At this point in the advertising landscape, you are either deep into digital marketing or fear it. We’re here to dispel the mysticism! Digital marketing isn’t alchemy but rather is based on simple strategies that require some focus, testing, and experience. Digital marketing isn’t something to be worried about or feared, especially when viewing digital marketing through the lens of your digital experience, where you see and experience
When developing a digital marketing strategy, Immerse Agency always starts with the end goal, and for museums, it’s mostly centered around ticket sales. For a museum or exhibition, it is about getting people through the door. While there may be longer-term goals of donations or museum membership, we’ll focus our attention on this post on driving ticket sales and museum attendance.
Digital advertising creates an in-depth marketing funnel to drive exhibition or event ticket sales. Our audiences will be smaller and smaller as we move them down through interest and engagement, thus creating a ‘funnel.’
At the top of this funnel, we start with creating interest. At the start, you are looking to initiate an audience, let them know what you are offering and why it’s different with a call to action for those more motivated by ad copy than video. We strongly suggest running an awareness campaign that focuses on video views to pull a critical number of eyeballs.
As we move down the funnel, we’re now driving traffic; we’re engaging with the audience and getting them down further into the purchasing funnel. Traffic is essential for many reasons, but at the most basic level, we’re constantly checking for interest as people either enter, move down, or exit our marketing funnel.
When driving conversions, in this case, ticket purchases, it’s about keeping the content fresh and engaging to those who have already been involved in the funnel and crafting ads that tell enough information for those first being introduced to what you can offer. It is here that the whole plan comes into view and the reason for tiering your advertising is to continuously feed the audience here at the ‘bottom’ of your funnel and to make all of your audiences more productive throughout.
This approach will lead to the highest return on investment and result in the most significant number of ticket sales. A quality digital marketing funnel will focus on three core ad platforms that will work in tandem and reach your defined audience at various touchpoints across the web. Depending on the audience, client needs, and budget, we mostly stick to Facebook as an entry point and expand to Google display and retargeting platforms to drive traffic from across the web.
Here’s what you need to know about the three core digital ad platforms:
- Social Media: Facebook and Instagram are key advertising platforms and should be included in any marketing plan. Ads are low cost, budget-friendly, and a smart way to reach qualified customers. An essential asset available to all advertisers and those looking for analytics is the Facebook pixel. When placed on your website, the pixel can match those visiting your website to Facebook accounts – meaning you can reach out to the same visitors of your site on Facebook – a critical factor in effective long-term campaigns. Facebook advertising and boosted posts are very different; the latter is a necessary simplified tool that pulls likes, comments, and shares but not directed at getting folks to your website. If you are going to invest money into Facebook advertising, spend it wisely by setting up Business Manager and implementing paid ads. It would help if you did this instead of focusing your efforts with boosted posts, thus fulfilling a long-term strategy that includes retargeting, audience development, and continuous
funnel growth – we even talked about it more in our eight best practices for marketing and advertising on Facebook.
- Display Ads: An easy way to gain many impressions without much cost is to display ads. Using Google’s audience builder and strict geographic options, your display ads function as a ‘top of the funnel’ awareness campaign. The general cost per click for display ads when running to an uninitiated audience is not worth the cost when comparing across platforms. For click-throughs on display ads, we utilize them to drive retargeting traffic back to the website. Once the audience is generally familiar with your branding and message, web display ads are significantly more effective at driving traffic.
Our best practices also dictate that animated HTML 5 ads are a near necessity to catch people’s attention and combat ad fatigue. Layering on video ads here for retargeting and brand initiation are two other effective uses of the digital ad space available on many marketplaces as well. This is something to keep in mind when crafting your advertising budget and creativity.
- Text Ads or Google Ads: The ever-presence of text ads in digital advertising and strategies are part and parcel of their usefulness. Utilizing text ads allows us to clear the previous display advertising gap of those at the top of the funnel and those being retargeted with driving traffic to the website. We can tap into the terms people might be searching for about your museum or exhibition, as well as those things that are tangentially related. For example, adding the keywords “ancient Egypt” for a mummy exhibit to pull those interested in the subject or to catch someone who only saw a portion of your advertisement to let them know the exhibition is available for viewing. Without question, a robust and well-tuned Google text ad campaign goes a long way to creating a better funnel.
As with anything, and so with digital marketing for your exhibition, it takes planning, testing, and a little bit of know-how to craft an effective digital funnel. If you don’t have time or need our expertise, feel free to reach out to us directly, and we can get started on your work as soon as possible. Having a team like ours at Immerse Agency who has the experience on-hand can relieve a lot of the learning curve. Contact us and let’s get started!