If you’ve just launched a surf camp, surf school or surf guiding service, you may be wondering how to get the word out beyond just posting a few stunning Instagram photos here and there.
The good news is that there are lots of easy and effective ways to do this. The bad news is that it’s difficult to know where to start and what will work best for new businesses.
That’s where I come in.
In this article, I’ll prove that marketing a surf camp is actually easier (and more affordable) than you think! From releasing regular newsletters to hiring a professional photographer, these strategies are guaranteed to get more eyes on your brand.
Collect and release guest experience stories on your blog
Most surf camps and surf tourism brands are sitting on an absolute treasure trove of content. But the vast majority don’t even realise it.
I’m of course talking about sharing relatable, personal guest experiences on your blog or website.
This is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal.
When people can see how others have had great experiences with your brand, it helps to build trust and confidence that you’re worth doing business with.
How do you go about collecting these stories though?
The best way is to simply ask your guests for them! At the end of their stay, send out a quick survey asking people to share their thoughts on their experience.
You can even offer a small discount or freebie in exchange for their feedback. Alternatively, reach out to guests via social media or email and ask if they’d be willing to write a quick review or testimonial.
Once you’ve collected a few stories, it’s time to start sharing them on your website and across your marketing channels.
If you don’t have a blog, start one. Guest experience stories should be a key part of your content strategy.
Not only will this help to attract new customers, but it will also give you a valuable resource to refer back to when you need some fresh ideas for marketing your surf camp.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good newsletter
If you’ve read some of my most recent newsletters, you’ll have learned two things.
One is that I’m a sucker for awesome surf and beach photos. And two is that I really truly believe in the power of marketing a surf camp through email newsletters.
There’s something about the combination of stunning visuals and well-written copy that works. And if you can get your readers to subscribe to your newsletter, you’ve got a captive audience that you can reach out to on a regular basis.
So how do you go about marketing a surf camp through email newsletters? Here are seven helpful tips:
– Keep it personal: Write as though you’re writing to a friend. And make sure each newsletter feels like it’s coming from a real person rather than a faceless organization.
– Make it visual: A picture of your surf camp is worth a thousand words. So make sure to include plenty of eye-catching images in each newsletter.
– Keep it short and sweet: No one wants to read a novel in their inbox. So keep your newsletters concise and to the point.
– Include a call to action: Every newsletter should have some sort of call to action, whether it’s signing up for a surf camp, booking a stay at your lodge, or simply visiting your website.
– Offer something exclusive: Give your newsletter subscribers access to special deals and discounts that they can’t find anywhere else. This will make them feel appreciated and more likely to continue reading.
– Use engaging subject lines: Write headlines that will make people want to open your email. Be creative, but also make sure they’re relevant to the content inside.
– Segment your list: Not all of your subscribers will be interested in the same thing. So it’s important to segment your list and send targeted emails to different groups. This way, you can make sure everyone is getting the information they want.
Discover more tips for writing captivating emails by clicking here.
Remember that it’s about quality, not quantity
Ok, so this one is a little bit tricky.
The reason for saying this is that if you talk to 100 different content specialists, 50 will say you need to be posting every day, while the other 50 will say you need to focus on the quality of consistency.
Personally, I think it’s all about finding a solution that balances the too whilst also taking into account the audience you’re pitching to. You want to be producing content on a regular basis, but you also need to make sure that what you’re putting out there is worth reading or watching.
There’s really no point in publishing a blog post if you’ve half-assed it. Not only will you be wasting your own time, but you’ll also be damaging your reputation as a business.
To put it bluntly, my advice would be to aim for quality over quantity if you’re just starting out. Once you’ve got a few blog posts under your belt or Instagram posts that people have actually enjoyed viewing, then you can start thinking about increasing the frequency of your content.
But until then, take your time, focus on creating something great, and don’t worry too much about how often you’re putting it out there.
As cliche as it sounds, marketing is a journey and not a destination.
Arrange for professional photos of your surf tourism business
One irrefutable truth of selling any product, experience or service is that having high-quality photos is key to marketing success. But this is especially true when your product is as visual as a surf camp.
When you’re just starting out, it can be tempting to try and save money by taking your own photos or using stock images. However, this will likely do more harm than good in the long run.
Investing in high-quality, professional photography is an essential part of marketing a surf camp – it will make your business look more polished and trustworthy, and help you attract attention online.
There are a few different ways to go about getting professional photos for your surf camp business. You could hire a freelance photographer for a day, work with a local photography student, or even exchange services with another business owner in a related field.
No matter what route you choose, make sure to take the time to plan out your photo shoot ahead of time. This will ensure that you get the types of photos that you need, and help you avoid any potential hiccups on the day of.
Make sure you have a clean, easy to navigate website
While Instagram is excellent for catching the attention of your target audience, the engine of your booking system is your website. For this reason, you must make sure that your website is clean, easy to navigate and fast.
Your website should be designed with your target market in mind.
For example, if you’re marketing a luxury surf camp aimed at corporate clients, your website must look the part. It should convey an upmarket feeling without being too stiff or unapproachable.
In contrast, if you’re marketing a budget-friendly surf camp aimed at backpackers and students, your website should have a more relaxed and informal vibe.
Whichever direction you choose to go in, just make sure that your website design is on point and relevant to your target market. And always ask yourself before you assemble it: would I book a surf camp with this website?
Be bold, original and creative in everything you do
Finally, if you want to stand out from the crowd in an oversaturated market, you need to be bold, original and creative in everything you do.
From your branding and marketing materials to the way you run your camp and the types of experiences and packages you offer, you need to be constantly thinking about what you can do differently.
Of course, you shouldn’t try too hard either.
When I say be bold, original and creative, I really want to emphasise the original part. After all, everyone is different with their own unique set of skills, talents and experiences so just be yourself and allow that to shine through in everything you do.
I guarantee that if you do this, you’ll begin to attract the attention of your ideal target market in no time.
So there you have it, my top six marketing tips for new surf camp owners.
I hope you found this article helpful and that you’re feeling inspired to start marketing your business today.
As always, if you have any questions or would like me to expand on any of the points I’ve made, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or get in touch with me directly. I’m always happy to assist where I can.
Click here for more tips on how to market your surf camp