An Intro to Integrated Marketing for Camps

Integrated marketing can help your camp create more seamless communications to keep families engaged, maximize participation and drive long-term success. 
min read

Marketing is one of the most difficult parts of growing your camp. Many program managers and camp leaders struggle to create effective, professional and unified camp marketing to wow families and drive registrations year after year. That’s why today’s day camps, art camps and other types of youth programs are exploring the world of integrated marketing.

Let’s discuss how integrated marketing can help your camp create more seamless communications to keep families engaged, maximize participation and drive long-term success. 

What is Integrated Marketing?

Integrated marketing takes all of your audience communications, from emails and social media to offline advertising, and coordinates them to a more cohesive, unified experience. The idea with this approach is to make your marketing more consistent and complementary across your communication channels, including:

  • Your camp website
  • Social campaigns
  • Direct messaging (emails & texts)
  • Offline ads (billboards, signage, radio, etc.)

Integrated marketing takes your unique audiences into account, too! It splits your audience up based on important differences, such as age group, geographic location and even camp interests. You can use these well-defined target groups to build more focused, interest-based camp marketing that still reflects the overall experience your organization provides.

Why Consistency Matters in Camp Marketing

Of course, it might seem like a lot of work to coordinate your messaging across all those channels. So why go through the effort? Here’s the short version: brands that are consistent across communications see increased revenue of up to 33%. Why? Because customers of all kinds value trust and reliability. 

Imagine you see an incredible ad for a local science camp: a billboard that radiates fun and energy. In a burst of excitement, you register your kids… only to receive a dry, bland and uninspired welcome email. Now there’s a major disconnect. Which message reflects the experience your kids will get? Bright and exciting—or bland and dry? 

That’s why integrated marketing is so essential: it creates reliable, attractive and trustworthy messaging that perfectly reflects your camp. That in turn builds familiarity, brand awareness and favorability with camp families over time, which earns you more registrations and recommendations. 

Deploying Integrated Marketing for Your Camp

Here’s a basic rundown of how to build integrated marketing campaigns for your camps and programs. This guide is a perfect place to start if you’re looking to refine, connect and improve your camp marketing

Step 1: Establish Your Campaign Goals

If you’re looking into integrated marketing, there must be an important goal you want to achieve. Maybe you want to grow your camp’s list of registrants by 15% compared to last year—or connect with a new audience segment entirely by launching and promoting a new program. All objectives are valid, as long as they’re SMART. (Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.)

In other words, make sure your camp marketing goals are precise, reasonably achievable and tied to some form of KPI (key performance indicator). For instance, a good example of a KPI for a summer camp marketing campaign might be how many users it attracts to a website page. Solid metrics like this will give you an objective way to measure the success of your campaigns—and make adjustments if needed. 

Step 2: Define Your Camp’s Target Audiences

Now that you’ve established what objective you’d like to reach, it’s time to decide who your art, sports or summer camp marketing will target. This is where your camp’s existing marketing and registration data will come in handy. With that information, you can divide your wide base of customers into more specific groups, based on demographics, activity interests and so on. 

Camp management software can be a huge help for this step. These solutions will give you a crystal-clear picture of your audience groups with detailed camp insights and reporting, turning your data into actionable marketing insights. (We’ll also get to how camp software can help streamline your marketing and promotion tasks a bit later.)

One of the best ways to define your target audiences is by building a persona for each one. In marketing, personas are fictional characters you create to capture the personality, interests, pain points and goals of your real audience. Ideally, they’re based on data and user insights your camp has gathered over time.

As part of this process, you’ll also want to define the best marketing channels for your different personas. So if you’re targeting younger parents (ages 24 to 35) to get families involved in an upcoming program, then you’ll want to distribute your marketing on channels that those younger parents might frequent. (Think Facebook and Instagram.) You can do this for every target audience or persona you build, which will help form the distribution strategy for your marketing campaign.

Step 3: Build Your Camp Marketing Assets

We have a clear understanding of who we’re trying to reach with our art, sports or summer camp marketing—and what we aim to achieve with that connection. Now comes the hard part: creating on-brand, complementary marketing assets. To do this, you’ll need a clear vision of how to brand your camp. If you have those guidelines already, you can focus on creating messaging, designs and other assets that will appeal to your target audiences while matching your brand. 

The right camp marketing and communications software can make this process much easier, too. These tools come with beautiful email templates, social media sharing capabilities and even promotions, discounts and coupons—all of which can be tailored to fit the look and feel of your camp. These flexible temples will save your team hours of time creating assets, while ensuring that all of your marketing feels fluid, seamless and on-brand. 

Remember, the most important aspect of integrated marketing is consistency. It should feel like every ad, message, design and asset your camp shares comes from the same group of people.

Perfect Your Camp Marketing with ACTIVE Network

Connect with ACTIVE today to learn more about our industry-leading software for camp marketing and management. We’ll get you set up with a free demo so you can see just how effective these tools are–and decide whether they’re the right choice for your organization. 

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September 8, 2021
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