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Thread: picture marketing

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  1. Default Pic marketing 
    #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Brookings SD
    Posts
    332
    Well I guess I got the full range off that question. I believe I am going to go ahead and try the pic marketing. Not for the Facebook likes but more for the contacts I will obtain, add more value for my ticket price, and sponsorship opportunities it may provide. I plan on making money with this thing. And by that I mean Not just in enhanced ticket sales. I have dropped $4k on a kick ass prop that no one really looks at. Gonna try a little different approach this season.

    Buck
    Capt.Chaos
    Fear Asylum Haunted House
    Brookings,SD

    fear-asylum.com
     

  2. Default Its all about word of mouth advertising really 
    #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    373
    Let us know how it works out! I have been looking at this for years, but it is out of my budget for right now. I struggled last year with photo ops because I didnt spend enough time building the process. Camera didnt connect to the printer correctly, printer started having issues, etc etc etc. I am going to be fixing all that this year and providing pictures with our name on it in front of a cool looking prop and "photo op" area we built.

    Next step will be picture marketing if budget works out and we generate enough interest to beef numbers
    Travis "Big T" Russell
    President
    Big T Productions Inc

    Owner and Operator of "The Plague" and "Camp Nightmare"

    Customer Quote of the year: "Damn, I pissed myself"
     

  3. Default  
    #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    327
    Thanks Larry for your detailed posts on this subject. It was painful to see two friends duke it out in public over a difference of marketing opinion, and maybe even some feelings were hurt, but we, the readers, were the winners in this squabble. Those of us who pour our savings into making a kick ass haunt in smaller cities often rely on the word of mouth, but we have to do some marketing as well. Our smaller populations don't afford us the $50,000 budgets you mentioned-- not by a long shot. So focusing on what works best is essential. We use Facebook, because it's free, and we'll use about anything that is free if it helps the slightest bit, but there are so many distractions on Facebook and it's a bit like youtube: they go there, then they go elsewhere and spend their time surfing instead of spending their money haunting. (We use youtube too, but embed it-- we never send them there with links-- and we plan to host our own future videos so people don't get the obnoxious ads and go off site.) We use posters, flyers, coupons, even our own original tracts-- but if it weren't for the internet, we wouldn't reach near as many people. The main thing is make the haunt GOOD. We always have over a 50% return rate, usually closer to 70%, but we're committed to bringing in a lot more new people each year as well. Word of mouth is best for that, social media can help in that regard, but other media can be more cost effective when you're talking several thousand dollars. You Google ad "pay per click" comment was a case in point.

    Anyway, these businesses aren't hobbies for us: We have nearly everything invested in them, so I for one appreciate hearing the brutal truth about what is essential advertising and what is more a luxury expense. I agree that the system discussed with license fees and cards can be very effective for certain venues, but for ones that run on tight budgets, it would be a very expensive experiment that could hurt more than help (if you were already on the ropes). It would make more sense to set up the place with your actors to pose for shots with people, with your bill board or wall banner behind you listing your website. Let the people take their own outside photos and do with them what they want. Or do what they had at the Mad Monster Party where they a special photographer offers to take a free photo and email it directly to you (and now the haunt can email you coupons and such every year afterwards). I bet that has a 98% to 100% effective rate, because it's free and there's nothing to lose. Sure, people can lie about their email address, but then they don't get the photo.

    Bottom line is, these are make or break marketing decisions for some of the smaller town haunts. So thanks for not soft peddling it or avoiding the topic in order not to rock the boat. I did not come away with the impression the service offered was not worthwhile for bigger venues, but it clearly wouldn't be cost effective for the smaller budgets. And Facebook, Twitter, and whatever the latest fad: Sure, use 'em and abuse 'em (if they're free) but if you think they are going to be some sort of magic bullet that doubles your attendance, you need some high octane coffee and quick.
     

  4. Default Let's hear it for small towns! 
    #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    373
    Amen Monster. Well put. We are in the same boat. And every demographic is different. I spent $80 for a banner that had our logo, a catchy phrase, and the website address. In a metro area, it would have driven people to the website, but here, it didn't do anything. We are now resorting to old school media that did work. Flyers are essential in this town. Print media with the local newspaper was also successful - we will be enlarging our ads and running them more frequently.

    We also did the local Fall Festival, and Tractor Festival. Set up a booth with some oddities and had a few characters roam around with Fav Cards. This was our biggest success. We will also be adding radio station ads because in this small town, every one listens to the radio, and it reaches three counties. And like you said, word of mouth is critical. I plugged into local businesses and got them involved in the event, which led to them adding us in their newsletters, and talking us up during their events and behind their retail counters.

    As a marketing professional by trade, this has been quite the challenge, and quite an education to say the least!!
    Travis "Big T" Russell
    President
    Big T Productions Inc

    Owner and Operator of "The Plague" and "Camp Nightmare"

    Customer Quote of the year: "Damn, I pissed myself"
     

  5. Default  
    #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    327
    That's some good feedback Big T, if you have success in other marketing efforts, be sure to share it with us (as well as the failures). That way we learn from other's mistakes and successes instead of repeating the learning process from scratch.
     

  6. Default Pic marketing 
    #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Brookings SD
    Posts
    332
    I agree with all of you. I have a degree in marketing and I by no means am a big budget. I have a small demographic (about 30,000 ) in my town. We are putting a lot of money into our show. Last year was a struggle. I tried some different marketing stuff, tripled my advertising budget, and opened 2 more nights. Numbers were down from the previous year. Makes no sense. So, I'm re booting. I am going to focus on a huge Email campaign, flyers, coupons, etc. man power is a issue for us. If I can utilize 1 person to run this thing AND sell sponsorship with it.... I'm in. For Facebook? No. I agree it's expensive for most, including ours, shows. Am I nervous? Yep. Do I quit? Never! I like to try different things. I am really looking at utilizing this thing all year. Maybe for different events that I can sell sponsorship's with. Am I sold on this 100%? Nope. But IF I can make money with it besides increased tickets sales. Sold. I am doing my research way early this year. Started a month ago. Having a meeting next week with my computer guy do increase email campaign. Marketing calendar is already started. I failed last year not because I had bad show. I failed because I procrastinated and counted on my previous years numbers and awesome reviews to carry me through. I spent about $25,000 on upgrades last year. I got caught up in building and detail that I ignored my marketing. I will have everything in place by Transworld. I didn't have much fun last year because of my lack of planning. Not gonna happen this year. And I'm never gonna count on just a Greta show and previous numbers. People forget quick. Ok I'm rambling. Will keep ya posted.

    Buck
    Capt.Chaos
    Fear Asylum Haunted House
    Brookings,SD

    fear-asylum.com
     

  7. Default  
    #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    29
    we did our own photos and shared them on facebook then the people could tag themseleves in picture. However the email address would be huge to send a reminder out i think. we are looking into doing a marketing type photo this year for sure we may or may not go with it depending on how it fits with our attraction
     

  8. Default  
    #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    327
    Capt. Chaos, you said a slower year this year made no sense because your marketing was up from last year, however, you didn't mention if last year was your FIRST year or not. If so, it would make complete sense, because in a smaller town, a new haunt often gets a word of mouth buzz and a lot of curiosity seekers will attend who will not return in following years. They will go just to say they saw it, the "new thing", and many of them won't return regardless of the quality. (Of course, others will, so the better it is, the better the return.) But my point is the first year can be like the opening night of a movie when all the money is made or lost (the smaller the town, the more likely this happens). So if 2011 was your first year, keep that in mind.

    Regarding another person who suggested taking pictures and getting email addresses, if you have the man power to do this, it sounds like a very good approach. The person gets their photo emailed directly to them for free, and you get their email to send them coupons and reminders to attend the following year. Just be sure to promise them you won't spam or sell their email address accounts, and don't send them the wrong picture. I'd be inclined to try this myself, but I doubt I'd get any of the photos out the door until after Halloween (due to all the other issues that crop up), which costs you the buzz created on social media if it's after the event (but you'ed still have the email addresses). Then again, if you have someone else who makes sending the photos out quickly their main gig, it could be done in a timely manner.
     

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