How to Market a Retreat to Reach More People Than Ever Before
If you run retreats, you know that when a guest chooses your center they are looking for a memorable and impactful experience. With that in mind, learning how to market a retreat effectively can help you reach more people and, most importantly, the right people.
Marketing is hard and there are so many different avenues you can take. How can you be sure that you’re doing the right thing to help your center stand out?
This post will cover some of the most effective marketing strategies specifically for retreat centers. Consider trying any of them to help your retreat center stand out and fill your programs faster than ever.
Are you ready to find new participants for your retreats?
Everyday, new people are discovering the wonders, joy, transformation, and growth that going on a retreat can bring. There are always new people you can reach, you just haven’t found them yet.
The way people discover new experiences differs from person to person. You might need to explore some different paths before you find the right fit, but once you do, the results will be drastic.
Most importantly, you need to have a clear understanding of your goals, purpose, and the kind of transformational experience you want to provide. Without these, there can be a disconnect between who you are and the message you send.
Now, here are a few strategies on how to market a retreat that will attract the right people, highlight the best your center has to offer, and make an impact.
Marketing Tip #1 - Know your target audience
If you want your strategies to last, you need to know your target audience. Ask yourself the following questions and write down your answers:
- Who do I want to come to my center?
- What are their needs and interests?
- What are they looking to get out of this experience?
- Where are they coming from and what demographics are they part of?
- Where do they get their information?
- What might they be going through right now?
Better understanding your target audience will make whatever strategies you create more impactful (and memorable).
For example, the language and imagery used to market to 20 to 30-year olds looking for an adventure off the beaten path will be very different from what is used when speaking to older couples in their 60’s who just want to relax.
Tailor your marketing strategies to specific audiences to have them appeal more to potential guests.
Marketing Tip #2 - Connect with guests on Instagram and Tik Tok
Social media can be a powerful tool for promoting retreats, especially platforms like Instagram and TikTok. They make it easier to highlight just how beautiful your center and location are which can make it more enticing for potential guests.
How to market a retreat through each platform can look different for each center. While the essence is sharing photos and videos with your audience, there are so many different styles they can take such as:
- Aerial views of your facility
- Snapshots of what the guest experience looks like
- Previews of your spaces and the sessions you offer
- Share light profiles of teachers and other members of your team
- The natural beauty that surrounds you of the beauty of your facility
One thing to keep in mind with social media are current trends. Algorithms pick up on the popularity which can lead to more of your posts being featured organically to get more traction.
For Instagram, the hashtags used can help you reach new audiences. The more specific you make each hashtag, the more people you might be able to reach connected to your niche.
You also increase the chances of your posts getting featured on the “Explore” page where people discover new pages and content.
With Tik tok, every single user has their own unique “For You” page. It automatically curates a list of videos for them that match their interests and what they’ve seen before.
Look at accounts closely related to your niche to see how they approach each video. Creating content similar to them can be a great way to get started while you come up with your own approach.
Leveraging channels like Instagram and Tik Tok can give people a sneak peak of what your retreat center has to offer. Let them imagine an experience with you so you can spend less time thinking about how to market a retreat to them.
People want a reason to connect with you. They don’t want to be sold.
Marketing Tip #3 - Invest in your SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the most effective ways for your retreat center to get long-term visibility to reach more people organically.
The first thing you will need to do is some keyword research and create a list of relevant terms that your audience uses.
To get started, brainstorm some words and phrases you feel best represent your retreat center. Then, cross references your list with a keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner (free) or another paid option to come up with your true list.
Once you have this, you can add them to your website and blog content.
With your keyword list, the best approach is to tailor the content of each page to a specific keyword. This shows search engines like Google that your page is an authority for a particular topic which will help you rank higher in search results.
The more keywords in your niche that your website ranks will increase the chances that it is shown organically to more people.
Here are some important things to consider when coming up with your SEO strategy:
- The ultimate goal is to rank in the top 10 of search results. Avoid trying to rank for very competitive keywords when getting started (ie. very high volume and high difficulty)
- Focus on targeting longer tail keywords in your content (3 or more words)
- Target keywords with a difficulty under 0.5. This means they will be easier to rank for when you are starting out.
- Target keywords with over 500 monthly searches. They can deliver the biggest “bang for your buck”, but if a keyword is closely related to your niche, you can make an exception.
- Only have one focal keyword for each page. It's fine if other keywords are targeted so long as they are closely related to the focal keyword.
SEO is a long-term project but once you get the process started, it's impossible to stop. Get started today and start to see some massive results in the long run.
Marketing Tip #4 - Create compelling content for your retreats
The content you create can have a big impact on how to market a retreat and how your center is perceived. It can do the heavy lifting for attracting the right guests and show what makes your center unique.
If you write blog posts, tailor the content to fit scenarios readers might find themselves in. You can tie in examples related to your retreat center as well, just don't overdo it.
For example, you can highlight some tactics to help them through a particular stressful scenario that your offerings service. Or, you list some types of strategies and therapies that can help people through a particular emotional state. The key is to build a connection through your content without making it all about you.
If you are sharing photos and videos, make sure they are high quality and portray your facilities in the best light. You want people to feel a certain way when they see your content.
Ultimately, how you decide to use them is up to you.
Marketing Tip #5 - Offer Incentives for Retreat Bookings
Offering a little extra incentive can go a long way in attracting new guests for your retreats, especially for anyone who's on the fence.
Consider offering early bird pricing packages or other special discounts to first timers or people who book in advance. You could also offer referral bonuses to anyone who brings friends or family members with them.
Incentives can be more than just discounts. You could offer additional experiences such as local excursions, massages, alternative healing modalities, and more for a reduced rate. You could also connect them with great teachers or share some valuable resources to help their practice.
There are so many avenues you can take.
Bonus Marketing Tip - Test, Observe, and Test Again:
A savvy retreat operator knows that running a successful program means paying attention to what works and what doesn't.
Monitor your strategies closely and keep track of results. As you make adjustments, make sure to keep monitoring new results so you can compare which strategies were more effective.
You should always be trying new things and testing new strategies to see where improvements can be made.
Key Takeaways - How to Market a Retreat
- Understand your target audience and tailor your marketing strategies for them.
- Social media channels like Instagram and Tik Tok can help your center stand out.
- SEO can be a great long-term investing to get more participants over time.
- The content you produce should connect with your target audience.
- Incentivize bookings through discounts and other special offers.
- Continually test, track, and optimize your strategies.
Conclusion - How to Market a Retreat
The goal of any retreat center is to attract more guests to your programs. How you do that is up to you.
Marketing a retreat is an ongoing process that requires time, effort, and creativity. There is no "one size fits all" approach.
When done successfully, you can share your passion for wellness, spirituality, and personal growth with a wider audience and create a positive impact on people's lives.