Medium suggests that small businesses should spend 7-8% of their annual revenue on sales and marketing. In other words, for a camp that takes in roughly $1 million a year, this would mean spending perhaps $70,000 or $80,000 on marketing efforts and summer camp ads. With the bulk of revenue already devoted to yearly operating expenses (payroll, repairs and maintenance, upgrades, insurance, utilities, taxes, etc.), that figure can be pretty challenging to work into a tight budget.
Where should the money go? Is there a better way to do it? Let’s take a look.
The Cost vs. Value of Summer Camp Ads
Unless your camp has already reached wait-list status, it’s likely that you’re spending more than you’d like to promote sign-ups and raise awareness. Inbound marketing is all the rage right now for exactly this reason. Blogs and other free content are cheap to produce and can have evergreen benefits, but inbound also takes patience...a luxury that many camps with immediate registration quotas to fill don’t have.
The next natural step is to turn to advertising. Unlike the audience-building treadmill of SEO and content-focused marketing—the “long game” for growth—some methods can give your camp the immediate results...at a cost. Search advertising, promoted social posts, and other paid promotions can rack up a big bill for summer camp ads, but data has shown that only 15% of new campers actually come from paid social, search, and display ads.
So what should you do? The huge impact of social media, word of mouth, and “other” suggest that most parents are discovering camps not through paid channels that interrupt other activities in their lives, but because they’re interested in camps and looking for answers on their own. Nonetheless, only 3% of campers sign-up as a result of free content marketing posted by the camps themselves, such as SEO-targeted business blogs.
What parents really want and need is:
- A way to connect with other parents.
- A convenient tool to compare camps options all at once.
- A channel that’s optimized for mobile phones, like social media and email.
It just so happens that this channel—and a free one, at that—actually exists.
Camps With Friends Connects You With Interested Parents, For Free!
Spreading the word about camp just got easier. Our mobile app already features over 1,000 camps nationwide, and makes it easy for parents to filter through summer camp options by region and interest area. Partnering with us will give you access to interested parents who are searching for local options like you. And since it’s free, there’s nothing to lose.
Sign up, set up your app profile, and get discovered. It’s as easy as that. You’ll be able to populate your listing with whatever information you like, and your website traffic and Google rank will improve in the process. Meanwhile, the parents will be able to connect with other families to discuss and organize their plans together.
Why Partner With Us?
Camps With Friends will help you grow your community without spending a dime. In addition to a fully customizable listing that will appear in our app, we’ll give you:
- Completely Free Summer Camp Marketing: Camps With Friends charges no sign-up fees, no subscription, nada. Reach your audience for FREE.
- A High-Value Audience: The parents using our app are specifically interested in finding camps. You’ll show up in custom-filtered searches from parents that live close to your camp, are interested in your activities, and have children of the appropriate age.
- Control Over Your Message: Say what you need to say to inspire local families. You’ll have a detailed profile and description, links, pictures, and even a free contributor spot on our blog all under your direct control.
- Better Visibility Across the Board: Our partners benefit from coast-to-coast exposure for virtual camp offerings, boosted organic traffic (driven to your website from your CWF profile), higher search rankings on Google (through a free SEO content offering on our blog), and more.
If you’re searching for a simple, fast, and free method of filling up your camp this summer, Camps With Friends has your back. Forget expensive, low-impact summer camp ads. We know how hard it is to fit marketing into your summer camp budget, and we’ve made it our mission to connect families with the inspiring camps that they’ve always dreamed of. Contact us today to sign up!