Former 'Late Night Industry Enigma' bar/nightclub troubleshooter. Now, a social media manager for one of the top 10 UK PR agencies. I still tweet about entertainment and the late night industry @Troylinehan and give my two cents on Social Media too
Like it or not, Im on a mission this year to kill off ‘club-land’ style things and change UK Casino entertainment forever and for-better!
A strong statement there and I was actually not going to write this blog at all, but it’s what I believe so I thought I’d just put it out there and see what happens. It’s a fact that Casino operations in the UK are slowly starting to change, ever since the Casino legislation in the UK changed I fully expected companies to come forward and dive headfirst in to marketing, entertainment and start to highlight casinos as not ‘dens of iniquity’ but full scale VIABLE entertainment venues. Well they didn’t. It seems many are still living in the past and terrified to dip their toe in the water. For God’s Sake!! Jump in! The water is great! It is a fact that 99% of the casinos in the UK look at entertainment as an irrelevant part of the casino experience. They are dinosaurs! I’m now waiting for a fucking great asteroid to fall out of the sky and wipe you out. The Casino experience is changing and if you are not contributing towards this, you’d better think about it soon or go and live in Jurassic Park with the rest of the old dying relics. If you operate a large casino and are not thinking about your entertainment seriously then this post is aimed at YOU! You are responsible for changing people’s perceptions in this industry (your peers and your customers need this) so take the bull by the horns and lets get going! I will be blogging often on this subject because it is something I am VERY passionate about and I’d love to help you all achieve greatness in this area.
Do you host entertainment in your casino and see your acts/singers/bands on a tiny raised platform on the casino floor, playing in the background to nobody listening? You may as well cancel it all and save your money right? Wrong junior!! You are missing a marketing opportunity. Nobody cares for the following reasons -
1.The act is terrible (and I’ve seen a few over the last few years that should go back to stacking shelves)
2.You aren’t attracting a cross-section of people
3.You aren’t MARKETING (see #2. and you’d get those results)
For the casino industry in this country to move forward everything depends upon Marketing & Entertainment working together well. Your old school casino, providing sub-standard ’social club’ entertainment could care less and will die out in time. The smart casinos (and there are literally one or two in the UK) are the ones hosting great entertainment and promoting it well to pull in customers that wouldn’t nessarsarily use a casino. They are the venues opening up peoples eyes and showing them that you can have a great (entire) night out in a casino from Dining, Gaming, Entertainment, Cocktails, Dancing… You get the picture. I just want you to read this and think about if you are a casino operator who is moving with the times or are you one of the dinosaurs waiting for extinction?… If you are the latter, extinction will be coming in the next few years. Entertainment, Promotions, Music, Service, Food, Drink & Gaming… It all falls in to customer experience and if you can tick those boxes AND give the service that customers expect (go above and beyond) the ‘Gaming’ box will be ticked and your business will thrive.
If you are showing entertainment, ask customers what they think, get feedback, engage with people. It is your Entertainment Agent or Ents Manager’s responsibility to be providing/booking quality and it is the responsibility of the Entertainment to deliver!… They are in show business, not show hobby! But more on the actual acts in a future blog. This wasn’t just a rant. This was written to get casino operators, ents managers and marketeers thinking about how to move forward because as Bob Dylan said – “Times, they are a changing” and faster than you think.
I’d love to get to know you all and even help you along the way. You can follow me on Twitter @troylinehan, mail me firstname.lastname@example.org or just comment on here and I’ll reply. I’ve attached a link ( http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Undercovers-The-ULTIMATE-Covers-Band/339372203219?v=app_178091127385&ref=ts ) of a great new covers band starting to rip up the UK live entertainment scene. It would be great to see more of this type of thing in UK Casinos going forward. You can find out more about them on Facebook by searching for – The Undercovers – The ULTIMATE Covers Band.
So a quick check in from me today. As you may or may not know, I get to work with some great covers bands and tribute acts every single week. Mostly I have a great time and get to meet some fantastic people. I also get to meet some total douches along the way too. Im also sure that not everyone in that industry thinks fondly of me all the time. It’s just a ‘catty’ small world I guess.
Well this weekend, Im working with ABBA Sensation which (even though Im not an Abba fan) ranks up there as being one of my favorite Abba Tribute bands. Quick Abba Tribute ‘Fact’, did you know there are an estimated 73,000 Abba Tribute bands in the world? Nope? neither did I, I looked it up. But it’s safe to say that they all are keeping the economy running smoothly in the glittery spandex and wig sectors (if there even is such a thing)… My reason for liking them? They are young! Most Abba tribute bands who are established on the UK and international tribute circuit have been going for over 15 years! After that amount of time, the spandex doesn’t sit as well as it used too Im sure (Ask Hulk Hogan) so it’s nice to see a younger crew take on the challenge of being Abba. They are vibrant, they sound great all the way down to some rather strange ‘sweedish’ accents, I’ve never been so I’ll take their word for it. Bottom line is, it’s a great show and it beats the other older Abba acts in to the middle of next year. A friend of mine worked an Abba show at a large corporate event with another Abba Tribute (I won’t incriminate) and one of the leading ladies was SO OLD she actually had to be helped on to the stage. That’s just tragic! And the corporate organiser would have paid good money for that, my friend told me she had the life on stage of a Harold Shipman patient (look it up)
It goes without saying that Im all for younger people coming through on to this scene as that’s what it really needs. There are some Tribute acts that are timeless - Abba, The Beatles, Elvis, The Rolling Stones, Sinatra… the list goes on, but the tribute industry won’t unless the torch is passed or the gauntlet (so to speak) is picked up by a younger talent ready to give it all they’ve got. Yes! It’s a kooky industry, but someone has to do it. Take an artiste and put your own spin on things or even re-write the history books a little like Matt Goss (yes, him from Bros and Blade) is doing in Vegas > http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/videos/2010/jan/28/748/ < Anyway, Im looking forward to this Saturday when I work with Abba Sensation IMO the UK’s finest ABBA Tribute band, I believe you can check them out here - http://www.abbasensation.com/ stop by and show them some love.
Thanks for dropping by!
It’s funny how the marketing landscape has changed over the years and even more amusing how a few local level PR companies are ‘poo pooing’ social media as a fad and something that will NEVER be used to aid businesses… Erm, I don’t know if you got the memo, but its already happening!
I don’t know about you but I very rarely read my City’s local paper and this is only because the rich amount of media that I get sent to my computer or phone with the help of sites like Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook… the list could actually go on and on. I like the ‘news feeds’ from these sites as they are often in a first person view, brutally honest (sometimes) and unfiltered. I like the last part the best as the press has a habit of feeding you only what they want you to hear. I’m not in to that, I want my news gritty and most of all I WANT IT NOW and not a day later after it’s been dressed up a little. This takes me back to a few local PR companies that have been working in my area, for years they have had great working relationships with many businesses of the surrounding area resulting in plenty of cash for them (those services don’t come cheap) and your business in a better position, you couldn’t have done it without them right? GET REAL!! Did you know that these companies due to the shift in the economy are actually charging more? Their job consists of (essentially) liaising with the company they are dealing with, then liaising with the press and public to create a good image… Press is written, pictures are taken and releases are sent to POSSIBLY (and there is the key word) I said POSSIBLY be printed in a paper that might POSSIBLY be seen. So hold on, let me get this straight. A company will pay great money to a local level PR company to POSSIBLY be seen? Come on… does that sound like a good ROI? Not from where I’m sitting.
The local level PR company then starts blasting social media because there are no guarantees with social media. Possibly doesn’t sound much like a guarantee either though. A smart company would integrate Marketing, PR and Social Media to create a solid platform to market from. At the moment there is no one single platform that can guarantee results, neither do I ever think there will be, but integration and understanding all the tools that businesses have is the key to marketing and business success. YES, social media is very labour intensive, but IMO is the ultimate ‘long game’. The right use of social media can help you connect and understand your customers and clients in in a better and more personal way than ever before. BUT IT TAKES TIME… NOT MONEY. When I had a popular city centre Live music venue I did a little test. I was so fed up with being hounded by newspapers asking me to take out advertising with them that I thought I’d do an experiment… News Paper vs. Social Media (let’s get down to ringside)
Now I wanted to make this fair so picked the largest paper in my city ‘The Coventry Evening Telegraph’… The stats on their site read the following -
THE Coventry Evening Telegraph is:
The local daily paid for newspaper serving the Coventry and Warwickshire area.
Unrivalled in its coverage and service of the community for more than 100 years.
Daily Newspaper of the Year - BT Awards 1999
Fastest Growing Newspaper in Britain - Newspaper Society Awards 1999
Recent highly successful community-based campaigns include - Save Our Post Offices, Justice for Matrix Churchill workers and the Heartstart Campaign
184,764* adults in the area consider the Evening Telegraph best for keeping up to date with local news and sport.
Readership figures are 162,053 (Source: Jicreg May 2005).
HI!!!… It’s me again. So the Telegraph’s up-to-date news site cant come up with up-to-date readership figures (here is the link to the actual stat page http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/tm_headline=the-paper&method=full&objectid=7503889&siteid=50003-name_page.html ) It’s a pretty sad state of affairs but everyone reads the Telegraph, so a popular music venue should have no problem getting a good return from a well placed advert right? Lets see. We spent £350 on an ad and placed it in a prime location (in the Live Entertainment section) It was a voucher that would give the holder a chance to redeem it at the bar on any Friday or Saturday that month and get 2-4-1 on any bottle of beer OR any bottle of WINE… That’s right, a free bottle of wine! The result at the end of the month? We still had the same decent numbers through the door and only 4 vouchers were redeemed. The ROI was terrible. So out of 162,052 people, only 4 people returned with a voucher?… So the other 600 people in the venue on that night don’t read the newspaper? Hmmm?
We decided to run a few special promotions for our Facebook Friends (Friends is the key word here)… I’m not the biggest Facebook fan, but for certain things, Facebook is great and for targeting certain people for certain events it’s pretty damn good. We decided to run a few live music nights that we would ONLY be ‘advertising’ through Facebook. The event pages were created and invites were sent to people we knew would get a kick out of the event “Print this invite for free admission”. This offer isn’t as powerful as a free drink, but the event was about Music, and the people invited were interested in that. They were then asked kindly to forward the invite to others that would be interested. They did!… The return? 470 people through the doors on a midweek night where the venue would otherwise be closed. ROI?… Well, the only investment really was the time, there were no printing costs, yes, we had a few bands on, but they were local bands that we would otherwise use anyway.
How Did This Work?
Our keyword is FRIENDS. We used social media to get to know the people that use our venues. They get a message and pass it on, it’s viral and if done correctly it’ll always reach the right people and give you your ROI. They can communicate with us and in turn we do the same. They tell us what they want to see, they tell us what they don’t like and we react to this (this doesn’t mean bending over backwards either), the interaction that we have with our ‘Friends’ makes them feel a part of the venue, so when we give them a heads up and an offer in return for them telling a few more people, they jump at the chance. PR and The Press can be so sterile and it can feel that there isn’t really a person behind it. Social media in your business IS a person and it has to be a person committed to engaging for this platform to work for your business.
Social media won that battle hands down. It really did! But the very best way to market (as I said earlier) is to integrate all aspects of marketing and PR with social media. Use the platform to get to know your customers. That is a knock out combination for any business.
Thanks for stopping by
OK, so this isn’t my usual post where I moan about the state of entertainment in the UK or ‘big up’ my pals. If you’re anything like me on Facebook, you get LOADS of invites to this, that and the other ‘Join my farm’, ‘Build a fish tank’ or ‘help me whack some goons’… They all get the usual ‘ignore’ treatment and I must say,this next invite for 'Project Husband' had the same effect, however, after getting the invite about 20 times I thought I’d check it out as the person posting it usually has some decent content on her page.
At first I was totally confused. I had no idea what this was all about, but after a quick scan of the page, the penny finally dropped.
35 year old singer/songwriter - Lisa Linehan has done all the wedding preparation and set the date for Feb 15th 2011 near Dallas, Texas. The only thing she doesn’t have is a GROOM! Hence, she has set up ‘Project Husband’! She goes on dates (which you can even catch videos of) and has set up somewhat of a screening process to find her perfect soul mate. It sounds a little crazy at first but I can totally see logic in this. It cuts out all the crap and brings people to the table that mean business. Of course, Im sure the down side of this is, she may ONLY end up with people who are after a little media attention or some publicity. But I for one hope she finds her happily ever after by well and truly using the ‘net’ to catch her man.
Those interested in joining Lisa (pictured) should head over to -
Hey, Lisa! If you’ve had no luck (which I highly doubt) by February, look me up! :) You wouldn’t even have to change your second name. Guys & Girls, I’d love to get your thoughts on this?
Thanks for stopping by
I’ve always be impressed with the Michael Jackson moment that we did at The G Casino Coventry - UK for it’s official launch night. A great vid! Check it out as it took some planning!
Troy Linehan :)
Hey there all, thanks for stopping by!
As some of you may know, today was the day in the UK where the government delivered their budget which shows us the ‘plan’ for the year ahead. Some predicted that this budget would also be used to try and keep power in the hands of the current government as the general election looms. Some businesses and entrepreneurs did well out of the budget but alcohol and the business of bars, pubs and clubs took it’s usual bashing by being delivered a 2% increase on alcohol duty and a 11% increase on cider. The late night industry in the UK is already in a precarious position with an estimated 47 pubs per WEEK closing down in the UK. Now, I moved over to the entertainment side of things years ago but have been known to go back to the other side of the bar and manage such venues from time to time. It’s no big surprise for those who know me well that this is something I am very passionate about. I’ve been a part of corporate late night companies and with many of them, I don’t see eye to eye. However, I believe in protecting the longevity of this industry as it is vital to a country’s economy and even a country’s culture.
So… Now to the bar & entertainment bit.
It will also come as no surprise that I am a huge advocate for live entertainment and getting THE RIGHT entertainment in to venues. It’s pretty safe to say that the late night industry took a knock a few years back with the smoking ban. Supermarkets and off licenses also dealt a blow by being able to sell alcohol at a MUCH lower price than bars. If I were the government, I’d bring those prices in line with the bars or create a national average to put anyone selling alcohol on a level playing field. And now with the added tax on alcohol, breweries will put publicans, lease holders and general managers over the proverbial barrel… You see, most lease holders are locked in to contracts that state that they can only purchase alcohol from the brewery it’s self. Sometimes the brewery will be charging 20, 50 and in some cases 80% more for products that can easily be brought at a lower price from a cash & carry. The contracts state that it is illegal to purchase from other suppliers, in many cases, taking legal action if a contract is breached. Some of these contracts exclude wine and soft drinks and say that this is the companies good will gesture. But we all know (especially if you are a lease holder) that this is not enough. I saw a quote earlier today which said “Change happens. To survive it, you must anticipate it; and to be successful, you must embrace it”. This was from an article written by Dallas Lawrence about how most big brands and companies are still NOT USING (or not using correctly) things like Facebook to get a business edge. You can read the article HERE. It’s a fact that pubs and bars a few years back were the ‘Facebook’ of their time, a hub for the community combining, Live Music, Chat, Games, Drink and Banter to all that visited. There are still a few venues like this and the reason they are still around is down to the passionate people who operate them. They invest their lives to make these places what they are.
So, what entertainment?
It’s also safe to say (although I hate to say it) that many venues who provide Live entertainment or any entertainment couldn’t give a damn about it. They see it a little bit like Field of Dreams and have the “If you build it, they will come” attitude… Screw that, If that’s what you think, YOU are contributing towards the decline of the industry and you think that you’ve helped?… pffft! get real will ya! You see, there is a big difference between just putting on a live band and showing Live Entertainment, the main difference being that one is ACTUALLY Entertaining. There are so many bands out there who will gladly play a decent venue for a crate of beer or £150. Now, if you are getting a full live band to play your venue for anything around that price, I’ll also tell you what your getting… a great big pile of shit!… It’s true. Live entertainment in the UK is filled with great bands, acts, tribute artistes. But for every great act, there are 10 terrible ones cashing in from someone’s lack of knowledge or lack of caring. It may seem like a great deal to you, you’ve got a band for £150 “Hey, I’ve put on live entertainment and it didn’t break the bank, that’s great right”? WRONG, Dummy! Your lack of caring could be damaging your brand more that you think. Don’t get me wrong though, open mic nights or unsigned band nights are a great idea if they are marketed as just that. You can’t dress an unsigned up-and-coming band as ‘the best live entertainment’ as that simply wouldn’t be true. I have a simple sum that works all of this out - SUM - Cheap Band = Cheap Brand. Your business will die in the hands of these terrible bands and ‘weekend Elvis’ as I call them, they are risking your money and your business. Customers pick up on this more than anything and they won’t be fooled. They’ll vote with their feet. Lack of caring will result in a lack of customers. Marketing can also be measured in this way. If your venue isn’t busy, you aren’t marketing it correctly or at all. Marketing in most cases is a small monetary investment but a huge investment in time and if it is your business you must invest the time. When I worked with Chicago Rock there were 64 venues ALL showing live entertainment every Wednesday night (a ‘slow’ night) it was introduced because the format worked. For many of the venues, they were welcoming an extra 500 - 1,000 customers on this quiet night, not just because of the entertainment, but because they had dedicated managers in the venue who cared about the products and pushed the hell out of each event. These passionate people were the driving force behind the venue. On the flip-side, there were venues wasting (in some cases) £2,000 on some acts only to never get a return on the bar. You’d walk in to the venue the day after and still find full boxes of flyers for the said event. They didn’t care about the product, had no passion for the business and the same successful nights that other venues had, wilted away when put in the hands of the certain venue managers. Marketing isn’t always who can have the best posters, radio coverage or a spot in the local or national news papers. As a business you should use the resources that suit your venue best. A combination of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace) and physically hitting the streets with flyers and promoting to businesses around you will work best and if you are doing it right, with the right entertainment, you WILL see a return on investment. If you follow these points as a venue, you cant go wrong -
- Customer service is vital (as a person you can singlehandedly enhance a customer’s experience in your venue)
- Entertainment - Bands, Tributes, Quizzes, Pub Games - Put quality and passion in to them and they create a fantastic atmosphere and most of all, will give people a reason to leave the house.
- Marketing - It has to be done, become the figurehead of your brand and let evenryone know what your venue is about. Most of all, do it with passion and belief in your product.
- Standards - Is your venue clean? Is your beer fresh? Are your bottles in date?
- Safety - Customers like being in a safe environment, is that your venue, or at least is it welcoming and feels like a safe environment?
- Products - Do you stock the popular products that people want to buy?
It’s now time for you to invest in your venue, with a little extra money to get the best live entertainment you can afford, to market the venue if it’s already doing the entertainment thing OR to do BOTH!… This is mainly an investment in marketing time after all and if you do it with commitment and use the best resources (there are some great acts, entertainment agents and marketeers around) you can rescue your venue and help turn the industry around. Hell, that’s what Im trying to do, one place at a time. Also, get a check out what your competition is doing, see what you can improve on and do it with a positive attitute, it’s your industry too after all. All of a sudden, that 2% and 11% doesn’t seem that much of a big deal. Of course, I’d try to cut a deal with your brewery to get some relief on the prices you are paying… Hey, be cheeky and talk to your local council and see if you can get a rate reduction, if ever there was a time to do that it would be now.
That’s my two cents, I’d love to hear yours?
Take care and get building those brands!
Twitter - @Troylinehan
As an agent I am sad to say that in the past (through some fault of my own and some fault of a venue I was booking for) I did indeed ‘Screw an Act Over’… Now those are pretty harsh words, but I can look back on it now and even talk very openly about it to acts that I currently deal with… But that in it’s self is a totally different blog for another day and since then, years later, I have grown to understand this very interesting industry.
I want to talk about the venues and how the agents or entertainment managers for some of the well known establishments don’t ‘Book Smart’ when it comes to act placement. What I mean by this is that sometimes agents place any act in any venue without thinking of the venue in question i.e. demographics, the type of venue and the type of music. Sometimes, the key to an act working well in a venue is often down to the crowd watching and how they perceive things. My journey through the industry was a ‘trail by fire’, marketing manager/promoter/entertainments manager/lap dance club owner/general manager. PHEW!… The list goes on, but one constant remained, for nearly 13 years I have ONLY worked in the entertainment industry and despite the roller-coaster career, I have ALWAYS cared about what entertainment I was presenting or endorsing. The more I see certain agents, the more I believe the industry to them is just about their 15% or whatever cut they take. I can honestly say right now that although I work with many agents (and some are hard work) there is only one agent at the moment who I believe ‘gets it’. This is because she has had the advantage of working on both sides of the tracks and fully understands what it is like to be a performer. This same person is trying to build a brand in her name, very much the same way as I am trying to do. You see agents, every time you don’t think about the person or venue you are booking for, you are slowly letting your reputation (if you have one) slip. Sad thing is, Agents who do this go undetected as the venues that employ them don’t understand enough about entertainment to see what is going on. If you are a venue, I think it’s worth sitting with your booker/agent and asking why you have certain acts or the agents do things in a certain way, you need to understand!! There are too many acts who shouldn’t even be on a stage in the UK that are now slipping the net because they have an Equity Card and a PA System. Agents! It’s time to have some pride in what you are putting out.
Another aspect of this ‘Booking Smart’ thing was actually highlighted by a friend of mine, Jason from the band - Ultimate Madness Now, they actually have the luxury of being able to turn down gigs due to them being well established and being pretty darn awesome! Anyway, he said something very interesting when we discussed booking future dates. He said that the band only play in one venue per city… The reason being, he wouldn’t want to water down a cities fan base for the band - e.g. Playing a venue in London and then playing another venue in London the week after. Now hardcore fans may indeed go to both events, but many will choose between venues. It’s a catch 22 situation for the band, because obviously, the band needs to make money. However, if the band has one great night in venue #1 on the first week and struggles to pull a good crowd in venue #2 the following week, this could create negative publicity for the band. A band can be great, but most often, the people watching a band help create the energy and atmosphere and if that isn’t there then this can really affect how a band is perceived… It is also most likely that venue #2 (even though the band is great) won’t be booking them again due to a poor turnout. A venues marketing activities should also be looked at too.
The lesson here for agents and venues booking entertainment is a simple one. Keep an eye on your competition, find out what acts are coming up in your city and if there are any ‘clashes’ with bands playing within a 5 mile radius and within 1 - 6 weeks of your desired event. If there is a clash you could do any of the following -
- Head back to the drawing board
- Book & Market well in advance of the competition and become Venue #1
- Find other acts that don’t clash
- Innovate and create something totally new for your venue
What ever you decide to do, make sure it fits the customer profile of the venue it will be going in to. Don’t just book anything in to fill a date in your diary and get your 15%, learn about your venues!
That makes for ‘Booking Smart’
Thanks for stopping by
Twitter - @Troylinehan
Hey there all!
It’s been a while, but I’ve been really busy working on a few things. I received a mail at the weekend from someone who works on a few on-line projects. She told me that she had noticed that over the past few months I was pretty much living on-line and updating regular on Facebook. She then went on to ask if I had any on-line tips for Facebook and general business marketing.
I do… But I declined at the time to actually enlighten her in any way. You see, I knew I would be writing this and hoped it would get a read ;)
I’ve been working on the entertainment for a Casino company whos numbers had been rather low on a particular weekend night. Budgets had been cut and in an effort to save the entertainment program and stop it from being flushed, I said that it would be impossible to change the date of a particular act. That act would become a marketing project of mine and I would have 1 month and no marketing budget to prove that social media could help large venues with marketing.
- The Obvious Part - Time to get your friends involved. Yes, this is the obvious bit. My first step was to create a page for my event off the back of my actual Facebook Group for ‘Lady G’s Showbar’. Invite all the friends you can to the event (try to miss out the ones from other countries and people you know for a fact will have no interest) and in turn, get them to invite their friends. Send a message and an invite to everyone attached to the group too. Right, that’s them taken care of till the week of the event.
- I then tried to start discussions about music, the act in question and/or the showbar on my personal profile and on the group page of the bar. This was in NO WAY an advertisement for the event. It was done to build people’s interest in the brand/bar and to get feedback and (more importantly) to let people know that we were not just a ‘One-Way’ marketing page that would constantly blitz your page with info that you might not even care about. This group was about finding out what people like and actually engaging with them. Too often I see pages for companies where they are churning out events and marketing and NOT responding to customers or people interested in their brand. It takes nothing to respond to a comment. This is VERY important. People need to feel a connection with your brand.
- From there I looked in to Facebook advertising… Now this (like Google Adwords) can be a minefield and cost you lots of money if you don’t use it right. The great thing with FB Ads is that you can really target your potential audience. SPEND SOME TIME WITH THIS! My initial plan was to pay per impression and narrow the marketing web to the city and a 5 mile radius. I played around with low bids (when you use it, you’ll understand) till I found a figure that would get coverage but not break the bank. You see, the key is to say everything you want to say in your ad (but make it clear) so that people DONT have to click on it for more info, this costs.
- On the week of the event, I upped the ante and bid a little higher to increase the coverage, I also changed the picture to freshen things up. This again was almost subliminal advertising with a clear message. My thoughts were that if it was something that interested the customer, they would take note. I always notice the ads on my facebook home screen! Don’y forget to think of the age group, sex, and location of the people you are marketing to.
I’ve purposely made the above vague :) Every venue is different, but as I said to a friend last week, Im sure there is a business and marketing template for bar/club/music/casino venues and Im going to find it. My campaign cost me just over £30.00 and got me roughly 400,000 impressions (ads on people’s pages) per week. The average amount of people in to the venue on a Friday night was 600, last Friday with the added marketing we had just over 1100 people through the doors. Now Im sure that wasn’t a coincidence as it had been years since anyone saw the showbar that full. A newspaper advert for one day (Half Page in the local paper) would have cost around £300, a Radio Advert for the month (On a local station) would cost around ten times the newspaper advert and would be around £300 for just the creative and making of the Radio Ad.
In conclusion, Social Media advertising for your brand is not as costly as most mediums BUT it can consume lots of your time. If time is something you have and you like engaging with people on-line then marketing through Social Media is for you and beats Radio & Newspaper advertising hands down. Remember, this method may not be for everyone or any business but for venues (in my opinion) it’s a winner! The sad thing is, I’ve probably made someone their marketing bonus for the month. Oh well, feeling smug and a pat on the back will do for this time around…
Have a great week!
Twitter - @Troylinehan
I was toying with the idea of doing an audio blog and letting folks listen to my rants… But after I listened to one, it didn’t quite capture what I wanted, so I went away and thought “What would Gary Do?”… @GaryVee The Author of ‘Crush It’ (an incredible and very motivational book by the way) would get his words and feelings over through the medium of Video. So that’s what I’m working on right now.
But I wanted to touch on something that has frustrated me for a very long time while working in the entertainment industry. I call it the ‘blame game’
This is where an act or entertainment performance is booked in a venue, the show is solid, but there aren’t many people there to see it…
Who is at fault?
Company Directors like to blame the act or the booker OR EVEN the customers… The blame NEVER once falls on the shoulders of the Company Director, Marketing Director or Promotions Manager?… WTF?!
I mainly deal with Tributes and Tribute Bands and believe that no matter what, all forms of live entertainment that you use should be the very best that you can afford.* If you are putting on a show it needs to be perceived as something worth seeing from a customer’s point of view. So your latest Elvis show bombed?… Who is to blame?
Elvis?… He’s been dead for years, so maybe a tribute to the ‘King’ has no place in today’s world? Maybe if the show has been on before and was so terrible that nobody wanted to come back you could blame Elvis. But on a side note, you wouldn’t have re-booked it because the feedback from your customers would have told you it was a bad show (there’s another topic)
Nope, look closer to home at the people who’s responsibility it is to get the word out there and promote the show. I’m a big believer that in most mid-sized venues 300 - 800 capacity you could fill the venue with a niche act or something a bit ‘left-field’ if you just promote it right. There are fans for everything in this world and you just have to find them and tap in to their groups to make what you do a success… For every Lady GaGa fan out there, there’ll be an Elvis fan… your job is to find them, engage with them and show them something or pass on some info that may be of use to them. DON’T BOMBARD THEM WITH ‘INVITES’ or ADVERTS FOR YOUR SHOW. You also need to give this time! Don’t promote 2 days before an event and expect a sell out. 5 weeks? a few months? these are the time frames you need to work in. Have your promotion team plan ahead and equally, have your booker book far enough in advance to give the marketing side of things a good crack at it.
So Stop Blaming! Fire that promotional machine up and get to work
- Book your acts MONTHS in advance
- Allow 5 weeks - 5 months to promote your event
- You’ll achieve a poor response if you mail out a Facebook event invite ‘on the day’ (unless you’re a major brand like Starbucks)
- Promote through - PRINT (Flyers & Posters), ON-LINE (Fans, Communities, Facebook Events, Twitter, Facebook Ads) and WORD OF MOUTH (Talk to customers about what THEY want to see, tell them about what’s comming up… ALWAYS listen to feedback, good or bad)
- Make sure the entertainment you have booked is up-to-standard (you don’t want to get a full house and then put on a terrible show)
- Make sure your message is reaching the right people!!
Thanks for dropping by
Twitter - @troylinehan
*This could bring me on to another subject altogether, but I’ll save that for another day.
Just a quick one! I’m surprised that with all the buzz about Angry Birds that more companies haven’t got in on the act yet. One company in particular springs to mind… LEGO! The brand marriage of Lego & Angry Birds could be massive. It also gives endless structure possibilities to be built in order to protect those pesky pigs! Build your catapult, attack those pigs!!
Think on that Lego and Angry Birds execs!
Twitter - @troylinehan
Facebook - www.facebook.com/troy.linehan
Email - Troy@Troylinehan.com