2020 summer camps are in a precarious spot. Many camp owners are wondering how to increase summer camp enrollment with all of the uncertainty around social distancing measures and state-regulated limitations on public events. While some places, like Texas, already have a light at the end of that tunnel, other regions haven’t got there yet.
Your camp marketing can dance around the elephant in the room, or it can embrace the moment. We have some suggestions! Whatever your local situation, these 5 marketing ideas for summer camps can inspire your audience to give your camp a try—whether it’s online, delayed, abbreviated, or a full go.
#1. Double down on social shares.
We may be more socially isolated this year, but that hasn’t stopped everyone from meme-sharing and tweeting up a storm! You’ve probably already worked social media into your camp marketing efforts, but this is the time to double down. Social channels are where everyone’s spending their free time these days, and camp families are no different.
The more shareable your content, the more eyeballs you’ll reach. Traditional marketing messages are fine, but try to be timely and relevant to encourage interaction. To really dial it up, just be direct. Ask parents to pass on your registration link along with a few exciting words about camp. A camp parent sharing your link is much more compelling than a share from your own account. And if your families love your camp, they’re usually more than happy to be of service!
#2. Host a Zoom party for your biggest fans.
You know that family that’s always first in line for camp t-shirts? Call them up and offer to host a virtual camp party for them as a thank you, right out of the comfort of their home! This could even be for a birthday. The more the merrier—encourage the fam to invite a bunch of friends and promise a ton of healthy social fun for all those cooped up kids.
Have a great counselor run fun games or lead a craft activity (maybe with mail-delivered kits to every home). This is the perfect opportunity to showcase everything the family loves about camp and get their friends excited too. Also, it’s the perfect dry-run for any alternative plans you may be working out for a remote camp with virtual workshops and the like.
#3. Offer special incentives just for 2022.
A coupon, discount, or special promotion in light of 2022’s uncertain summer situation is reassuring for parents who aren’t comfortable committing with a typical registration process. To tell it straight, you’ve got to give folks that one extra reason to sign up.
But incentives don’t necessarily need to take the form of discounts. It may work just as well if you can throw in free gear (t-shirts, sweatshirts, or something else from the camp shop) with every registration.
#4. Try a brochure bundle referral campaign!
No on-site open house to hand out brochures? No problem! Don’t send just one brochure to each family...send half a dozen. Include some incentive ($5 off per kid?) for every brochure they give away to a potential camper (honor system, guys!). Your families are your best marketing resource, so help them play a role in keeping camp packed with friends.
#5. Get ready for your next camp video.
If camp is in a holding pattern, you’ve got some time on your hands—not common among camp owners. You can turn lemons into lemonade by using that time to set up a fantastic asset that will pay off for years.
Parents love watching thoughtfully produced slice-of-life camp videos (or one-take videos!) when they’re hunting for camps. Take time to plan shots, pick music, and gather resources so that when camp finally comes around, you’re ready to rock. Camp marketing isn’t seasonal—the best marketing ideas for summer camps often come together with live material from the camp itself!