Written by Lori Shecter

Recital is on everyone's mind but summer is just a few short months away.  If you haven't already starting thinking about ways to jump start your summer dance program, here are some ideas to get you started!  

Digital Marketing

1. Getting New Students: When parents look for a dance "camp" program use the  words "DANCE CAMP" in your advertising, especially if you are buying keywords from Google, using a Deal Site, or Facebook to drive traffic to registration. Parents frequently don't differentiate between a DANCE CAMP and A SUMMER DANCE PROGRAM, so you should capitalize on this in order to spread your advertising net wide enough to capture the parents and kids who just want a good summer dance program.

2. Your website should be easy to find through search: Have enough content and articles describing your summer classes and activities. Using good keywords in your descriptions will help parents find your program when using Google and other search engines to find a program. The image below shows you the difference between PAID SEARCH and FREE SEARCH.

Camp SEOWhen a website is  SEO friendly-- Google can find the key words in your web page that you are typing in as you enter your classes.  Your web master can tell you whether your website is SEO friendly. You can also tell if you right click on your page, and click INSPECT ELEMENT, you will see a page that looks like this:

Camp Meta Tags

I know it looks like gobbledygook, but close to the top of the page (yellow and beige highlights) you can see TITLE and META NAME and all the words that the American Dance Training Camp has in their content.  TITLE and META tells you that all the search engines can find this page when a parent types in those search terms.

3) Make it easy to for parents to enroll their students and to pay online. School Empower is the perfect solution for Summer Programs. We allow you to offer session based classes, weekly, full summers and more. Just take a look at how easy it is for a parent to find the perfect class and register their child. Click on the image below to view a small summer program so you can see how your studio might look.  School Empower is completely customizable for your school. Try School Empower for $1 for 1 month.  We will set your summer program up for you!  To view the Admin Panel, click HERE.  User Name: admin@summerdance.com; Password: summerdance.


4) Camper testimonial videos: If you have students from last year's camp that are willing to talk about how awesome your camp/summer program is, how much fun they had, and how they improved, post it on your FAN PAGE, You Tube channel 
and website.
5) Videos from last year: seeing what your school looks like in the summer and how much fun kids have, will help win over kids and parents alike.

Differentiate Yourself from the Competition

It is really important for you to differentiate what your program offers versus your competition. For example:

1. Boast about your teachers and their specialties: This is a perfect time to give parents whose kids don't ordinarily take dance class a chance to sample your school and to bond with the great teachers you may have. Do you have a Broadway dancer teaching at your school or someone who has just graduated a top dance conservatory, BRAG ABOUT IT on your website and anywhere else you are advertising your camp.

2.Offer SPECIAL PROGRAMS-  not anywhere near New York or other large professional cities?  Bring programs such as NYC AND BEYOND to your school. Having Broadway trained teachers give an intensive at your school is a great opportunity for your studio to stand out from the crowd.

3. What values do kids learn at your school that will help them in every aspect of their life?

-respect, etc.

4. Emphasize safety and special environment your studio offers.  Many working parents feel some level of guilt about not being able to be home during the summer when their kids are home from school (I know I did.) How does your program fulfill the need to make parents feel good?

5. Do you have special summer services like a bus or van that can help alleviate transportation issues? 

6. The perfect time to give more individualized attention:  Dance Camp gives your students time to perfect those moves they missed during the year. Without the added pressure of competitions and homework, your students can relax and improve their skills!

7. Summertime Performance:  Make it casual, make it fun, make it easy:  Students give performances at the end of every two week session.

8. Near a professional company or theater? Buy tickets and include it for your older students as part of their program...A great why to inspire and differeniate your summer program from the many others that parents and students can choose from!

I hope these tips help make your summer program the best ever!  GO HERE for 22 more tips on Dance Camp Marketing.