Budget-Friendly Marketing Techniques to Increase Registration
A good marketing strategy doesn’t hibernate even when your high season is months away. Whether your camp’s operation is small or large, you can build digital hype without experiencing sticker shock during your expense reports.
Universal Best Practices
Every effective strategy recognizes the unique purpose of each marketing channel. For example, how you communicate with your email subscribers should be different than how you post to your camp’s Facebook page. Factors such as who uses each medium, how your audience uses the medium, and the desired communication frequency needs to influence how you plan. Your combined chosen channels should create a cohesive, branded message to your intended audiences.
It’s all about the experience. Especially for summer camps. Going to camp is something that can impact someone for a lifetime. Aim to have your marketing do the same. Think about how you want to excite new campers and how you want returning campers to remember you during the rest of the year. Small details such as high-quality images impact how parents, and campers and prospects view you.
Establish your brand through standout storytelling. No matter how many ways you choose to advertise, your camp needs a unique narrative to compete against the plethora of other summer break activities. Great branding sprouts from a core understanding of your organization and the confidence to boldly know what you offer. If you haven’t thought about it, what makes your camp awesome? Is it the location? The staff? The abundant variety of activities? Accentuate the best of what your organization does.
Your Camp’s Creative Toolbox
Email Marketing: Nurture newcomers and favorite frequenters.
If you don’t already use an email marketing platform like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact, you easily can find a free or low-cost option that fits your needs. Segmentation—the technique of separating contacts of varying criteria into lists—is an excellent way to reuse templates and tailor your messaging. Skip long blocks of paragraphed information for concise, engaging copy that gives readers a clear next step after interacting with your email. If you have a subscription list, nurture your current subscribers with exclusive deals or content.
Social Media Madness: It doesn’t have to feel crazy.
The pure quantity of social media websites is enough to give any marketing manager a headache. Investing your time in managing all your accounts may seem like a wasteful use of your time, but a strong online presence facilitates the most effective marketing tool of all: word-of-mouth referrals. Knowing the differences between major social sites or apps (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest) helps to decide what content should be shared where. Learning how to use hashtags is especially important for Twitter and Instagram.
Before signing up for all the accounts you can get in your URL, truly evaluate your needs as an organization. If accounts go neglected, there is no point in having them. Writing a social media strategy appropriate for the scope of your services and the size of your staff is crucial. It’s better to have one or two highly active accounts than several sparsely populated ones. Social media success relies on conversations with the audiences you want to engage. Don’t know where to start? Explore the use of personas. (If you need examples, you can start here.)
Use Time to Your Advantage
When you plan ahead, you’re able to analyze your resources better to delegate more efficiently where your finances should go. Time is truly your most important asset when combined with a detailed content strategy. Campaigns are like seeds in a garden; you have to plan out the space they need to take root and grow to reap results.