16 Things You Can Do Now To Promote Your School Holiday Camps
Kids Camps are a real hit!
Not only with children who love to dance, but also with working parents. Our camps cover the school day and we offer them at a great cost, making them incredible value for money.
Here are our top 16 tips of what you can do now to market your School Holiday Camps:
1. Choose your dates wisely
Take a look at what else is going on in your area at the time you are thinking of running your camps.
Check other camps, or other events that are going on – i.e. if there is a big Easter Egg Hunt that people tend to go to, make sure your camp is on another day, avoid bank holidays as people tend to do family stuff on those days.
Consistency works wonders and we now run our camps every Wednesday during school holidays. This is great as parents now know that every school holiday, they can book their children into our camps on Wednesdays – we have the same venue and the word has spread.
Obviously, you can choose to run your camps at whatever time you choose, however, we’ve found that covering the school days helps working parents and also children are used to those hours.
2. Get a fantastic venue
The venue is key to the success of your camp. It needs to be large enough to have approximately 20-25 children in, ideally with an area where the children can run around – not be in the same room all day – a safe environment (ideally where it will be just you, not members of the public), toilets and somewhere to eat a packed lunch.
We hire amazing dance studios next door to a soft play centre – we have two studios within the building, a kitchen and the whole place is ours for the day, so very safe for the kids, they can go off to the loo on their own and, if we want to, we can split the group into two, or have colouring and activities in one studio and dance in the other. We then take the children over to the soft play for an hour in the afternoon which breaks up the day for them and gives our teachers a bit of a break too. It’s also a fantastic “selling point” on our flyers.
3. Work Out Your Costs
How much is your venue hire?
How much do you need to make?
How much do you need to pay another dance teacher?
Do you need to buy pencils/pens, any props?
Are you paying to go into a soft play place too?
What is the maximum number of children you can take (safely and being able to give those children your attention and an amazing day)
We are sure you all know how to work it out but in laymans terms, if your venue was £80, teachers £70 each, softplay £50 = £270
If you divide that by how much you think is a reasonable price to charge parents, at present we charge only £22 for the day which is really, really reasonable, especially as it includes soft play – then we would need 13.5 children to cover all of that and for our teachers to make £70 each. Some of our teachers who run their own camps do charge more.
Our camps sell out! And we cap them at 25 children – we are sure you can do the math on this one ;)
4. Make it easy for people to book and pay
The easier you make it for people to book and pay – the better. When people hear about your camps, or see them advertised, you want to make it very clear to customers what they are getting, how much it costs and how they book and pay.
If you do not have a payment system in place, there are lots of options such as PayPal buttons. If you have a PayPal account, it’s very easy to create a button and add the code to your website. If you are not techie (and you don’t have to be a real tech-head to be able to do it, if you are shown once it’s fairly easy), you could always ask whoever does your website for you.
If you don’t have a website, or don’t want to set up a payment button, bank transfer is always an option – but we do find that it’s much easier to fill your camps if it’s easy for the customer to book.
5. Capture Data
Along with your payment button, set up a booking form to take all of the details you need such as parents details, children’s details, medical conditions, emergency contact details, we always ask for the following:
Child’s date of birth (this then enables us to contact the customer approx. 3 months before the childs’ birthday to offer a Popdance party)
Any medical conditions we should know about
Emergency contact 1
Emergency contact 2
Would you like to receive our monthly Popdance offers, news and events?
How did you hear of Popdance?
Please tick to confirm you have read our terms and conditions
We may take photographs during the camp that may be used on our website or social media, please tick if you do not want your child to be photographed
Data capture is essential for keeping in touch with customers and also emailing them about future camps you are running. Systems such as Mailchimp and Mailerlite are fantastic for creating the forms and creating your communications such as “newsletters” and “offers” too.
6. Create a dedicated page on your website
With Popdance, we add our camps to the relevant location pages on our site, but we also add a dedicated page to that camp. This enables us to feature the flyer, information about the camp, payment button and form, plus we create a simple url to use on our flyers so it’s easy for people to remember – this also gets the keywords into it for SEO/getting found on google :)
We also use those keywords as much as possible in the text and behind the images we use on that page – again, all for SEO reasons.
7. Book another dance teacher
If you are running a camp, you really need at least 2 dance teachers. Don’t forget to book another teacher. Obviously, you will ensure they are qualified, experienced, DBS checked and with their own PLI ;)
8. Create a flyer
Now you’ve got your form, payment, venue, date and time set up it’s great to have a flyer that you can feature on facebook, twitter, instagram, email to friends, family, schools. Plus you can print a few out on your home printer and feature at the venue, in coffee shops, schools, noticeboards etc.
It doesn’t have to cost a fortune – with amazing tools such as Canva.com – you can create a flyer fairly simply. With Popdance, our teachers have access to all our flyers which they can have made with their own details on them – ensuring we keep consistency with our brand.
If you are creating your own flyers, make sure you have consistency too – this is key to people recognising you and remembering you. Don’t use a different font each time, ensure you feature your logo and perhaps stick to the same look and feel – obviously you may want an Easter themed flyer, but when you then do a summer one, stick to the logo and fonts being the same – this is really important.
Here’s examples of our varying flyers:
9. Get it on Social Media
Obviously add the flyer and the link to your facebook page/twitter/instagram, but also add as an event on facebook too.
Plus, join facebook groups such as parent and mums groups – we have groups such as St Albans Mums, look for groups like that as well as “things to do” groups, activities for kids groups – adding them as “events” where you can also helps. Do read the rules on these groups (when you go in or are accepted into the group there are usually group rules on the right hand side) – if you are not sure about posting then message the admin and ask permission.
We always find that communicating with the group rather than just link-dumping works really well.
And, if you are at the “thinking of running a camp stage”, these groups are amazing for asking questions in – would people be interested in your camp, what venues do they like etc. Fantastic for market research.
10. Share with the venue and your friends
Send the flyer to the venue and ask them to feature within the venue, on their website, on their facebook page and with their database. Also email to friends and ask them to circulate to their friends. Share with your database if you have one.
11. Get noticed on-line
Feature your camps on websites such as NetMums, MumsNet, what’s On, things to do, activities in etc. focussing on your area where your camps are. If you are a Popdance Partner, don’t forget to add your camps to your Popdance webpage – no matter what type of camp it is – and we will help you to promote it.
12. Communicate with your customers
When people book on to your camp, ensure you thank them and send a confirmation – some systems will allow you to do this automatically, however, it’s still not a problem to do it manually. People like to know they are booked in and it’s also good manners to thank people ;)
We also send our customers a Camp Information Sheet, outlining what the day entails, what they need to bring, wear etc. i.e packed lunch, no nuts, clothing they can dance in etc and highlight health and safety and what time to pick up etc. We also invite parents to come along 10-15 minutes early to see a mini performance of what the children have been up to that day.
13. Ask for feedback
The day after each camp, we always ask for feedback – feedback is invaluable – good or bad. If there is any negative feedback it enables you to listen and put things right. If there is positive feedback, it’s great to share that on your website (with permission of course) and with your team. Feedback enables you to learn and grow and make your camps the best they can possibly be. Ask the children for feedback too and ask parents if you can use their testimonials on your website and on social media. Ideally you would ask them to leave you a google review (this really helps).
14. Make your customers feel special
We always thank our customers for booking AND we make them feel special by giving them details on our camps before people who haven’t booked with us before. We email them saying something along the lines of “as you are a Popdance Camper, we would love to give you early access to book for our Easter Camps, as you know Popdance Camps do sell out very quickly, so if you would like to book Sarah on to the camp, you can do so now before we open the bookings to everyone else….”
You might also want to give your “campers” a branded unexpected gift, we have things such as Popdance badges, Popdance magnets and bags etc. It’s another way of making your customers feel special as well as more people seeing your brand and what you do.
15. Keep In Touch
Regular contact with beneficial content works extremely well to ensure you keep front of mind with your customers, and also encourages them to tell their friends about you. We send out a monthly email with offers, interesting info and details of events that they may want to go to. Plus we always give customers the opportunity to opt out if they don’t want to receive them.
16. Get ready to plan your next one
Early marketing is the secret. We have already planned all of our camps, right up to Christmas. As soon as our current Camps are done, we will email all our “campers” to give them early access to our half term camp and then “release” it to the rest of the area.
Planning ahead, and having time to market works really well. Don’t forget, once people know you are at a venue on the same day every school holiday and you run a few camps, people soon get talking and booking and your camp will grow.
Things don’t happen overnight, so be prepared to grow your camps over time – getting a good marketing mix and consistent communications will help you to grow your camps quickly.
17. Reward yourself!
We cheated and threw an extra tip in here ;) But it’s an important one.
Kick back and have some “you” time – you’ve earned it!
We hope these tips have given you lots to think about. You may already be doing lots of the above, some of the above, or none of the above – we would love to hear from you – did you find these useful at all, do you have any tips to add – do email us at [email protected]
Meanwhile, if you haven’t yet done so, and would like to receive our FREE marketing tips for dance teachers – you can do so HERE
Have a fantastic time!