Retreat centers are truly gift to humanity. Who doesn’t want to take time off from the hectic day-to-day and get away from it all by unplugging? If you own and operate a retreat center, then you already have an incredible product to offer. The space you have created in invaluable to the population. Whether you focus on writing retreats, yoga retreats, transformational retreats or simply provide a space for groups and individuals to breathe a little bit more, there are always thousands of people interested in visiting & booking your destination. Because of this fact, any travel marketing that you do needs to focus on letting people know that you exist, much more than convincing them of your amazing product. Your job when marketing a retreat center is to shine a spotlight on your resort so that customers see you.
Of course, selling yourself is also an important element, but if you have amazing retreat experiences to offer, clients will be attracted to the events and interested in buying regardless.
Getting attention is much easier said than done. Thankfully, there are companies who offer hospitality marketing services to help you shine a light on your retreat. Places like Retreat Central offer opportunities to grow your business, but there are also things that you can do on your own to market yourself:
Most people who book a retreat will do so online through your website, regardless of how they got there. Even if you’re recruiting people in person with in-person classes, workshops or tour stops, they will go to a website to explore the details and confirm their interest.
As such, you want to make sure that you WOW them at first impression of the site. Create a website that showcases the beauty of your property, infuses the essence of the experience of being there and makes people feel like they can’t wait to be at one of your retreats. It is also very important to make it user-friendly, so that even the most technologically oblivious person can navigate it and book with ease. Ask a friend who isn’t so tech savvy to explore the site, give them a task like find the Yoga Teacher Training and apply, see if they can navigate to the correct info and pages effortlessly. After all, this might be the deciding factor for a client between your retreat and another. And remember the retreat begins the MOMENT they sign up maybe even during their interest phase, it sets the tone of the experience they will have on your property.
Don’t feel guilty about spending money on building an incredible website: it’s necessary for your business to thrive. Place it on your budget under hospitality marketing services and hire a designer that can make a site you are proud to show and that actually converts the traffic coming to your site to paying customers.
I mention websites first, because if you do NOTHING else. Do this. Make a website that is beautiful – high quality images, organized and easy to navigate and represents what you are offering in an ideal way. This is your virtual storefront and needs to help you close sales!
Since most people will book through your website, you want to drive as much organic traffic to it as possible. Organic traffic is any view that you get without paying for it. One of the best ways to do this is to blog about things related to your business. Topics, of course, can vary depending on what you offer. If your retreat is about reconnecting with nature, blog about the surrounding area, if you offer yoga retreats, write an article about the positive effects yoga has on the body. Tips for amateaur writers work perfect for writers’ retreats, and a piece on a new scientific study about love can connect to couples’ retreats.
Whether you are writing for your own blog or guest posting on someone else’s, this is a perfect travel marketing strategy. You get to write about things that you are passionate about, while getting the attention of people who can become potential clients.
A newsletter can convince potential clients to take a retreat, and keep old clients around. Of course, it doesn’t work as well when it’s spammy and makes people want to send it straight to the trash. Rather, they should feel like they are getting valuable information from it.
The first key is to space newsletters out. Daily might be too intense, so think about having a bi-weekly or even monthly letter. Then, make sure that everything on the newsletter is interesting. Post great community news, funny related stories from other websites, and links to the blog posts you’ve been working so hard on. If you are unsure about how to work an e-mail newsletter, look for a company that includes it in their hospitality marketing services.
Social media might be the single most important travel marketing tool in the modern world. If you want your retreat to succeed, you need to have a strong social media presence. For retreats, Facebook will connect potential clients with information, and keep recurring clients on the loop. It is also the perfect platform to share your blog posts and invite people to sign up for your newsletter. Twitter will allow you to keep in more personal contact with your clients, answer their questions, and give short updates to your network. Of course, Instagram is where you want to show off what you’ve got visually. Post pictures of your property, your retreats, your guests, yourself, everything, to show people all that you have to offer. Engaging profiles will help new clients find you and fall in love with your business before they even go to a retreat.
Don’t wait a single second more, hire someone who offers great hospitality marketing services and get to work. Selling your brand can be a lot of work, but the effort is almost always rewarded through increased sales. By implementing these simple travel marketing strategies, you can give your business the boost it deserves.