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How to Market Summer Camps in California

Posted by Jason Mellet on Oct 22, 2020 5:52:27 PM
Jason Mellet

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Summer camps in California have a ton to offer their camp families—great weather, a wide variety of scenery, and a thriving camp culture. But to make your camp stand out from the pack, you’ve got to market your program with more than these familiar talking points. Here’s how a few of the best summer camps in California are doing it.

Robolink: Special Incentives

Robolink runs San Diego summer camps for robotics out of two learning centers in San Diego alongside fifteen after-school elementary and middle school programs across San Diego County. The public/private partnerships with the schools do a ton for enrollment, but Robolink goes the extra mile, too. They offer special 10% discounts to several specific groups:

  • Employees at Qualcomm, UC San Diego, Hologic, General Atomics, Care Fusion, Samsung, Intel, Northrop Grumman, Broadcom, Sony, Google, Fitbit
  • Military families
  • Siblings attending class in the same month
  • Groups of 3+ students signing up together

These incentives encourage registrations from some of their most reliable groups—families who work for employers with major local presences, siblings of existing campers, and the friend groups of loyal campers.

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Calvin Crest Conferences: Testimonials From Real Camp Parents

The more ways you can amplify the voices of happy camp parents, the better. Nielsen has shown that “92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know.” Testimonials from your biggest fans are incredibly powerful marketing material.

Calvin Crest Conferences knows the value of the excitement in their parent community, so they put it on full display in their promotional videos.  Check out this example from their YouTube page that highlights glowing recommendations from several satisfied families of their summer camps in California.

Fresno Art Museum: Sponsored Family Fun Days

The best way to get folks excited about your summer camp program is to help them see it themselves, in person. Fresno Art Museum (FAM) makes sure to do this at least twice a year with popular free events—FAMily days—held during each exhibition season.  

On one Sunday in December and one Saturday in April, the whole family is invited to enjoy art projects, treasure hunts in the galleries, storytime, and entertainment ranging between theatre, dance, music, stage magic, films, and more. These free-for-all events also raise awareness for their annual summer camps in Fresno.

The FAM has its FAMily days sponsored by individuals and businesses in the community to help with the costs of holding the event (and spread the word about their sponsors, of course!). The gains in hype around their camp make it well worth the effort!

Sacramento State Aquatic Center: Vivid Visuals on Social Media!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Social media has made it really simple to give potential campers a glimpse into the day-to-day excitement at your camp in real-time!

It’s easy to snap pictures of campers (with permission) and post a few regularly to keep your social accounts active and full of free marketing material. Video’s the way to go in the 2020s, though. In fact, 95% of businesses intend to maintain or increase their investment in video formats in 2020, and research suggests that the average person will spend 100 minutes a day watching online videos in 2021.

Sacramento State Aquatic Center has heeded these insights with their approach to marketing for summer camps in California. Check out the vast library of pics and videos they regularly post on their popular Facebook page! Their vivid visual activity gives them an advantage over Sacramento summer camps that have to count on text or word of mouth alone.

You can also share photos and other visual promotional material on online profiles for your camp through web directories or summer camp apps like Camps With Friends!

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Topics: social media strategy, Summer Camp, Small Business Marketing Tips, summer camps, Camps With Friends