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Showing posts from December, 2010

Have You Done Your Marketing Plan for 2011?

Vote in our latest Quick Poll just above and to the right.

How to Get Your Website Ranked Like the Pros

Here's a tip to get your camp's web pages ranked higher in Google and other search engines: Visit as many Search Engine Optimization company websites as you can, look for common themes in how they write and design their web pages (including headlines, sub-heads and links). Then copy and apply those same strategies to your camp's website.

Remember, if it's good enough for a professional search engine optimizer, it's good enough for you.

It Still Might Pay to Keep Your Keyword Meta-tags

Even though Google doesn't use the keyword meta-tag anymore to rank or serve web pages, other search engines like Bing and Yahoo might. So you might as well keep using it just to cover your bets.

My #1 Marketing Goal for 2011

I've got a bunch of personal goals for my camp's 2011 promotional program. I'll share everything with you in the coming days and weeks. For now, I'll tell you this: My primary goal for next year is to really step up my video marketing.

I'm gonna try to advertise my camp with at least one new video each week. I took tons of videos last summer so I don't think I'll run out of footage.

As you know, I love video marketing for three reasons. First, videos often appear in Google's search results only MINUTES after posting them. Third, kids and teens search for videos like madmen, so they're bound to find yours if you decide to post some too. Finally, video marketing in my opinion is the next huge social media phenomenon.

We'll see how it goes.

I'm out of town for the next few weeks

Just a quick FYI, i've been out of town for the holidays for the past several days and will be away until January 8. So if I don't post too often or don't respond to your comments or emails, that's the reason why. I'll be sure to get back to you ASAP and write more about marketing and advertising as quickly as possible. Happy Holidays!

Eric

Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing Checklist for 2011

Not too long ago I wrote a blog post (although I am too lazy to go back and find it) about how we should all prepare our summer camp marketing plans and calendars now for 2011 so we hit the new year running.

If you aren't as lazy as I am, take a few minutes and search the archives because it might be worthwhile to read it.

Meanwhile here's something else that's really cool: An article from Search Engine Journal to help you make sure all your camp's Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization is in place for the new year.

A Word-of-Mouth Marketing Post for Jeremy

I just got an email message from an IRATE camp director who took issue with my post of earlier today (and other places in this blog) where I claimed you can actually CREATE word-of-mouth marketing by incentivising people to spread the word about your camp. I wish he'd stated his complaints in the comments section for everyone to see, but since he didn't I assume he's either too scared or ashamed to make his case publicly. (Or, if I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he didn't want to "embarrass" me publicly with his negative comments. But considering the attacking tone he took, I don't think that's the case...)

Anyway, out of respect for him, I'm not gonna reveal too many personal details other than tell you his name is Jeremy and he's the "marketing director" for a sleepaway camp in Nevada.

I don't feel like I need to defend myself, but to appease Jeremy and anyone else who feels like he does, I wanted to give yo…

How to Get Blog and Website Visitors to Share Your Content With Their Friends

If you use an email marketing service, you probably include "forward this email to a friend" links in your messages. They come standard from all the email marketing services.

But wouldn't you like customers and prospects to tell their friends about your blog or website too?

If you're looking for one of the best social media marketing tools around, "Tell-a-Friend" forms are the way to go. The one caveat is, you need to be careful which one you use because they have to potential to be easily spammed. But you can't beat this strategy for its pure word-of-mouth marketing benefits in any case.

Here are three "Tell a Friend" services I've heard good things about. (I haven't used any of these so I can't suggest one over another but you might give one or more a try):

Spreadable

Viral Inviter

Social Twist

On my camp's website I have an opt-in email form on every page. In addition to the other 67 million things I need to do this week, …

Constant Contact, I'm Done With You! (Aweber here I come)

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After too many trials and errors and switching back and forth from Constant Contact to various email marketing services, I'm switching to aweber for good. The reasons why are:

1. It's cheaper;
2. It's easier to use;
3. The sign-up forms are nicer

If you already use aweber, you know what I mean. If you don't, why not give it a try? (Use the form below to sign for a free trial. I think you'll like it! :)



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Let's Like Each Other's Pages on Facebook

If you do me a favor and "Like" my Aloha Beach Camp facebook page, I'll visit your camp's facebook page and Like it too!

How Google Finds, Ranks, and Displays Your Website

Here's the definitive guide on how Google finds and ranks your summer camp website.

Free Website Templates

If you make your own website(s), here's a place you can download free templates. Some of these look pretty nice.

How to Get People to Swarm to Your Camp Fair Booth

Given today's digital world, you don’t get too many chances to meet prospects in person anymore. That's why Camp Fairs are so important. Since camps are naturally social organizations, Camp Fairs fit beautifully into your marketing program. In essence, they're "live" social media events.

I must've attended, organized, and promoted 100 Camp Fairs in my day. I've learned some tips and tricks along the way to make your booth stand out from the rest and keep a crowd all day long. The main thing is, you need to show families and kids your camp is unique.

Let's face it, most Camp Fair booths are all the same. You get a table, curtain, some chairs and maybe a metal divider establishing boundaries between your booth and neighboring camps. But why should a family visit your booth if you're no different than everyone else? If your booth is different, people will gravitate your way.

I wanted to share some thoughts on how you can get people swarming around y…

Want to Speak to Me on the Phone? Happy to!

I've gotten tons of phone calls and emails recently from camp directors and marketers who are preparing their marketing plans for 2011 and want to speak to me on the phone. I'm happy to do it.

Thing is, my time's at a premium right now, so here's what we can do.

I'm discounting my telephone consultation prices for a limited time. Instead of the usual $200/hour, your first 5 minutes are free. I'll try to answer every question you've got.

Then, if you want to continue past 5 minutes, it'll be $75 for 1 hour. So that's 65 minutes for $75 bucks.

Let me know if you want in, because my schedule's tight but I want to make sure I've got time for everyone.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Can Your Camp's Enrollment Confirmation Packets Generate Word-of-Mouth for You?

When a family signs up for camp, you send a confirmation packet, right? Maybe your packet includes a Parent Handbook, instructions for what to wear and bring to camp (packing list), a payment receipt and all that. But does your confirmation packet serve as a word-of-mouth referral generator too?

Here's how it can. When a family gets their confirmation packet, give them all the usual stuff I just mentioned. But also include a Customer VIP or Referral Card which entitles their friends to a 10% discount off camp tuition.

(Actually you can include anything else you want in your confirmation packets, but your guiding thought should be "what could I give just-enrolled families something they'd share with their friends?").

If your customers can say to their friends, "Hey, I just signed up for this great camp, and I can get you a discount so your kid can go there too," bingo! You just hooked another enrollment, and you didn't have to do a thing to get it. (Don…

Extra Cash for Your Camp: Sell Gift Cards this Holiday Season

Looking for a way to generate some extra dough for your off-season? Try selling gift cards. But not gift certificates anymore...they're outdated!

I just tried selling gift certificates to my camp families a week ago. No dice.

Then yesterday I emailed the same list (3,000 people) offering gift cards instead. Sold $960 worth in less than a day.

Give it a try...you've got nothing to lose and lots of extra cash to gain :)