3 Steps to Refresh Your 2018 School or Camp Marketing Plan

You’re about to plunge deep into marketing your summer programs. As you do, are you finding your messaging and tactics a little stale?

As you set goals for a new season, it’s a good time to revisit your marketing strategies with these 3 steps:

Step 1: EVALUATE

Reflecting on your marketing plan this time of year can give you a good overview of your recruiting cycle and which tactics work best at every step in the process — including information sessions, enrollments, and actual attendance.

Generate a report of everywhere you’ve spent time and marketing dollars in the past year. Where are you getting a strong ROI? Where are you not? According to TrackMaven, “At its most basic level, ‘good ROI’ means that for every dollar put toward marketing, the business gets more than a dollar back.”1

In addition to ROI, other metrics, such as website traffic, form conversions, and event attendance, can help you see how your marketing efforts have helped you progress toward actual revenue. Measure these results against benchmarks in your industry as well as your own performance history.2

Step 2: LOOK AHEAD

For most schools and camps, fall was prime season for recruiting events and promotions, but now is the time to plan how you’re going to engage during the remaining months until your upcoming programs.

Based on your review of what’s working and not working, you can adjust past strategies and strengthen areas needing improvement. High on your list should be following up with past participants and every single query you’ve gotten from new prospects. If you haven’t already mapped out your promotions, consider new ways and places to advertise.

Maybe it’s time to try something completely new or outsource some aspects of your marketing.

Learn how our consumer demand generation program can build buzz for your program.

Step 3: EXPLORE A NEW MEDIUM

In a recent blog post, we talked about the high capacity of Facebook ads to target the audiences most likely to be interested in your camp or school. But when it comes to trying out a new advertising medium, it’s easy to become a little squeamish.

How much time will it take to learn a new medium? Will you get your return on investment of money and time? When it comes to Facebook advertising, it may help to know that marketers are leaping aboard3:

  • 95.8% of social media marketers said Facebook produces the best ROI among social media platforms.
  • Nearly two-thirds of advertisers said they planned to increase their investment in Facebook advertising in 2017.

However, to be effective with Facebook ads, experts say it’s important to know what you’re doing.4 That’s where it’s easy to get spooked. But it doesn’t cost very much to get started with Facebook ads, and there are lots of online resources to help. Check out this guide for newbies from AdEspresso or this one from online marketing guru Neil Patel.

If Facebook ads aren’t for you right now, here’s a quick review of marketing ideas we’ve suggested recently on our blog. If you haven’t tried one of these yet, now’s the time!

  1. Design a quick landing page for one of your fall previews or promotions.
  2. Inspire word-of-mouth promotions on social media.
  3. Get going with Google Analytics.
  4. Build buzz on Instagram before, during, and after your event.
  5. Test the power of video by creating a short, selfie video to promote or follow up on an event or class.

Remember, we’re always here to help!

Sources:

1and2TrackMaven: What is a Good ROI for Marketing Campaigns?

3Hootsuite: How to Advertise on Facebook

4Neil Patel: What is Facebook Advertising?

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About Gina Calvert

Gina Calvert is the Senior Marketing Writer for ACTIVE Network, providing marketing and business resources for active lifestyle organizations across a range of markets, including government, nonprofits, camps, schools and endurance events, for more than six years.