I see it all the time: Venues spending their money on mass marketing efforts, blasting vague messages to a broad range of people who may or may not be their customers, all because they don’t know who their customers are, what their objectives are, or how to use the tools that are readily available to them. Fortunately, it’s a simple problem to fix and doesn’t require a lot of upfront capital to get on track.
Follow these 5 tips to get a better handle on your marketing and get the biggest bang for your buck.
1. Know Your Audience
Before you start any type of marketing, you first need to know who your audience is. Customers are the number one component of a successful venue; without customers, you don’t have a business. Discover who your customers are, what their idea of a good party is, the music they like to hear, the alcohol they like to drink, and the experience they expect. This information dictates your entire marketing strategy, including your promotions.
The best way to collect this information is through a system that tracks every guest who walks through your door. This data aggregates in a central analytics system which allows you to understand what nights / promotions / events drive people through the door, which channels bring the most traffic to your website and your venue, and how much on average people are spending. That’s valuable data that helps you put resources behind the things that are working and stop the things that aren’t.
2. Segment Your Audience with Personal Messages
When you track every guest who walks through your door, you’re able to use that information to target specific customer groups. Want to target females who have a birthday this week? You can do that. How about anyone who attended your last EDM concert? You can do that, too. Just make sure your system has a CRM component that collects all of this information. Then, use filters to group like-minded guests together, such as age range, spending habits, nights they come out, etc. From there, send messages that speak directly to that segmented audience to appear more personal and get a higher engagement rate.
3. Run Targeted Social Media Ads
There are billions of monthly active users across social media networks. In fact, on Facebook alone there are 1.49 billion monthly active users. That’s a lot of people you can capture by sending the right message to the right people. Facebook’s advertising algorithms have changed and improved tenfold since its inception. Now, you’re able to create custom audiences and save them in your ads account for later use. As we discussed in the marketing segmentation section above, you’re able to use these specific segments to target different audiences for different promotions. You can also run multiple promotions at the same time, targeting different audiences and capturing a return for your different promotions at once.
4. Text Your Customers
Studies show that 98% of text messages get opened, and the average CTR on text is 36%. It’s one of the best channels to get a response, and one of the best to speak directly to your customers. Use your segments to send personalized text messages, or send a mass text about a promotion you have going on. You can even get as granular as texting individuals — nothing says exclusive like offering someone a personal promotion and greeting them by their name. That’s what makes people feel special, and that’s what makes them more loyal.
5. Use Tracking Links to Understand Results
The best way to know if your marketing efforts are working is to track them. Assign specific links to each channel and staff member to truly understand your results. Then, use those links on your various channels (e.g., a different link for Facebook, Twitter, third-party media, digital ads, etc.). Also, make sure your staff is using their personal link when they promote your event so they get credit. The results will inform you of what you should and shouldn’t be spending your time and money on. Is a certain promotion bringing in a ton of people? Keep doing it! Is a certain message not providing results? Fix it. That’s the true power of data. When you have absolute clarity around your efforts, you can do even more to increase your success. Without data, you’re simply just guessing.