Every community is special and united by the desire to connect and share experiences. At Steps, we love celebrating managers who are creating maps for their communities and bringing the world closer together.
RV Lifestyle is a community united by its passion for traveling around the world in RVs. RV Lifestyle launched their map in July of 2021 and reached their first thousand members in less than a week. RV Lifestyle uses Steps to create an interactive, ever-evolving map for their community to benefit from and build as they share their favorite adventure spots with each other and the world.
We spoke with the creator of the RV Lifestyle map, Mike Wendland, about how he uses Steps to amplify the RV Lifestyle community and brand. Check out our interview below.
What made you decide to create the RV Lifestyle map?
Our brand is all about RV travels and the fun of camping. If there was ever an application that’s important to anyone who’s a traveler - it’s having a map. Our map shows people what’s in their area and the areas they are traveling to.
This platform is made for us - it’s a perfect match for the travel and RV space. Our community is always looking for new places to camp, eat, and attractions to see and explore. It’s perfect for that. We linked all the steps we uploaded back to our other creative resources (website and videos). But, it’s so fun to also watch community members share from their experiences. It’s become a very critical resource for our audience because they can go online, look at their location and go, ‘Oh look, here’s something I didn’t know was there.’ Plus, there’s the joy of sharing the places that they’ve found with our audience. Our map and community will just grow and grow. As soon as we saw that everyone can add steps and tags, and that we can link our associated blog posts, we realized it was a perfect match for what RV Lifestyle is all about.
How does your map enhance your brand?
There are two ways the map enhances our brand. The first is that it services our audience, adding a lot of value to them while amplifying our brand. Secondly, this resource cross-links with our other content - video, podcasts, and blog posts. With every step we post and every tag we add, the map becomes an even greater resource for our audience and indirectly makes our brand more of a resource for everyone. The more our members add tags and steps over time, the more our map will become a valuable resource. As creators, we turn every blog post into a location on our map. Our goal is to make it second nature for travelers to use our map whenever they embark on a journey.
Sharing your map - what worked best?
We’ve found that to get the most hype, you need a major launch.
Our business works in so many different mediums. We have a newsletter, live streams, a podcast, videos, blog posts, and a large and active social media following. We shared our map across every platform on the same weekend. We announced it, made videos that show how easy it is to use and find locations, add steps, and tag them. We did it all in a concerted period of time. We also put it all on a dedicated page on the blog that shows people how to sign up and explains the concept of the map. Our video tutorial helped our audience understand the concept of our interactive map. It’s really pretty simple to use. Today, we rotate promotions on our social media regularly and talk about our map in our videos.
What made you choose a map platform that relies on crowdsourcing?
It’s true of anybody who has a following on any platform: your followers are your biggest resource. The information and experience they have is invaluable. If you can get them to share their recommendations on your platform, then it will become even more valuable because the map is always growing. This map is perfect because it enables others to also create and grow. Then the space you have fostered becomes an important resource for everyone. It’s a perfect storm of everything coming together, adding more content and more value.
Future plans for the map?
I want it to grow! I want to have thousands of steps across North America and around the world. We’ll have people sharing their information from Mexico, Canada, and all over. We have seven e-books on our blog, called 7 Day Adventure Guides. Each one has lots of steps. It would be really helpful to have a map for each guide as premium content.
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