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Friday, January 20, 2012

Writer's Block? Here's 5 Places to Find New Ideas for Your Next Blog Post or Content Marketing Strategy

Need some new ideas for your camp's blog, website, article marketing, or other content marketing strategies? Here's five places to find them:

1. Blog Comments

If your blog is doing its part, you're probably getting user comments. You can find hidden gems within these blog comments to use as blog posts of your own. For example, when a camp director left me a comment recently expressing her opinion Google Adwords is a waste of money, it gave me the idea to write about the Google Adwords program in detail on my blog. (And by the way, you can also find blog post ideas in emails you receive. Last week somebody emailed me about Aloha Beach Camp's transportation program, so next week I'm posting a detailed description about our transportation program on Aloha Beach Camp's blog.)

2. Invite Friends, Family Members, Employees, Industry Pros, and Anyone Else You Can Think of to Write Guest Blog Posts For You

This coincides with my preferred marketing strategy of getting other people to do your marketing for you. Why not ask a camp parent (or even a camper!) to write a blog post for you, or even do a video testimonial on your behalf, to share their impressions of your camp with other families? This would be a great source of content for your blog! (Along similar lines, I recently made a public invitation here on Camp Marketing News to anyone who wanted to be a guest blogger on the site. Several people stepped forward, including Camp TV, Philip Galbreth , Dan Weir and others. This marketing tactic is good for them, good for me, and it will be good for you too if you decide to use it.)

3. Poll Your Customers and Fans, then Publish the Results as a Blog Post

Conduct a poll or survey of your fans on Facebook, then discuss the results on your blog. Use Facebook's Questions Tool, for instance, to ask what their top 5 favorite camp activities are, then spend a paragraph or two on your blog describing these activities in detail.

4. Announce Upcoming Events and Features

Do you have an open house coming up? Will you be participating at a Camp Fair?  Did you just upgrade your pool or horseback riding ring? Tell the world on your blog!

5. Discuss Something OTHER than Camp

Everyone already knows you're associated with summer camp. But they're also interested to know you as a PERSON. Why don't you share opinions and ideas from your personal or family life, such as a trip you might be taking (or just returned from), the type of food you love (or hate), whether or not you decided to remodel your house, or the reason you're so the New York Giants are gonna win the Super Bowl this year? Trust me, people are INTERESTED in this stuff about you!

I hope these ideas are helpful...hopefully they will help you avoid writer's block at least for a little while :)

Facebook Marketing Group Privacy Setting Changed to "OPEN"

Several people have mentioned they want to join our summer camp marketing group on Facebook, but the "closed" privacy setting was making it difficult for them. My apologies to anyone having trouble getting involved.

We just changed the status of the group to OPEN, meaning anyone can join now without requesting permission. If we start getting spam and other unwanted comments and postings, we'll need to go back to "closed." But for now, as long as you're into camp marketing, please feel free to join and add/invite your friends, too! Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/279723415397429/

10 Ways to Amp Up Your Marketing Program Right Now

Great video from marketing consultant John Jantsch:

Monday, January 16, 2012

How to Get 264 More "Likes" on Your Facebook Page Today

Here's an idea which can help each of us get as many as 264 more LIKES on our respective facebook fan pages today.

There's 264 people who "LIKE" this Camp Marketing News blog.

If each of the 264 of us LIKE each other's facebook pages, we'll each get 264 more likes right away. That's about as viral as your marketing can get!

Here's how we do it.

First, go to my Aloha Beach Camp fan page at http://www.facebook.com/alohabeachcamp and "Like" the page.

After you've done that, come back here and leave a comment under this post letting me (and everyone else) know you've liked my page.

Be sure to include a link to your camp's facebook page in your comment.

At that point I'll immediately return the favor and like your page too.

If all of us do the same for each other, we'll all get as many as 264 likes right away! :)

Here's the link to my page again: http://www.facebook.com/alohabeachcamp. Don't forget to come back here and comment after you've liked the page so I can like yours, too.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Here's an Email Marketing Strategy You Might Not Have Considered

I love email marketing for many reasons, but mainly because it lends itself nicely to the two core strategy principals I use when marketing my own camp, which are to:
  1. Enter new markets quickly, and 
  2. Get other people to do your marketing for you

Here's what you do. You form alliances with other complimentary youth and family-serving businesses and organizations, then get them to send emails to their customers on your behalf.

For instance, if you run a resident camp in New Jersey and want to reach more prospects in San Diego, you can contact various family-focused restaurants there (in San Diego) to propose a partnership. Maybe you could offer the restaurant manager free camp sessions for his or her kids if he or she, in turn, emails their customer base endorsing your camp.

It's not easy to set these programs up. But this strategy is very doable, because I do it myself all the time and help others do it, too. I assure you, once you set some of these programs up, you'll gain access to huge, new prospect bases you never had before. And the time you put into getting these programs off the ground is nothing compared to the dividends they'll pay in the form of many new campers down the road.

Join our Facebook Marketing Group

Please join our summer camp marketing group on Facebook where we share and discuss all things related to promoting our summer camps. It's a "closed" group, but just go to this link to request permission to join. Once you do that, you're in!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tips for Marketing to Moms

Here's a couple articles to check on regarding how to market to moms:




I read them both, thought they were valuable, hope you do too.

Add Your Camp to FindMyCamp.com for Free

Help me build the largest FREE summer camp search engine in the world. It's called FindMyCamp.com, and it's almost ready to launch -- all I need is your summer camp info so I can add it to the site and we're ready to go.

This is free advertising for you. It's like all the other summer camp search engines out there, except it's free.

If you want to add your camp, please email me at findmycamp@gmail.com with the following information:

1. Name of your camp
2. Camp location (city and state)
3. Type of camp (day or overnight/resident)
4. Program emphasis (main activity/activities you offer)
5. Short (25 word description) of your program
6. Website address (so I can link your listing to your website)

That's it! 

Don't miss out on this. The more camps that join, the higher the site will be ranked. I'm also doing the site in blog-style format so we can eventually get (and keep) top search result rankings.

One note, I am expecting a large number of camps to respond to this free advertising offer, so please be patient. There are no guarantees how quickly I'll get your camp listed, but I'll do it as fast as I can.

-Eric

Friday, January 6, 2012

Are Google's Search Results Bad on Purpose?

You know me, I'm a search engine marketing nut. I'm always looking for ways to crack the Google search results code. Most of the time I can get a site ranked pretty highly after just a little while.

But I was talking to a friend over the Holidays (she owns a search engine marketing firm) who shared an interesting theory with me I never considered before.

Her feeling is Google may be displaying organic (natural) search results POORLY on purpose, so users will click on the PAID search results (ads) so they (Google) can make more money.

Interesting thought. What do you think?