Blogging has become an important part of virtually every organization’s marketing and communications strategy. It allows you to share valuable information, give others access to your knowledge base and philosophies, and even drive traffic to your website. A blog should be an easily visible part of every camp website.
Not convinced? Start with the why.
Here are 10 things you can do to make your blog a valuable resource to clients and potential campers.
1. Post regularly
Use this Summer Camp Marketing Calendar Excel sheet to schedule articles around the “seasons” of camp. Publicly commit to your posting schedule. Most guidelines recommend a minimum of once a week.
2. Teach people
If you intend to be come a credible expert in your field, you can use your blog to educate people. Remember: Teach not pitch. Feel free to use our resources to pass on valuable information. (Just be sure to credit and link to us!)
3. Use your team
Creating great content (articles, videos, packing checklists, etc.) is such an important part of a good online marketing strategy. Enlist the help of your camp staff to keep the new website material regular and effective.
4. Write great keyword headlines
Research the keywords that people use in Google to search for camps like yours. Use those words in short, snappy headlines to draw people in. Seasoned bloggers know that the keyword aspect of blogging is more important even than content.
5. Make it worth sharing
People will share your blog with their network if you make something that is useful and easy to understand. Video or visual blog posts that are creative or funny get passed around from friend to friend even more on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
6. Make it easy to share
Add buttons to your website that make it easy for people to share your content on the websites Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon, Digg and Delicious.
7. Show off your staff
The people who work at your camp will all be experts at something. Have them write, make podcasts or shoot videos about their passions. Reward your counselors for their volunteerism in the community by showing some pictures of their volunteer projects.
8. Show off your clients
Some of the best currency in online marketing is sharing. Use your blog to highlight a cool product or neat program from a camp family’s business.
9. Use lots of video
Keep them short and include them often. Many more people will watch a video than will read your big block of text. Video is a great vehicle to be a teacher to your potential camp families.
Speaking of big blocks of text: Don’t. Break up your content with headers, images, bullets and lots of white space.
10. Be human
Remember: As Duct Tape Marketing guy John Jantsch always says – marketing is a process of getting people with a need to know, like and trust you. A blog is the perfect vehicle to show that your camp is made of people….Tell your stories.
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[Travis Allison is a marketing and leadership consultant who worked at and directed summer camps for 22 years. More great ideas for camp professionals can be found at his blog and podcast at http://camphacker.org]