In this interview you will find out “How and why you should be using video in your marketing to save time and money AND increase enrolments.”
So if you want to get more kids to camp, save time nurturing interest into enrolments, and increase camper numbers then one is for you.
Duncan Robinson (00:04):
So hello and welcome to this interview with Mike from Perlow productions and myself Duncan Robinson. So in this interview you’re going to find out about how and why you should be using video in your marketing to save time, money, and increase enrolments. So if you want to get more kids to come save time nurturing interest into enrolments and increasing camper numbers, then this one is for you. First, I saw some of your videos make quite while ago. And first of all, I was really impressed by the quality, which got me interested in, in sadness interviewer. Then when we were chatting a while ago, you showed me the example of the augmented reality project you’ve been working on, which, which blew me away. So yeah, really interested to find out more about that.
Mike Perlow (00:44):
Okay. I want it. I want to get record you saying Perlow productions cause with your accent, it just sounds awesome.
Duncan Robinson (00:53):
You got it. Perlow productions professional. Oh gosh, I’ve never, never heard that before. I sound professional. I had quite the opposite.
Mike Perlow (01:05):
Well me too. So do you want to kind of speak to that a little bit? I think we’ve been working pro production has been doing camp videos for on about nine or 10 years now. But certainly when we got into it and kind of heard about video and camps and all that, it was something camps had been using for a long time in different ways. But I think one thing that’s clear is, you know, as the camping industry has, has grown and become more competitive and there’s more camps out there too, you know, to go after the potential campers. I think camps are trying to find new and different ways to, to market themselves, to sell themselves to families. And the big thing we always talk with camps about and clients in general about is your video has to be more than just look and sound great.
Mike Perlow (01:58):
It really has to do the job of not selling people on. And this is a problem I found with a lot of chat videos and videos in general is a lot of camp videos sell you on our amazing awesome summer campus. They don’t tell you why you should send your child or if you’re a kid, why you should go to that particular camp. Or as I often say to camps, your video should either tell somebody why they should come here or why they shouldn’t. And either way it’s succeeded because you want to have the right kinds of kids at your camp and you don’t want to attract kids. That just wouldn’t be a good fit. Cause that’s, that’s not a good scenario for either. For either side. Right. So we really work beyond producing videos that look and sound great and are really dynamic to make sure that the, the message, the vibe of each camp comes through.
Mike Perlow (02:43):
So, you know, while most camps have, you know, the lakes, the pools, the rope, climbing, soccer, basketball, tennis, all that, every camp, no matter what their activities are, has a certain special something. And so trying to uncover that and convey it within the video. Ask any business owner, not just the camp, why your camp, while your product, while your place. It’s not an easy question to answer. And so I think that if there’s one thing I would say to people, especially camps about their video strategy, find somebody that can make great videos, hopefully us, but either way, make sure they’re also somebody that knows how to help you answer that question within your videos. Because if they don’t, I don’t care what you spend, I don’t care how amazing they look, if they don’t answer that question, it was a wasted investment. So I would say from a overall strategy point of view, that’s the biggest, most important piece of advice I give to our camps all the time, including camps that we work with on a regular basis.
Mike Perlow (03:42):
Because even the answer sometimes is changing, right? Sometimes camps evolve and change. And so making sure that the video we made five years ago speaks to the same reasons as it does today. So just an important question, and again, not an easy one to ask to answer for camp owners and directors. The other advice I give them often is call your families. Don’t, don’t email them. Call them and say, you know, Hey, it’s Tom from camp A, Z. I would like to give you a little honest feedback when you first were looking at camps, why, you know, what made you choose our camp? Where else did you look and what was it that made our camp the right fit? Was it, you know, your son or daughter had friends here? Was it the cost? Was it the location? Was it cause we have horseback riding and what was it? And you’ll also get some pretty interesting answers. Usually if you can get people to be truly honest, you’re going to hear things you never, never knew before. And, and those should go in your video either very directly or sometimes just subtly, right?
Duncan Robinson (04:40):
Yeah. Yeah. And obviously camps usually go down the route of producing a promo video and that’s the usual one is stuck on the homepage of the website. But video can be used in lots of other ways as well. What sort of other videos should come to be producing? What other videos do you produce for comes at the moment?
Mike Perlow (05:00):
Sure. So I would say the biggest areas we’ve seen growth in our staff recruiting, again, telling potential hires why they should come and work at your camp. Usually a lot of these people are already interested in working at a summer camp, but why they should come and work at your camp versus other places. And, and, and creating again, recruiting videos. We’ve done some that are just generally come work at our camp. Here’s why as you come to work at our camp. And then videos that are more honed into here’s why you should be a group leader or a bunk counsellor. We know whatever. There are different positions and position names are. So creating videos that they can use at the camps can use when they’re going and hiring staff and whether it’s year round staff or you know, staff for the summer. That again speaks to what’s great about the camp.
Mike Perlow (05:44):
But what’s great about it from a an employee’s perspective cause it’s a very different perspective than as a camper or a camp or family. So that’s why on the recruiting videos for staff recruiting we, I’m very big on video and I don’t mean eye in the sky where we put our drone 3000 feet in the air and you see all the ants otherwise known as people at camp. We shoot most of our cat videos when we’re shooting with our drone from anywhere from 15 feet to, I dunno, a couple of hundred feet in the air. I’m a big believer in using a drone as a creative tool, not just a big cool view. That’s great too. And so one of the things we started doing a few years ago with our aerial video is shooting aerial tours. So it kind of came from a lot of camps, had the interactive tours where you could most through different parts of camp.
Mike Perlow (06:30):
But I would just found them very quirky jerky to manoeuvre through. And I don’t think there’s much that’s engaging about moving around a still image of camp, a place that is everything but still. So to me, like you’re looking at camp and you want to see activity, you want to see the life of the camp. So with our aerial videos, we make a laundry list of every key area of camp, including buildings. And we get shots from a PI and then shots from lower down. We make sure we’re shooting them when there’s activity going on each specific area. And then we edit it into this really cool aerial tour. We have our animator create bullet animated bullet points and pieces of information that tell about each area that we’re flying over. So as you’re seeing it, you’re also reading information, but it’s presented in a cool animated dynamic way that makes it fun and almost feels like an interactive video.
Mike Perlow (07:20):
It’s selling people on your camp without selling them. It’s just, it’s like watching just a really cool aerial video, but at the same time you’re like, wow, so camp has this and they have this. And Oh, so that’s right near that. And I will tell you that the aerial tours we’ve done so far for camps, they have told us are among their most useful videos of all the things we’ve done for them. One of the reasons being that, first of all, obviously they can, even though it has music, they can play it at a camp fair where it’s noisy and people can’t hear anything being said, but people can watch it and read the text on the screen. It’s also something, it’s just different, right? I mean, we haven’t done it for that many camps yet. A lot of shown interest, but because it’s new and different, when people see it, they’re like, wow, that’s so cool.
Mike Perlow (08:05):
So it makes you camp stand out in that way. The augmented reality, that’s kind of a whole other subject. So I don’t know if you want me to touch on that later or now, but and I’m trying to think what else. I think you know, I think just finding different ways to tell stories about camp without making a completely scripted, right. So I’ve seen some really cool camp videos out there that are, you know, here’s the story of the kid being picked up from home and going to camp. And it’s all very scripted and sometimes using actors and maybe not, but I don’t find that scripted content in general sells families on camp. It’s cool. It’s entertaining. I’ve seen some amazingly well done scripted content, but I think when you’re watching it as a parent or watching it as a kid, no matter how entertaining you may find it, it feels kind of contrived even if it’s really well done.
Mike Perlow (09:00):
And so to me, I want to show as much of camp in the real light. Like when we even shoot our regular promo videos, I’d say we stayed less than 10% of what we shoot. Because we really want to get real moments. I mean, does it mean we’ve never asked a kid to kick the soccer ball a second time? No, of course we have, but we are generally, I would say that some of the best moments we haven’t, any of videos have just been real moments. I would say probably the best one ever is actually the staff recruiting video we did for camp echo Lake a few years ago. And we had interviewed a counsellor, I think she was a soccer counsellor. She was running soccer and we’d interviewed her. So we had a microphone on our wireless microphone and we said, okay, we’re done with the interview.
Mike Perlow (09:41):
Just go out and, you know, talk to the kids and we’ll get some sound of you talking to the kids. So she was wearing the microphone and do the rest of the period. And thankfully our videographer kept rolling on her recording her and she walked off the field talking to a camper who asked her, what did they ask you about and what did you say? And we recorded the whole thing. And she basically says, they asked me why I love camp pack a Lake so much. And it’s, it’s because of people like you and getting to be with people like you. And it was the most real thing I think we’ve ever had in a video. It was shot from behind cause she would walk away from us. But I’ll never forget the first time I showed it to the camp and I was like, this just kind of weird, but it’s kind of amazing at the same time. And they loved it and it’s, it’s the last thing in that video. So, you know, just going around camp and capturing real moments is gonna be some of the most powerful content you can get to put in a camp video. Cause it shows, it shows camp as it really is not as, you know, as it could be posed.
Duncan Robinson (10:37):
Yeah, sure. No, I can understand that way. We we filmed, we had a couple of days of filming and like we got all the kids to do a nice testimonial of what they felt about coming and everyone was scripted and it was just like, it doesn’t even sound like it’s been written by them. So like the effect that has on people looking at it, it’s just like, yeah, right. Whatever. You can tell kids to say anything. But if it’s not real, then it doesn’t work. So I think those real moments, a essential.
Mike Perlow (11:03):
Yeah. It’s funny, I happened to speak a week or so ago with one of our camp owners and we were talking about the first time we worked together, cause we’ve worked for several smers now. And he said to me, he’s like, Mike, I remember when you first came to camp and I said to you, so where’s the script? And I said, well, there’s no script. We don’t script things like that. And he was used to all the videos he’d ever done. Everything was very scripted, his answers were scripted. And we do quite the opposite. Even with our interviews, we come with some talking points, but we really kind of like, you and I are talking here, I want people to talk to me, talk to me about camp, talk to me about whatever the subject is and, and just be real. And, and you know, you don’t have to say the camp name and every answer will repeat my question and every answer.
Mike Perlow (11:46):
Those are all techniques that have been created over the years by people that think it’s an effective technique. And in my mind it makes everything that’s said some very stage. And very rehearsed. We don’t answer people’s questions by repeating their questions. We answered them as questions with an answer. And if you’re not, how to interview people and ask the right kinds of questions and you know how to edit and weave those answers together, they should be able to essentially stand on their own without you needing to restate the question. So that’s, you know, one of the things we, we strive to do when it comes to the interview part of cat videos, which are, which are critical because they help really tell the story.
Duncan Robinson (12:23):
Yeah, yeah. Without a doubt. And then once comes, got its videos in places like, I’m sorry, we’ve got the videos in place. What are the places they can get more views of the video. Obviously it’s about getting, getting eyes on the video and you know, they can do that on their landing page, but there’s lots of other ways of getting, getting eyes on the video. So can you do you help comes with that or have you seen any good examples of how consists of leveraging those videos to get more views?
Mike Perlow (12:48):
Yeah, I mean, I always offer to help with that process. Some camp, some clients are more interested in the help than others, some kind of out there system, and they just like to do it their way, which is, which is fine, although I am the kind of person that if I noticed there was a problem with their video on their website or something else, or if YouTube has taken it in some weird way, I’ll call or email or email or text them and say, Hey, Hey Lucy, you know, I just saw your video and here’s what’s wrong. Actually just happened with me today for somebody. We did a video for where they had embedded it on their website and the YouTube dimensions were all often, it was like a walk along narrow rectangle. The video player was. So when I, I was thinking like that.
Mike Perlow (13:28):
Like I take great pride and we’ll work. We do, and I want it to look great for our camps. So if I see a mistake, if I, if I notice a social media icon on your website and I click on it and it takes me to Wix, I’m going to call you and say, Hey your social media, like your Facebook icon isn’t taking us to your camp Facebook page. But in terms of using your video, so I’m in, I’m a big believer in and sharing it as many places as you can. Obviously on your website. One thing I would say is make it easy for people to find your camp video. As a video guy, I always wanted it on the homepage, but I understand why some people aren’t totally in favor of that idea. So if you’re not going to have the video on your homepage or a teaser on your homepage, have a big, big button that says watch our camp video.
Mike Perlow (14:12):
I can’t tell you how many camp websites I go to and I as one who goes there looking for nothing but the video spend five, 10, 15 minutes trying to find their video cause it’s hidden on some random page that may have made sense to them but is not intuitive to the average person. So putting it on a page that, I mean honestly put a button on the homepage, it says watch our video. I mean it doesn’t get much simpler than that. And and then obviously posting it on social media is great. People that don’t know this, when it comes to social media instead of posting the link, doing a native upload of the video, which means you literally upload the video to social media, particularly with Facebook, the data shows that you will get more, more viewers if it’s natively uploaded rather than posting the link.
Mike Perlow (14:59):
A lot of people don’t know that. So another thing to keep in mind is upload the video directly to your social media platform. And the other thing I mentioned whenever I was thinking seminars and people always find this so mind blowing, it’s so simple. Put a link to your video in your email signature. So every time you email somebody will reply to somebody’s email. It says, you know, you know, great talking to you Mike Perlow and then right underneath it is a link, you know, watch our camp video. Every single person you’ve ever emailed gets countless opportunities to click there and watch your video.
Duncan Robinson (15:30):
Yeah, it’s really subtle. We found that a really nice way of doing it with, with video and our referral program as well that each email that goes out, it’s just it’s a subtle reminder that they can bring friends that can receive rewards and it say, yeah, it’s a really nice way of doing it.
Mike Perlow (15:44):
I will share one other quick thought I want to share with you just about videos in general and I think is a lost approach for camps is, you know, camps make new videos and they blast them everywhere and share them everywhere. They put them on their website and all of that. And then weeks or months go by or sometimes even years go by and the video just sits there. And I have told many camps you need to share it more, show it more, post it more like always be celebrating what you’re about. So it doesn’t mean you need to do it every week, but don’t let four months go by in the off season. I mean you have that all that time from September till June where you could be promoting camp by showing your videos, by posting them, by sharing them. There’s so many different ways. Don’t just wait for everybody that comes to your website and find it or even come to your social media page and find where you’ve uploaded it. Like post it, celebrate something about camp and just using that video again, it’s great content and the more times you get it in front of people, the more likely you know, more new people are, are to see it.
Duncan Robinson (16:46):
Yeah. Yeah. No, that’s good advice. And one thing I’ll add to that is about using links to like YouTube or to Vimeo or you know, one of the players like that. If you’re linking or using that on your homepage, people are seeing the video. Then after the video it will come up with links which are not necessarily related to your camp. So then sometimes you can lose the interest from the families that get sidetracked on something else. So a really good tip for that is to use a different player. Like Wistia is very good. Swami five, there’s lots of other players there which don’t link out to other people after the video’s finished. And you know, once families arrive you say you’ve gotten there, you want to keep them there to watch your video, you know they’re interested in your camp, you don’t want them to then get sidetracked and you’re interested in something else. So know just using the right player on your, on your videos as well I think is, is pretty important sometimes.
Mike Perlow (17:34):
Yeah, I agree. And actually something we started doing more recently with YouTube, with even with YouTube, is you can set buttons towards the end of it that can encourage people to subscribe to your channel. But also to suggest they watch another video or related videos. So you can actually select the next video that they would watch it. They click that tab. So if you have multiple videos on your YouTube channel, select that other one and keep that going. But you’re right still, it does not force people to do that cause they can still go to that other suggested videos and it really is dependent on what their, their viewing habits are. I know mine always comes up with every Marvel and star Wars movie there. Is that right?
Duncan Robinson (18:13):
Okay. One of them good stuff. Cool. So or mentored reality. Let’s, let’s get into that. I’m really interested by it and it’s something really new. I think that people are starting to use more and more. And the, the example you showed me was really, really interesting. So yeah. T tell us more about that.
Mike Perlow (18:35):
Sure. It’s, I’ll be honest, it’s hard to explain in words. It’s always best understood by by people experiencing it. So I’ll explain a little bit how people can do that as well. Which is simply to go on your mobile device, any mobile device and go to the app or the Google play store search for the Perlow AR app, P R L O w a R app. It’s a free download. And once you download it, you’re to your device. If you go on our website and go to the augmented reality page, there are two different what are called AR targets. You can literally print them out. You don’t have to, I mean even though ideally it’s printed on something nicer, you can actually have something that could show you a, you can print it on a piece of paper and use it that way.
Mike Perlow (19:13):
And you basically open up the app on your device, aim it at this target image, and then the experience happens. I’ll just show you. So this is actually something we did. This target here is one of our two AR targets and I’ll try to hold it close and we actually put it. So the cool part is once you design the target, so this black image here is what launches the AR experience. But once we’ve designed that AR image, you can print it on anything. So we literally put it on a note pad. So we give these to people as like a little giveaway given where it Tristate and you know, you take one page off and you’ve got another one. I don’t know if I have them handy here, but we also have done, unfortunately I have one right in front of me, but we’ve done AR postcards, which is a great way, and it’s actually grad different camps where we can literally take that same target, put it on one side of the postcard on the other side.
Mike Perlow (20:03):
You can write a note. Dear Tom, I hear you’ve been interested in our camp, download our IRR app and aim it at the other side of this card and learn all about our camp. So I kind of did the, and part first. Here’s how it works. So basically we develop with our app development partners in augmented reality app for your camp. So it’s the, you know camp Robinson AR app. You would go download same way. And then we design a, it’s essentially a graphically designed image that is the target image that, and don’t ask me to explain how this works technically because I, I can’t, there are people much smarter than me that understand all the behind the scenes technology. But essentially when you open the AR app on your device and aiming at that target image, that image activates the augmented reality experience.
Mike Perlow (20:50):
So it’s playing a video can play a hologram animation, all kinds of other, I mean there’s a lot of other places we can go with it, but but each image activates a different AR experience. So we have that one I showed you that plays one of our camp videos. We have another one that plays the promo productions promo video, but for a camp I mean you could literally send that to a family and they would look at it and they’d watch your main promo video or you could send them, you can, so it can be used for recruiting, but it can also be used for existing families. So at the end of the smer, if you put together some kind of smer recap video, you create a new target, you mail everybody a postcard. Hey download our app it at our target and watch our smer 2000, whatever, 2023 recap video.
Mike Perlow (21:38):
You could use it for setting a holiday card. Same thing, camp, good record, a little holiday greeting, mail out AR postcards and the same experience if all your families, I already have the our app downloaded on their devices. All they need to do at that point, it was just aiming at the new target. And actually people always ask, well can we replace the videos? So as I said, like this one right now launches a certain camp video. It used to launch a different camp video. We swapped it out a few months ago just cause we wanted it to create something different to show something different. And really the best way I can explain it is, is it a dynamic new way to use technology and get people in front of your content. The other part that I can’t show here is that when you open the app and you look at it, there are three main buttons on the bottom, which is like a pause, play button, a restart button, and a hamburger button, which essentially opens up drop downs on both sides of the screen.
Mike Perlow (22:32):
That can then have icons to your social media pages too. You know, pages on your website. It can be a register now. It could be learn more, see more of our videos. You know, and anything you want, those buttons can be customized to take you anywhere on, on, you know, on the internet. The other cool part about it is, is outside of that last piece, the, that, the buttons that are connected to the web, the AR part of it, once you’ve downloaded the app on your device needs no internet signal. You could, you can put your device on airplane mode, open up the app, aiming at the target and the whole thing works, which is, which is incredible. So the good thing is if you’re using it at a conference, a trade show, anywhere where the signal is not great, as long as people have already downloaded your app, your goal. No, there’s no, it has no, it has other than the buttons, which those won’t work without the internet. But the key part of it, which is the AR experience, what happens with zero internet signal sounds pretty cool. But I would encourage people to download our Perlow AR app, print out one of the target or both the target images from our website and experience it themselves because you just can’t do it justice without trying yourself. And then everybody’s like, Oh my God, this is so amazing.
Duncan Robinson (23:48):
Totally. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. and, and in many countries, and this at the moment, I was this very new too to catch on.
Mike Perlow (23:55):
So here’s what I’m finding. New technology is both exciting and terrifying for people and I think that the early adopters are few and far between. We, we started working on augmented reality in the fall of 2019. And we were very ahead of the curve. I was through a project we did with our AR partner for Dell technologies and we did the animation part of it and our partner did the AR part of it, but that was our first experience with AR and we were just so blown away with it that we created our own AR app. So we have talked to a lot of camps. I would say that heading into smer 20, 20, they were a nber of camps who are very interested in different levels. And I have no doubt that, you know, a few years from now having AR will be like having a website.
Mike Perlow (24:42):
And what I joke with camps and businesses in general is a few of you are going to be the first going to be the pioneers. Like we are with it. And then everybody else is going to say, Oh, why did we let them beat us to the chase? Because it is, it is. I mean, and especially for the audience you’re going after, right? You’re going after kids or their parents, the parents who are usually skew on the younger end of things. So all of whom are technology savvy. And I, and the other part is like, in terms of technical issues at this point, we probably had thousands of people that have downloaded and tried this out using the Perlow AR app. I would say less than 10 people have called or texted me and said, Hey Mike, I can’t hear anything or it’s not working or I can’t find your app.
Mike Perlow (25:23):
I mean, the success rate on this is incredible in terms of just the general experience for the viewer, which of course when you’re using technology, new technology, if it’s not, you’ll quickly lose somebody. So that’s, that’s an important part of, of what we set up. We use and they are a platform that’s like considered the best in the industry. So it’s cross platform for, you know, I have four Apple devices and Samsung devices and any other mobile devices. So it really works. My, my younger son, until recently, how to make an iPhone six and it worked fine on his, so that’s a few generations ago, right, in terms of phones.
Duncan Robinson (26:02):
Yeah. Cool. No, it’s, it’s a, it’s definitely something to have a look at and experience what it’s all about. And yeah, I, I suppose it, it boils down to cost I suppose for a lot of camps and you know, what the return on investment of doing something like that would, would be. So and have you, have you had many examples so far of it or is it just too early to tell that you know, the sort of returns that we would get from the system
Mike Perlow (26:30):
In terms of ROI? I mean, I would say that I’d say it’s similar to doing videos, right? I think it’s as much about the buzz it builds for your camp as anything. I don’t mean it doesn’t return on investment, but I mean, in terms of gauging it now, yes. Are there ways we could set it up and you could literally like no people that are contacting you off of something they do or experience in the app? Yes. But I think more than anything it’s, it helps. First of all, it tells everybody that you are a forward thinking camp that you invest in things around camp. I don’t think it sends a bad message about you want to create this technology driven camp because I don’t think using great new technology to market and recruit for camp says you are a tech crazy camp.
Mike Perlow (27:14):
It just says you are a a forward thinking camp. And I think that again it’s, it’s finding new and better ways to get your camp, your videos in front of people. If you email them something, you know the likelihood of somebody clicking, you know, despite what I said earlier, you know, if you email a link to your camp video to a hundred families, I don’t know what the percentages are, families are gonna click on that link and watch it. But I would bet you that if you mailed a hundred postcards, AR postcards to families, the nbers would be higher. And the one thing I can tell you definitively is the amount of time people watch content when, when watching it through augmented reality is hands down longer than just watching it online or let them link on, on your phone and just watching the video through no, through a website or a third party player.
Mike Perlow (28:00):
So it’s, I mean, you know, the sad reality is everybody walks around like this, right? So if I can say, Hey, here’s a card. I mean, what do people do more than hold their phone and look at things? So it’s like I said, I think once a couple of camps try this out, we will have an explosion of camps that want to use AR. And we can do much more than that. Like this is what we call content driven AR, but we can even do like interactive maps and holograms of like a whole camp layout. We could do things with animated characters. There’s a whole lot about, we could literally, we’ve talked to a couple of camps that have like a camp mascot. We could literally have the Arab experience begin with an animated version of that mascot talking to you and look like he’s standing right in front of you.
Mike Perlow (28:48):
So there’s a lot of, you know, higher level things that can be done with AR. We try to start simple and go from there because we find if we overwhelm people with too much technology information, they can’t okay of it. So we really encourage people to use it at this basic level, see that they love it, see that their families love it. And then, you know, explore other ways to put augmented reality into a fact. But I, I mean, listen, Google augmented reality and the future of AR with marketing, there are so many articles just saying that it is the next big frontier and that the amount of investment dollars going into it across industries is just insane. So I read just the other day article that somebody who had, I designed a, an AR contact lens, which I don’t think it’s really ready for market, but that there’s no doubt.
Mike Perlow (29:39):
Like that’s where all of this is headed. Tech. Wow. Instead of using your phone, you’ll use Glock, you’ll put on a pair of AR glasses. And so, I mean that’s what will be, I dunno, five years from now, I’m not sure that’s where all this has gotta. You know, the Apple watch is nothing compared to where we’ll be with wearable tech and AR down the road. So it’s, it’s exciting. I mean, I think it’s very exciting and again, I don’t think cam should feel like it makes them present themselves as like some camp. It’s all about technology. It’s just a really cool marketing and recruiting tool. Yeah, yeah. That’s my 2 cents then obviously we would not, I mean we literally as a company invested time and resources and money into getting our augmented rally offering up because I believe so much in it as, as a, as a sales marketing tool for us and for people we’re creating videos for.
Duncan Robinson (30:29):
Cool. Awesome. No, yeah, definitely worth checking out. So that’s kind of looking, looking into the future of, of camp marketing. But obviously there’s lots of the basics which comes aren’t necessarily getting right at the moment. Working with camps, what have you come across, what the main mistakes, what are the main issues, what the main problems come to having with that video content, video marketing.
Mike Perlow (30:51):
I think it goes back to showing just the fun of camp and selling people on Hebraic campus instead of your camp. I think that is the nber one mistake that camps and businesses in general make when they make videos. I think many camps when they list, like if I ask them what makes your camp unique, they often list things that really don’t make them unique. So, you know, I’ve had several camps say, well we were very anti-technology, so kids have no devices during like, well yeah, you and you know, thousands of other camps or wherever they’re going to. So, so I think, you know, being able to step back and say, well, maybe we’re not as different as we think in these areas, but let’s identify where we are. So I think, you know, being honest about who you are and, and it’s funny.
Mike Perlow (31:39):
So in the other end of that I’ve had this conversation in particularly with faith-based camps, but I would say this goes for camps in general. Don’t be afraid to be who you are and shout it from the, from the rooftops. I think a lot of times when camps, Mmm have a certain focus, whether, again, it’s, you know, faith or activity or whatever, they don’t want to scare away people by saying they’re too much of this. And in my opinion, you should never be scared of that because that’s what you are and you want people to come to your camp who want back. Right. so while you know, if it’s a faith based camp, for example, there may be families that want a little bit more, a little less of that religion, but they’re all coming for that. No different than if you’re going to a baseball camp for baseball camp to say, Oh, we don’t want to tell people that their kids are going to throw, you know, are going to play 27 innings every day.
Mike Perlow (32:30):
Well that’s what you do. And if somebody doesn’t want to send their kid to a baseball camp where they play 27 innings a day, then they know that, you know, don’t make them feel like you’re just going to play, toss and hit a few balls during the day. So I think, you know being honest about who you are as a camp and being proud of it and, and, and, and showing it and showing it off and, and really making it very clear is important because again, it’s going to attract more of the kinds of people that are a good fit for your camp. And is going to again distinguish you because any of those things [inaudible] make you stand out among the crowd of whether it’s camps that are offering the same kind of specialties or camps in the same region. Mmm. Other mistakes with videos.
Mike Perlow (33:15):
Again, going back to the, you know, don’t script your answers. We get this a lot with people in general that we interview. Can you give me your list of questions? And I say, well, if you can dig them out of my head, because that’s where they sit. I mean I come in with a list of talking points, but really I tell people don’t prepare your answers were talking about your camp. What can you speak about more easily than your camp? Like probably the biggest passion of your life. So just like, you know, like you’re asking me about my business, right? Like did I need to prepare answers to talk about my business? You don’t need to do that for yours. No. Cause if it’s something you’re passionate about, just talk about it and be honest about it and, and the best answers will come out that way.
Mike Perlow (33:53):
So I think, you know, realizing that, you know, and honestly I would say it’d be like we asked you a question you really struggled to answer, just tell me and we’ll take a little time and think about it. But 90% of the questions we’re asking and camp interviews are very easily answered questions and I think the best answers are the ones better natural. Let me think what else. I think the other part that I attracted that to cancer in general is don’t dread the idea of well shooting new cat videos that coming song it. If you work with the right company, the right team, it should not be a burden on you. Does it take some of your time when, when we’re at camp? Sure. Does it ruin your day? Does it take you away from all your day to day? It shouldn’t.
Mike Perlow (34:37):
It doesn’t want, we’re at camps. And you know sometimes the first time we’re working at a camp, the first day we’re there. Maybe a little bit more taxing cause we’re trying to get our bearings as well. But usually we ask the camp to give us somebody that knows camp well and can take us around and give us a lay of the land. But once we know where we need to go and what we’re doing, we’re, we’re pretty self sufficient and we really try to avoid getting the camp to reschedule things or set up things at a certain time. We really want to capture them when they’re happening. There are times when there’s, say like a certain activity that just doesn’t happen to be going on when we’re there. And so sometimes they may put together a small golf activity or whatever it is. Sometimes the big theater performance isn’t happening for four weeks.
Mike Perlow (35:20):
So they do a little, a little mock performance for us, things like that. But in general I think, you know, we, we, we want you to be excited about having us there when we’re shooting your videos. The staff and the campers usually love it. We’re very respectful. My team are, are all great around, around the kids with the staff. We’ve never once had any issues whatsoever. Usually the biggest issue is everybody wants to be interviewed. Can you interview me? Can you have your mid game roommates? So how was deferred to the camp director of the camp owner speak to sell? And so he or she is the one that’s deciding that if they say yes, happy to interview and speaking of which, don’t try to interview 100 people because if you’re doing a three minute video or even if you’re doing a 10 minute video, you can only include so many people’s sound bites in one video.
Mike Perlow (36:10):
So, you know, pick different people that represent, you know, different areas around camp. I would say make sure each person you’re interviewing has a purpose. Why are we speaking to that person? If I’m interviewing two people that are gonna tell me the same exact thing, we only need one of them. So really make sure there’s a reason that each person is speaking, we’re being interviewed and focus on what you want them to talk about. So I think know, not following some of those rules of some of the mistakes camps make. And, and honestly just sticking with their videos for way too long. And I listen, I know I have my own agenda for people doing new videos, but honestly, I see some camps that have had videos. I mean, since I was at camp and that was more than a few years ago now. So I think, you know, listen, it’s an investment and it’s time and effort, but you need to be updating your videos. You can’t have kids that are married that were 12 when they’re at your camp or even in college at your camp.
Duncan Robinson (37:07):
Oh wait, no, that’s interesting. Yeah. We, we aim to do one pretty much one a year, you know, and occasionally we would give it a rest for a year and do something else. But yeah, it’s gotta be fresh, you know, families coming back seeing that it’s just, yeah, it looks, it looks amateur, so yeah, it’s gotta be gotta be fresh.
Mike Perlow (37:25):
Definitely. Definitely. And I, I mean, I think sometimes camps fall so in love with the video they’ve had for so many years that they’re scared. I’ve heard this from a few cancer leaders, they’re scared if they can make something as good this time around, so they just stay with what they have, cause they know they love it, you know?
Mike Perlow (37:42):
But I always say like, if, if, if, if people watch your video and it’s obvious that it’s dated, that’s, that’s not a good, doesn’t speak well, no different than if we, you know, if people show up at your camp and the equipment is dated, right. If things are dated if, you know, if you have if you have payphones all around camp while we were in the camp, you get my point, right. If you have payphones all over someplace kind of dated. So you know, I think it’s no different than than sports equipment. Or anything else you would have to camp, you know, camp spend lots of money to keep their facilities updated, their equipment updated. Same thing has to go with your, with your marketing tools.
Duncan Robinson (38:19):
Cool. Mike, is there anything that I haven’t asked you which you’d like me to ask?
Mike Perlow (38:27):
Mmm. Trying to think what else we have touched on. I think, I think just real. So yeah. Is one of the things I would just mention about is so many camps we work with have smertime staff that shoots videos. And many times we are from camps. Well, we have a staff and they do our smertime videos and our recruiting videos. I would respectfully say that having that staff is awesome and they’re the perfect people to do your videos that you send a parent as a camp parent the perfect videos to send home to parents to send to the campers at the end of the smer. But there’s a big difference between that and creating a well strategized recruiting video. And so realizing that it’s not just because you have a guy or girl who’s in college and knows how to shoot and it has a GoPro and can put a drone in the air that does not make an effective recruiting video.
Mike Perlow (39:18):
So realizing that I mean, don’t get me wrong, there is a few camps I’ve seen over the years that have just found that amazing diamond in the rough that just rocks it. But those are few and far between. You know, knowing that you have that, that smertime staff that can make lots of great content for you ongoing during the smer, but committing to, as I like to say, creating a marketing video that’s as great as your camp and if your videos aren’t as great as you, there’s, there’s that disconnect there. So realize that. My point is there’s a place for both and that goes for your marketing in general. There’s nothing wrong. We shoot when we’re on productions, we shoot behind the scenes videos with our iPhones. I do it all the time cause it’s great. We get pictures, we get little video clips, I post them on social media. It’s fun. It’s real. We don’t, we don’t use that kind of footage typically for our client productions other than in a unique circstance. So, so realizing that there is a place for both conser kind of video and professionally structured and, and, and created videos and you really, you really want to have both. So, you know, not one, not the other. I don’t tell people stop using those kids during the smertime. I, that’s great. That’s fantastic. That’s an important part, but you know, you really need to have some goals.
Duncan Robinson (40:34):
Yeah, yeah, definitely. And one thing I’d see is when you’ve had a, I suppose a series of PR promo videos done over the years, I think if you can share that on your website as a com, I think that shows really good consistency that, you know, it’s not just good one year and you’ve captured that and you keep that for a long time. It’s good every year you consistent and you know, they could expect that to be the same the following year. And I think that’s a nice way of sharing it. So yeah, definitely, definitely recommend getting promo videos done. You know, I, I try and aim for every year, but if, if budget’s an issue then every, every two years I think is a, is a, is a maxim.
Mike Perlow (41:11):
I think even it doesn’t have to be that you do new promo video every couple of years, but just constantly adding new content. Right. That’s what I’d say our best camps do. They, we might do the promo video one year, next year we might do some recruiting videos for staff and next year we might do an aerial tour, but we might also update the original video is the new footage we’ve gotten. So constantly updating your videos and creating new content and then at a certain point to step back and say, you know what, it was four or five, six years ago when we did our main promo video. It’s time to do something new and fresh and different and not being afraid of how we’re going to top the last one because just making something new and different, we’ll get it in front of new people. So yeah. That’s as important as anything else.
Duncan Robinson (41:54):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then I was reading some, some interesting research about how long your business needs to be in the mind of someone else. And as a company then the families need to have been thinking about you for seven hours before they make a decision about whether they’re going to enroll in that camp unless they’ve been referred by someone. But if they’re rubbing your website, they see your video, you need more than just one video to catch their attention. You need more than that just to get them to enroll that year. You need video from previous years. You need other blog content on there. You need lots of other content to nurture them down that funnel. And you know, video is a, is a great way of sub speeding that process up and you know, really lodging that image of what camp is in the mind. So they’re thinking about it more often and then they’re more likely to make that buying decision at the end of it. So
Mike Perlow (42:44):
So seven hour videos is a new trend.
Duncan Robinson (42:49):
Oh, can you imagine?
Mike Perlow (42:50):
Duncan Robinson (42:53):
For two days to get a three and a half minute video. So a seven hour video. Blimey,
Mike Perlow (42:59):
You’re finally made use of everything we should have kept.
Mike Perlow (43:04):
That’s good to know. I’ve never heard that nber. That’s interesting. So if you not know that,
Duncan Robinson (43:11):
Cool. Well, no, it’s been really good to chat to your making and get all your experience and knowledge about shooting videos and augmented reality. I’m really interested to try it and see what that’s all about. Right. So yeah, thanks very much for coming on and sharing a lot with us, Mike.
Mike Perlow (43:28):
Duncan Robinson (43:29):
Awesome. Well, yeah, I’ll put it in the show notes where people can find out about you, but it’s polo, polo productions very nicely spoken as well.
See Mikes portfolio of summer camp videos here
Summer Camp Videos Portfolio https://perlowproductions.com/portfolio/?choose_type=summer-camp-videos
Augmented Reality: https://perlowproductions.com/services/augmented-reality/