The owners of a luxury glamping site on Anglesey, who diversified from farming, have now added a Georgian holiday property to their portfolio in response to high customer demand from Facebook.
Wonderfully Wild, which boasts four safari-style lodges, received a booking for The Plas just as renovation work started, showcasing how strong the brand has become since launching in 2014.
And owner Victoria Roberts has achieved this rapid growth thanks to her clever use of Facebook advertising to ensure constant interest in the 6-person lodges, with similar success expected for The Plas, which can accommodate 14.
“The beauty of Facebook advertising is you can target and narrow your market down, which means you can spend less and get a greater return on investment.”
She said: “Me and my husband made the decision to diversify from farming and we wanted to do something different with the land. We settled on glamping and were very focused with our audience: families based across North Wales, Cheshire and Greater Manchester.
“That focus transferred to our marketing, and Facebook accounts for the majority of our promotional efforts. The beauty of Facebook advertising is you can target and narrow your market down, which means you can spend less and get a greater return on investment. Some of our best results have been from campaigns where we spent £1 per day for 90 days.
“Most of our bookings come after boosting a post or from repeat customers who originally got in touch after seeing us on social media.”
Wonderfully Wild is a prime example of a North Wales tourism business leading the conversation when it comes to social media. According to the 2018 Digital Maturity Survey for Wales, over four-in-five SMEs in the region use social media to directly engage with people – a higher proportion than anywhere else in Wales. Likewise, 91% of businesses in the accommodation and food sector are exploiting social media to promote themselves amid the current staycation boom.
The tourism industry is also one of the most likely to have a website, something Wonderfully Wild already understood the importance of. Victoria said: “We invested in a new website and carried out search engine optimisation (SEO) work to help improve our ranking in search results. Google loves video – and so do our web visitors! We have a 360° video where potential customers can take a virtual tour of the lodges and visualise themselves in front of the fire pit taking in the spectacular views of Snowdonia National Park.”
When the new website went live, she sought support from Superfast Business Wales to take advantage of the free digital support on offer.
“I was already aware of Superfast Business Wales and knew I would be contacting them when the time was right,” she added. “The website appraisal was really useful, and we made some immediate changes to the site and are working through the rest of the list.”
“I’m now working my way through the other recommendations made by Superfast Business Wales as they cover a lot of different business aspects beyond marketing and it’s vital to stay up to date and relevant.”
“I also attended a social media workshop, which was valuable for a number of reasons. Firstly, it confirmed that what we were doing was right, which is fantastic for peace of mind. Secondly, I got to network with other business owners and hear their stories of what’s worked and not worked, which I can take on board with Wonderfully Wild.
“I’m now working my way through the other recommendations made by Superfast Business Wales as they cover a lot of different business aspects beyond marketing and it’s vital to stay up to date and relevant. For example, we changed our booking system to Super Control, which is very user-friendly and allows people to book directly online.” This is timely, as 2018 saw a 51% spike in tourism businesses adopting online booking services and other digital tools to help reduce the pressure of running their business, according to the Digital Maturity Survey.
Now The Plas renovation is complete, Victoria is seeking to increase bookings across the site during the off-peak season.
She explained: “We are looking into the wellness retreat market and hope to have some retreats on offer by the end of 2019. We already offer experiences that enrich lives including yoga and alpaca walking and are hoping to build on this with dedicated stays for self-care.”