasting all your hard-earned cash. Online booking systems vary greatly from one another - and the most expensive one may not necessarily be the best for your park. You need a system that not only fulfils your requirements from a park management perspective but is, crucially, easy for your customers to navigate and book online.

It is too easy to forget the customer booking journey with parks too often spending more time focusing on the back-office functionality of an online booking system. But these online booking steps are, potentially, far more important than whether the system can produce all your different financial reports. Most systems (but not all) on the market will come with a set of online booking steps that will be the link between your website and booking system. It is crucial that you choose a system that has booking steps that are clear, straightforward and easily navigable for your customers.Why not take the journey yourself, as a customer would (we recommend trying this on a mobile too). If you find yourself getting frustrated then multiply this by the average number of people who visit your website and you’ll soon see why so many people abandon their bookings.

GDPR COMPLIANCE

hate to be the bearer of bad news but complying with GDPR wasn’t just sending out a few re-subscribe emails to your database at the end of May. It’s fair to say that it’s had (and will continue to have) a big impact on the holiday park industry. One thing’s for sure – it’s already had a big impact on the online booking sector, with many changes having been made to systems to comply as best they can with the new regulations. A cornerstone element of GDPR is customer data. Your online booking system is, potentially, storing thousands of customer records, accounts and, in some cases, payment details too.

Do you know for sure where all that customer data is? Is it stored directly on the computer in your office – and is this vulnerable to hackers? Or is the data stored in the cloud? Is it encrypted to the highest level? Are your online booking steps collecting marketing information even from those who don’t complete a booking? If so, what’s being done with all that data? All these are vitally important questions you should ask your current provider or ask yourself before changing to a new system as you will be liable, should the worst happen.If your online booking is the final part of the jigsaw, then getting your customers into that booking process, is the first. How do you attract the right sort of customer to your park to begin with?
Before you commit to spending hundreds or thousands of pounds per month on a Google AdWords PPC campaign or such like you need to ask yourself one fundamental question – who are your customers? How old are they? Where do they live? What interests do they have? What do they spend on an average holiday? Once you have a clear idea of the people you’re targeting then you’re more likely to achieve the desired result. Depending on the sort of customer you’re targeting, your marketing can be grouped into various activities, including your website, email, social media, pay per click (PPC) or printed media. All of this will filter back to the online booking process.

KEY WORDS

A good website that’s well optimised for all the relevant keywords is certainly a good start and will be integral for just about everything you do but it will not, necessarily, be the huge driver of traffic on its own, that it once was. Things are ever-changing in the world of the web and the level of competition has gone from stiff to fierce, especially in popular holiday destinations such as the South West of England.

That being said, there are some key things to consider with your current website to help it work best for you:

• Does it stand out from the crowd? Does it have a ‘wow’ factor?
• Is it quick and easy to use on a mobile device?
• Do the images properly showcase your setting and accommodation range?
• Are your CTAs (calls to action) clear and consistent – ‘book now’ ‘check prices & availability’ ‘call now’

How much do you spend on your marketing and what sort of Return on Investment (ROI) are you getting? Do you know? If the answer to this last question is a resounding ‘no’ then it’s time to take stock of your current activity…and think again. If, for whatever reason, you are not able to apportion revenue against your marketing then you are working with one hand behind your back.

MEASURE SUCCESS

E-commerce tracking really is the cornerstone of measuring a campaign’s success, whether it be a promotional email or a Google AdWords campaign. Without this knowledge it’s almost impossible to know if what you’re doing is right. So many people are obsessed with the volume of clicks and traffic that a campaign sends to their website but this can often be very misleading. Always think – quality over quantity! You’re aiming for ‘qualified’ clicks; those that come from an audience who are in-tune and interested in your product, not those who may have clicked your banner ad by mistake. To this end, your external marketing should follow the same premise. As mentioned, know your audience and aim your marketing at this focused bunch of people, don’t waste your time and money on a scattergun approach because it simply won’t work.

Pitched
Tel. 01726 418118
Pitched.co.uk

Web Wise

Web Wise - Online Bookings

The sense that many potential customers are just looking, not booking is common. Web visitors often just want to get a picture of what’s available. At other times they’re unable to commit to plans until they’ve settled on exact dates with friends and family.

Whatever the reason, conversion rates in the travel industry are surprisingly low, and that’s why it is crucial for holiday park owners to get the booking process right. More people are using the web to shop around for holidays than ever before, and this WEb Wise 1means they’re only a swipe away from comparing prices with a competitor.

Research has shown that 37 per cent of consumers abandon travel purchases at the last minute because they want to do further research or find a cheaper price. But when margins in the industry are low, competing on price is difficult. Instead, holiday park owners should focus on delivering a streamlined shopping experience and a fuss-free checkout process. With so many holiday options on offer, it’s vital that potential customers don’t vanish at the finish line.

Choosing the most appropriate booking system requires park owners and managers to match their needs with the features of a product. But no two holiday parks are identical and it might seem difficult to find a system with all the necessary functions and flexibility. This is why CampManager, a leading Park Management Software provider, assists more than 300 campsites and caravan parks throughout the UK and Ireland with an online booking solution suited to the individual parks’ requirements.

“There are many different booking systems in the market, some of which have been adapted from hotel booking systems, which may not provide you with the pricing functionality that you require,” says Niall Norris of CampManager. “It’s important to select a booking system which is specifically designed to manage all your different pricing requirements – season dates, minimum stays and set arrival dates – and all your different rental accommodation and touring pitch characteristics.”

However, park owners should realise that the best solution may not come right out of a box. Sometimes choosing a booking system is more about modifying an existing offering to fit a park’s individual specifications. For Dafydd Lawrence, head of information systems at Bluestone National Park Resort, an award-winning retreat in the rolling Pembrokeshire countryside, it was important to create a bespoke solution that would fit with the park’s existing digital infrastructure. WEb Wise 2

“Having a web API in our main booking system allowed us to write our own online platform that talks directly to our booking system,” Lawrence explains. “Any system that makes you use an ‘off-the-shelf’ website or their own web booking engine can severely limit how much you can customise the experience for your guests.” The most obvious step to making booking on your site easy is to ensure that it works well on mobile devices.

To read more about getting 'Web Wise' please subscribe to Holiday Park Scene here.

COMPANY CONTACTS

CAMPMANAGER - Tel. 02081 331 005 -  www.campmanager.com
GEMAPARK -  Tel. 01983 282 420 - www.gemapark.co.uk
PITCHED - Tel. 01726 418 118 - www.pitched.co.uk