Hey friends, and welcome to our latest escape room marketing blog! Hope you and your loved ones are well!
Last week, I shared an escape room marketing strategy that is making a comeback – much like the escape room industry itself!
Today I want to take a different approach, and look at escape room marketing mistakes.
Let’s face it, marketing is a gigantic thing to dive in – and some of us (like me!) dedicate their lives at becoming the best at it. That being said, there’s many ways of doing marketing right – and just as many, if not more, ways of doing marketing wrong.
It’s my view that it’s more important to understand what NOT to do with your marketing, as it is to understand WHAT to do with your marketing.
And today I want to talk about 3 of the most common mistakes and DO NOTs of escape room marketing. And in particular, show you how to avoid making these mistakes.
Now don’t get me wrong – making mistakes is natural. I’ve made many in my career. And getting things wrong is an important part of mastering marketing. But in the case of the 3 mistakes I’m going to show, you want to do your best to avoid making them at all – as your escape room will suffer!
If you’ve made any of the 3 mistakes I’m going to share, no harm done – Today I will help show you how to never make them again.
And if you’ve never made any of the 3 mistakes I’m going to share – I will today ensure you never do!
Today you can learn from the marketing mistakes made by others and ensure you never have to bare the costs and fix the damage caused.
So without further ado, what are the 3 mistakes?
- Not retargeting
- Trying to sell too much (yes, really!)
- Relying too heavily on one or two methods of marketing
Don’t worry if you’re confused by any of these, as I’ll be diving into them very soon. Before I do however, make sure you take notes AND take action if you realise you’re making any of these mistakes right now – it’s not too late to mitigate the damage!
OK, let’s dive in…
Mistake 1: Not retargeting
The first mistake that is commonly made by escape rooms in their marketing, is not retargeting – also known as remarketing.
Now you may be wondering what I mean by this. Retargeting is where you specifically market and advertise to an audience who has already shown interest in your escape room.
A primary example of this is website visitors who left your website without booking. They’ve already heard of you, they clearly have an interest – carrying out retargeting will help you to recoup some bookings that you missed out on previously – on average, 10% more bookings!
And this leads us to the result of making this mistake: missing out on bookings! Not only is this a mistake, it’s a crime! You’re missing out on money. You’ve already done the hard work, you just need to go a bit further and you’ll get additional bookings. So what are you waiting for, start retargeting!
But don’t worry, because next I’ll show you how using the most proven method: Facebook Ads.
This strategy is pretty huge, so much that I made an entire blog post on it earlier in the year.
So I’ll cover it very briefly here, and then link you to the full blog so you can follow the strategy step-by-step.
To carry out the Facebook Ads retargeting strategy, you need:
–A Facebook Ad account linked with a payment method
-Your Facebook Ad Pixel installed on your website correctly and your booking software if possible (you can Google quick guides on this)
-A minimum of $5/day budget
-A generic booking confirmation page – this allows you to track who does book, and stops you from advertising to them!
It’s also important to understand that this is a strategy of two halves. The first half will be able to start a lot sooner than the second half. The first half will allow you to advertise to everybody who visits your website, and the second half will allow you to advertise to all of those who have been on your booking page but didn’t book.
Before you can run any Facebook ads, you need an audience of at least 1,000 people. So for the first half, you need at least 1,000 visitors to your website who haven’t booked with you. This shouldn’t take long.
The second half requires 1,000 people who have been on your booking page but didn’t book. This will take longer but will generate more bookings!
What you’ll then do is run ads specifically written for these audiences, targeting only those visitors.
Here’s a little text template I suggest using and playing around with for this ad (you don’t have to offer a discount if you prefer not to):
Main Text Box
As a THANK YOU for visiting our website recently, we want to give you 10% when you book one of our rooms in the next week!
You can use this discount on a booking of 5 or more people in any of our rooms:
Just click our link below to get your discount and book your visit. We look forward to seeing and locking you up, very soon 😊
Headline: Get 10% off when you book a room!
News Feed Description: Try your hands at one of our escape rooms
Call To Action Button: Book Now
If you love the idea of getting more bookings (who wouldn’t?!) using a proven facebook ad retargeting strategy – CLICK HERE to read my full blog post on it, including a step-by-step guide to setting up and running your ads.
Mistake 2: Trying to sell too much
Now I know what you’re probably thinking – surely the purpose of marketing and advertising your escape room is to sell your escape room, right?
And yeah, you’re spot on. But often or not, selling is more successful by doing it indirectly – by purposely not selling directly.
What do I mean by this?
Here’s an example: Posting daily on your social media, with a link to your booking page saying “BOOK NOW!”.
Now doing a post like this a few times a month is fine – but not all of the time. You will put people off, and miss out on lots of potential bookings. Nobody likes being sold too – do you?
You’re more likely to get bookings by selling less, and instead focussing on engagement. This goes for any marketing you do – your website, social media, direct mail, anything!
But how do you engage with people, instead of selling to them?
Engagement is HUGE for escape room marketing, so I’ve already written several blog posts on the subject. But again, here’s a brief summary and I’ll also link the blogs so you can dive deeper should you decide to do more engaging – which you should 100% do!
There are so many ways of engaging your audience across all of your marketing platforms – for example – on social media, sharing team photos (winners + losers) and even tagging the players themselves. This is a common way of engaging.
But by far the best form of engagement is what I call Gamification. This is where you use puzzles, brain teasers and games to engage your audience. After all, your audience is full of people who love a challenge – so give them one!
This can include posting small brain teasers on your social media, by sending out printed puzzles via direct mail, sending puzzles over email – or inviting your website visitors to play a mini-game.
Mistake 3: Relying too heavily on one or two methods of marketing
This final mistake involves a concept called marketing pillars. If you imagine your escape room is a building, each method of marketing you have is a separate pillar which holds your building up (by bringing in business).
Whilst one or two pillars (methods) may do a great job of holding your building up, if either was to fail for whatever reason – your building and escape room is in trouble!
For example: relying on google ads and website SEO. What if Google stopped allowing ads, or charged a price you couldn’t afford? And what if your websites SEO suddenly became outdated, and your page ranked so far back nobody ever found you?
That’s why you need other forms of marketing in place to hold your escape room up. I recommended a core 5 methods, but get as many as you can. Marketing is always evolving, as is the world. People change, technology changes. Don’t get left behind and leave your business vulnerable by relying on a few methods of marketing year after year.
Here’s a brief list of possible marketing methods you may consider using to increase the number of methods you use – and further protect your business from the unexpected.
- Website SEO
- Organic Social Media (not paid ads) – Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, etc.
- Paid Social Media – Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, etc.
- Google Ads & other PPC
- Facebook Messenger
- Website live chat
- Direct Mail
They’ll also be many specific pillars unique to your own escape room situation. The key here is understanding the need, and having in place, multiple marketing pillars at all times.
In august I published a very detailed blog post on the pillars of marketing concept – Click here to check that out to understand it better.
That’s all for now. I really hope you’ve found todays blog post informative and useful. Making any of the mistakes I’ve covered is easy – but so is overcoming them or avoiding them entirely! Use this blog post as a guide to ensure you don’t make mistakes that will lose you potential bookings and/or potentially lead to a shutdown of your escape room business.
Before I go, on a personal note I wish you all and your loved ones all the best in the coming days and weeks.
Make sure you don’t miss out on future weekly escape room marketing blogs by subscribing
Thank You 😊
P.S. here’s 2 free ways of promoting your escape room;
People are significantly more likely to book one of your rooms if they are engaged with you and your content. The BEST way by far to engage visitors to your website, is to get them to play a little free game, puzzle or brain teaser.
There’s two different ways of doing this.
The most proven method is the Game Popup from VirallyBot which has been proven to increase bookings by 15%+. The Game Popup is an interactive experience where players have “get out of the house”.
And best yet, it’s easy to install (literally takes seconds) and is available for free for 30 days.
To learn more, click here.
Similar to putting mini-games on your website to engage with people, you can do the same with static puzzles or brain teasers. Simple images that offer some kind of challenge is a fantastic way of engaging with visitors, getting them to stick around longer and making them more likely to book.
There are many websites that can inspire you to make your own puzzles or brain teasers, or you can sign up to receive weekly branded puzzles straight into your inbox for FREE by clicking here.