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7 Summer Camp Advertising Ideas to Kickstart Early-Year Marketing

Posted by Jason Mellet on Feb 15, 2021 8:00:00 AM
Jason Mellet

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It’s never too soon to kickstart your annual camp marketing effort.  You’ll have to build momentum and interest early on if you want to fill up by the start of the summer season.  We’ve put together a few summer camp advertising ideas to get you started.

Try these 7 Summer Camp Advertising Ideas

Host a Field Day With a Local Nonprofit or School

A one-day event at your campground in partnership with a youth group, philanthropic cause, or nonprofit organization can be a fantastic PR and advertising tool. Almost half of all camps in 2017 had at least some relationship with a local school—after all, their kids will be your primary clientele.  Pursue chances to host a spring farmer’s market, youth sports event, scout cookout, or school field day.  If the group is directly tied to your interest area or theme, even better.

Deadline-Driven Postcards and Flyers

You want enrollment to fill up as soon as possible… but many families will wait until it’s almost summer to sign up. Get ahead of the rush and confirm your numbers with a chance to lock in reduced early-registration pricing. Design attractive camp marketing collateral (a postcard with a shot of the camp might be nice—“thinking of you!”), mail it out and spread the word all over your social channels and website.

Need flyer ideas? Here are some examples of summer camp ads.  If you’re on the hunt for graphic design templates, it looks like they have both free and paid tools to help turn those examples into reality, too.

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Pitch and Secure Ad Spots in Local Publications

Get to work on securing media partnerships ASAP—many publications (print especially) will want your summer camp ads or content well in advance, so this is an early-year priority. Get in touch with local newspapers, seasonal magazines, popular parenting websites in your area, and more.

Advertise a Couples Weekend (or Kids Weekend!)

Organize a two-day excursion before your season starts that’s open to parents who would savor a getaway.  They can camp, hike, kayak, and roast marshmallows at a romantic couples weekend at camp. Put the word out on your usual channels and use the opportunity to show parents how great camp can be. Offer an early bird discount for any summer camp registrations that are completed before the weekend is over.

Alternatively, you could make it a Saturday overnight campout during the school year for kids, so they can get a sneak peek of what to expect.

Get Your Camp Listed

Join every directory for summer camps you can find. The earlier the better—you’ve got to get your camp on the list before parents have already made their choices. The ACA is a major camp resource with its own listings and other summer camp advertising ideas and opportunities.  

It’s also free to become a partner with Camps With Friends. Your camp will get a detailed listing in our mobile app and a free contributor spot on our blog, to boot!

Go Back to the Well

Parents of past campers are a great resource, even if their kids have finished going to camp.  Harness those fond memories in your summer camp advertising ideas. Send out direct mail and email newsletters that offer exclusive discounts to any friends and relatives referred by your valued alumni.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Content on Google and Social

Google will be the first place parents turn to when they begin their search for a camp. Since 93% of all online experiences begin in a search engine, you want to show up near the top. The quickest way to get there (while you’re still building out a content marketing presence) is promoting your content with paid ads. 

Be strategic, though, and focus on promoting content with the highest value to your camp: unveiling the theme, your season promo video, or an early bird campaign. Promote social posts, too—it’s the best way to get branded content visible in social feeds.

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Topics: social media strategy, Small Business Marketing Tips, blogging