The best places to connect with people, and how to get your materials there.
Marketing summer camps has actually never been easier. We have opportunities today that camp directors from the 1970s could literally not have even dreamed about.
Unfortunately, though, a lot of us ignore a lot of the marketing approaches that got the summer camp boom going in the 1950s and 1960s. The key to marketing in the 21st century is blending both old and new practices, and I’ll explain what I discovered along the way to growing Vanderkamp from 207 kids in a summer to 418 just two summers later.
There are 8 basic marketing platforms we’ve worked with, and I can give you some insight into the costs and benefits of each. I’ll give the cliffs here, and follow up with some more long-form posts on the nuances of each. But this will give you a general idea, to help you understand what worked for us, or what we want to try next.
The Eight Major Camp Marketing Platforms
1) Retaining current customers – Check here for details on the 7 inexpensive tricks we used that are guaranteed to boost your retention.
2) Word of Mouth Marketing – Here are 11 easy ways to enhance your word of mouth marketing campaign.
3) Making materials available publicly (mailing brochures to churches to be put out, putting them in libraries, at the mall, etc)
4) Direct mail to cold prospects – check out a more in-depth article here: Getting first time campers with 2 easy direct-mail strategies
5) Creating a website that’s great for prospective customers and search engines – here’s an article on mobilizing your camp’s website for maximum marketing impact.
6) Traditional print advertising to new clients – Are traditional print marketing platforms still worth it?
7) Paid Online Advertising – Check out this post that demystifies online advertising, and shares our successes and failures with easy things you can do to pay for advertising online better.
8) Creating online outposts (facebook, twitter, pinterest, facebook discussion groups, etc).