You’ve Cancelled Summer Camp – Now What?
You have been forced to cancel summer camp because of the coronavirus and all of the uncertainties that come with it. You are probably asking yourself what your next steps should be.
Now is more important than ever to make a calendar for announcements a month in advance. You can create the calendar two months in advance if you know when you have virtual event dates, fundraising updates, or announcements. You will have fewer photos to choose from for content, so utilize what you have to the fullest extent. This way, you’ll only need to supply two posts per week, so you can focus on the big announcements.
You can also post alternate content such as helpful articles to Facebook for parents, or fun interactive games to Instagram for campers. After a spring semester of virtual learning, parents will be searching for ways to get their kids away from screens. Help limit campers’ screen time by challenging them to outdoor activities, baking new recipes, or reading more books. Posting a scoreboard will motivate campers to get up and engage in these real-life activities.
Sort through your photos and put the ones you haven’t used yet in a new folder. This will make it easier to find fresh photos for your audience. Once you use a photo, remove it from the folder so you don’t accidentally reuse it.
Another way to generate content is by getting your campers and families involved. Ask them to send photos or memories from camp to share as a Facebook post, or as an Instagram story. You could pose a question on your Instagram story and have campers write in their answers, which you could share publicly. You could share stories based on an age group, special event, camp tradition, etc. Half a billion people use Instagram stories each day. Sixty-two percent of those who watch stories say they get more interested in a brand or organization after viewing their story, according to Hootsuite. We’ve seen camps get over 1,000 views on stories asking campers their favorite camp traditions.
In just the last month, Facebook and Instagram have launched Shops, which gives camps the ability to sell merchandise from their social media. This is an easy way to generate extra content and money while camp is closed. Your camp will probably lose a big chunk of revenue this summer, so selling personalized camp t-shirts, water bottles, and hats can help fill those gaps in revenue. Plus, posting camp merch on Instagram lets campers comment and share with their friends. Facebook and Instagram Shops are free to use and easy to set up.
Another step you can take to ensure a successful Summer 2021 is publishing digital ads to a select early-bird audience. It might be a year in advance, but parents and campers are disappointed that camp can’t happen this summer. They’ll be looking forward to a bigger and better summer camp in 2021, and now is the time to turn those leads into conversions. One client has told us they are 86% full as of June 2020 for summer 2021! Advertise on Facebook, Google, and Instagram to appeal to both campers and parents.
Start by targeting your ads at camper families that have already interacted with your brand. Then, branch out into a wider audience. With the book being closed on summer 2020 for most camps, we anticipate an earlier start than normal for 2021 camper signups to ramp up. This summer, optimize your marketing ad strategy, focus on the things that make your camp special, and promote registration and discounts for next year.
If you have any questions about how to make the most of your digital marketing this summer, reach out to the team at Social Summer Camp.