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Influencer Marketing: The Future of Marketing

Social influence now has monetary and marketing value thanks to influencers, a budding form of social media marketing. Influencer marketing involves endorsements from influencers, people and organizations with an expert level of knowledge and/or social influence in their respective fields. It is most associated with Instagram, although influencers exist on Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and even TikTok. 

According to some estimates, Americans see between 3,000-5,000 advertisements per day. It is the recommendations from influencers that help some social media users find products that they trust.  Over one-third (38%) of respondents who engage with influencers trust what an influencer says about the brand more so than what the brand says about itself. But how can influencer marketing be applied to the summer camp market?

The key to successful influencer marketing is doing your research to find the right persona for your brand. It is a myth that influencers need to have millions of followers to be successful. There are tons of fake bot-accounts on social media which makes accounts with real, active and engaged followers more valuable than those with no connection to their followers. 

Personalized camp recommendations are extremely valuable, and there are many successful parenting blogs or parents with a notable degree of social media fame. These are the people to partner with to promote camp content. For example, Camille Styles is a successful blogger based in Austin, Texas with 160,000 followers on Instagram that interact with her posts daily. 

Styles could be a key influencer for Central Texas camps, or even camps across the country trying to break into a new geographical market. An Austin parent may be apprehensive about sending their child to camp in Pennsylvania but could feel more comfortable with an endorsement from Styles.

In addition to name-dropping camps for brand awareness, influencer parents could be helpful for driving early registration with discount codes. Many brands do this to promote products and it is a great way to track the effectiveness of influencer marketing. Here are a few examples of how this may work:

This tactic could work especially well for day camps willing to incentivize early registration. Influencer parents could be compensated based on the number of people who sign up using their code or by their follower count. The return on investment for this type of marketing is easy to calculate and could be extremely lucrative. Take a look through your own Instagram followers to see if there are any families who are influencers or could become influencers.

Another option for camps to utilize social influencers is to partner with campers themselves. This would probably be most successful to promote things like camp merchandise and early registration to returning campers. Campers could get discounted or free merchandise to promote to their followers who are likely returning to camp with them next summer. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind before diving into influencer marketing:

  • Do your research. Strategically partner with the right people to get your brand in front of your target audience. 
  • Use cross-promotion. Ask influencers to cross-promote your content across multiple networks to take advantage of all of their followers.
  • There is no “market price” for influencers. However, social reports suggest $10-$13 per 1,000 followers per post
  • There are risks. Your influencers mistakes become your mistakes, so make sure that you choose your partners wisely.

Influencer marketing takes the idea of celebrity endorsement and puts a more modern spin on it. Testimonials are an amazing way to verify the value of your camp, but now influencers can take them to a new level because of the personal connection they have with their followers. Although influencers are under-utilized in summer camp marketing, if you want to take the leap, we will be here to help! Reach out if you are interested in the possibilities of influencer marketing and making strategic partnerships.

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