It’s fair to say the digital advertising landscape has changed in recent years. Cost-per-clicks are increasing and so is competition across digital platforms as people spend more time online.
This means advertisers, including promoters and marketers of live events, are having to spend more than ever to reach audiences.
Those who will navigate this issue and come out on top will be the promoters who refuse to accept the ever-increasing rates of digital advertising and instead look for other ways to market their events that will return higher conversion rates at a lower cost.
First, it's key to understand the underlying reason why advertising with third-party publishers poses a problem much deeper than just cost.
You don’t own the data, it’s that simple.
You’re spending thousands, or tens of thousands of your marketing budget with third-party publishers like Facebook, Instagram and Google AdWords to access their data and market to the audiences they own.
It’s a pay-to-play arena, and with more players than ever, the price to play is soaring.
The lifetime costs of Facebook advertising, for example, accumulate with each campaign you run. With no sign of price hikes easing up, it’s going to end up costing more to market to the same audience year on year.
Facebook has something you want, so they get to name their price for you to access it. It’s not a one-time access fee either. For each campaign that you run, you'll be charged to access their data (Facebook users) and run your ads.
Meta’s (Facebook & Co.’s) own 2021 full-year results indicate 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.”
Do you really want to keep paying increased advertising costs to get your message out there?
The Advantage You Can Gain
Own your data and market through high-return channels.
Owning Your Data
Instead of relying on the audiences of third-party publishers, build your own audience which you can access any time at no additional cost.
Chances are you already have a high-intent audience amongst your ticketing sales data and email list, the key is to consolidate your data into a single CRM. Investing in a solid, purpose-built events CRM will make it easy to analyse, segment, and market to your audience.
The real power is in building and growing your audience which reduces your reliance on third-party publishers.
One way to build your audience is by capturing fan data at critical points in the presale and onsale process. Presale registrations and competitions help facilitate the acquisition of fan data and allow for the viral growth of your database through word-of-mouth sharing among fans.
Marketing Through High-Return Channels
With an audience you have built and own, you will have a much more established relationship with them as opposed to landing in the newsfeed of random people.
This audience has previously engaged with you and, if they’ve had a positive fan experience, want to engage with you again.
It makes sense to communicate with this audience in a much more personalised way that for you, will deliver much higher open and conversion rates.
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%.
Sydney’s iconic venue, The Hordern Pavilion, saw just that with higher open rates, improved conversion rates and fewer unsubscribes using email marketing to engage their fans.
Although paid social media ad costs are increasing, you can better define and target your ad audience using Facebook Custom Audiences. Custom Audiences allow you to be super targeted with your Facebook Ads.
You can create audiences of people who have previously interacted with your company. One of the most popular Custom Audiences you can build uses your customer files i.e. people who have previously purchased tickets to your events.
You can manually upload customer files to Facebook, however, this is time-consuming and the data doesn’t update as more customers purchase from you. Or you can use Audience Republic’s automatic sync to Facebook Ads that keeps the custom audience updated in real-time without you having to lift a finger. This allows you to get the most out of your Facebook budget by targeting ads directly to your customers.
It is crucial that the emphasis is placed on you owning your data and building out an audience of engaged fans.
Owning your audience means you can reach fans directly, whenever and however you want, rather than being at the mercy of the rising costs of digital advertising to connect with them.