5 Cost-Effective Alternatives To Facebook + Google Ads For Marketing Your Escape Room With
Hey friends, and welcome to our latest escape room marketing blog! Hope you and your loved ones are well! Can you believe it’s October already? I sure can’t!
Last week, I shared 3 additions you should make to your order form in order to increase bookings.
Today I’m going to be addressing a concern I’m seeing more and more — and that is surrounding the costs of running Facebook and Google ads. As a marketeer, I love these paid ad platforms because they allow fantastic targeting — but it comes with a price.
And following the difficult year the industry has had with the pandemic, more and more escape rooms are trying to minimise their costs. And I don’t blame them.
So what alternatives to these expensive platforms exist that escape rooms can use to market themselves instead?
Luckily there’s plenty to choose from, and I’m going to be sharing the top 5.
Before I do, I have to say that if you’re using Facebook or Google ads right now and you’re happy with the costs — don’t stop. They are both fantastic marketing tools, but they’re not for every escape room.
Alternative 1: Local Businesses
All businesses and industries have suffered due to the pandemic and near worldwide lockdown, not just escape rooms. Many local small businesses much like yours will be very open to any opportunity to market themselves cheaply or even for free, and that’s exactly what you should do!
A great example would be joining forces with a local restaurant. You promote the restaurant to your customers, as a great place to get something to eat after beating (or losing!) to one of your rooms. In return the restaurant will advertise your escape room as a great place to take friends or family to after a meal or in the future.
No cost, no strings attached — just two businesses teaming up and benefiting from a great relationship.
As for which businesses to look to join forces with, think where your ideal target audience hangs out. Some great examples include:
· Food & Drink/Restaurants/bars/cafes/fast food/takeaways
· Entertainment/cinemas/theatres/arcades/tourism hotspots/casinos
· And… other escape rooms! Remember, people like to play different rooms and are not loyal to yours or another, so don’t treat other escape rooms as the enemy and work together for the benefit of you both!
Alternative 2: Local Opportunities
Keeping things local, as well as other businesses you can join forces with — they’ll be other local opportunities to promote yourself. In particular:
· Press — they’re always looking for great stories and opportunities to promote local businesses
· Awards — apply for local business and entertainment awards. Even if you don’t win, you’ll get free advertisement — and if you do win, even better!
· The tourist board — most towns and cities will have some sort of government backed tourist board aimed at bringing more people into the area. Have a chat with your local board and see what opportunities exist to promote you for the benefit of both you and the area.
· Networking — attend local business and entertainment networking events (online or in person if safe). By mixing and matching with other business owners you’ll find inspiration and ideas, as well as opportunities to team up and support each other as covered in alternative 1.
Alternative 3: Engage on Social Media
Whilst all social media have paid marketing options, they are just as amazing at marketing your escape room without the paid options — also known as organically.
You already know that — but what you may not do is utilise all social medias at your disposal.
If I was to guess, most escape rooms use Facebook the most, with Instagram and Twitter as well. But most neglect other options — in particular Youtube (great if you have videos and trailers of your escape rooms) and Linkedin (great for marketing yourself (for free!) to local businesses looking for team building exercises).
That all being said, what exactly should you post organically on social media? Your options are near endless, but those that perform the best are those that engage your audience and followers. Things like:
Photos & Videos
Competitions & Discounts
Polls and Q&A Sessions
It’s posting content exactly like this that leads to engagement, interaction and interest from your social media followings. And achieving this is critical to transforming the hundreds, if not thousands, of social media followers into paying customers.
Leverage the opportunities these social media platforms have to market your escape room and start posting engaging, interesting and interactive content TODAY.
Alternative 4: SEO
You’ve probably already heard of SEO (Social Engine Optimisation) before, and your websites are probably already fairly well optimised.
However, there are many free resources available that can teach you how to further optimise your website — so people will come across your website and escape room naturally.
SEO is no longer a complicated skill that you have to pay a marketing agency thousands of pounds or dollars for. Google is your friend!
Alternative 5: Previous Customers
Last but not least, previous customers are a great source of cost-effective bookings. Think about it, you’ve already done the work — you’ve marketed to these people, won them over and turned them into customers. There is very little cost now associated with marketing to them further, getting them to come back again and again!
Personalised emails + texts cost next to nothing and can do a great job. If you’re happy to spend a little bit, you can even send your previous customers personalised direct mail.
I’ve covered many ways of marketing to previous customers in earlier blogs, so I won’t repeat myself. Click the links below if you want to learn more:
That’s all for now. I really hope you’ve found todays blog post informative and useful.
Before I go, on a personal note I wish you all and your loved ones all the best in the coming days and weeks.
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