Would you have any investment where we told you, you are going to lose .72 cents on every dollar you spent?
Now what if we told you that you would be losing $29K a month and with a $40K a month budget?
This article will walk you through the steps of how we transformed a clients digital marketing campaign and in 30 days took them from a money losing to a money making campaign.
In the events and ticketing industry it is always a marketing sprint. You may have events planned six months to one year in advance, with a ton of events planned throughout the year. Of course, the big question is, how do you successfully fill your venue seats up? It’s very tempting to go right into the tactics, like let’s do search, let’s do social, let’s do content, let’s do e-mail marketing. But the main problem we have seen is that businesses forget what they should be measuring and how they should go about their marketing strategy.
Step 1: The Classic AIDA
There is nothing better than the classic AIDA in action which is attention, interest, desire and action. When you look at a classic AIDA model, your first step is Attention. Your attention is all about grabbing eyeballs and that’s what we do as marketers.
The next step is to convert those eyeballs or impressions as we’d like to call it into engagement. The goal at this stage is, How do you engage your audience? There are many different ways you can achieve engagement from your audience. Once you have created engagement, the third thing is to figure out how to create psychological triggers to drive behavioral change.
In order to create desire, you need to use the classic laws of attraction to create desire in your customer’s mind. There are psychological triggers that come into play because when there are triggers, there is a change in the behavior and which then, produces that desire to take action. The next goal is then to turn them into raving fans making them come back and evangelizing your shows.
Step 2: Four Step Marketing Process for Events & Ticketing
The classic AIDA works well but another approach is a four step marketing process, which especially works to drive ticket sales. In the ticket and entertainment industry, especially when you have a big event coming up, you are in the go, go, go mindset.
The first step in the marketing process is to create and identify your customer personas. We meet a lot of business owners and venues who have shows coming up who haven’t really stepped back and asked the question: Who is our show created for? Who is our Audience? Most of us in this world have a philosophy that the whole world is our market, but that’s not true. Especially in marketing, the more niche, the more specific you are the better your conversion rates are going to be. So creating personas for your target audience is extremely critical.
What you have to do as an event marketer or a venue manager is come up with ways to pull in a new crowd and you know the millennials if you will. After you create your personas, you should then reverse engineer based on your objectives and personas to see which tactics will be successful.
Capture and Convert
After that you then will be able to determine which tactics will help to capture attention and essentially convert. At the end of the day, we create content and content is not just like a blog, but also your social media channels, your website. Finally, it’s all about capturing and converting your customers. Capturing and converting is not just in ticket sales but it’s basically how you help your audience spread the word. The final step is helping them evangelize.
Make them Evangelize
Now you know especially today where everybody is Instagramming and Snapchatting and what not, evangelizing a good product is not too tough.
For example, I was at this pop-up exhibit called Color Factory and they do a tremendous job of using RFID at their venue to basically capture and evangelize the people who are visiting the museum and help them share. They achieve great success with all of the data collected using the RFID.
3. Holistic Digital Marketing
The real trick of the trade is how do you create your organic community, your own assets like your email capturing, your engagement stuff like that to basically not spend money or actually help the money that you’re spending on paid ads to go further. And that’s our holistic digital marketing approach for events & ticketing vertical is all about.
Step 4: Local SEO
Local SEO and schema markup is super critical to include in your marketing strategy. We still see that with events and venues, local SEO is where 80 percent of the conversions are going to come from. It’s important to note that it’s not just about local listings optimization but Google these days runs a lot on schema markups. Schema Markups are basically attributes that you can tell Google, whether it better be your event, your venue your artist, or e-commerce site more information to better read and show your site to users. In the e-commerce world, stores have been doing that very successfully, however we don’t see a lot of clients utilizing Schema Markup. For example, if you were just searching for one museum in Dallas, you can see that it’s not just a Google Local listing but it’s the whole bloggers blogosphere as we call it, that pops up on google search results.
Step 5: Blogger Outreach
A great blogger outreach program can go a long way to get your brand in front of more eyes. If you really look at your organic results, 80 percent will come from your local listings and 20 percent is the SEO which again pushes the local listings to go up so it’s all interconnected just like the world we live in. Reaching out to influencer local bloggers is a great way to add affiliates to your events and generate additional revenues in a short period of time.
Step 6: Influencer Marketing
Another successful tactic we have found is having our clients listed in tourist guides, Yelp, other listing sites and utilizing Influencer Marketing. Influencer marketing and hosting influencer events are rising in popularity and they can be great tactics for you to implement in your own strategy. For example, we put on an influencer event in less than five days and we had about 61 RSVPs and 48 attendees. Hosting an influencer night can be an easy way to promote your brand and also get to know influencers in your area. It’s crucial to first identify the main objective you want to achieve from an influencer night.
An important question to ask yourself is, How will you convert your influencers into ambassadors or affiliates to sell on your behalf? This should be your number one goal. Another great benefit of an influencer night is the exposure and reach you will get from the event. The reach will come from the stories your influencers share, the pictures they tag and so on and so forth. When we hosted our influencer event for a client we saw a total follower reach was about half a million. Now if you take half a million in terms of dollar amount, and the amount of money you would spend on social media ads to reach that many people, there is no question that this would be an effective strategy. On top of that if you can turn your influencers into your affiliates, where they receive a cut of your revenues by selling tickets on your behalf then you are looking at an ROI which is beyond any advertising can provide.
We have a great article on the steps we took to host a successful Influencer Night/Event, you can access the full blog at this link:
Step 7: Paid Advertising
What is the difference between B2B and B2C Marketing? There really is no difference, at the end of the day we are selling to humans. Humans are at the decision-making level and you know the tactics change but the way you engage them, the behavior is still going to be the same. The biggest piece that we see is we usually divide it out for our clients into two things. Capturing the demand which is your hand raises and then generating demand. Google paid ads are great at capturing the demand.
In Google paid ads people know what they want or they have an inclination of what they want. A classic keyword is things to do in whatever that city is going to be. That means people are looking for stuff and then your job is to capture those people or capture that demand, and search is great at achieving that because it’s very intent base right.
The toughest part is generating demand where somebody doesn’t know what they are looking for but suddenly you pop up, your event looks enticing for them to click and that is called generating demand. Basically when we design our campaigns, we bucket them out and then create a strategy based on that because at the end of the day when you look at your blended cost per acquisition it’s a blend between the two and that is the whole goal of marketing.
Step 8: Organic Social Media
It’s important to combine your paid social media with your organic social media that’s when your engagement will go up. Organic social media is what can drive the quality of your ads, which will allow Facebook to display your ad to a wider audience. Make sure to combine your organic social media, with your paid ads, they should always work together not independently.
We are big believers in managing brand sentiment. As venues as event producers we all should be measuring sentiment, which are your recommendations and your net promoter score.
Step 9 : Local Business Partnership
Another great tactic to get your business exposure is to partner with local businesses. Remember that social media and digital marketing is not just you running ads and creating content but basically really creating a tribe, working with local businesses and groups is essential to make them a part of your movement.
Step 10: ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
The biggest and most important metric that everyone should measure is return on ad spend (ROAS). Most businesses know they are spending advertising budget and they are getting conversions but they don’t know what metric they should be using to measure the efficacy of their programs. Of course there are many metrics and variables like looking at ROI or Lifetime Value (LTV) or even online-offline impact but one metric that all businesses should measure is Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). This should be the baseline metric that all advertisers should measure and then progressively create metrics like LTV, ROI, etc. Like any advertising campaign, your focus should be to at least make $1 if you are spending $1. That means that you have achieved parity and not losing money. Anything above that means your ad spend is positive. Here’s the simple formula to measure ROAS:
Total Revenues / Total Spend = ROAS
As many businesses have experienced with Digital Marketing, it is easy to get started with your ad campaigns but it gets complex once you start scaling your campaign. As with any marketing strategy, the trick is to start small and focus on a few core tactics before adding new campaigns or tactics.
Have feedback, questions or want to schedule a complimentary brainstorming call? Get in touch today!