Sunday, December 30, 2018

Resolution #11: Don't Forget to Pay for Ads

I know from experience that it’s easy to get into the trap of writing emails and posting on social media, and then sitting back and waiting for your fans to flock to your box office. Unfortunately, much of the time you really do have to pay for ads, so don’t be afraid to spend the money…wisely. You need to rise above the clutter and get as many eyeballs as possible on your great content, and unless you already have 5 million followers on social media, then you have to pay for exposure.

When you’re deciding where to spend your money, tracking with your analytics can be really helpful! 

Here's My Formula
For online, I like to look at the cost per click and cost per conversion. It goes like this. If you spend $1,000 on a particular ad, and that ad results in 1000 visitors to your website, you have spent $1 to “get someone in the door.” Then if 50 of those people buy a ticket, you have converted 5% of your web visitors into a sale. At $50/ticket, you have turned a $1,000 ad spend into $2,500 in revenue. In this case, I would try to get the cost/click down to about $0.75 with the same acquisition rate. It may mean buying more ad space at once or retargeting your user demographics on the ad platform, but it's worth it to find the sweet spot.

For offline ad tracking, it’s a little tricky. I find the most reliable way to track non-internet-initiated sales is with discount codes. If you offer a specific discount code in a newspaper ad, you can hope that everyone who buys as a result of that ad uses the code (they won’t) and you can know your ROI (it’ll be approximate). Radio has a similar challenge. 

Considering that fewer and fewer people are consuming print and commercial radio, I predict that most arts marketers will be spending less and less here as time goes on. 

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