Educator Resources

Instagram Marketing Strategies for Camp and Summer Programs

If your business isn’t on Instagram, don’t worry! Setting up an account is simple and can have major benefits for your brand and business. Follow this guide to set up a free Instagram Business account. 

Summer camp season is here and although it looks different than previous years, there’s still magic to be made!

If you’ve already built and published your in-person or virtual summer camps, then you’re one step ahead of the game. Next, you’ll want to leverage your marketing channels to showcase value and content while helping you fill your programs.

As a start, we’ll focus on how you can use Instagram to market your business. Instagram is the perfect place for business owners and parents to get to know each other through images, captions, and everyday updates. 

If you’ve ever landed on the @HelloSawyer Instagram, you’ll notice we follow and highlight content from our providers. We’re constantly inspired by ideas that come from our community. We’ve rounded up some all-star providers for inspiration alongside tips and tricks for Instagram success. Looking for more support to jumpstart your camp? Check out our ultimate guide to starting and running a kids camp.

Feed and Follows

Instagram isn’t just about followers. Think of your account as a visual touchpoint that introduces your clients to your mission and brand. A good Instagram profile isn’t built in a day — but it starts with a clear handle, logo, and short lines of copy that tell your followers who you are, what you do, and what you offer. 

We love that Private Picassos and Freshmade NYC use emojis to clearly communicate what they do. Both providers embrace clear copy to succinctly communicate their offerings and inspire parents to book classes on the go. Both companies also use a service like Linktree in their profile bios to link customers to addresses including their website, class schedule, blog, and more.

As an exercise, take a look at your profile on Instagram. Think about how a parent would respond to the information that you’ve provided — is it clear what you offer and why someone would want to learn more? Spend some time brainstorming short sentences about who you are, what you offer, and how clients can purchase your offerings. Consider adding a link to your class schedule or website, doing so will help clients find you the second that they’re ready to book a camp, activity, or event. 

Now let’s talk feed. Your main grid shows the 6-9 most recent images for your business. You want to make sure you are showcasing a variety of content, colors, and imagery. Using these two providers as examples, we love that their feeds don’t feel ultra-curated. They show little hands making art, brushing pasta with egg wash, and offer an inside look into activities and offerings. When you work with kids, things can be messy. When your feed feels organic, parents will find it approachable. 

Stories and Highlights 

Instagram stories are digestible images that expire after 24 hours. You can create stories using images or videos from your camera roll, Instagram’s built-in camera, or create one from scratch using the story feature in Instagram. Stories give business owners room to experiment and have fun with their social profiles. You can share content from last summer as a way to show all of the fun campers had with you in the previous season. You can also consider a countdown each week or month to tease themes, new activities, and more. We we have a whole guide with Instagram Story ideas for businesses that includes examples and templates to get you started.

If you want a story to last more than a day, you can add it to your highlights section. If you do this, you’ll want to make sure to include a cute cover photo (like Freshmade) or icon (like Private Picassos) that feels consistent with your overall brand. If you don’t know where to start, users on Pinterest have thousands of free highlight cover photos that you can download and experiment with. You can also use Canva to create social images! 

Ideas for Instagram Profile Highlights 

You can use highlights to market aspects of your business that you want users to see when they land on your profile. When you’re thinking about marketing summer activities, highlights can be used to display your offerings, share traditions, allow parents to ‘meet’ instructors, and more. 

We’ve brainstormed a few to get you started: 

Current & Upcoming Class Schedule

Busy parents might look for your schedule on Instagram. Consider adding a highlight of your current offerings while teasing what is coming next, so parents can see what’s happening when. This is a great highlight to include if you offer multiple one off events or want to drive participation from a new audience! It also helps to remind parents of important enrollment dates and deadlines. You never know who will be inspired to book a camp or class. 

Feature Special Moments 

Think about what sets your business apart from competitors. Do you offer creative classes or unique special events? Are you offering new options this summer? Any instructor bios that help to showcase your talented staff? Do you cater to your community in a way that no one else does? Use Instagram Stories to highlight what makes your business shine. 

Take a Digital Tour

If you’re able to run classes in a beautiful space, use stories to show it off! A digital tour allows you to display photos and videos of your locations for parents to see. Consider taking a photo of your store front, classrooms, materials, classes in action, and more. If you add a tour of your space to Instagram, make sure your space looks inviting, bright, and clean. You can also use a digital tour to show off the safety precautions your staff is taking and how your space can accommodate social distancing guidelines.

Meet the Teachers

When you run a children’s activity business, your instructors build relationships with their students on a daily basis. We’d advise asking teachers and instructors why they love working at your business, what they love about working with children and to share a favorite memory from a recent class. Videos are a great way for families to get to know your team before enrolling in an activity.

Summer Can Still Be Extraordinary

Although this summer is filled with new rules and precautions, it can still be filled with fun! Don’t be afraid to try new things and see what resonates most for your families and fans.

If you’re seeing success — whether in-person or online — we’d love to hear from you. Please keep us updated on everything you’re doing using the Provider Connect Facebook Group.

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