Famous Monsters of Filmland: PPC Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

What’s it like working with the world’s first monster magazine?

Today we’re sharing the results from one of our most successful PPC campaigns. Back in August we were asked to create and manage digital ad campaigns for Famous Monsters of Filmland. With only 3 months until the Famous Monsters Halloween Convention, we were able to convert ads into ticket sales.

Famous Monsters of Filmland is a magazine highlighting the art of horror films. This year they were going to hold their first Famous Monsters Halloween Convention, a 3-day horror themed convention. The convention would feature famous actors and actresses from horror and sci-fi films and special events for attendees including film screenings, cosplay contests, haunted houses, ghost tours, and more.

The convention coordinators wanted their first year event to be well attended. The team also wanted a positive return on investment from pre-sale tickets. While organizing the Famous Monsters Halloween Convention, Phil Kim was referred to SpinGo to help him with his digital advertising.

Phil saw an opportunity to free up time for his staff and improve ticket sales through digital marketing. With only 3 months until the Famous Monsters Halloween Convention, Phil handed off digital marketing services to SpinGo.

SpinGo focused on 6 different marketing channels:

Facebook Event Ads: A simple way to raise awareness of the convention.

Facebook Prospecting Ads: Ads that redirect to a specific landing page outside of Facebook.

Facebook Retargeting Ads: Ads that display on Facebook and Instagram to visitors of Famous Monsters Halloween Con website.

Google Contextual Ads: Banner ads that display on horror genre websites to raise awareness to the targeted audience outside of Facebook.

Google Search Ads: Pop up on the top of the search results pages when somebody searches for specific keywords relating to the convention.

Google Retargeting Ads: Display to users who visited the Famous Monsters Halloween Con website on sites around the web.

SpinGo’s marketing team built a 2.5 month marketing strategy to sell pre-sale tickets and followed other marketing best practices: creating awareness, building urgency, and driving ticket sales. Using these techniques SpinGo was able to convert ads into ticket sales for the convention.

“One area of the campaign that did particularly well were the search ads” said Colin Matthes, Content Marketing Manager of SpinGo. “We spent a lot of time testing, tweaking, and optimizing the ads and keywords to make sure we were targeting the best keywords for the campaign. We ended up having incredible click-through and conversion rates from Google Search.”

SpinGo’s marketing campaigns for Famous Monsters of Filmland proved that pre-sale tickets can provide a positive ROI, even for a first year event, when there is little or no event name recognition.

Between August 14 – October 1, SpinGo achieved:

  • 4.77 Return on Ad Spend. For every $1 Famous Monsters of Filmland spent on Google or Facebook, they earned $4.77 back from ticket sales.
  • 2.4 million ads displayed.
  • 21,812 ads clicked.

“Our experience with SpinGo was great” said Dominie Lee, Director of Operations for Famous Monsters of Filmland. “The attention they gave our campaign and availability to assist when needed was top notch. I would definitely work with SpinGo again.””

 

To view the full case study, click here.

Facebook Ads: Pro Tips to Navigate the New Algorithm Changes

Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that big changes are coming to your Facebook News Feed in early 2018. To kickoff his announcement Zuckerberg stated, “I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.” He continued, “recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Wondering where that leaves you and how these changes will impact your event marketing?

To create more meaningful social interactions, Facebook is going to adjust it’s News Feed algorithm to limit posts from businesses, brands and media, and prioritize posts that promote discussions, conversations, and human interaction. As a side effect, your event may have a harder time breaking onto the News Feed if you don’t adapt to the changing scene.

So, how do you stay relevant in the new Facebook world? Here are 3 ways to make sure your event gets noticed on the giant social media platform.

Create Facebook Event Pages. Over the past year, Facebook has made tweaks to it’s algorithm to feature Facebook Event listings. If you have an event, but aren’t taking advantage of this free tool, there has never been a better time to start using it. Events promote real life socializing, and I assume Facebook will take that into account as it adjusts it’s News Feed algorithm.

Pro tip 1: Invite your Facebook friends to attend your event. The more people that are interested in attending an event, the more it will show up on News Feeds.

Pro tip 2: Post frequently on your Facebook event page. This won’t directly impact how often you show up on the News Feed, but it does have an indirect impact. When you leave a post on your Facebook event page, all the people who have shown interest in your event will get a notification on their account. This can remind them that your event is coming up soon, and they can invite their friends to attend.

Create organic posts that spur conversation. Instead of using clickbait tactics to try and make your posts go viral, focus on writing posts that will get your followers to comment. Ask intriguing questions. Some people might try to find a loophole by asking attendees to “Tag a friend you want to take to the event with you.” But be warned! These are the type of posts that Facebook is looking to demote. If you follow this strategy, you may find yourself getting dinged repeatedly by Facebook and falling into social media oblivion.

Pro tip: Share memories or ask for recommendations in your organic posts. Facebook finds that both memories and recommendations spark more conversations and contribute to Facebook’s new goal.

Use paid Facebook advertising to ensure your event gets noticed. If your organic efforts aren’t getting you the results you are looking for, paid advertising will ensure your event gets seen on Facebook. While Facebook is demoting organic posts from businesses, don’t expect them to limit how many ads you see on your News Feed.

Pro tip 1: Boosting your event posts is great, but it isn’t enough. Boosting your posts usually limits your ads to be seen by people who follow your Facebook page. Use Facebook Ads Manager to reach people outside of your current network.

Pro tip 2: If you don’t know how to do Facebook advertising effectively, SpinGo can promote your event for you.

5 Common Event Ad Mistakes

Each day, I work with dozens of event makers to help build their marketing campaigns and develop a sound online marketing strategy. I see many campaigns come into my hands that have been meticulously thought out and planned to perfection, but I also see a fair share of campaigns that leave me wanting. Here are the 5 most common online marketing mistakes for events that I see, with solutions that will turn your campaign around.

1. Missing Call To Action

Every effective ad will contain a call to action (CTA) – a specific phrase intended to induce a viewer or reader to perform a single act, typically taking the form of an instruction or directive (e.g. buy now, get tickets, sign up today). When this vital piece of ad copy is left out of the advertisement, it leaves the reader directionless, and they will view your ad more as informative rather than directive. A simple call to action ties the whole ad together and encourages the reader to take an action. Including a call to action in your ads will improve your click through rate and increase conversions (a specific action you want ad viewers to take).

2. Lacks Urgency To Buy Online

Often, I’ll come across an event advertisement that is informative, relates to me, and has a clear call to action – yet doesn’t drive me to click on the ad. So, what’s it missing? In these cases, the ad lacks a sense of urgency to get me to complete an action at the exact moment I read it. All online advertisements should create a feeling of urgency within the ad viewer and provide an incentive to act now as opposed to waiting until the day of the event. Plus, a person who buys a ticket to your event in advance is much more likely to attend than somebody waiting to buy a ticket at the door. Luckily, there are a few easy tricks to create that urgency (or if you prefer to think about it this way, a sense of discomfort in your reader):

  • Use a promo code with an expiration date in your ad so they save money on tickets if they buy before your event.
  • Announce limited seating or that tickets sell out fast so they better buy today.
  • Mention Early Bird pricing. If people can save money by buying a ticket today, it will encourage them to act now. Create 3 pricing tiers with tickets getting gradually more expensive the closer it is to your event. This allows you to create urgency multiple times throughout your campaign.
  • Implement a countdown on your ads. Using phrases like “Only 10 more days until the event” or “Last week to purchase tickets” clearly lets readers know they have a limited time to act.

3. Ad Links To Irrelevant Landing Pages

Even when an event ad entices me to click on it, I frequently notice that I am lead to  landing pages that provide little information about the event. If you want to have better results from your ads, your landing page is the place to sell your event. Many of your ad viewers are hearing about your event for the first time and want to learn more about it. As a general rule, the most common reason somebody clicks on your ad is to learn more about your event since your ad can’t tell the whole story. Your landing page is the perfect place to share that story and explain why people should attend your event. This will give ad clickers the convincing reason they need to go ahead and buy a ticket. Your landing page should always include an option to buy tickets (if you sell tickets) or say how to attend your event. 

4. Targeting Too Broad Of An Audience

One of the benefits of advertising online is that you have the ability to narrow your marketing to focus specifically on the type of people who would be interested in attending your event. However, too often, I see event makers try to paint with a broad stroke and don’t narrow their targeting, or worse, they simply say that their target audience is “everybody”. The problem with targeting everybody is that your ads become relevant to nobody. No matter what your event, you can narrow your audience to target the people who would be most likely to attend it. Get specific. The more specific you get, the more likely you will get the right type of people to your event.

Here’s a common example of broad targeting that I see fairly regularly. An event maker is hosting a concert and wants to get people there, so they target people who are interested in:

  • Concerts
  • Live Music
  • Music

Simply put, that targeting is far too broad and won’t attract the audience you truly want. Most every person in the world is interested in one of those three things, but not all of them would want to come to your concert. Take a moment and envision the person that you know would love coming to your concert. What are they interested in? What type of music do they like? Where do they shop? What websites do they visit online? What radio stations do they listen to? How old are they? These questions will improve your targeting and lead your ad to better results.

5. Not Enough Budget

I’ll try to step gingerly here as budget can be a difficult issue to address and is by far the most difficult of these steps to change. However, I do have a few suggestions that you should implement even if you have a meager budget to work with. Before I jump into the solutions of how to do online marketing effectively with a small budget, let me illustrate why I made this a point on my list.

I frequently come across online marketing campaigns that don’t have enough budget to make a significant impact on an event. I see people spend $15 on a three day campaign. That is not enough budget to create the awareness your event needs.

At SpinGo, we recommend a minimum daily budget of $25 per day for each campaign that you want to run. This type of budget will increase the number of people who see your event ad, the number of people who click on it, and the number of people who purchase tickets for your event. Spending $5 per day simply isn’t enough budget to get the word out to enough of the right people.

So how do you fix this problem? Here are 3 solutions:

  1. Plan Online Marketing Into The Budget From The Start. Decide how many days you want to advertise your event, on how many different platforms, and do the math. If you want to advertise your event on 3 platforms, for 10 days each that would be 30 days * $25 to equal $750. Write that into the budget. You can adjust this to how much you can realistically spend on marketing.
  2. Ask For More Money. This one is pretty straightforward. If you need more money to market your event, reach out to whoever is in charge of the budget and ask for more. If they say no or if you are in charge of the budget, reach out to sponsors and ask for sponsorship.
  3. Consolidate Your Budget. If neither of those options work and you are stuck with what you currently have, consolidate your online marketing spend into bigger groups. Instead of spending $50 over 10 days, spend it over the 3 days leading up to your event. You will get more bang for your buck.

Your Best Event Ever: 17 Tips for 2017

The year has come to a close and as of 2016, SpinGo has worked with over 6 million events both online and onsite. Many event makers have shared their insights, struggles, and triumphs with us that reaffirm our belief that experiences are greater than things. As an event maker, you have the power to get people off the couch and out experiencing life. Events help to fulfill that need for human connection that everyone is searching for. It’s our goal to help you create better experiences for your attendees to keep them coming back time and time again. We know that putting on an event is challenging and an event can have over a hundred moving parts.  Based on our experience with events, attendees, and event makers, we’ve compiled the top 17 tips to help you create your best event to date.

When planning your next event, consider the following tips:

1. Pre-sale Tickets

Pre-sale tickets are your friend! Pre-sale tickets can help generate revenue before the day of the event. The more revenue you can generate before the event, the more freedom you have to amplify your event. Pre-sales can also help cut down line times onsite, creating a better attendee experience.

2. Price At-Door Tickets Higher

If you have pre-sale tickets, make sure that the at-door tickets are most expensive. This will encourage attendees to buy their tickets beforehand. An early bird pricing model can help you to boost pre sales and generate revenue before the event takes place.

3. Make Buying Simple

Is your ticketing platform easy to use? Remember, the more clicks it takes to buy a ticket, the more you will lose conversions. Look for ticketing platforms that make it easy for your user to buy tickets. A one page checkout for your online ticketing is ideal. You may want to consider embedding the ticketing on your site so that your customers won’t have to leave the page to buy a ticket. As an event maker, one of your main goals is probably ticket sales, so make it simple for your attendee to help you reach that goal.

4. Think Like an Attendee

Put yourself in the attendees’ shoes when planning the event. Things like easy parking, venue location and accessibility, quick ticket lines, weather, traffic, and pricing can sway attendees who are trying to decide whether or not to come.

5. Consider Competition

Consider other competing events in that area and national holidays that fall within the same timeframe as your event date. Consider moving the event to a different date if there is too much competition within that timeframe.

6. Provide Clarity

Clearly state ticket prices. Ticket prices can be a huge factor for attendees interested in your show. Don’t make your attendees search high and low to figure out your ticket prices. If children are free, make sure to include that on your flyers, posters, website, etc. Clearly state event details including location, schedules and times, and any other important information pertaining to the event.

7. Advertise for Your Audience

When marketing the event, think of your demographic. Don’t waste time or money on platforms that your audience doesn’t typically use. Use copy and imagery that your audience will relate to.

8. Create a Landing Page

Make sure all your ads lead to the webpage with the most information about the event. Have a clear call to action on this page to buy tickets. A large “BUY NOW” button or embedded ticketing iframe can help to increase conversions.

9. Consider Time and Travel

Will people be attending from out of town? Consider holding your event near hotels so your guests won’t have to travel even further to get to your event. Consider travel conditions for those coming from out of town. Is your city Uber or Lyft friendly? Is your event easily accessible to all attendees? These are all things to consider as you plan your event.

10. Grow Organically

Create a Facebook event page for your event. Have everyone in your organization share the event on their Facebook page and invite as many people as they can to the event. This will help your event awareness to grow organically (which is free!) and will create a snowball effect of friends inviting friends, etc.

11. Control Your Lines

Two words: Line control. Have separate lines at the gate of your event. One line should be for people buying tickets and one should be for people who took advantage of presale tickets. Have signage, barriers, and volunteers directing attendees where to go. This also helps to encourage people to buy ahead of time because the presale line will always move faster than the ticket purchase line. It seems to be human nature to hate standing in line, especially when you are at an event to have a good time. Create a better attendee experience by practicing intelligent line control.

12. Create a Retargeting Campaign

Consider retargeting in your online advertising campaigns. Retargeting is an excellent way to keep your ads in front of your audience. Your audience may need to see your ad a few times for it to make a lasting impression in their mind. Retargeting allows you to have your ads follow a user online. Each time they see your ad, they will be reminded of your event and will be encouraged to buy tickets. Learn more on how to use retargeting for your event.

13. Create a Sense of Urgency

Most attendees will wait until the last possible moment to buy tickets. Combat this by creating a sense of urgency to buy tickets. Create a FOMO (fear of missing out) around your ticketing. Early bird pricing, giveaways, promo codes, timed sales, and a “tickets available” countdown can help to create urgency for your attendees to buy tickets.

14. Have a User-Friendly Website

Make your event website easy to navigate. We cannot stress this enough. A user will often spend less than 7 seconds on a webpage before they move on to something else. If it takes your attendee any effort to navigate through your website, they will most likely leave your site before they view the content that you’d like them to view. Make sure your website is user friendly with a clear call to action to buy tickets.

15. Explore Advertising

Don’t put your eggs all in one basket. Advertise on multiple channels. Explore different forms of marketing to find out which ones bring in the most conversions. Find the channels where your audience is most likely to see and respond to your ads. Adjust your budget accordingly after you have enough data to see which platform is the best to advertise your event.

16. Survey Attendees

Ask your attendees where they heard about the event. This will help you to know which forms of marketing are converting into ticket sales. Have volunteers survey the crowd. Feel free to ask your attendees questions that will help improve future events such as “What attracted you to this event?” or “What could have been done to improve your experience?” Sometimes raw feedback from your attendees can be the most beneficial.

17. Use Traditional Forms of Marketing

Despite the challenges of tracking impressions, flyers, billboards, and posters can still create a good return for your event. Be strategic about where you place these forms of traditional marketing. Post in places where members of your target demographic are sure to be. Have a simple website address or QR code printed on your flyers and posters so that your audience can easily find more information and buy tickets.

Here’s to the end of another eventful year and to the start of an even better one! Use these tips to create your best event to date. We’d love to hear about your experiences as an event maker or attendee. Be sure to comment below with your insights!

How to Use Retargeting Ads for Your Next Event

You’ve probably heard of retargeting by now, but how does it work for your event?

Imagine someone reading your event flyer in front of a restaurant; she’s waiting for her group of friends to arrive. Before she reads the whole flyer she sees her friends and they go inside, leaving your flyer sad and unread. But, what if you could make sure she sees your poster again before your event? Well, that’s the idea of retargeting ads. Except it’s completely digital.

With retargeting, you’re making sure people who have already shown interest in your event by visiting your website or better yet – your ticketing page, see your event info again.

As most event makers know, just because someone shows interest in your event doesn’t mean they’ll end up going. By keeping your event on their radar, they’ll be more likely to buy a ticket and experience your event.

So, how do you setup your first retargeting campaign?

You can use most online advertising platforms for retargeting your event. We recommend using Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.

First things first – create your pixel.

The point of setting up the pixel (which is just a tiny piece of code) is so it can track people who have visited your site, and ultimately, so you can create lists of people you’d like to show your ads to. Whether or not you have immediate plans for a retargeting campaign, you should set up the pixel on your event site so it can start gathering data. For an effective SpinGo campaign, we like there to be a minimum of a month of data built up before we run an event’s retargeting campaign.

How to create your Google pixel:

Go into your Google Adwords account look on the left hand side under All campaigns and click on Shared library.

Now that you’re on the retargeting page, click view>> underneath Audiences.

You’ll most likely want the pixel to be on your website – this tracking setting keeps an eye on the people who have visited your website. But, if you have other goals to either get people to your app, track phone calls that come into your business, or you could already have a list of people you’d like to target, click the most applicable conversion tracking you’ll need.

Click Set up remarketing.

Now you should see directions for how to get your pixel code, and how to apply it to your website. Provide your email address below and follow the instructions provided. This part can be tricky, and you may want to consult your website manager for help if you’re unfamiliar with the backend of your website.

Here you can review your list that you’ve created from the data provided by your pixel.

Once the code is pasted in the proper place, it should be working smoothly. You can check that it’s working by downloading the Google Tag Assistant Chrome extension and it will read your website and tell you whether or not it’s running.

Create your Facebook pixel:

Log into your business manager Facebook account > assets > Pixels page.

For Facebook’s Pixel, you can now only create one pixel per account. If you’ve never created a pixel before your screen will look like this. Click Set Up Pixel to get started.

Choose the way you’d like to install your Pixel Code. You will most likely want to add the code to your event website, so choose the option – Copy and Paste the Code.

Here is the Base Facebook pixel code you need on your site. Copy and paste this code and follow the directions given by Facebook for how to install the pixel. You may want to consult your website manager or tech savvy nephew if things get weird.

Once you have the Base pixel installed, you now can create an “Event” for the pixel. Although we both love events, the Facebook Pixel Event is defined as an action that takes place on your website (not near as fun as the type of events we’re used to). That Event could be someone adding your ticket to their cart, a view on your ticketing page, or when someone purchases a ticket to your event. This next step is where you decide what you want to track. You’ll need to add this new string of code into your site as well.

Now your pixel is properly installed and (hopefully) running! Check if the pixel is working by going back to the Pixels page in your Facebook Business account and checking the status of the pixel.

Tip: On Facebook, you can import an existing list from an email or newsletter list you regularly send out.

Once you have enough data, you can create a campaign. When creating a retargeting campaign, you’ll want to get creative with the copy. These people have already seen your original ad or web page, and now need a sense of urgency to take action.

We create and optimize retargeting campaigns for events, if you’re looking for some help in the area you can schedule a free consultation.