4 Content Marketing Ideas for Your YMCA

Here’s a quick test to see if you do content marketing: Does your YMCA have a Facebook page that you post to regularly? Does it have a blog? Do you distribute flyers or program guides? If you answered yes to any, you’re officially a content marketer.

But content marketing encompasses so many channels and techniques that it is kind of vague. So let’s take a stab at understanding the goal of content marketing in order to demonstrate it’s importance for your YMCA. Content marketing is done in order to “attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action” (CMI). Translation: you want to increase participation and want more families, members, and participants. In order to attract them, you create marketing materials like articles, flyers, tweets, and brochures so your audience can find you.  Continue reading

ACTIVE Takes Center Ring @ SXSWi

Ladies and Gentleman, girls and boys – come one, come all! Be amazed, be enchanted, be mystified, be amused…

ACTIVE is taking center ring at Mashery’s Circus Mashimus lounge at the SXSW Interactive Festival to demo our APIs and provide a sneak peek at the new ACTIVE.com.

We’re also showcasing what other hackers have built by integrating our Activity Search, Campgrounds, and Golf Tee Times API, giving away sweet swag and hosting POWER UP! Morning Runs

Our API program allows developers direct access to one of the most comprehensive databases of global events and activities like summer camps, 5k’s, golf tee times, campground reservations and classes.

Visit us under the Big Top and follow our ACTIVE Access hackers as they experience one of the greatest shows on earth!

YMCA of Greater San Antonio migrates to ACTIVE Net

We’re excited to announce that one of our largest YMCA customers, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, is migrating from Class® software  to ACTIVE Net™ so that their staff can operate more efficiently and create an awesome member experience by providing easy access to its activities, like spring flag football, boot camp and swim lessons, online.

I sat down with Liesien Benet, Vice President of IT at the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, to understand how this technology can help her staff better engage with their 50,000+ members.

Liesien said that with ACTIVE Net, “The YMCA of Greater San Antonio IT staff won’t have to spend the time maintaining database servers, worrying about PCI compliance or purchasing additional hardware. Our front-office staff can easily access the system anywhere at any time and can focus on creating a great member experience.”

Check out ACTIVE Net in action at YMCAs across North America, including Odessa Family YMCA in Odessa, Texas and Randolph County YMCA in Winchester, Indiana.

To learn more, see the full news releaseor visit http://www.activecommunities.com/technology-solutions/non-profit-overview.htm.

The Rise of the Experiential Consumer

As Running USA 2013: The Industry Conference wraps up this week, Dave Alberga, ACTIVE’s Executive Chairman, shares with us a few thoughts on how he see’s the endurance industry growing and evolving, and how ACTIVE is evolving with it.

The participant landscape is changing and we are witnessing what I like to call the rise of the experiential consumer.

We live in the “Go Pro” era where everyone wants to be a hero in their own movie—more and more money is being spent in search of experiences that can serve as the backdrop for that movie.

Whether it’s the Spokane Hoopfest or the surge of play in adult sport and social clubs or the hyper-social Mob eventsexperience is the new luxury.

If you had told me a year ago that a 5K series would capture the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of participants by throwing colored corn starch on them as they ran, I would have said that you were crazy….and I would have been wrong.

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5 Blogs for Parks & Recreation Professionals to Follow Today

blogsIf you’re reading this article, you probably work in parks and/or recreation. Whether you’re a veteran Director, a brand-new Administrator or anywhere in between, you most likely share one common goal: to serve at your best. And one way to continually better yourself is to keep up with industry trends, tips, and resources by reading (or skimming if need be) relevant blogs.

Here are five blogs that can help you, the parks and recreation pro, stay on top of your craft:  Continue reading

2013 White House Easter Egg Roll Lottery Opens Today!

You better hop to it – the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll ticket lottery opens today! Enter to win a ticket to one of the most popular Easter Egg Rolls in town, here.

Because of the high demand to attend this event, the White House – through Recreation.gov – holds a lottery for tickets every year and its our technology that powers the Recreation.gov website, as well as the lottery administration. More than 57,000 people applied last year for roughly 12,000 tickets and this year it’s expected to be just as popular.

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Trust Your Gut, But Use Your Data

Michelle Mercier, our communities marketing maven, shares her insights into a discussion she helped host at a recent camps conference:

Last week, ACTIVE brought together a panel discussion at the American Camps Association National Conference in Dallas to discuss how camps are beginning to challenge the status quo and to use data as a core decision making tool. I thought I’d share a few key takeaways from the panel…

“Aligning programs with parents’ goals”
Avid4Adventure, an outdoor adventure camp, wanted to revamp their camp programs to better align with parents’ evolving needs. To do this, they put together a carefully thought-out process to uncover what their customers—moms—were truly looking for in terms of youth development. Combining the quantitative and qualitative data they collected, Avid4Adventure was able to create a new curriculum that not only met parents’ goals for their kids but could also be easily articulated in their marketing materials in a way that made sense to parents.

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How to Stand Out In Facebook’s New Graph Search

In mid-January, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg presented Graph Search as Facebook’s new social search engine. Confusing, I know. To simplify the jargon, Graph Search pulls four things into one searchable place for you: people, places, interests, and photos. With those all available, you can search for and find results like, Friends who like Basketball, Pictures I Liked, and Restaurants near Boston, MA my friends have been to. Play around with the search to learn more.

But that’s not why you’re here! Today, we’re talking to the Facebook page manager who is wondering how to change his or her strategy for the organization’s page. Here are 3 steps to make your organization’s Facebook page stand out in Graph Search:  Continue reading