“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”
~ Seth Godin (the Socrates of online marketing)
We probably don’t need to convince you anymore that online marketing will be extremely important this summer.
At a certain point in the near future, people will receive the message that they are allowed to have (some sort of) vacation outside of their own garden. Many will hear that their existing bookings have been cancelled, will be afraid to travel too far from home or won’t be able to visit their favorite resort because of travel bans or postponed flight routes. In other words, they will have to find a new destination.
Where do you think they will search?
While being stuck at home, people are spending huge amounts of time on the internet. They’ve become experts in using different social media channels and have probably already been thinking about alternatives for their next vacation destination.
The best moment to start boosting your online marketing was several years ago. But today is still much better than tomorrow. With the following tips you can easily improve your online presence and make sure to catch the naturist’s eye.
E-mail your customer database
Over the years that you’ve been running your business, you’ve probably gathered an impressive list of e-mail addresses from previous guests. Maybe you already send these people a newsletter or Christmas card. Now you can also use this list to send updates about your resort and about how you’re dealing with the COVID-19 virus.
The most important messages you want to send are:
✅ We are still here.
✅ We are positive that you can have a great naturist vacation with us this summer.
✅ We will do everything in our power to keep you safe and healthy.
These messages can be wrapped in pictures, stories about how you’re keeping yourself busy, behind the scenes info and accurate updates about the current situation.
Reply to online reviews and comments
This is such an important task and yet it often disappears on the shelf “things to do when I have some free time”.
Why is this so important?
Because it shows that you care about how your visitors experience your place. Not only towards the person who wrote the comment, but also towards all those millions of people who are able to read this comment. And your reply.
It’s very human to only reply to the negative comments and often in a defensive way.
“Our shower blocks aren’t crappy, you’re just a snob”.
When replying to a comment, you always have to keep all those people who can read the comment and your reply in mind. Even to the most negative comments it’s much stronger to reply something like “Thanks for your comment and we’re truly sorry that you feel this way. We wish that you had told us this during your stay. Your remarks will be discussed at the next board meeting so we can give you a better experience next time.”
This may seem like admitting that the commenter is right and you are wrong. But it isn’t. Instead, it shows that you care about your guests, even those who might never come back.
Make sure to also respond to the positive and average comments. When people take the time to write something about your place, you have to show your appreciation. Even if it’s just with a simple “Thank you, hope to see you again soon”.
Add a coronavirus update on your website
When people are researching a new vacation destination and they get a glimpse of your resort, they will eventually end up on your website. Today, more than ever, it’s important to have accurate information about the current situation and any changes that you may have had to apply.
Imagine this couple that found your website, saw that your resort is open and decide to come over for the weekend. They load the camper, stuff the three kids on the back seat, drive for 3 hours only to end up in front of a closed gate.
The easy answer is “they should have called”.
Well, they shouldn’t. Your website is your business card and it’s your responsibility that the information is accurate. If you buy something online you also don’t call first to check if they actually sell the product. Because it’s on the website, we trust that they have it.
There are many ways to add this information to your website. You could have a designated corona page, a popup window, a sidebar notification or a short message bar like the one about our Facebook group that you can see at the top of this page.
Write a blog
Remember the quote at the beginning of this article. Marketing is about telling/selling stories. A blog is an excellent tool for that.
On the “facilities” page of your website you can write “Brand new jacuzzi”. Maybe in bold or italic, in huge red letters and with 10 exclamation marks. But it’s still just 3 words.
On your blog you can talk about why you wanted a new jacuzzi, tell about the funny thing that happend while installing it, add some pictures and end with how amazing your first skinny dip in your new jacuzzi was.
With a blog you can provide personal and detailed information about anything. How you’re installing preventive COVID-19 measures, the wonderful comments you’ve received from previous visitors, a story about a communal barbecue last year, an overview of trails where you can hike nude, the best nude beaches in the region, top things to do in a nearby city, why you’ve chosen the clothing optional concept instead of nude obligatory, and so on.
Create a display advertising campaign
Once the travel bans are lifted, either domestic or international, you want to get the word out as fast as possible. More importantly, you want to reach the right people. All of them.
What will be the requirements?
1. They’re naturists, nudists or anyone else who like to spend some time nude.
2. They want to go on a vacation.
3. They live in a country from where they can get to you.
The most popular advertising networks today are Facebook and Google. Both have excellent systems to determine customer behavior. Trust us, Google knows that you’re going to buy a new camper before you do. Both networks can perfectly tell you who wants to go on a vacation and where they live. The only downside is requirement number 1. They can’t tell you if someone is a naturist.
That’s where NaturistAds joins the game. Since we only publish advertising on naturist websites, we can be sure that the large majority of the ad viewers are naturists or interested in naturism (requirement 1).
Since we’re using a pay-per-click model, you only pay when someone clicks on your ads and visits your website. Only people who are interested in visiting a naturist resort click on resort banners (requirement 2).
And because we use geo-targeting, we only show your ads in the countries of your preference. In this case, the countries from which people are likely to travel to you (requirement 3).
Register at Google My Business
In case you still think that Google is just a search engine, we have some shocking news for you. Have a look at this list of companies owned by Alphabet, the mother company of Google.
The variety in different sectors is impressive. Especially during the last years, Google (Alphabet) has been acquiring more and more companies that have nothing to do with the IT sector. There’s shopping, audio, video, talent management, health, education and… travel.
Here’s a very important thing you need to know about Google. One of its major goals is to keep people as long as possible within its own network. So either on the Google website or on one of its partner websites. When you search for a video, why do you always end up on YouTube and never on Vimeo? Not because Vimeo doesn’t have the right video for you. Because YouTube is a part of the Google network.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to become part of the Google network. But by registering at Google My Business, Google will rather show people your place in its search results than the places that are not registered.
Make sure that your information on Google My Business is accurate and updated, especially your (probably changed) opening times.
Pin important social media updates to the top of your page
Similarly to having a message with COVID-19 updates on your website, it’s also advisable to have one on your social media channels. The difference on social media is that a regular update message might not be sufficient, if you keep into account that the average message is only seen by 10-15% of your followers.
Luckily, most social media platforms have the option to “pin” a certain message, meaning that it will always appear before anything else. Whenever someone visits your page, it’s the first thing they will see. When you publish a new update, you just “unpin” the old one and pin the new message.
Take the time and lack of guests as an opportunity to make videos and photos
Because of the coronavirus, chances are that you ended up with more time than expected and less guests in your resort than normally around this time of the year. Of course, you’d rather have seen things differently, but you could take the opportunity to make photos and videos.
In fact, now is your chance to create a media database to which you can return for a long time to come, whenever you need new content.
While you’re at it, it’s also important to consider where these photos and/or videos will be used. If you’re planning to put more effort in social media, think about which shots you can put on there. Facebook and Instagram, for example, don’t allow nudity.
It’s also a good idea to take some photos with lots of empty space. A bright blue sky, a large grass field or the water in your swimming pool are excellent places to put text in case you want to use the photos for advertising.
Keep reviewing your marketing plan
Flexibility will be key this summer and maybe even next summer. Today, it’s impossible to create a waterproof marketing plan for the next months. But a couple of weeks should be doable.
Make it a habit to review your marketing plan regularly. What is happening, what changed, what’s working, which audiences do I want to reach now, which message do I want to send now, how can I keep connecting with my customers, etc.
No matter how long this takes, keep communicating
Today, marketing may seem like an expensive and time consuming thing to do. But it’s crucial that you don’t stop. Soon, this period will come to an end and when it does, you want your business to be the first one that pops into people’s minds.
By not moving forward, you’re actually moving backward because your competitors will also use this time to adapt their marketing strategies. To stop with marketing now might seem like a financially smart decision, but it will make the recovery process much longer.
Many of the tips in this article are things you can do for free or at a really low cost. If you don’t know where to start or if you want help with certain parts, just contact us. We are good at these things!
Also make sure to subscribe to our newsletter, keep following this blog, join the Naturist Business COVID-19 Support Facebook Group and have a look at our FREE GUIDE for Naturist Resorts about how to cope with the COVID-19 crisis.