Top 7 Summer Camp Marketing Strategies for 2010
1. Have a Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan doesn't need to be long or involved. The simpler, the better. You can write an effective marketing plan in 7 sentences. Your plan needs to be flexible enough that you can make changes on the fly, but firm enough so you know whether it's working and you've reached your goals. You probably won't know whether or not your plan is working for at least 6 months.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
More and more people will find your camp online. But if you're not showing up on the first page of search results you're swimming upstream. You've gotta make it easy for online users to find you. Your program will look MUCH more credible in a prospect's eyes when you come up naturally in the search results compared to forcing paid ads on them. Update your website and blog with fresh content every week, get other sites to link to yours, make sure your title and description tags include relevant keywords and write articles about camp so others can post them on their sites. Follow these tips and watch your website rise in the search result rankings as your competition lags behind.
3. Get Connected
The surge in social media marketing is mind-bending. It's gonna get bigger, too. That's good news for you because social marketing is your best opportunity to communicate directly with your market base. You don't need to go looking for prospects anymore; they're online talking about your camp right now on linkedin, facebook, twitter and youtube. Conversations about your camp will go on with or without you...be sure to join in!
4. Amp up Your Video Marketing Strategy
Want your camp's marketing message to go viral? Video marketing, and associated comments and sharing, is the next big thing. If your camp doesn't have a youtube account, sign up for one today, start posting videos and respond to any comments you get. Don't wait another minute on this.
5. Use Email Marketing Consistently
Email may not be as popular as it was with texting, instant messaging, social media options and all that. But when used right, email's still a staple of any smart marketer's promotional strategy. Use email to build your camp's brand and share useful information. Send email newsletters to your customers and prospects on a monthly basis. Put a "join our mailing list" form on your website to build your list. Don't spam or send crap. Test your emails to see what works and what doesn't, then trash what doesn't and double up on what does.
6. Implement an Active Customer Referral Program
If your camp rocks, you're probably benefiting from word-of-mouth already. If your camp sucks, you're not getting jack. Here's the good news: you can facilitate the word-of-mouth process in your favor with an active customer referral campaign. How? Ask satisfied customers if they know anyone else who might enjoy your camp. Or offer discounts as incentives for people to refer. Or check out these Top 10 secrets to getting more referrals.
7. Market Locally
Especially for day camps, but overnight camps too, local marketing is where it's at! Why spend all your marketing dollars everywhere else when you can find your customers in your own backyard? Check out Google's local business center for information on local marketing and create your camp's profile today.
Here's to a prosperous New Year and camps full of kids!