b'Q&A CONVERSATIONS BY BEN QUIGGLE360-Videos a Growing Trend according to CampgroundViews.com CEO Mark Koep In the nine years since its founding, Campground- for any campgrounds marketing efforts. Views.com has continued to grow, led by its founder Some of the numbers these parks are getting isand CEO Mark Koep.eye-popping, he said. A full-time RVer with his wife, Katrina, who also Koep also operates a number of Facebook pages,helps with the businessalong with their 7-year-old which have grown over the years to include hundredsson CJ and daughter Melania, who was born last fall of owners and vendors. Last spring, Koep held an on- CampgroundViews.com was created out of real-life line forum that connected software providers withexperiences.his Facebook audience. The weeklong session sawWe were traveling to parks and realizing once we nearly 200 people participate. got there that some of them were not what we ex- Still, at its heart, CampgroundViews.com is aboutpected, Koep explained. My wife and I came up connecting the right camper with the right park, ac-with the idea of providing a way for campground cording to Koep. owners to share videos and photos of their parks and Koep recently spoke with Woodalls Campgroundthe website was born. Management (WCM) about the growth of the com-Koepcontinuallytoutsthegrowththatcamp- pany and trends in the campground and RV parkground owners see after he creates a video for a park sector.Mark, Melania and Katrina Koep as the reason why quality-produced videos are key Following is an edited version of that discussion.WCM: CampgroundViews.com isnt doing well. We started offering some dif- get a potential guest to come to them isjust focused on one thing. Can you give ferent advertising opportunities that are to show them the park, and that is whyour audience a glimpse of everything an inexpensive way to target an audi- we do videos. This past summer wasyou do?ence.one of the busiest we have had on theMark Koep: We really have two av- Then, our second side of the business videoproductionsideofthings.Weenues of business. The first is our search isourdigitalmarketingservicesfor were all over the place and deliveredengine,CampgroundViews.com,and owners. We use video and we are huge amazing videos.traffic has basically doubled on that site proponents of video. That is what we WCM: You have ventured into 360from 2018. Its not at the Googlelevel of feature and that is our main focus.videos. How has that technology im-traffic, but its people looking for camp- Video is our focus because we are proved and are consumers embracinggrounds and RV parks. Its a good mix of marketers first, and we know the most it? visitors and that end of the business is effective thing a park owner can do to Koep: When it first came out therewere a lot of comments from customerswho didnt know how to use it. They did-nt understand how to move the screenaround, and we would get people say-ingthatalltheycouldseewastheground.Fast-forwardandtheynowknow what 360 videos are and they loveit, because it gives the consumer thepower to tour the parks. If you can showa guest the park, allow them to tour it Mark Koep and his family workand give them the ability to book online, on the road as full-time RVers. thats exactly what they want to do. In thing as everyone else. Without videosthe near future we hope to start partner- they wont be able to see a tree thating with different reservation system might block their RVs slide and makeproviders and get the 360 platform out the decision to maybe move a site over.there into different vendors hands, so WCM: Basedonyourinteractionsthat they can use it on a larger scale.with owners and campers during yourIf you think about the reservation en- travels in 2019, how has the industrygine as it exists now, its basically an ex- fared over the past year?tension of a hotel reservation. But the Koep: This last summer was the bestproblem with hotel reservations is in ho- season for campground owners and op-tels, your guests all fit in the same room, erators that I spoke with. Across the in-same bed, bathroom, shower. Its all the dustry it really was a record-breakingsame. In an RV space, every RV is differ- year. I have been working on research,ent based on length and where doors arelocated. RVers cant just book the same Q&A Conversationscontinued on page 26CampgroundViews.com is a search engine that connects a camper with the right park.20 -March 2020 Woodalls Campground Management'