Thursday, June 28, 2018

KOA's 2018 North American Camping Report Might Surprise You

It’s no secret that RVing and camping go hand-in-hand. So when KOA released their 2018 North American Camping Report earlier this year, we were excited to see new camping trends and updated data - and they did not disappoint. We’ll give you a quick breakdown of KOA’s findings and how these numbers could potentially impact your business.

Right off the bat, KOA reported that since 2014 more than 6 million new North American households have started camping, and the number of campers who camp three times or more each year has increased by 64%. The length of time campers are spending camping is also increasing and 39% of new campers plan to camp more often in 2018. KOA reports that in 2017, there has been an increase of 2.6 million camping households, representing all ethnicities, and that there is a nearly even split between white and non-white campers. We’re encouraged to see these numbers on the rise and to see a more diverse group of campers enjoying the great outdoors. 

The diversity seen among campers was not only in ethnicity, but in age range as well. According to the report, Millennials and Gen Xers make up three-quarters of all campers, with Millennials accounting for 40%. Millennials are beginning to follow in their parent’s footsteps by enjoying the camping experience and many are choosing to RV, with 37% making up all RVers.

As we know, camping doesn't always need to be in a tent, and new campers seem to agree. While 53% of new campers say they still camp in tents, 25% chose cabins and 19% chose RVs, but those numbers are on the rise. RVers spent the most nights camping in 2017, and it was reported that there is a strong desire among non-RV owners to try RVing, with more than half saying they would consider renting from a peer-to-peer service. These buyers are your perfect potential customer - they are already interested in the lifestyle, so show them specifically how RVing can improve their already great camping experience. Focus on things like affordability and amenities because those are likely big barriers to entry for tent campers looking to make the jump into the RV life.

As the number of campers continues to rise, we are encouraged to see them exploring different accommodations, such as RVs. As we mentioned before, many people want to “try before they buy” and it’s important to stay in front of these potential buyers so when they are ready to make the big purchase, your dealership is top of mind. We all know the power of the camping and adventure lifestyle, and we’re excited to see the future growth of the industry - according to these numbers, it doesn't look like it’s slowing down any time soon.

To read the full report, click here.
Trader Online Web Developer

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Building Your Business on Instagram: 3 Tips to Expand Your Audience

It’s no secret that Instagram has become one of the most prominent digital marketing outlets utilized by thousands of businesses today, from small local markets to multi-million dollar corporations. The idea behind the social media application is actually pretty simple - a digital online scrapbook. With nearly 800 million users, if you’re not already interacting with your audience on Instagram, it’s probable that you’re doing your business a disservice.

Just like you market yourself on RV Trader and on local print and media advertisements, marketing your company on social is now just as crucial. However, it’s not just about “being” on Instagram. It’s about growing and engaging an audience of interested, loyal audience members. It might sound easy- but getting started with this digital business expansion can often be the hardest part.

To help you hone your social strategy on Instagram, we’ve come up with three key tips to grow your following, engage your audience, and get customers interested all through the simple use of this social platform.
  • Get your company's profile completely filled out. Nothing is worse than a customer receiving a follower request or getting a picture liked by a ‘business’ with no profile photo or a missing website link. Though many companies may feel that Instagram is “just a social profile” that doesn’t need the same attention as a website, users may think that your activity without a full profile on Instagram could be regarded as spam. Not only could you be blocked, unfollowed, or turned down for a following, you could even be reported- just because users think you look suspicious. Don’t let that happen. Be sure your Instagram profile includes all of the following elements in full:
    • A clear profile image, featuring the most simplistic version of your logo possible. The amount of space provided for a profile photo is incredibly small, so you want people to be able to identify your business identity easily and without straining their eyes.
    • A link to your website. Now that Instagram has a section on your profile where you can include a website or link, take advantage of that space! If a user notices you on Instagram and visits your profile, that is your chance to introduce yourself to them as who you really are. This way, they aren’t having to exit out of the app, open a browser, and search you on Google- they are directly linked to your website for information.
    • A short bio, perhaps even with a clever or motivational spin. You have a very limited number of characters to fill the “About” section of your profile before people either (a) become annoyed at you for talking too much about yourself, or (b) decide not to read the rest of your description, because they are distracted or get bored. Grab their attention. Include something about yourself being a business (“Family RV Dealer located in Sunny Southwest Florida”), but add something to help them remember you by. Try not to be too corny, but whether it’s your company slogan or a quote, this can help draw your audience in and get them scrolling through your feed.
  • Engage with your followers to grow your audience. The thing about Instagram for business is that it isn’t an exact science - is more of an art, with stable practice over time. You’re not going to grow by 20,000 followers overnight, but you definitely can grow by at least 20 a day with the proper tricks on hand. Try a few of these strategies known to grow business’ follower numbers exponentially over time:
    • Use hashtags in your posts. When people are searching for something on instagram, such as a travel trailer, they will type into the searchbar “#traveltrailer.” Obviously, you want your dealership’s profile and related posts to show up in their search, so use that hashtag to help that customer find you. The most successful and engaging posts include at least 11 hashtags, so depending on your niche, primary models carried, etc., choose the best ones that work for you. At least one should be focused on your company name, and most of the rest should be focused on the type of model/RV experience in your photo or at your dealership.
    • Whether you have a specified social media specialist or you’re the director and handle social yourself, you should be engaging with Instagram users regularly as though they were all your prospects. One way to do this is by searching one of your target hashtags (i.e., “#traveltrailer”) and liking posts related to that hashtag. It may sound tedious, but liking at least 50 posts a day - focusing on the most recent posts, which have less likes - will get your name on a user’s notifications as someone who liked their photo.  
    • Another way to do this - scroll through those hashtags, and when you see a photo you find especially interesting, comment on it! Even if it’s just a statement such as “Great photo!”, users love engagement. Talk to them, and whether it’s through a like, follow, or simple response back, you are putting your name out there - and once you comment on their photo, it’s now in front of that individual’s followers, too. Much more simple than it sounds at first!
  • Pay special attention to the quality and type of photos you post. Don’t take the same photos of different units over and over again. Rather, try to mix your messages. Take this idea for a sample strategy: 
    • One day, take a photo of a special rate sign in your dealership. 
    • The next day, go ahead and share a photo of a unit for sale- but aim to do so every other day, mixing these photos with other types of media. 
    • This will communicate to your audience that yes, you are a dealership, and your goal is to get units sold, but you also care about the experience the have with your company- both online, and in person. 
We hope these tips have helped you gain a clearer vision of what steps you can take to refine and develop your presence on Instagram - be sure to tag @rvtrader and hashtag #rvtrader to gain the most exposure possible for your photos - and possibly even get featured on our own Instagram page!

Trader Online Web Developer