I came across a blog directory today which lists various summer camp blogs of note. I was glad to see Camp Marketing News included. Whoever compiled the directory described my blog as consisting of “no nonsense posts on camp marketing.”
If you’ve been following my content a while, you know I don’t go with the flow. And I don’t want you to, either.
Seriously, how can you expect to make any marketing improvements, or get higher enrollment, or do better in search rankings, if you keep doing things the same way you’ve always done them?
And how can you expect to stand out in a crowded camp marketing field if you’re promotional program is the same as everyone else’s?
Seriously, take a look around to notice how other people market their camps. There’s usually very little difference, if any, from the one to the next.
As I’m quite fond of saying, if everyone’s doing the same thing, then many of us aren’t necessary.
I’m here to encourage you to think more creatively, quit being so safe, stop sugar-coating your marketing, step out of your comfort zone, be unique.
Otherwise you’ll just blend in, get lost in the crowd.
That said, here are three ideas you can jump on RIGHT NOW to really make some noise and stand out from the crowd. Why not turn the common way you (and pretty much everyone else) market your camp on its head?
The following three ideas relate to content marketing — you can write articles, create blog posts, make videos or produce any other kind of content you can think of based off these ideas:
1. Figure out how to say, “We Make Memories that Last a Lifetime” differently.
Let’s face it, about 500 billion camps use this phrase, or a similar variation, as a selling proposition. And they’ve been doing it forever. In fact this very phrase — “we make memories that last a lifetime” — is now so common it’s meaningless. If I’m a parent considering 10 different camps, and all 10 are telling me they make memories that last a lifetime, do you know what that really means? What it means is that none of the 10 camps are giving me a reason to choose them over the other nine. So why not try a new way of saying the same thing? How about changing the words up some? How about something like this:
“Are You Ready For Your Child to Make the Most Ridiculously Awesome Memories They’ve Ever Made at Camp?”
NOW I’ve got a reason to look into your camp instead of the others. NOW you stand out from everyone else. NOW I’m gonna read your blog post!
2. Figure out how to write a “Questions to Ask the Camp Director” article differently.
Here’s the story on this one — practically every existing article you can find on “what to ask the camp director” says the same thing. All the questions are the same, all the answers are the same. Go ahead, Google it and see for yourself. Read the the various articles that come up. How much difference do you notice from one to the next? Hardly any I’ll bet. So why not get a little creative and do it differently?:
“Top 10 Questions to Ask the Camp Director…And 5 Other Questions You Better NOT Ask…”
“Just Last Week, 25 Parents Asked Us Some Very Surprising Questions About Camp. Would You Like to Know What They Said?”
Now I don’t know about you, but I’d be pretty freaking intrigued, and if I’m in the market for a summer camp, you just got me hooked!
3. Figure out how to write a “How to Choose a Camp” article differently.
Yep, you guessed it, almost every existing article on the subject says the same thing. But just as there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there’s more than one way to write a “how to choose a camp article” too, even though nobody’s ever done it.
Why don’t you be the first one?
The thing is, though, I’m not gonna give you any examples on this third point like I did for the first two points above. I want you to use your own creativity instead. See if you can come up with a new way or two to teach people how to choose a camp.
It doesn’t have to simply be changing the headlines like I did for the two above. Maybe you could use an infographic instead…oops! I just gave you an idea when I said I wouldn’t!
Now if I were you, I’d take these ideas and run with them. I’d also review my entire marketing program to identify the areas where my camp looks too much like all the others from a marketing perspective, then I’d get creative and change things up.
It might take a little time, but the benefits will pay off in spades.