I don’t pretend to be trendy (just ask my teenage daughter). However, every January camps ask me to tell them the latest marketing trends for the upcoming year. This is something we all get sucked into. Whether it’s fashion trends, tech trends, or business trends—it’s human nature to want to be a part of something. This is why people get obsessed with what’s hot and what’s not.
When it comes to running your camp, focus on the strategies that will reach your goals and put a marketing plan in place instead of just keeping up with trends! Of course, we always need to be on the lookout for new and innovative opportunities, but if they don’t align with your business—don’t do them.
As we embark on a brand-new year, let’s look at some marketing techniques that Campfire Creative Marketing has implemented with success and how you can incorporate these ideas for 2023.
Friends Trust Friends
Good ol’ word of mouth has always been your best recruitment tool. However, the way parents share information now is totally different than it used to be. There are tricks we use to create more powerful peer connections, such as ambassador programs. These ambassadors aren’t just hosting parlor meetings and being offered referral fees… we invite specific parents, campers, and staff to become influencers. Social media influencers generate electronic word-of-mouth by creating user content that boosts conversations. Data from MuseFind shows 92% of consumers are more likely to trust what other friends say rather than what traditional advertising says. It makes sense for camps to incorporate a structured ambassador program into their marketing mix. It’s cost-effective and—when done correctly—it works!
Create Interactive Connections
Today’s consumers want immersive experiences rather than static content. They crave direct engagement with brands, real-time solutions, and they want to learn based on their choices. Some of the interactive strategies camps can implement are digital e-books, polls, surveys, contests, chatbots, and websites with customer-centricity. One of CCM’s favorites is digital e-books. They are unique and highly immersive. Parents, kids, and potential staff can choose what they click on allowing them to feel in control. Videos, games, and value-added content can be included to create a more robust and memorable experience. Most importantly, you can be creative and stand out from your competition.
Cater to the Individuals
Parents will gravitate to the camps that they feel listen to them, understand them, and pay attention to their specific needs and wants. That’s where personalized marketing is important. It’s precisely curated communications in a way that doesn’t feel invasive or creepy. First, you need to collect the data to understand your families’ demographics, interests, and behaviors. Then, you can create strategies that resonate with these audiences. Start by segmenting your email list and creating campaigns that speak to those individuals. CCM recommends using automated email campaigns that take users on a journey based on the links they click. Another tool we like to incorporate is social media advertising. This allows you to highlight different aspects of your camp or promote specific events to highly targeted audiences that will identify with the message. Any chance you get to customize a URL, direct mail piece, or email—do it! Those little things go a long way.
Let Campfire Creative Marketing help make your New Year the most successful it’s ever been! Plato said, “I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.” With a solid marketing plan that incorporates sensical trends, your camp will reach your targeted audiences and continue to grow. Happy New Year!