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How to Choose Your Marketing Channels 

For small and large businesses alike, it seems that marketing efforts could grow endlessly. Your marketing attention – and budget – are pulled in so many directions. Which ones should you focus on, and which can you abandon?

As soon as you have a grasp on Instagram Stories, they start pushing Reels. Maybe you finally set up a SnapChat, only to find that now, everyone’s on TikTok. And what about traditional channels, like newspapers and direct mail? 

You can’t be everywhere, but you can optimize your time to make the biggest impact on the channels you choose.

Here are some questions to consider when choosing what marketing channels to focus on.

Who’s Involved in Buying?

The first thing to consider when building any marketing plan is the audience. Who will be making the buying decision, and who will be influencing it? For corporate retreats, this may be someone in HR or Learning & Development. For kids camps, you’re likely looking at parents or grandparents. And for camps for teenagers, guardians may be including their teens in the decision-making process. But to be sure, make sure you’re collecting job titles and relationships on the inquiry forms on your website. This will determine your audience.

The next step is considering where those people are spending their time. HR and L&D professionals are likely to be on LinkedIn, while grandparents might be more likely to read physical mail. Though parents spend time on Instagram, they might be more proactive in checking their emails for arrangements for their kids. 

While there’s a chance that a teen might see a really cool camp on TikTok and beg to go, it is much more likely that a guardian will be researching choices. 

What’s Your Marketing Budget?

A lot of business advisors and agencies like to call social media “free,” but that isn’t exactly true. Writing posts, creating visuals, scheduling it out, and monitoring comments all take time. The only way to guarantee eyes on your posts or website is through social media and search engine advertising. After all, according to Hootsuite, organic (non-paid) social media reach for businesses is around five percent.

In addition to keeping your social media channels active and your website up-to-date, you likely need to be running ongoing ads for your brand. This will help all the content you’re working so hard on actually get in front of people. And, when you use advertising, you can choose the audience you’re paying for to ensure that the people who are buying are who sees the ads. 

If you truly don’t have any additional budget to put behind marketing, look to the channels you already have. Your email list is the best place to start. Tell past attendees about what you have coming up, and offer gifts or discounts for referrals. 

What’s Converting?

The most important piece of marketing is the tracking after your campaign goes live. When using paid advertising, you can learn from analytics how many people saw your post, clicked on it, and completed a form. If you’re sponsoring an event or sending out mailed postcards, consider using a landing page on your website specific to the channel so you know that all people from that page came from that source. Then, calculate the ROI from each source. 

If you aren’t using online ads, tracking can be as simple as a “how did you hear about us?” field on a registration form. Review the results at the end of each registration session, and consider devoting more resources to the areas that are paying off for you. 

When it comes to marketing your camp, you don’t have to be everywhere at once. Consider your own goals and audience, and make a plan from there. By focusing your time and money on the channels and people that have the highest return, you can take the guesswork out of marketing your camp.

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