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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Anyone need any summer camp promotional items?

If you're looking for camp promo products or items, like t-shirts, mugs, blankets, or anything else, check out www.idmepromotions.com. I don't get anything for mentioning this, I assure you, but I have it on good authority they just updated their website at a huge cost and have everything you'll need this summer at great prices. Check it out when you can. Or you can also email jeff@idmepromotions for more info.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How to Get 100 New Enrollments Right Now, Part 2

Couple days ago we discussed how to get 100 new campers right now. It was a widely-read post prompting several emails from camp directors asking for any other ideas I could share about signing up lots of kids for camp at once. I sure do: Take out a booth at your local Farmer's Market...It's better than a Camp Fair and you'll have the chance to meet tons of kids and families who are prime prospects for your camp.

Now don't be concerned this strategy only works for local camps like day camps. If your Farmer's Market is a known event (like mine is in L.A.), families from all over the world (such as those traveling or on vacation) will be drawn to the Farmer's Market so you'll have a big opportunity  to pump your camp to kids from all over the world.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to Get 100 New Enrollments Right Now

If you can find ways to market your camp to many people at once rather than just one at a time, and your marketing message is effective, you could see you enrollment grow like a weed.

Now don't get me wrong. One of the primary ways to create trust and make deep connections with prospects -- especially in today's social media marketing age -- is by building relationships one person at a time. But that doesn't mean you can't market your camp in such a way you'll get enrollments by the boatload instead of just one at a time.

Personally, I'd rather give a site tour to 100 people instead of just 10.

I'd rather put on a free "How to Choose a Summer Camp" marketing seminar for 250 attendees rather than 25.

And I'd rather promote my camp to a little league baseball team comprised of 12 kids all at once rather than each of those 12 kids individually.

Here's an example of how this works. Why not offer a "group rate" to those 12 kids on the little league team so they all sign up for camp together? This strategy is A LOT easier and more cost/time-effective than trying to get 12 individual enrollments from various places here and there.

All you need to do is contact the team's head coach or the "team mom" to offer this benefit to their team. If you can do this with 8 or 10 different teams today, you could find yourself with about 100 more kids signed up for camp tomorrow than you had yesterday. How cool would THAT be?


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

7 Ways to Rock Your Facebook Fan Page

A hot topic lately among camp directors is how to customize your Facebook fan page so you really max out the page's potential. Here's a cool tutorial I found online in case you want to jazz up your page. It's from the webdistortion blog ... hope you find some value in it.

Great Word of Mouth Marketing Quote

Heard a great quote today from the gaspedal.com/blog:

"Most companies don't have a negative word of mouth problem -- they have a lack of positive word of mouth problem."

What's Your Social Influence? (Google wants to know...)

Some of the most recent relevant changes to the way Google ranks your website is your level of  "social influence" online.

By social influence, I am referring to your social media activities and your customer's and fans interactions and references to your camp online.

As you've probably noticed, the stuff you've shared online (such as links on twitter, for instance) often show up first in Google's search results. So do reviews people have written about your camp.

In the past we blogged about the notion of Facebook "Likes" being better than inbound links from other websites. You might want to check out that post if you have the time.

Meanwhile, if I were you, I'd be focusing on getting as many "Likes" as you can and as many customer reviews as you can. Doing so would be highly worthwhile from a search engine marketing standpoint.

Monday, March 21, 2011

How to Market Your Summer Camp Seminars Coming Soon

Had a great time at Tri-State. Did a session on "How to Triple Your Enrollment in One Year." In case you missed it, the way to triple your enrollment is simply to have each current camper refer at least 2 new kids to camp. PRESTO! You've tripled your enrollment the easy way!

I will try to post the main points of my Tri-State session here soon. Meanwhile, don't forget I will be offering a few "How to Market Your Summer Camp" seminars this fall at various locations across the country. This way it will be easy for everyone to attend no matter where you live. 

If you enjoy the blog, you won't want to miss the seminar(s) because these posts are just scratching the surface. The really good stuff will be in the seminars. 

Details coming soon...let me know if you have questions.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tri State Here I Come

Off to the Tri-State Camp Conference in New Jersey. Hope to meet some of you there. Track me down if you'll be around. See you soon.

Eric

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Custom Facebook Pages Changing March 11

If you've got a custom Facebook page and used FBML (Facebook markup language, similar to HTML) to create it, just a quick note to let you know that starting March 11, FBML will still SUPPORT previously created FBML pages, but you will not be able to make any changes to your existing FBML pages or create any new ones. 

After March 11, Facebook will switch entirely to iframes rather than FBML for custom pages. (If you don't know what a custom page is, check out mine at http://www.facebook.com/alohabeachcamp.)

Now if you have a custom page you're happy with and don't want to change it, you don't have to do anything. But if you need to make any changes to your page or create new ones in the future you need to learn about Facebook's iframes.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Video Marketing and Coupon Marketing: Summer Camp Marketing's Next Big Things

I'm always on the lookout for the next hot marketing strategies to share with you. In my opinion two of the up-and-coming ways to promote your camp to the public are via:

1) Coupon marketing; and
2) Video marketing

If you read this blog often enough, then you already know I'm a big proponent of marketing with coupons. Anytime you can tempt someone with a nice discount, they are more likely to sign up for your camp (or, for that matter, purchase anything else). Then, once you get them in the door by offering a discount, you can turn them into full-paying campers for a very long time.

Now unless you've been living under a rock, you probably already know the value of video marketing. Hopefully you've got some videos posted on YouTube and all that. I have a YouTube account for Aloha Beach Camp, where many people watch my videos. I also embed YouTube videos in my camp blog, and in certain places on my website. Hopefully you do the same. People like watching videos much more than they like reading text content.

Now here's the problem. I'm starting to learn YouTube videos aren't the greatest vehicles for actually marketing your camp. This is due to a number of reasons, but mainly because you don't have full control over the various aspects of your videos. (YouTube also has very tough Terms of Use restrictions.) 

Long story short, in the past few weeks I've been looking around for some "YouTube alternatives." I'm trying to find some other ways to make my own online videos. I was able to find something called Web Video Wizard you might check out. You get a 3-day free trial which is nice.

The other thing you might consider (which is pricier but looks VERY promising especially because many prominent internet marketers use it) is something called Easy Web Player. I'm thinking of buying this one myself. It has a nice video tutorial on the home page and seems to do the things I want it to, principally giving me full control over the videos I want to make and embed in my websites. I also like the feature where you can have people opt-in to your email list from the video itself, pretty cool! 

Anyway we'll see what happens. Even if you don't use or buy either of these two video players, you should definitely consider setting up a YouTube account if you don't have one already. There's literally MILLIONS and MILLIONS and MILLIONS more people on YouTube everyday, many of whom are kids, so you don't want to miss this huge opportunity to show off your camp with video! 

The Power of P.R.

You know me, I'm a BIG fan of free advertising and despise all advertising you need to pay for (even though sometimes it's a necessary evil.) There is nothing more powerful than free advertising because when it pays off, you've really hit the marketing jackpot.

I just tried something last week where I got a 100% success rate on three separate attempts for free advertising, and you can do it too.

What I did was, searched online for VERY small newspapers and magazines that serve my community. I found three I'd never heard of before. The reason I wanted small ones is because the bigger publications are  less likely to pick up your story. On the other hand, the little guys are practically begging for local "news" to fill their pages and share with their readers.

So here's what I did. I sent three emails (one to each publication) explaining that my camp, Aloha Beach Camp, has decided to add new bus stops this summer to accommodate increasing demand from families in the newspapers' market areas. And guess what? I got interviews with each publication! In fact one of them even asked me to email them some pictures which they will include in the story they're doing about my camp  in an upcoming issue.

Now the Los Angles Times (the biggest newspaper where I live) would find nothing worthwhile about a local summer camp with new transportation boundaries. But these little local papers, man, they eat this stuff up. It's newsworthy to them. It makes them feel like they're providing a service to their readers by highlighting local businesses with human interest stories and all that.

The easy thing was, writing and sending these three emails took me about 40 minutes. I HIGHLY suggest you find something "newsworthy" going on at your camp right now and sharing it with your (smaller) local media outlet. You will be pleasantly surprise how quickly someone decides to publish your story!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Good Article from MarketingProfs.com about the Youth Market

One of the marketing sites I read regularly is MarketProfs.com. Some of their stuff is crap, some of it's really good. Today they have an article I highly recommend reading if you've got a few minutes. It's called "5 Myths about the Youth Market: Busted."