Woman with brown backpack passing out a flyer.

Simple Steps For Developing An Online Recreation Guide

Jessica Harp
February 3, 2021

As the pandemic continues to hinder meeting current and potential customers face to face, many parks and rec organizations are forced to consider alternatives for sharing what they’re doing to support their communities and show off their facilities.

One such alternative is the transition from printed brochures to interactive online versions. Not only is this a much cheaper option, but it is also a greener way of communicating with your customers and offers 24/7 access to the most up-to-date recreation information available. By sharing your interactive guide on your website, you can drive traffic through search engine optimization in your content and actively track and measure how many people are accessing and using your guide using web analytics.

Creating an Online Recreation Guide

Creating an online guide is easier than you think. There are many websites where you can publish your online guide for free, including en.calameo.com, issuu.com and yudufree.com. Publishing your guide with these sites generally requires creating a free account and simply uploading a PDF or word file. You can even make the content interactive for a little added pizazz. 

The publishing platform will then convert it into a dynamic interactive guide, which you can put on your organization’s website.

Promoting your Online Recreation Guide

Once you’ve created your online guide, it’s important to promote it using multiple channels so you can educate your customers about this online resource and encourage them to start using it.

Website

Place a clear prominent link to your guide on your organization's website, preferably in a highly visible section of the home page.

Hint: Use an image of the front page of your guide as the click-thru link, this will highlight it and attract more attention.

Social Media

Take the same link from your website and post it on your blog, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. You can even add it to your Instagram via LinkTree. It might also be wise to consider including it in any ads you may run on those social platforms.

Hint: Use the link to the brochure hosting page on your website so you can also drive more traffic to your site.

Google

Include this as a direct link on your organization’s Google My Business Page. You can add up to 10 links per category, and including your online recreation guide would be an ideal way to get your customers to take action and see what your organization has to offer. 

You might also want to include your online guide as a link if you utilize Google Ads, depending on what your conversion goal may be. 

Email

Consider adding a link to your online brochure in your standard email signatures, and be sure to highlight it in any e-newsletters or marketing emails you send out to the community. If you do send it out via an e-blast, make sure you have a great CTA button to entice current and potential customers to click on it.

Offline marketing

QR codes, text messages, posters, flyers, postcards and POP displays are all great ways to drive customers online to check out your interactive guide if they are visiting your facilities. Make sure the link is memorable and not too long to enter in on a computer or smart device if you are using any type of physical marketing. If it is too long or too hard to remember, then people likely won’t remember it well enough to type it in and check it out. 

Transitioning to an Online Recreation Guide

Although there is a growing trend toward bringing guides online, some community organizations are reluctant to move away from an offline brochure completely. If this is the case, consider a gradual transition by reducing the size of your current publication by reducing the amount of content in your printed guide and supplement it with an online version.

Another option is to simply reduce the amount of printed copies. Print a smaller number and leave them in popular pick-up locations, like community centers, churches, schools, etc. Give your customers the choice of opting-in and request that they subscribe to receive a printed version, or encourage them to view it online as a greener alternative.

A final, more strategic option is to print smaller guides for targeted markets, such as seniors, summer camp participants, after school child care and the like. Joining forces with other departments or publications to share costs can also be beneficial.

ACTIVENet and ACTIVEWorks Camp & Class Manager are there for you when it comes to your organization’s needs. Whether that means engaging your community, streamlining operations or managing participation, our software is here to help your organization perform at its best.

Set yourself up for success.

See how ACTIVE can help your organization grow.
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