Sometimes it’s tempting to pursue overseas travel. But adventures like that come with some downsides. You’ll need to have some cash saved up, take time off from work and figure out how the children and pets fit into the plan. A staycation can cut out all of those complications. And the only catch is that you’ll need to limit your mileage.
As the name implies, a staycation is a vacation in which you stay close to home. How close? Some people stick to their hometowns. Others limit their itinerary to the nearest big city.
The staycation trend isn’t just good news for budget-conscious travelers. It’s also an opportunity for local hospitality businesses to pull in customers. Some staycationers choose to stay at hotels and bed-and-breakfasts to recreate the feeling of travel.
This is where you, as a marketer, can make a splash. An effective marketing campaign can help you convince locals to enjoy a staycation and do so at your establishment. Rather than handle this alone, rely on the skills of a social media influencer who already has an impressive following.
If you’ve already settled on an influencer to help with your brand’s campaign, you just need some ideas to power your marketing. Here are several:
Create a Social Media Contest
A social media contest is a smart way to engage audiences and gather user-generated content. For example, an influencer can challenge followers to take a picture of a local spot that’s special to them and share it on Instagram. A specific hashtag should accompany these posts, so they’re easier to find on social media. Offer a reward, such as a free night’s stay at your bed-and-breakfast, to the most impressive photographer.
Incentivize locals to stop by your hotel by promoting a discount for anyone who lives in the area. As proof of residency, you can ask guests to offer up a driver’s license or even a local library card. You don’t necessarily have to offer a room discount. You can throw in extra perks, like free meals or parking. Get creative with your offerings and ask your influencer to spread the word on social media platforms.
Focus on Hidden Gems
Regardless of size, every town tends to have a few hidden gems. These are small attractions that are charming yet easy to overlook if you’ve grown used to seeing them. An influencer can help you unearth these gems and increase their visibility by posting Instagram photos, sharing Facebook reviews or making YouTube videos.
Hidden gems might be all around you, if you know where to look. Consider some of these possibilities:
- Local diners: Skip the chain restaurants and look around for locally-run diners and cafes. You don’t necessarily have to focus only on older establishments. New restaurants also deserve some attention.
- Parks: Even a small park has a lot to offer nature lovers. An influencer can create content that focuses on the history of greenspaces in your area as well as future developments. Staycationers with children will appreciate highlights of parks with playgrounds. Any amusement parks nearby? Don’t forget to cover them as well.
- Theaters and playhouses: Focus on the cultural aspects of the town by asking an influencer to make posts about the local theater scene. Historical venues are also worth exploring.
- Other businesses: Aside from the aforementioned gems, highlight eccentric or colorful businesses that add personality to the town. These can range from comic book shops and bars to dojos and antique stores.
Don’t forget about seasonal hidden gems. If a local event like a concert or trade show is coming up, dedicate some space on your social media feed to it. Offer deals that sync up with the event.
Emphasize the Eco Benefits
Many staycationers limit their travels because they’re working with a limited budget or can’t find a babysitter. But staycations have other benefits aside from being cheap and convenient. For example, staycations tend to have a smaller effect on the environment than trips that involve long flights or gas-powered vehicles.
In your campaign’s messaging, focus on the eco-friendly side of staying close to home. Explain how driving less can limit a person’s carbon footprint. Encourage audiences to support farm-to-table eateries. Promote local artisans.
These marketing campaign ideas are just starting points. You can customize them to your liking and find what works for your specific business. The right influencer can also help you generate some effective strategies. But which influencer is the right influencer?
A local influencer is probably the go-to partner for this campaign. A local influencer might have a limited audience, but they’re also more likely to have the trust of people in the community.
Another benefit of working with a local influencer is that you can meet them in person, if your town is small enough or hosts networking events. If you live in a larger city or no networking events are on the calendar, take your search for an influencer online. Use regional hashtags or an influencer marketplace to find the right partner for your campaign.