Ravens Grin Had a Bill board
and I quickly became bored getting the bill for it! was $275 a month on a contract for a whole year too much to pay? Ravens Grin is open every night of the year so I thought it would really pay it's way, but any extra business possibly generated via the "board" all seemed to about equal that $275 each month, and it seemed to give us nothing extra in October, which I assumed it would have being out there all year long to place us into their conscious and unconscious minds.
Two years ago we were on the front page and inside of The Chicago Tribune!... we couldn't tell if anybody ever saw it or read the article, but then I had to drive 30 miles (one-way) to find a single copy of a Trib. so newspapers are dead too.
Advertising has changed drastically over the last 26 years since I got this house, and has changed once again with all of the now common electronic "Toys" that almost everyone seems to now have.
Need good business? It's simple, really , just put on a really good, interesting Show!
Put your once beating rancid heart into it! Impress people and they will become patrons of your "art".
The gabfest sparked by inovation stimulates many minds to the point of bursting and gabbing without compunction to any and all who may listen. Testimonials are unbeatable advertising and usually can't be bought. I think most people can "read" this fact and do become trully impressed by a customers enthusiasm.
Several ways we advertise -
Besides the radio ads Damien mentioned for our haunt, we also have done the postcards, standard flyers, posters, newspaper ads, "In Costume" walk arounds at fairs, facebook, etc.
I would say in our 20 years of doing haunts of one kind or another radio has always been our biggest means of getting the word out, we generally advertise on most of the radio stations in the surrounding 80-100 mile radius - HOWEVER we did notice that last year after moving the event to a new location when we expected our numbers to drop for a year because of the move....they stayed the same. I honestly believe this was in part to Facebook - we created an event on facebook for our attraction, then begged and pleaded everyone to invite their friends...and their friends invite theirs, etc. Within two weeks of posting the event we had over 9000 invites for the event, and our page like shot way up.
I do think we are still going to use radio this year, but our budget will be less for it - we will be dumping money into ads for facebook, and more money into the surrounding local newspapers - especially the papers given away for free at restaurants and gas stations. We will also be creating all new postcards for the event - a set of 4 each with a different character from the haunt to hand out at all our local fairs and events.
One of the other ways we get word of mouth out is the news on television - for us finding a way to get in on the morning news broadcasts seem to work great, almost every year we get on the local news stations and we always get great feedback from it.