By: RV Industry Association Staff
During these unprecedented times, Go RVing has been conducting social listening to find out what consumers have to say about camping and RVing and adjust our online engagement accordingly. From March 24 through April 17 we observed a total of 27,729 mentions and 21,889 posts regarding campgrounds and RVing amidst COVID-19. Here’s what we learned:
- Most conversations regarding campgrounds and RVing has been positive. Positive conversations have revolved around many applauding campgrounds and parks for taking action for the safety of the public, as well as general positive conversations regarding the RV lifestyle.
- Negative conversations mostly stem from updates on campground closures and individuals sharing their frustration with having to postpone travel plans. With spring and summer being prime travel times for many, the closure of campgrounds, national parks, and general RV travel has left many upset and confused on how it will benefit the public during the pandemic.
- Makeshift camping is a thing. Many individuals who have found themselves with cancelled camping plans or RV trips have turned to at-home alternatives. We have seen backyard camping and living room camping, and the encouragement of others to build forts or set up a tent right at home to keep the camping spirit alive.
- Disapproval of those who travel despite shelter-in-place mandates. Some have taken to social media to voice their disapproval of those who have chosen to rent RVs to take their families out of populated cities to avoid catching the virus despite clear lockdown orders.
As a result of this social listening and the ongoing health crisis, Go RVing has shifted its online messaging by pivoting the conversation to inspire and entertain while most of our audiences are at home and there is a lot of positive engagement as a result of the temporary shift. This includes:
- Ongoing Content Inspiration: Go RVing has shifted language to be more inspirational and acknowledge that folks are not traveling now. Audiences are being asked to show off their backyard RV/camping sites, share their RV and camping games, share pictures of their adventures, and share camping recipes and crafts.
- Friday Virtual Road Trips: There is a Virtual AWAY content series on Instagram each Friday with a new road trip to inspire RVers and plan for future trips.
- RV Recipes You Can Make at Home – Food-related content continues to drive high engagement and there is still a desire to cook over the campfire and for grilling recipes.
- 5 Questions With Our RVers: Current and past partners are working with Go RVing for a Q&A series that shares recommendations for future travel and family-fun activities. Influencers and partners are sharing their future RV plans for 2020, reliving favorite RV trips, and discussing work/life balance and tips for family living in a smaller space.
- Live, Interactive Events: Go RVing bloggers go live with RVers through Go RVing's social media channels to share their tips and tricks and discuss topics such as work/life balance, campfire and campsite lessons, and DIY RV projects you can do now.
There could be significant changes to how people travel in the coming months as the country emerges from this health crisis. To address this, a collaborative industry relaunch task force has been formed including members from the RV Industry Association, RV Dealers Association, ARVC and Go RVing, to develop an industry-wide and coordinated plan to increase dealer sales and campground stays nationwide. The industry can rest assured that, when the timing is right, Go RVing will be extensively promoting the virtues of RVing and driving consumers to dealerships to find an RV that fits their lifestyle.