Sometimes it’s a struggle identifying the right online marketing tactics to focus on. It seems like each month there’s a shiny new idea, tool and/or network that the marketing world falls in love with and that we “must try.”
So if you’re a camp with a tight budget, limited time and not enough man hours, what do you do and how do you keep up? For 2015 my recommendation is that you don’t keep up. You let other camps spend their time testing out the shiny new thing, like Ello, and finding out if it’s worth spending time on. No, Ello is currently not worth your time.
In the meantime, here are five tried and true online marketing tactics for your camp to focused on.
1. An active blog that provides helpful content
I’ve written a few posts about blogging that I recommend checking out:
- Here’s a post if you’re not convinced that you need to blog.
- This post will help you get started.
- Bookmark this post, it has 99 blog post ideas.
- Now that you’re up and running, here are a few tips for keeping your blog active.
If you didn’t find an answer in any of those posts, send me your questions here.
2. Email marketing that nurtures prospective parents
Email is a good way to distribute your blog content and announce camp registrations, but they’re also great for lead nurturing. Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with parents who aren’t quite ready to register for camp. By building that relationship you increase the chance that they’ll select your camp.
A lead nurture campaign is not a hard sell, but provides information that will be helpful for parents when selecting a camp. The best part is that you can automate these emails using an email service provider such as MailChimp. Here’s an example of a basic campaign you might send a parent who’s just downloaded a list of 10 questions they should ask when selecting a summer camp.
- 24 hours later – Thanks for downloading. Here’s a blog post we wrote about how summer camp prepares children to become leaders.
- 4 days later – Looking at taking tours of camps? Here are 10 questions to ask and 10 places to visit during your tours.
- 10 days later – This blog post has great tips on what to pack and what’s ok to leave at home.
3. Calls-to-action (CTA) and landing pages that convert
CTAs are the buttons and links you see on websites that prompt you to take an action, usually it’s to complete a form. The most effective CTAs will provide some sort of value – you complete this form, I’ll give you a helpful piece of information.
When someone clicks on a CTA they’re sent to a landing page. The purpose of a landing page is to gather actionable information on your visitors so that you can move them down your sales funnel. Both CTAs and landing pages shouldn’t require rebuilding your entire website; they are updates your webmaster can do to your current site.
Here are a couple ways you can use a CTA and landing page.
- Find out the top 10 questions every parent should ask when selecting a summer camp. -> Leads to a form that asks for the parent’s name and email. -> Parents get the information and then get added to a lead nurture campaign.
- Register for an open house. Get a chance to see camp and meet our team. -> Leads to a form that asks for more information like the parent’s name, email and phone. -> Parents get to spend the day at camp and get added to a lead nurture campaign.
4. Social media that’s actionable
If you’re solid on 1 -3 then it’s time to talk about social media. Don’t get me wrong, social is a great tool, but 1-3 are going to provide you a bigger ROI. I’m sure every camp has some sort of social media presence, but I see camps make three common mistakes:
- Not connecting their social media plan to their marketing strategy. Social media is not an island, but needs to always be supporting your marketing goals.
- Trying to be active on too many social networks. If you don’t have the time and resources to keep an active Pinterest account, why stress about it? Pick the few that you see results from and leave the rest alone.
- Posting uninspiring content. Each of your social media posts should engage your followers, make them want to favorite your post or leave a comment. Here’s some inspiration if you’re stumped.
5. Video that delights
Video used to be the new shiny tool, but it’s now a powerful content platform that you should invest in. The best part about video is that you don’t need to hire an outside production company. Here are two blog posts to get you started:
I hope these five tactics help you with your camp marketing this year. If you have any questions about how to implement any of these, shoot me an email here. I’m sure your question will spark an idea for my next blog post.