5 Effective & Inexpensive Summer Camp Marketing Strategies

Updated: Apr 1

by Rica Perez, Digital Marketing Designer, Truth Tree Consulting

Where to Advertise Summer Camps: Marketing Strategies

Parents expect to spend, on average, $1,000 per child per week for a great summer experience. But with so many to choose from and so many ways to find out about them, how do you create a compelling marketing strategy to ensure a robust enrollment?

It doesn't have to be expensive. Take a look at these 5 low to no cost marketing strategies to help determine where to advertise your summer camp sell out this year.

1. Become an Exhibitor

With springtime comes the opportunity to market your summer camp at outdoor festivals. Add activities at your exhibitor booth that attract the attention of children passing by.

Becoming an exhibitor at a festival or local event helps you connect with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of families at once. Few other opportunities and or private school marketing strategies exists which allow you to connect with potential customers.

Parents can ask important questions while meeting your team in person. This is great for your team to build rapport while showing how well they work with kids.

Make sure any activities at your booth are easy to set up and break down. Event producers typically charge more for booths with additional setup needs like access to running water or power.

Carnival-style games are an easy activity you can add that won't take up a lot of space or break the bank. Think cornhole or a spinning prize wheel as options to attract visitors to your table.

Another great way to advertise summer camps is to bring branded water bottles, tote bags, and portable fans are great swag items for the summer. Include these items as a free gift for parents who signup during the event.

2. Use Past Data

The biggest mistake you can make as a summer camp director is to try to market to everyone. Reaching everyone means trying to make a meaningful connection with thousands, sometimes millions, of people in your area.

Attempting to reach every family in your city is usually a waste of time and money.

Past customer data can help you focus your private school marketing efforts for the coming year. Look at the past three years' demographics for an idea of the income level, neighborhoods, and age of children who typically attend your summer camp.

Think of activities these campers liked best in past years. Tailor your brochures

and website with images of kid favorites.

Include frequently asked questions of past parents in your summer camp advertising materials. You want to make your sell sheets to speak directly to the needs and wants of your audience.

This will help increase your conversion rate because you have a stronger understanding of how to communicate with your audience.

3. Social Media Giveaways

Free giveaways are a great way to attract new families to your camp. Use social media to spread the word about your contest.

Summer camp giveaways or movie tickets are both great options to attract families to your page. Give yourself at least 10 weeks to prepare your promotion.

Design a landing page where families can go to signup for the private school marketing promotion if it is email-based. For contests that are social media-specific, like photo contests, create a hashtag for participants to use to enter.

Providing a countdown to the deadline is a great way to energize contest participants. Use live video to announce the winner and runner-ups if you have them.

Avoid asking families to pay to enter a promotion or contest. The only exception might be offering a free week of summer camp if they make an 8-week commitment to attend.

4. Host a Family Festival

Advertising your summer camp by giving parents a sneak peek of your summer camp by hosting a free event. Family festivals are a perfect private school marketing option for weekend afternoons when families are looking for free activities.

This idea will require a budget, but you can scale up or down depending on your expected turnout. Setup your event using a ticketing service like Eventbrite to help you track the number of families who want to attend.

Inexpensive activity options include face painting, balloon animals, and indoor bowling. Use recycled materials to create 'bowling pins' for the children to knock down.

If you're planning an outdoor event, rent a bounce house and giant slide to attract people passing by. Colorful balloons are a cheap way to advertise your event in the days leading up to it.

Set aside a time during the event to introduce yourself and advertise your summer camp. Even if parents don't sign up onsite for this year, you've made a meaningful connection with the families in your community who will be more likely to call you when they are in need of summer childcare later on.

5. Boost Your Online Reviews

Referrals are one of the best forms of private school marketing you can get. Unfortunately, you can't buy referrals from customers.

Ask parents to review your summer camp on your Facebook page or website. Other parents will feel more comfortable sending their child to a camp that has top reviews, and that is well known in the community.

Focus your efforts on getting reviews from families who send their children every year. While it isn't necessary to shy away from bad reviews, getting positive feedback builds credibility for your business much faster.