Camp Colorado Guide, Updates from the CCLOA Office

A Closer Look at Camp Colorado

Come camp in Colorado! That is the bottomline message conveyed by CCLOA’s Camp Colorado product line. When we convey this message, CCLOA members are our examples. CCLOA members get the spotlight!

CCLOA has two identities:

  • The professional trade association for business to business, and
  • Camp Colorado to connect to the world’s camping public.

Those who in our Camp Colorado audience already have an avid interest in camping in Colorado. Through CCLOA, you can help us drive some of them up your own driveway. The tools are in place for you.

For those parks whose occupancy isn’t running at your desired capacity, let’s get you better acquainted with our Camp Colorado product line.

First, here’s a little-known fact. Camp Colorado would not be what it is without matched marketing grants from the Colorado Tourism Office. Those tourism taxes you collect from your guests really do pay off! Some of them are hard at work here for you.


Camp Colorado Guide

For 2021, we will edit our guide and place a downloadable PDF of it on our CampColorado.com site.

The printed guide lists virtually all of the camping facilities in our state (we say it’s the “most comprehensive directory”).


Social Media for Camp Colorado (not counting CCLOA’s Facebook page which we’d love to have you like)

We use some of the most popular social media sites (the links are in my signature block on each email you get from CCLOA). We use those sites to inspire people to come camp in Colorado. Again, the examples we show are our CCLOA members.

In our posts we might mention you, we might link to your listing on CampColorado.com, we might tag your park’s social media page, and we might link to the Facebook photo album that we created specifically for each CCLOA member (which gets deleted when a member doesn’t renew membership).

In addition, when someone searches for you on Facebook, regardless of whether your Facebook page exists and how frequently you use it, at least a few of our mentions will appear in the search results.

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Let’s just talk about Facebook for now. I’m the ghost-writer for quite a few Facebook pages so, from where I sit, it’s easy for me to say that Camp Colorado’s audience on Facebook is very active and engaged.

Camp Colorado started 2019 with 21,774 LIKES on Facebook. On 8/24/2019, we have 23,193.

This doesn’t mean that we reach 23,193 people with every post! Statistics show that a post likely reaches about 2% of your audience size. That isn’t very many, but 2% of 23,193 people is more appealing than 2% of 1,000 people.

Boosting helps expand your reach significantly. Here are some examples on recent UNboosted posts (keep in mind, August Facebook activity sees a significant drop-off compared to the first seven months).

  • A post we made on 8/22 has already generated 123 engagements (likes, comments or click-throughs).
  • On 8/18, we shared a post by Dolores River Campground and it’s received 197 engagements.
  • Even earlier, a post about Cutty’s Hayden Creek Resort produced 201 engagements.
  • Many others are showing 17 – 100 engagements.
  • A post we made about Bristlecone Lodge generated 122 clicks directly to their CampColorado.com listing.
  • A post linking to our latest blog post has already had 12 shares (shares have a huge impact!), 119 engagements, and has reached 1,837 people:Capture sample 2
  • Here’s another example of what can happen when we share one of your page’s posts to our audience. This screenshot was taken about 22 hours after it was shared on our page. Nice size audience reach, shared once, and great engagements!

Capture sample

Now, how about boosting?

  • One park’s post that linked directly to their listing on CampColorado.com generated 45 clicks (plus an additional 207 likes or comments).
  • Here’s stats on a boosted post about one of our members, from July. It reached 14.7k Facebook users, it generated 710 clicks (to that park’s CampColorado.com listing), and it generated 627 reactions, comments or sharing of the post.Sample of a post with a paid boost.

We can boost a post about your park for as little as $1. Of course, $5 goes a lot farther, just like $1K will naturally go considerably farther. What’s a common amount? Some have given $50 to use for boosting through the year, while others have given us many hundreds. Imagine what would happen with even more?!

It all depends on what works for your needs and your budget. Just remember, 100% of the funds you earmark for boosting gets applied to boosting. We don’t keep any of it, and we don’t use it on posts that mention other parks in with your park. It’s dedicated to boosting posts about your park.

FYI: Not all posts can be boosted, and countless factors account for variations in results (was the post on a heavy news day or lazy January Sunday morning?).

While we’re talking about social media, it’s truly sad to see how few members like our posts about their park, comment on those posts which mention them (which gains you even more attention from our audience), or even share any of our posts to their audience. There are benefits to all of those actions.

OK. That’s all the time I have on this topic. I could teach a college semester on this topic but I won’t!


Influencers

So far we’ve talked about our reach to our audience. Journalists, writers and bloggers influence their audience. I began using influencers for CCLOA members shortly after I came aboard, and we are using them even more and more with each passing year.

Why? They reaches new people who aren’t yet in our audience! We hope they will come camp in Colorado (and maybe they’ll also become a part of our regular audience).

There are two primary ways we achieve this:

  • I pitch ideas to influencers and include possible camping facilities that work for that idea,
  • I receive a pitch from an influencer, and they ask for suggested facilities that would fit their idea.

Then I assist them in coordinating their travel plans. In return, they write a positive travel story that includes at least one CCLOA member and they reference Camp Colorado.

By the way, not all pitches make it to publication, and we don’t control the content.


Camp Colorado Blog Posts

When we launched our new website we began blogging, and soon thereafter we found ourselves on the Top 25 Colorado Blogs (presently we’re ranked at #18).

Presently (8/23/2019), our most read blog post has been opened 3,792 times. It’s Colorado Glamping.


CampColorado.com: A Comprehensive Online Colorado Camping Directory 

Our website, https://CampColorado.com, lists nearly every campground in our state (there are some who asked to not be listed, and there are some I haven’t yet found time to add).

Those who search to find a campground may choose between a number of search criteria, including the bottom-most option, STATUS: Camp Colorado Members. The default display is CCLOA members. Yes, one must scroll down to uncheck it if they want to expand the results to include the massive list of parks.

The screenshot below was taken when that status box was unchecked. You can see that CCLOA members are listed first, and member parks have a photo while non-members are very plain.

Sample of a member and non-member search results on CampColorado.com

CCLOA members are our utmost highest priority so CCLOA members receive the highest visibility!

Now let’s look at the listings themselves. Why? Because some members have noticed less traffic coming to their website from ours and it’s because of our listings. Trust me, this isn’t a bad indicator!

Your listing is now very robust compared to our former website, so it isn’t always necessary for a camper to see your website for more information or to see if it appeals to them. Even if it does appeal, they can contact you via email or phone, or even click right to your reservation page to finalize their plans (this click still might not show on your analytics since they don’t land on your domain’s home page).

Member parks receive a very robust listing. A fully filled out listings contains:

  • Property overview, including descriptive text plus elevation, types of stays you allow, open months (heavily used in searches), special conditions, pet situation, & payment options
  • Sites and Lodging information
  • Nearby and onsite amenities and activities
  • A direct link to your website
  • A direct link to your online reservation page
  • Direct links to your social media pages and reviews pages
  • A map, which also includes the ability to guide them from their location to you
  • Photos of your place (you’re welcome to send me more or request I remove some)
  • Videos of  your place (too few have supplied these to me!)
  • Your local weather

Comparatively, here’s what we show for non-members:  name, address and phone number.


Camp Colorado is Merely One of Many Benefits

Please remember that marketing is one of our eight focal areas. We don’t expect to drive thousands of guests up your driveway. Still, as the Executive Director of several similar associations, CCLOA’s Camp Colorado product line is light-years ahead of the others (for many reasons).

While we don’t profess to send you a full-house every night, here are some examples of how Camp Colorado has generated occupancy for some of you:

  • We were the bridge between a member listed on CampColoarado.com who doesn’t have email to a European guest who wanted to make a reservation for an 11-night mid-summer stay (that pretty much covered the park’s full dues payment for that entire year!).
  • We’ve been thanked by some travelers who shared with us that they chose their rally or a long-staying vacationer because of our posts or blogs.
  • Many tell us via social media that we led them to make plans by seeing our posts.
  • Each year we are seeing more and more social media messages and comments from people who are seeking our assistance in finding a campsite for their circumstances.

I don’t track or tally these, but as a former campground owner and as an Executive Director in multiple states, the activity of Camp Colorado is quite exciting and is like no other!


YOUR DATA

The first quarter of each year is when many people begin dreaming of their spring and summer camping trips so, even if you don’t have your new amenities in place for the upcoming year, it doesn’t hurt to get them added to your listings at the start of the year.

As year-end approaches, CCLOA reminds members to review your listing and tell us of revisions for the new year (P.S. revisions can be made any time you see the need).

Don’t just see if what’s showing is accurate, but compare what’s showing to all that’s available to be shown. Your listing will do more for you when it’s not only accurate but it’s complete!

Click here to download see the worksheet of the listing options. It also shows what can be shown on your GoCampingAmerica.com listing. Let me know what changes you’d like for me to make!


LET’S  WRAP THIS UP!

If you feel your website isn’t getting enough traffic from us, feel free to ask me to study our stats to see how much traffic opened your listing on our site.

It takes a while for me to read through 800 pages of analytics (thus far this year!), so it’s not readily available at my fingertips … yet with time I can actually see how see how many visitors each listing on CampColorado.com has had.

It’s a little bit easier to see how many people liked or shared social media posts that mentioned specific parks, and it’s very easy to see how many email messages were sent from CampColorado.com listings to the respective parks.

I can see how far reaching a social media post went, and how boosting some can phenomenally increase hits to the campground’s listing.

It’s because of what I’m seeing that we came up with the idea to offer pay-to-play programs. For those who aren’t operating at full capacity, these options might assist you … affordably!

From where I sit, my sadness is in this thought, “Empty sites tonight can never again be filled once morning arrives! If only more would give Camp Colorado a try!”

When I was a park owner, I would have used nearly every benefit CCLOA offers today!

 


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