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Thursday, September 29, 2011

What are the Best Marketing Tactics You Should Use to Grow Your Camp?

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a secret formula for knowing which marketing tactics would get you 5 or 10 new campers every time you used it, and which marketing tactics suck? In my mind, the toughest thing to determine is which marketing tools to use and which to get rid of.

In this day and age of social media and internet marketing and with so many marketing options available, the choices can be so overwhelming inertia might get the best of you, causing you to end up doing nothing. Or maybe you're tempted to try a little of this, a little of that and see what sticks. I'm not sure that's the right way to go about things.

If you've ever heard the phrase, "You can't serve two masters," you know what I'm talking about. I'd rather see you master a few marketing tactics well than a bunch of them poorly. Rather than try your hand at all kinds of different promotional tactics - which can stretch your money and your emotional state thin - you're better off focusing on a handful of strategies that will get you many new campers than dabbling in tons of marketing strategies that only land you a few.

When I'm determining which marketing strategies to pursue and which to ignore, I use two main criteria:

1. Where will I find my best prospects? (If they're on Facebook but not Twitter or Linked In, then why waste time on Twitter and Linked In? I'd be better off spending three times as much time on Facebook instead.)

2. Are the results I'm getting from my marketing measurable? (If you're not testing and measuring results, you're just guessing and probably throwing lots of money down the drain. When you test your marketing results, you know for a fact what works and what doesn't. Then you can double up on what does and cut out what doesn't...and that's how you start signing up new kids by the dozens.)

Whenever I'm gonna start a new marketing campaign or reviewing my current one, it needs to pass the two-point litmus test above or I won't do it. And if you have any special criteria to help you decide which marketing tools to use when promoting your camp, please leave a comment so other people reading the blog can get ideas too!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Need More Word of Mouth Referrals? Consider Hiring Moms!

Want to build your word of mouth program to get more campers? Have you considered hiring moms?

In this economy, you KNOW there's tons of people (especially moms) looking for part-time jobs. If you're a day camp, why not hire moms (as camp counselors, for office help, whatever) to help you get some stuff done? They'll be grateful for the opportunity, and you can bet they'll tell all their friends about the great new job they got a local summer camp.

If you run an overnight camp, you could hire moms to work from home, remotely, right from their computers. Imagine the following scenario.

You hire a mom or two to help you with some office work. They're on their home computers  They take a 5 minute break from work to log onto Facebook. They update their status with a post about their new job working for your resident camp, and they're just taking a quick break to see what's happening on Facebook.
All their friends see their post about the new summer camp job. All their friends start asking questions on Facebook about your! Just imagine what this could mean for you!

Next time you need some part-time help, or even to fill a full-time position or two, consider hiring moms at camp. It's a winning proposition.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

LA Camp Fair and Marketing Workshops Coming Soon

Gonna announce the date of our upcoming marketing workshop soon, plus we're developing an L.A. Camp Fair event for the spring that PEOPLE WILL ACTUALLY ATTEND! :)

Can Kids Go to Camp On Their Cell Phones?

Looking for a new way to engage customers and prospects (especially kids) while keeping them on your website longer and connecting with your camp brand more deeply? How about creating a board game (or even better, a video game or mobile app) around your camp's brand? You could take your most popular camp activities, then create a game around them. For example, kids could visit one activity after another and participate in all of them...just like they're at camp for real! Sounds cool, huh? Best thing is, building a mobile app isn't too difficult or expensive. This website might help.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What Does Search Engine Optimization Really Mean?

You've probably heard me talk about how to optimize your camp's website so the search engines can find it 11 or 12 million times. Here's a very informative article from Search Engine Land which helps explain the various ways to optimize your site. Whether your main SEO strategy is paid search, link building, organic methods or anything else, this is a valuable read.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Which Search Engine Marketing Strategy Is Best For You?

I don't like paying for advertising. I ESPECIALLY don't like paying for search engine marketing (such as the Google adwords program). I'd rather put in the extra effort to get my camp's website to appear higher in the organic search results than buying my way to the top.

Of course, there's times when "pay per click" advertising is beneficial to your search engine marketing program. Maybe you're starting a new camp and need online traffic right away.

If you're grappling with which search engine optimization marketing program to pursue, here's an article which could help you decide.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hope You Had a Great Summer!

Hope everyone had a great summer with strong enrollment. I wrapped up camp last week. I love running Aloha Beach Camp but I'm glad it's over for another year. I am looking forward to a relaxing off season school year and hope you are, too. I wasn't able to post much of anything during the summertime because camp took up all my time. And this weekend I will be in Big Bear, California with my family for Labor Day. But starting later next week I'll be back to the grind, posting regularly about summer camp marketing so we can all have explosive enrollment years in 2012!