No matter what anyone tells you advertising / marketing is a gamble. There’s no way to ever be 100% sure that your dollars are transitioning directly into product sales or service calls. So, what’s the best way to spend those advertising dollars? This has been the question of every business owner at some point or another. I know it was for me when I was running an event company and retail shop.
It was a small shop catering to a niche audience, and our events would cater to anywhere from 60 – 150 people. I had meetings with sales people at radio stations, newspapers, billboard companies, and I even looked into local television. It’s been a few years, but the cost of radio advertising on the top 40 stations, or a single billboard would still be more money a month than my commercial space rental.
Luckily, we had social media. It worked great! …most of the time.
We primarily used Facebook ads since we relied heavily on having a community to attend our events. I designed and ran a 24-hour zombie survival game, when promoting for it our ads flew across Facebook! I would check our analytics daily and discover hundreds of new interactions (social media advertising always includes analytics to show you exactly where your money is going). We kept feeding loonies into it and it kept finding our selected audience (yeah, Facebook allows you to specifically target a demographic) and bringing them to our community.
When we tried the same technique for our Science Fiction monthly event we couldn’t get close to the same momentum. I could analyze the data through Facebooks analytic program easily and determine that maybe this just wasn’t the way. I then decided to pursue Meet-up.com for this event (since it was monthly) and it proved to be much more effective at finding interested people.
I sold that company (partner stuff) and now I’m back promoting these types of events on my own. I still primarily use Facebook, but Instagram and Snapchat are slowly growing on me as both provide some excellent (and cheap) advertising options. Advertising is still a gamble, but at least with social media my loonie can soar!
By: Derrick Ferry