As 2013 winds down, you'll find lots of blogs and websites posting content and articles with their "Top Marketing Strategies for 2014" or something like that. But very few of them focus just on summer camp marketing ; in most cases they are just disseminating general marketing information. Since I write this blog for you, here is my list of the Top 3 Marketing Strategies for 2014 ... EXCLUSIVELY FOR SUMMER CAMPS!
1. Mobile Marketing
Do you have your cell phone on you? So do your customers! (And I mean parents, grandparents, kids .... EVERYONE carries a mobile device these days giving your the perfect opportunity to connect with them.) It's important to understand mobile marketing takes numerous forms, some extremely sophisticated. So I suggest starting with a very basic text message marketing program and building from there. Can you just start sending text messages to customers and prospects if you have their cell numbers? No! That would be a severe violation of the Mobile Marketing Association's best practices for text messaging. You need to get everyone's permission first, and you also need a good commercial text message marketing service to help you orchestrate your text message marketing campaign. Google "SMS marketing services" to find a few. Finally, I wanted to share with you this complete guide to mobile marketing for 2014 from TapSense. (Since it's an ebook, you'll need to provide some personal information to get it. Accordingly, you might want to make a new/fake email address so they don't bother you later down the line. But this ebook contains valuable information and it's an extremely worthwhile read, IMO, so don't wait).
2. Content Marketing
Most of us turn to the internet first for information. When people find your camp online, you naturally hope to influence them with your website, blog, social media activities and other content you create. If you can be funny, creative, interesting, or controversial through your content and share it in the right places, you're ahead of the game. Here's a fantastic article from SEOChat.com describing content marketing in more detail along with concrete examples, ideas and tips you can use to get your content out to more people.
3. Word of Mouth / Social Media Marketing
When we talk about "word of mouth marketing" we don't just mean a few friends sitting around and discussing your camp over coffee anymore (although
that's a HUGE coup). These days, "word of mouth marketing" also means friends discussing your camp online,
sharing your content and links with their friends, and clicking the Facebook "LIKE button" for all to see. Don't forget, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you post these days has the potential to be shared exponentially, and a customer or prospect's act of sharing your content really is the epitome of word of mouth marketing in today's environment. Getting more word of mouth marketing should be the #1 goal of your summer camp's social media marketing program.
I hope these marketing ideas will help you get many new campers and retain the ones you already have for summer 2014 and beyond! As always, don't hesitate to leave a comment or share some of your own marketing ideas or strategies you think would be helpful for other camps to hear.