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July 26, 2022

Spend Smarter, Not Harder: Why Advertising Doesn't Need To Cost You An Arm And A Leg

Everyone wants bang for their buck. But, when that bang begins to lessen in force and turns into more of a poke, naturally, you start looking at ways to reallocate your spend. 

It’s no secret that marketing budgets are tighter than ever with results from your marketing activities being scrutinized with a magnifying glass. 

A Look Through the Magnifying Glass 

No one wants to waste precious dollars and cents on channels or strategies that are delivering a poor ROI. 

But, it can be argued that a lot of marketers, promoters and venues are doing just that due to complacency. It’s usually with a “we’ve always done it this way” attitude matched with “it gets us the results we need”. 

It may get you the results you need, but at what cost? Our bet is that you’re having to spend more money year on year to get those same or similar results and you’ve noticed it getting increasingly expensive, even more so in the last two to three years. 

Costs for paid social and digital advertising are increasing at an alarming rate and it’s being noticed by everyone, even Facebook themselves aren’t shying away from the fact. 

Facebook Costs Soaring 

Facebook, to date, has been an effective and cost-efficient channel for all marketers and advertisers alike. However, over the last few years, the average cost of Facebook ads has soared. 

Research recently conducted by Business Insider as well as MediaPost has revealed that Facebook ads have become markedly more expensive, with the average cost per click going as high as $0.974.

This research is confirmed by Meta’s (Facebook & Co.’s) own 2021 full-year results indicating that prices for ads and competition for people’s time were both increasing. 

“For the full year 2021, the average price per ad increased by 24% year-over-year.” the report noted, with their CFO adding that “We expect…increased competition for people's time.” 

The Supply and Demand Effect Across Digital Advertising 

It’s not just Facebook whose advertising costs are skyrocketing. The entire digital advertising channel is becoming more and more expensive. 

The rising costs of cost-per-click (CPC) advertising has made reaching audiences harder and more competitive than ever before. 

As Botify put it, “Paid search has become more costly than ever before. Much more costly.

When COVID-19 put the world on lockdown in 2020, adults started spending 28% more time online, which in turn sent pay-per-click (PPC) competition into overdrive. 

The sudden lack of supply has caused cost-per-click (CPC) rates to skyrocket. US companies are now paying more for fewer clicks than they were pre-pandemic.”

“While advertisers were reckoning with diminishing returns, Google reported $61.2 billion in ad revenue for Q4 2021, a $15 billion year-over-year increase. 

According to Gareth Cleevely, senior VP and head of search at Dentsu Media U.S., CPCs in 2021 were ‘some of the highest we’ve seen in the past four years.’

Brands are understandably struggling to justify the ad spend in this keyword economy.”

We’re not saying you should throw paid social and digital advertising out the window altogether. We’re just saying you need to restore the balance of power to be in your favor.

The Problem With Digital Advertising

You don’t own the data, it’s that simple. 

Spending thousands, or tens of thousands with third-party publishers like Facebook and Instagram campaign upon campaign, year on year to access their data and market to the audiences they’ve built will likely see you over-capitalizing. At the same time, returns diminish due to rising costs and competition. 

It’s a pay-to-play arena. And now, there are more players than ever, making the admission price to play soar. 

Those lifetime costs of Facebook advertising aggregate with each campaign you run. With no signs of price hikes easing up, it’s going to end up costing you more and more to market to the same audience. 

Facebook has something you want, so they get to name their price for you to access it. You could continue to increase your budgets to reach and market to these audiences, but do you really want to be wasting away money and being held at ransom to sell tickets? In the words of Colonel Nathan R. Jessup… 

You just probably won’t be as lucky as Lieutenant Kaffee was. 

The Advantage You Can Gain 

Own your data and market through high-return channels, it’s that simple. 

Owning Your Data 

Instead of relying on the audiences of third-party publishers, build your own audience that you have access to whenever you want. 

Chances are you’ve already got an audience sitting there across your ticketing sales data and email list, you just need to consolidate them into a CRM so it’s all housed in one spot.

Investing in a solid, purpose-built events CRM will make it easy to get an overview of your total audience that you can market to. 

The real power sits with building and growing your audience so you end up relying less on third-party publishers and having a sizeable audience of your own fans. 

Using presale registrations and competitions as part of your campaigns supercharges the acquisition of fan data. Both features allow for the viral growth of your database through word-of-mouth sharing among fans. 

Customers like Rhythm & Vines Festival have seen a 321% increase in presale registrations, helping them to exponentially grow their database and sell tickets. 

Marketing Through High-Return Channels 

With an audience you have built and own, it’s fair to say you have a much more established relationship with them as opposed to landing in the newsfeed of random people. This audience has and wants to engage with you. 

It makes sense to communicate with this audience in a much more personalised way that for you, delivers much higher open and conversion rates. 

Audience Republic’s inbuilt SMS and Email messaging tools help event organizers do just that. 

SMS has a staggering open rate of 98%, with 90% of messages being read within the first 3 minutes of receipt and emails sent through the Audience Republic platform have an average open rate of 47% compared to the events industry average of 21%.

And, what’s even better, is that with Audience Republic’s automatic sync to Facebook Ads you can now get the most out of your Facebook budget by targeting ads to your database. 

No more manually uploading customer lists. No more wasting money on ads going to Facebook audiences using less defined targeting like age, interests and geography. 

Now, Where Are You Going To Allocate Your Marketing Budget? 

As the saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” 

However, we’d like to slightly amend it to “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results whilst spending more and more money”. 

Facebook ads may deliver for you, but are you really going to see a massive uplift in your results if you keep doing the same thing? We doubt it. And not to mention, it’s costing you more money year on year. 

Short-term wins are exactly that. Short term. That $5,000 might get you what you need now. Next time around it’s $6,500 for the same win and so on.

Investing in the long-term win will provide the massive uplift in results you’re looking for at a fraction of the ongoing running costs of paid social and digital campaigns. 

It’s all about seeing the big picture, the long-term value and believing in the importance of owning a database that you know is engaged as opposed to paying for access to someone else’s. 

Advertising algorithms consistently change so the house always wins, details on your database don’t. 

At Audience Republic, we believe that you should own your data. We exist to empower event organizers to be less reliant on social media & paid advertising to sell tickets. 

Owning your audience means you can reach fans direct, rather than being at the mercy of ever-changing news feed algorithms and the rising costs of advertising.

Start owning your data and audience to deliver higher ROI on your marketing budget while building a direct organizer-to-fan experience. Book a demo with our team and see how Audience Republic is helping event organizers just like you regain power when it comes to selling more tickets. 

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Article by
Zac Messih

Zac is the Content & Partnerships Marketing Manager at Audience Republic. His previous experience includes working at Live Nation and top global creative agencies such as Leo Burnett and DDB.