You’ve got bounce houses to rent, a clever business name picked out, and insurance coverage to protect your entertainment business legally. You’re good, right?
You’re still missing something — and that something is called marketing.
Don’t worry, though — you’re not alone. Research shows that six out of 10 small businesses still haven’t established a presence online.
However, if you’re ready to grow your business and gain a competitive advantage in the industry, here’s a rundown on 10 essential marketing tips that entertainment businesses need to know to expand this fall.
Let’s jump in (so to speak)!
1. Create a Website
If you want to effectively market your entertainment business, you no doubt have to put together an optimized, professional and informative website.
A site you build yourself by using website builders — such as Wix.com — may suffice in the beginning. But you should hire a professional designer to transform your dream site into a reality once you realize that a more advanced website is in order.
If you plan to incorporate search engine optimization later, you should make sure that your website’s design features an area for a blog. Search engines like content that is original and new and blogs are the simplest ways of addressing this.
Also, make sure that your website is mobile friendly. This website touches more on the importance of this and how you can make this happen.
2. Tap into the Power of Social Media
To thrive in the entertainment space, it’s not enough to simply create a website, though. You need to develop a strong presence on social media as well.
Ideally, you want to be active on social media without spending over 15 minutes per week managing it. For a majority of local companies, using only Twitter and Facebook is sufficient.
When you post on these platforms, your posts shouldn’t all be strictly promotional. After all, nobody watches a channel on television that features commercials alone.
Instead, mix in posts that are informational and inspirational as well. This will help to establish you as an authority in your industry, in addition to helping you to build relationships with your readers.
3. Plug into Niche Sites for Your Market
Begin to look for website directories where you can add your company’s name, usually for free. These market-specific sites are excellent marketing tools because they likely handle their own search engine optimization efforts.
4. Engage in Newsletter Marketing
The sooner you can start collecting the email addresses of prospective customers, the better. That’s because email marketing is oftentimes an extremely powerful marketing tool.
MailChimp is a particularly popular automation platform for managing email lists along with newsletter campaigns. This company’s services come at no cost to you until your email list reaches more than 2,000 addresses.
5. Do Online Advertising
Pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising is another popular avenue for marketing small businesses online. However, it can become quite expensive if you don’t manage it properly.
Facebook advertising and Google AdWords are a couple of venues that carry the greatest potential in the PPC world. Advertising on Facebook is generally less costly than using Google AdWords, so it’s a great place to start.
When embarking on PPC management, begin with a small budget — for example, $5 to $10 per day — and check out your feedback. Just a few dollars a day may yield positive results in the beginning.
6. Capitalize on Local Search
Be sure to add your company name to local business directories plus map listings as well. Hundreds of complimentary local company directories are available today.
Although the process may be a little time consuming, it is usually free and thus well worth it long term.
Here’s a great goal starting out: Build around 10 new listings each month. You should be able to do this in less than an hour.
As the months go on, you should see the traffic that comes to your website from search engines grow exponentially.
Note that some listings do require you to include a physical business address. However, many do not require small businesses that are home-based to publish their street addresses.
7. Take Your Reputation Seriously
After you serve customers, remember to ask them to post positive reviews of your company online. This is critical because prospective customers will likely check out your online reviews — whether they are good or bad — before hiring you.
You may ask for these reviews via email, invoices, receipts or even signage at your business location. Top review sites today include Yelp and Google+ Local.
8. Connect with Local Sites and Blogs
Don’t be afraid to introduce your company local blogs and niche sites related to your industry as well. The site managers can tell you how you can get your company name included in their content.
For instance, you could submit events and business spotlights for local people to check out.
9. Do Promotion “in House”
Market your services to your current customers, too, not just to prospective customers. After all, you need repeat business in order to continue to grow.
You can do this simply by promoting your upcoming promotions/events and social media profiles by using signage inside your business building.
If your business is mobile, create a brochure or postcard that you can send out to provide information about your promotions.
10. Two Words: Google Analytics
With Google Analytics, you can gain a wealth of helpful information about those who have been visiting your website.
For example, you can find out how many individuals are visiting your mobile site and if they find it easy to navigate.
As you learn more about your website’s traffic patterns, you can more effectively decide how to move forward with your marketing efforts.
How We Can Help Your Entertainment Business
We offer a complimentary database for consumers looking for a variety of small businesses, including entertainment businesses. We also offer advice for small business owners.
Take a peek here to find out how you can better attract customers to your entertainment business and grow it to new levels this fall.