In between allergy attacks, each fall I spend a great deal of time analyzing my current year's marketing program and preparing my new one for the coming camp season. If you haven't done so, now is a good time to review your camp's marketing program so you can see what tactics you should focus on for next year.
While reviewing my marketing activities for 2011, I've discovered the following 3 strategies to be most effective in terms of generating new leads and campers. So, you can bet I'm gonna triple up on these marketing tactics in 2012:
1. Video Marketing
Unless you're living under a rock (and even if you ARE living under one), by now you're well aware video marketing is about to become the number one social media marketing strategy in the world. Moms, dads, kids, and camp family decision-makers aren't just watching videos on YouTube, they're watching them everywhere and sharing them with their friends. The longer you wait to market your camp with videos, the more potential campers you're losing.
TIP: Video marketing is about to EXPLODE in terms of the sheer power it'll offer you to promote your camp to the world. You do NOT need a professional video company to produce your camp videos. You can do it yourself (and probably should, since it seems more authentic that way). Here are 16 tips for successful online video marketing from Social Media Examiner.com
2. Email Marketing
Email marketing is currently the best social media marketing avenue out there. People check their email each morning as sure as they brush their teeth. Email marketing offers an amazing opportunity to communicate directly with your market base. Some might say email marketing isn't as effective as it use to be due to texting and instant messaging options and all. Truth is, email should be a staple of your camp's promotional strategy. If you don't have a "join our mailing list" form on your website, I suggest you add one today -- it's the easiest way to grow your mailing list.
TIP: Last summer I experimented with a "Start an Email Conversation With Us" link on the Aloha Beach Camp website. It worked like a charm. We received 4 times as many email inquiries as the year before, compared to the same number of website visitors. Why not give this a try on your camp's website?
3. Video Email Marketing
See where I'm going with this? I'll spell it out: Put videos in your emails, and you've got the biggest summer camp marketing home run EVER! Some studies say you'll get a 96% improved click-through rate simply by adding video to your email messages.The reason it works so well is because you're putting a face and a voice to a written message. I use Constant Contact's video email marketing feature. I have seen a 78% improved click-through rate by adding video. (Not quite 96%, but 78% is fantastic and I'm still hoping for improvement this year.) In any case, I can't stress enough how important this is. Imagine your prospects watching your YouTube videos right from their email boxes...the opportunities are unreal....
So there you have it. My marketing focus (and I hope yours, too) in 2012 will be on videos, email and emails that include videos. This does NOT mean we should ignore other marketing tactics. The more marketing strategies you use, the more effective your marketing will be. But these are the top three strategies I'm using going forward. I'll let you know how it goes!