Most industries have taken a massive hit during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but one that may surprise you is parks and outdoor recreation. While we have all seen plenty of envy-inspiring pictures on Instagram of friends and family enjoying empty National Parks or engaging in other socially-distant outdoor activities, that doesn’t mean businesses, agencies and organizations in the parks and outdoor recreation space have been immune to the effects of COVID-19.
Despite how many of us have tried to shake cabin fever by flocking to local parks, beaches and green spaces, government and privately held parks and outdoor recreation agencies and organizations are facing significant budget cuts as available revenue streams and resources continue to dwindle. Even San Diego’s famed favorite, Balboa Park, is staring down significant financial cuts despite its importance to the local tourism economy.
So, how can those in the parks and outdoor recreation space in San Diego and beyond safely encourage park attendance? Check out some of our tips for utilizing digital marketing for parks and outdoor recreation in 2020.
Share safety updates and hours of operation- often!
Parks and outdoor recreation venues are working hard to maintain a safe environment for guests, and it’s important that they communicate the precautions and safety measures they are implementing continuously to the public in an accessible way.
Frequent social media posts, email blasts, blogs and an updated website that details how your organization is adhering to the health and safety guidelines provided by the CDC reassures guests that they can safely and comfortably visit.
Create socially distant alternatives to typical activities- and share them!
With youth and adult sports, workout classes, outdoor clubs, and community activities like festivals and farmer’s markets being canceled, parks need to get creative with finding ways to engage with visitors.
Encourage isolated activities like surfing, camping, kayaking, fishing or hiking to bring visitors back, or try setting up individual stations or assigning time slots for outdoor group workout classes. In lieu of a crowded community festival, spread out a park scavenger hunt, self-guided plant or animal identification activity or something that visitors can do on their own time while easily maintaining social distancing.
Some parks and outdoor organizations are even using this time to grow their community service efforts, organizing socially distant beach and river cleanups or planting community gardens. Whatever you do, remember to share it on social media! Promotions, contests, hashtags and polls can drive engagement, spread the word and encourage visitors.
Innovate out-of-the-box ideas for visual content.
Whether you’re executing a myriad of creative, socially distant activities or simply welcoming visitors to utilize outdoor spaces at their leisure, nothing entices someone stuck inside more than strong visual imagery of the outdoors they could be enjoying.
A simple photo of a relaxing beach or greenspace is great from time to time, but challenge yourself to think of new ways to push visual content. Work with a local influencer to do an Instagram account takeover for the day, go live and answer questions about new park activities and safety, or [finally] get started on that YouTube channel or IGTV series to promote fun park activities!
Reply to online comments, questions and messages quickly.
In 2020, 79% of Americans are active on social media and 63% of customers expect companies to offer customer service via their social media channels. This means you can’t dismiss social media as a customer care tool!
For parks and recreation, it’s important to respond as quickly as possible to questions about hours of operation and activities offered. If a social media user is looking for logistical information, it is highly likely they want to visit. Don’t neglect them!
1 in 3 social media users prefers social media customer care to phone or email. =
Does your San Diego-based business or organization need help developing an effective marketing strategy during this turbulent time? At KWSM, we develop fully-customized brand messaging and digital marketing plans based on your unique needs.
CONTACT US to learn more about creating a marketing and communication strategy for your business.