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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Have you seen the new video marketing website for camps?

Many of you know I run a website called CampCoupons.com, where you can create and post your coupons for free to get more kids into camp (because people always appreciate at discount!). Now I'm putting together a new site called Find a Camp.TV, the first video search engine website for summer camps. Check it out when you can.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to Get 15 - 30 Likes on Your Facebook Status Today

I'm a Facebook marketing addict. Through trial and error I FINALLY figured out how to get between 15 and 30 "likes" and decent fan engagement every time I make a post.

Here are the top 4 ways you can do it too:

1. Ask a question
2. Conduct a poll
3. Give something away for free
4. Always MAKE SURE you TELL your fans to "Click Like" with respect to your post

Regarding point #1, you can ask any type of question. Trivia works especially well. In fact you could even ask trivia questions about your camp.

For instance, you might ask: "How many counselors did we have last summer?," or "Guess how many kids we had a camp last year." You can use Facebook's new "Question" tool next to the "Status" tab at the top of your page to offer a few multiple choice answers for people to choose from.

Sometimes you can combine a few of the strategies above to really max out your fan page engagement. I had a few extra surf camp t-shirts from last summer lying around which I thought our fans might be interested in having. So I posted the following status: "Click Like if you want a free Billabong surf camp t-shirt." So far 30 people have liked the post. The only conditions to get the free shirt are 1) they need to attend our next open house to pick it up, and 2) everything is first-come, first-served because we only have a limited supply of t-shirts left.

Here's a bonus tip: Tying your Facebook posts into current events also works really well. Aloha Beach Camp's current status is, "Click Like if you don't care ONE BIT about the Royal Wedding!" Well, apparently there's lots of folks like me out there who don't give a rat's ass about it because 9 people already clicked like within about 8 minutes of me posting it. I know there will be lots more! (Here's the link if you want to see it: http://www.facebook.com/alohabeachcamp)

Try some of the strategies I mentioned. I know how bad it sucks to wait around for days with no response from fans after posting a status on your fan page. Let me know how you do!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Online Marketing Workshop This Fall

Looks like "Online Webinar" is dominating our latest poll for a marketing workshop in the fall. Click like if you're interested in "attending" this virtual workshop and I'll get you the details ASAP.

Do You Make This Mistake When Marketing Your Camp?

From what I've observed, the top mistake made by camp directors is they stop marketing their programs the minute camp starts. Don't let this be you!

Naturally you're busy and the pace of camp is hectic. But don't forget, there's still TONS of people searching for camps all summer long. They might be looking for a program in July or August. So you need to be out there pumping your program to generate interest all summer long.  

Even if you don't get too many customers during your summer marketing campaign, at least you'll be collecting names, addresses and emails to use for 2012 and beyond.

So don't stop marketing your camp in June. Keep it going in July and August, too. This effort will pay big dividends for you!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to Get Free Pictures for Your Website, Blog, Ads and Brochures

What happens when you need just the right photo for your camp's promotional materials...but you don't have one? You can find lots of free photos that can work perfectly for you on the Web. Google Images is a good place to start. But not the regular Google images.

Instead, go to Google, click on Images, and then click on "Advanced Images Search" just to the right of the search box. (The font is very small so look closely to find it.)

You'll be taken to a page where, under "Usage Rights," the default search will be set to "not filtered by license." Change it to any free picture license of your choice. You'll have many options, some of which you can even modify to suit your exact needs.

I have used Google's Advanced Image Search a number of times when I've needed a free camp photo fast. I hope it works for you, too.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Did you print too many brochures this year? No way!

Even though there's still a few months left in this camp marketing season, don't forget having lots of extra brochures on hand at the end doesn't do you any good.

If you have extra brochures lying around when you're done marketing your program, that's not only a waste of money (because you printed too many), it also means that for every brochure left over, one less family didn't hear about your camp.

Don't end this marketing season until you've distributed your brochures EVERYWHERE!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Summer Camp Marketing Workshop Coming this Fall

We'll be holding a summer camp marketing workshop this fall if there's enough interest. The workshop would be short (no more than a day or two), fun and informative, and moreover, by attending the workshop you will learn how to double your camp enrollment by next summer plus get tons of tricks, tricks and marketing strategies which run the gamut from Social Media to traditional promotional strategies your competitors don't know. Please take our Quick Poll to let us know if this would be worthwhile to you.

How to Get Your Customers and Prospects to Write Your Blog Posts for You

If you're struggling for topics to put on your blog, here's a way you'll never get writer's block: Get your customers and prospects to do it for you! Here's what I mean.

Chance are you get emails from parents asking questions about camp, right? Usually they're the same questions over and over (which you should put on your FAQ page on your website), but if you're like me, once in a while (at least once a week) the questions you get are unique. And just because you've never gotten them before doesn't mean other people aren't interested in hearing your response. 

So every time you get a question from parents, especially unfamiliar ones, be sure to post those questions (and your answers) on your blog.

This is a very easy way to get your customers and prospects to essentially write your blog posts for you...and you sure as heck can't beat that! :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Please support the future of my camp!

Dear Camp Friends,

I would not typically use this space to make a personal appeal, but something has come up recently which could affect the the future of my summer camp program so I ask for your help.

As many of you know, I have owned and operated a summer beach and surf camp for kids in Malibu, CA called Aloha Beach Camp for the past 12 years. I am able to operate the camp because the Los Angeles County gov't issues beach use permits on an annual basis allowing me to do so. Obtaining the permit has been relatively simple all these years; all I need to do is tell the County by October of each year that I intend to run the camp again for the subsequent summer, and then they issue the permit.

But now they want to change their process for issuing beach camp permits. Instead of the simple renewal system they have historically used, they are proposing the implementation of a competitive and selective bidding process. Permits would potentially be issued to the highest bidder with limited qualifications running camps. So, this means I could not only lose my camp permit to someone with deep pockets, but further, any action taken by LA County to put in place a new camp operator who could literally be learning on the job would obviously put camper safety in jeopardy at the beach!

I'll close this post by asking you to help support my cause, which I call "NO BIDDING FOR BEACH CAMP PERMITS," on Facebook. You can do so by following this link and clicking the Like button on that page.

That's it for now. I won't bring this stuff up anymore on this page. I'll stick to your marketing and that will be that. Thank you very much again,

Eric