Top Marketing Mistakes Camps Make

September 1, 2020

Quick link: Watch our webinar video on the Top 10 Marketing Mistakes Camps Make here.

You spend so much time creating an amazing experience for your campers but are you doing everything you can to share a window into your camp online?

Do you want to reduce how much you spend on marketing while increasing enrollments?

One of the greatest things about camp is how stubbornly traditions are held and that change is slow. It’s what we love about our time each summer when things slow down and we can go back in time. Kids experience the same traditions in that same special place their parents did 30 years ago — but while camp itself has been slow to change, camp marketing has not.

The world of camp marketing has changed radically over the past 10 to 15 years, and every camp would do well to stay up to date and evolve their tools and tactics for communicating with existing families and finding new ones.

Together, Grow My Camp and Waldo identified the top 10 marketing mistakes that camps are making, along with the best and easiest solutions to overcome them. Make sure your camp is not making these common mistakes!

Mistake #1: Viewing photos as a parent obligation vs. your camp’s most powerful marketing asset

Your most powerful social influencer is your parent. Empowering them with high-quality photos that tell your camp’s story and are easily shared can pay huge dividends in reaching new families.

Too many camps view their photo program like it’s still 1999. A way to generate a few dozen photos for a brochure or slideshow and maybe a CR-ROM to appease your parents. This mindset can cost camps dearly.

Today’s buyers research every product and service online first and camps are no exception. Your website and your social media are your first impression with most new families. Consumers are increasingly “visual learners” as the amount of content has exploded and they expect to process photos and videos, instead of endless text.

Taking and uploading high-quality photos to your website and across social media is important in communicating your brand. But, even more so, camps need to leverage their families for greater exposure across social media. Even if you do everything right with your social media, your families possess 40-50x the reach of your camp.

Use a photo-delivery platform that will push photos to your families in real-time.

Make the process of resharing a breeze for parents and watch your photos spread across the web!

Mistake #2: Letting the fear of feeding the helicopter parent keep you from delivering photos in near real-time

You know every parent loves to see photos of their kids having fun. And fortunately for your marketing, they love to share!

We know camps struggle with helicopter parents and fielding their manic worry. Many camps instinctively feel the need to put up walls. And some camps allow this to impact their approach to their photo program. They feel if they limit the photos and the frequency of delivery they will “save the child” from overbearing parents.

At Waldo, we’ve found where technology may have created “the problem”, as is often the case — and it has now solved it as well. Mobile, facial recognition-based delivery is breaking the manic “refresh cycle” at 11pm every night. With automated delivery systems, parents go on with their lives and wait for their app to ping them.

The good news for camps is they can now kill multiple birds with one stone. Camps can upload a high number of high-quality photos to the Waldo cloud daily and parents will receive the photos they value the most, and can peruse the rest in a more relaxed state of mind.

Your camp will experience a dramatic reduction in emails and calls while igniting a tsunami of social shares by their families of priceless photos which tell your camp’s story!

Mistake #3: Delivering unbranded and unhashed photos

Every moment you capture while a camp is in session is a branding opportunity.

Ensure that your photos carry your brand, and tell the story behind the frozen frame!

Each of your parents is connected with 200 families on social media — not to forget Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Ela, and Uncle Rey!

To ensure that what they share brings visibility to your brand and drives traffic to your website and social media sites, include your branding and hashtags automatically integrated with your photo sharing.


Care to learn about the other deadly marketing mistakes that camps should avoid at all costs?

Watch our latest free webinar video to learn more about these mistakes and how to overcome them for your own camp!