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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Where to Find the Best Keywords for Your Website

A camp director named Chris asked how to find his main keywords so he could optimize his website for search engines. I told him he could use a paid service like Wordtracker or Google's free Adwords tool. But as I explained to Chris, your principle keywords are likely right under your nose and you have already created them yourself.

If you take a look around your website and blog, you will notice a pattern. The same phrases and word choices will come up over and over again, meaning your very best keywords will always appear naturally in your writing. Here's what I mean.

Much of my own website content includes the phrase, "Los Angeles surf camps." I use those words (or a similar variation) frequently to describe my program. (And not just in writing; I say that phrase over and over when talking to parents and kids in person, too.) Those are some of my best keywords, helping me to optimize my site the best. In fact if you type those keywords into Google, Aloha Beach Camp will generally come up first (or close to it) every time.

So take a look around your site or blog. Unless your website content is severely disjointed, you'll definitely notice a similar phrase or two (or more) coming up often that you use to describe your program. That means you've already created your very best keywords on your own, and even better, they are most likely the same ones parents and kids type into Google when looking for a camp like yours.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Do You Market Your Camp with QR Codes?

Does your camp have a mobile marketing strategy? I'm a mobile marketing nut. QR codes, text message marketing all of it.


Regarding QR codes (see image above), their upside is tremendous. They offer tons of benefits to marketers and consumers alike. But the problem right now is that even though everyone sees these things everywhere, not enough people understand what they are or do or how to use them. 

Of course, this realization goes against one of the fundamental rules of a sound marketing plan, which states that if your marketing raises more questions than answers, maybe it's not a good marketing strategy to begin with.

Notwithstanding, I'm banking on QR codes taking off big-time as an important component to your mobile marketing plan. I've started a new mobile marketing blog and my first post is dedicated to QR code marketing itself.

Take a look when you can.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. Writing this blog is a labor of love for me, and I really appreciate all of you who take the time to read it. I hope you have a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving, and an upcoming Holiday Season full of joy and laughter. Happy Thanksgiving again! :)

- Eric

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sports Camp Marketing Plan

If you run a sports camp, and/or especially a baseball camp, here's a sample (actual) marketing plan I found online you might use:

How to Share Your Content for Free on Social Media Sites

As we've mentioned before, all your content (website, blog, etc.) should be "shareable." This means making your stuff as easy as possible for your customers, prospects and site visitors to share with their friends. If you don't have social sharing tools on your website or blog, now you can get and install them for free.

Go to ShareThis.com. Their step-by-step wizard walk you through an easy process (no technical skills required) and give you the code to place on your blog or website so people can share your content on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media sites you choose.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I hear from many different camp directors about many different marketing problems, so thought I'd post a poll where everyone can (anonymously) indicate their biggest challenge. The poll is located on the upper right sidebar portion of the page. Go ahead and make yourself heard.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Does Your Camp Create Memories to Last a Lifetime? Well Guess What? Nobody Cares.

Question: Which camp's marketing message is this?:
"Sign up for our camp because your child will make new friends and create memories that last a lifetime." 
Answer: Way too many of them.

First of all, nobody cares, mostly because it's a boring message.

Second, those words don't mean anything special. You can make new friends and create lifetime memories anywhere you want -- I did it at a sushi bar last night -- so it's clear you don't need a camp experience to make friends and memories.

Third, if I'm a parent contemplating summer camps and I see and hear those far-too-common words everywhere I look from just about every camp, why in the world should I choose yours?

Parents and kids want something different, special, unique. You need to find out what separates your camp from the crowd, then promote the heck out of that message.

THEN people will take crazy notice of your awesome program!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Which Camp Fairs Should You Attend This Year?

Attending Camp Fairs should be part of every camp's annual marketing plan. On December 7, we will publish a listing of various Camp Fairs taking place across the country so you can decide which ones to attend. (If you operate, organize or promote Camp Fairs and want to be listed, leave a comment to let us know.)