Every camp strives to have full enrollment and a waiting list. But there are thousands of camps across the country (and the world) for individuals to choose from and building demand for your camp is easier said than done. In today’s digital driven world, road shows are less common and impactful. Developing the tool kit to increase your camps’ exposure to new families and future enrollment is vital to the health of your camp. In this blog, we will touch on the ways you can increase your camp’s connection with current families, exposure to new ones, and drive the interest and enrollment in the summers to come.
Give Your Parents a Stronger Connection to Your Camper’s Experience
In today’s digital, mobile centric world, powerful tools have emerged that allow camp administrators to deliver amazing convenience to camper parents while making them feel more connected to camp. One example, Waldo, is a photo and video management software built for camps that utilizes AI to deliver camper photos to their families that you capture them in, plus videos and slideshows. This saves your families a lot of time while strengthening your community.
Stay Connected During the Offseason
Waldo also has a postcard service for camp administrators that allows camps to send off season postcards during the holidays and birthdays. For birthdays, Waldo’s automated AI-sorting and camper dashboard makes it easy to build a postcard featuring the best photos of a camper from last season. These printed cards inevitably end up on fridges and cork boards, keeping camp memories top of mind all year long and form a conversation piece with other families. This can be a powerful contributor to re-enrollment and referrals.
Have a Strong Online Presence
One of the easiest ways to spread awareness about your camp, and for others to find your camp, is through the power of social media. Having a strong online presence through a good website and multiple social media platforms is crucial in this day and age.
Above all other forms of an online presence, making sure your website is optimized for search engines is critical. SEMRush and Squirrly are great tools for making sure your site is optimized for ranking organically. Having high quality photos and videos on your site while making sure your page load speeds do not suffer is advised.
Social Media Platforms
Utilizing various social media platforms can help you reach more people than ever before. While each social media platform is good for different reasons, and would be nice to have a presence on all platforms in a perfect world, oftentimes, we know this just isn’t possible. It’s a lot of work to build and maintain these platforms, so choosing the right one (or a couple) to focus your time and energy on is most beneficial. Picking a counselor from last season who is majoring in marketing, has a good social presence themselves, and looking for an internship to run your socials is a great way to see success here. Social media is a young person’s game and finding an ambitious college kid, amongst the dozens who work for you during the summer, and who naturally believes in your camp and understands your brand and culture, can form a great win:win.
- TikTok – Great for reaching younger audiences and individuals who are in the demographic to attend your camp or for gaining exposure to counselors. If you utilize TikTok, keeping up with trending sounds and types of content is important for expanding your reach. Using videos from the camp season, paired with trending sounds, is the best way to engage.
- Instagram – Instagram is still a good platform to engage with your current and potential campers and their parents. Reels, Instagrams video product, has become increasingly popular, but both photo and video posting is an important way to gain exposure for your camp. It is a great platform for keeping your families informed about upcoming deadlines, important events, and camp updates.
- Pinterest – This platform can be a good way to get to camper moms. Pinning on a consistent basis and distributing your blogs can be worthwhile. Might be best to hire an hourly person off of Upwork to run this platform as it takes understanding the ins and outs to gain traction but less competitive than other platforms for camps.
- Facebook – Good way to reach potential camper parents and some prospective staffers. Facebook Groups can be utilized to connect with other camps and camp directors for resources.
- YouTube – Dedicated to longer forms of content, such as videos of camp tours, camp packing lists, and testimonials. YouTube links could make good additions to your website.
Leverage Your Families & Their Online Presence
An additional important benefit Waldo providesis the brand filtering of photos. As we discussed above, Waldo’s AI-powered photo delivery naturally drives more engagement in your camp’s content as it flips the experience from a pull to a push. This increased engagement not only turns your camper moms and dads into a direct referral source, as they become vocal fans of your camp, but it also drives an arguably more powerful indirect and natural referral source as they post their photos, delivered by Waldo, to social media as camp-branded assets.
In Summary: Take a 4-Pronged Strategy to Drive Awareness & Enrollment
#1: Deliver photos with an AI-powered, mobile delivery software
#2: Send postcards featuring camper photos during the off season
#3: Stay active on social media with photos & videos from camp
#4: Make sure photos delivered to families have your camp’s brand filter