Updated: Feb 23
By Trevor Waddington, Principal, Truth Tree Consulting
By now we all know the power of digital marketing. Whether you’ve dipped your toe into keyword ads or you are a pro at remarketing to prospective families with a killer email drip campaign.
Here are SEVEN tips on how to make the most of your Google Ads marketing strategy.
1. Beta, Beta, Beta! – Experimentation is the key to victory. In the past, if your ad in the regional paper was a flop, there were no take backs. Now, for a few dollars, you can test different ads to see what works. I’m amazed at how making the smallest adjustments can yield big results.
2. Make lots – It’s important not to push the same message in just a few ads (unless they are working well). If your summer camp offers fishing, here's a great metaphor: you want to have a lot of different lures in the water. On any given day based on more factors than I can count, one lure may work wonders when another does not. Experiment with your messaging and photos. If your head counselor or director allows, push the envelope to really differentiate yourself. You might be surprised to see what happens.
3. Know your target audience – Don’t just blanket the area unless mass impressions are your goal (which it may be if you are looking for a deeper brand footprint or you are advertising something awesome everyone should know about). At Truth Tree, we like to find out what a summer camp's enrollment goals are and customize campaigns to achieve those goals. Every ad does not need to be generalized for the entire camp. P.S. – if you need more interest for your tennis offerings, show more kids playing tennis in your display ad.
4. Dedicate at least one landing page – Most camps use their home page or a registration page as url landed upon when a users clicks an ad. At Truth Tree, we prefer to create a new page that has concentrated, emotive messaging specific to the target audience with a STRONG call to action easily in view. The most important aspect of this page is an easy-to-complete form - Your Name and Email at minimum, phone and age-of-child at maximum. At this stage of the game you want their contact info so you can reach out with a personal touch. When you get really savvy, you’ll have multiple landing pages for specific audience groups.
5. Conversion tracking – Getting clicks and engagements are great, but what are said clickers doing after they land on your site? Are they signing up for a virtual tour, completing an inquiry form, or the holy grail, registering? If they are not, you need to figure out why.
6. Bounce house – In looking at your analytics, I bet your “cost” or “fees” page is one of the top stops for new site visitors. I bet it’s also your highest ‘see you later’ page. For everyone who comes to your site, you should be tracking their navigation from start to finish. If the bounce rate from the fees page is above 85%, you need to either do a better job of building value before they reach that page, or take a good hard look at the level of value you provide.
7. How much ya bench? – The old fashioned way to compare manhood was how much weight you could bench press. In the world of Google Ads it’s, how highs’ ya CTR. Your Click Through Rate measures how many people out of 1000 clicked your ad. I’ve heard a few numbers kicked around, but for a call-to-action, ‘come to our camp open house’ ad with proper targeting,3.20% is your goal. If you aren’t getting it near that number, give us a call. If you are getting over 15%, my number is 301.570.4292, call me.
Bonus – Unless you are one of the top summer camps in your market, no one cares about your name. What they care about is what you can do for them and their child. Here’s what your ad should NOT look like. So don't lead off the ad with your camp name, lead off with your best offerings and ages you serve.
There are a ton more tips I can pass along. If you want to learn more, let me know. We run successful digital campaigns for summer camps all over the United States every day.