Ontario Camps Association website Redo

We got a lot accomplished today at the OCA office. Under Sol's guidance we did a bunch of Big Idea thinking about the online communication of the Association.

I have said before in this space that Sol (Camp Walden) is a great debater, he's also one of those talented facilitators that is gifted at reframing and refocusing a group.

Thanks also for all of the great conversation: Joe, Iain, Heather, Leon, Howie and Ehren.

Transient

5 NEW Tips for Social Media Marketing Your Summer Camp - Part 1

How do I use social media to market my camp?

On January 29th, 2010, Travis presented his 5 NEW Tips for Social Media Marketing Your Summer Camp to a packed room at the Ontario Camps Association conference.   The presentation is full of practical tips for camps who are looking for immediate actions that they can take to improve their online marketing campaigns.

5 Tips

The five tips include:

  1. Tell visual stories
  2. Love your alumni
  3. Be a better blogger
  4. Remember your "call to action"
  5. Make the most of your Facebook Fan Page

**Please note: some of these posts are password protected but will become open to anyone to read in the next week or so.  If you would like early access to CampHacker.org content then sign up for our newsletter (it's free).

Part 2 - Tell Visual Stories

Coming tomorrow: Tip 1 - Tell Visual Stories

If you are interested in ways that your camp can improve your social media marketing strategy please fill in the form (click here) for a free 15 minute consultation.  You can also call (519.532.7366) or email Travis (travis@walkingmaverick.com).

Simple Science Lessons for Summer Camp

Metal that melts in your palm? Check.

Transient

Fruit extract that makes Tobasco taste like glazed donuts? Check.

Purple frikkin' Lasers?!? Check.

One of our best Nature Directors at summer camp was actually science major (she now has her Doctorate and lectures around the world on epidemiology).   She ran a very creative program and she spent a bit of her budget on cool science education toys.     The kids loved her program.

If you would like to add a little zip to teaching science at camp you should check out this cool article: 11 Cheap Gifts Guaranteed To Impress Science Geeks

Teaching as Marketing - Beber Camp - URDoingItRight

Many of your summer camp peers realize that the best possible marketing tactic is to teach people. By teaching (something we are great at!) parents about summer camp in general we can demonstrate to our potential clients that we are knowledgable, smart, (maybe funny), and we can talk to kids.   All of this leaves the lasting impression that we are great leaders and trustworthy to send their kids to.

Transient

With thanks to Dave Bell from CampLeadership.org, I found this web page from Beber Camp in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. It is a brilliant example of Teaching as Marketing.   I'm certain that this page has been crafted to help parents who's kids are already signed up but the genius of it is what it says to potential client families.

What we can learn from Beber (click the thumbnail image to see it full-sized)

  1. Breadcrumbs - this is a great website usability (and Search Engine Optimization) trick.  Not specific to today's Teaching as Marketing lesson but... people find it helpful to be reminded of how they arrived at a web page.
  2. Visual Medium - don't forget that the web is primarily a visual medium and we need to balance text with images.  Besides, pictures of smiling kids at your camp gives readers a good impression.
  3. What Parent's are Looking For - by acknowledging that parents need this info (and have many questions) Beber establishes some trust.  Parents will feel respected if you let them know that they are not the only ones with questions.
  4. Credibility - Beber Camp has further reassured parents of the thought put into this page by alluding to the fact that real-life-experts have contributed to the material.
  5. Referral Credibility - Not only does Beber have "expert" contributors they have been recommended by actual parents - ones just like the reader.
  6. Perusability - Notice how usability is the root of this word? This page is setup so that parents can easily find what they are looking for.  Plus: it shows them things that are available that they may not have even thought of yet.

The Next Step in Teaching As Marketing

When you write your brilliant Parent page - be sure to reference this page in all of the material that you send out to potential client families.

What do you do to show that you are a leader?