The Best Apps to Up Your Marketing A-Game

Social media apps make a marketer’s job 100 times easier by giving the tools needed to create content that is branded, engaging and much more fun. A marketer without their apps is like a cowboy without his rope!

 

One of the most common questions we get about social media is how to create engaging content that doesn’t break the bank. For us, the answer comes down to choosing the right apps! After testing out many apps on our own social media accounts and helping clients find their perfect matches, Saffire put together this list of our own go-to tools to help you choose the right apps for your organization.

 

Whether you want to create a nifty graphic to share on Instagram, make a cool video for Facebook or schedule and preview your posts ahead of time, the right app can make your process a breeze.

 

These our five favorite apps of the moment for upping your marketing a-game:

 

The Best App for Scheduling Posts: Later

 

Where to find it: Later.com or in your mobile app store.

Later is our go-to app for scheduling social media posts using our phones or internet browser! Our favorite feature is the preview setting, which allows users to see how posts will look on Instagram before posting, for that perfect curated look. We also love the calendar view, which can be viewed in both weekly and monthly formats and is perfect for an on-the-go content calendar that automatically posts to social media.

 

The Best App for Designing Graphics: Canva

Where to find it: Canva.com or in your mobile app store.

We know you’ve probably heard of Canva by now, but it continues to be our favorite editing tool! Canva is a mobile app and in-browser website that allows you create your own beautiful graphics without any fancy software. It’s user-friendly and fun without losing any tools you’d expect in a good design software. Unlike some of the other apps we used that only had select fonts, colors and templates to choose from, Canva allows you to create your own graphics either with a template or from scratch. It’s one of the reasons we love Canva and use it almost every day. Not to mention, Canva has a huge library of royalty-free images and icons that come in handy for whatever graphics you dream of creating! If you’ve used Canva in the past but not recently, you’ll find that they have added some handy new features like a mobile-only video editor, compatibility with Dropbox, direct upload to MailChimp and more!

 

The Best App for Creating Stories: Over

Where to find it: In your mobile app store.

Over is great app for Instagram stories that allows you to overlay text and graphics onto your photos and videos. Like Canva, Over has tons of templates, stock photos, fonts and graphics to help you create the perfect on-brand content. We love Over for its Instagram story templates that allow you to make perfect curated stories that look just like your favorite influencer’s.

 

The Best App for Editing Photos: VSCO

Where to find it: In your mobile app store.

VSCO is a fan-favorite editing app for good reason. Add a pop to your photos by cropping, adjusting brightness and temperature and adding tons of free filters for a fun or more polished look. Our favorite feature is the favorites tab, which lets you save your favorite presets and filters to use at the click of a button.

 

The Best App for Videos: Biteable

Where to find it: Biteable.com.

Biteable is a video creation tool billed as the “The World’s Simplest Video Maker.” While it’s only available on desktop for now, we can vouch for the fact that it’s pretty easy to use and can make some really cool videos. Whether you’re selecting from pre-designed templates or making a video all on your own, Biteable has great features including a video library, animation and text options to help you create an engaging video in just minutes. With their free plan, you can create five video projects a month, or upgrade for more flexibility.

 

There are so many cool apps to take your digital marketing to the next level, so don’t be afraid to try them out and let your creativity shine! Remember, on-brand graphics and engaging posts will always be in style. If you download these tools and decide you need more than just an app, Saffire is always a quick email away to help you reach your social media goals.

 

This article previously appeared in IFEA’s ie Magazine.

Are Boosted Posts Worth It? The Difference Between Boosted Posts and Facebook Ads

If you’re new to Facebook advertising, you might be wondering about boosted posts – like what they’re used for, how to set them up and whether they’re the same as Facebook ads (spoiler alert: they’re not!) While boosted posts sometimes get a bad rap, they can still be useful in your social media strategy.

 

In this guide, we’ll explain the ins-and-outs of boosted posts, what they’re used for and how to set them up.

 

Boosted Post Vs. Facebook Ad: What’s the difference?

 

Boosted posts are the most simple way to run an ad on Facebook. They don’t have the same types of targeting, features and power you can expect from a full Facebook ad, but they are a great option for anyone who is new to the ad world.

 

People love boosted posts because you can quickly and easily create them from content you already have on your feed! Just post your content, click “boost this post” and boom – you’re pretty much done.  Once started, boosted posts allow you to target for engagement (more likes or comments), traffic (more clicks to your website), or messages. With as little as a few clicks and $10, you can reach more people and increase your engagement with a boost!

 

Facebook ads are a little more tricky, but in turn they offer you much more power. To get started you’ll have to create an Ads Manager account and take some time to learn the ins-and-outs of the Facebook Ads world.

 

Anyone that’s ever been in the Facebook Ads Manager knows that it can be a long confusing process. Unlike boosted posts, Facebook ads open up a whole world of possibility when it comes to targeting. While you may target people who have been to your website with a boosted post, with Facebook ads you can get even deeper – like targeting people who have been to your website, are also moms with young children and who live in Texas. Plus, you’ll get many more ad objectives like conversions (getting people to take a specific action on your website like buying tickets or signing up for a newsletter), event responses and video views.  And don’t even get us started on all the different templates you can choose to show content in!

 

Just remember that Facebook ads won’t show up on your regular feed. Instead, they’ll be shown only to a specific audience that you select through targeting.

 

Should I Create a Boosted Post?

 

While full Facebook ads are always a good idea for organizations looking for more than just engagement, like merch or ticket sales, boosted posts still have their uses. They’re a great way to increase engagement on content already posted to your page in an algorithm that makes it hard for businesses to get noticed. Plus, they are cheaper and easier to use.

 

We recommend boosted posts to anyone who is just starting out. They’re a great way to get familiar with Facebook targeting and optimization, and it’s better to run boosted posts than no ads at all. Use boosted posts as a stepping stone until you’re ready to run full-blown Facebook ads. They will help you get comfortable with the ins-and-outs when you’re ready to take the leap!

 

If you find you’re still scared of setting foot inside the Facebook Ads Manager, there are tons of resources to help you get started with full Facebook ads (and Saffire is always here to help!)

 

So, I’ve Decided to Boost A Post. What Now?

 

Boosting a post is easy! Just follow these simple steps.

 

  1. Post your content. Include your photo or video and some fun, interesting text!
  2. Click the bright blue “Boost Post” button.
  3. Select your objective: Do you want to send people to your website, get more engagement on your post, or encourage people to send you messages?
  4. Choose your audience. Choose between targeting specific demographics, people who like your page or people who like your page and their friends.
  5. Select your budget. The minimum is $1 a day and at least $10. After you select your budget Facebook will give you an estimate of how many people they expect your post to reach.
  6. Set your post duration. This is how many days you want your post to run.
  7. Click boost.
  8. Congrats! You have a boosted post.

 

 

In the end, boosted posts are a great starting place, but we don’t recommend sticking with boosted posts forever. When you are ready to start creating full ads, reach out to Saffire or read more about getting started.

What to Post on Social Media When You’re All Out of Ideas

We’ve all been there: It’s been days, maybe even weeks since you’ve posted on social media.

 

Then, that dreaded notification pops up from Facebook: “[So-and-so number of] people who like your page haven’t heard from you in a while. Write a post!”

 

So, what do you do when you know it’s time to post something, but your brain is drawing a blank? After checking your content calendar, of course, try using one of these five ideas to help you get creative on social media!

 

Here’s What to Post on Social Media When You’re All Out of Ideas:

 

  1. Participate in Fun Holidays

 

Who knows what day National Ferris Wheel Day is on? Hint: It shares the same day as everyone’s favorite date night! (Valentine’s Day!)

 

There are tons of fun holidays from National Ferris Wheel Day to National Best Friend Day that are perfect for adding to your social media calendar! Not only are they quick and easy content, but they’re a perfect way to participate in timely and highly shareable content!

 

As a festival or event, using national holidays to promote food and fun at your event is a no-brainer. Destinations and venues can find luck in highlighting local eats, partners and shared posts from your community.

 

Big E Donut Day

 

  1. User-Generated Content from Your Fans

 

There are lots of fun things about running social media for events, festivals and destinations, but possibly the best thing of all is running into people that ADORE spending time there! Luckily for us, people who love spending time at your event often love sharing photos.

 

User-generated content is a great way to fill your feed with content that is valuable, trustworthy and on-brand.

 

We recommend setting up a hashtag and asking your followers to tag you in their photos, that way there is an easy-to-find space where fans can share their posts.

 

Tulsa UGC

  1. Promote upcoming events or specials

Got a sweet event coming up that your followers just can’t miss? Post about it!

 

Even if your event is a few weeks or months away, try getting the excitement going with sneak peeks or behind the scenes footage! Not only does it open up the opportunity to create hype and promote your event – sneak peek content gives you another way to build a more authentic relationship with your followers.

 

Clay County Goat Yoga

 

 

  1. Ask Questions, Create Polls or Play Fun Games with Your Followers

Asking questions is one of the best ways to increase engagement on your social media! The best thing about using questions and polls is that it not only encourages comments, but it also gives insight into the personalities and preferences of your customers.

 

Here’s some fun ideas to get you started:

  • Would you rather…?
  • This or that?
  • If you could….?
  • Fill in the blank
  • What is your favorite…?

Ozark Empire Poll

  1. Participate in Daily Hashtags

Daily hashtags are popular hashtags on social media for certain days of the week. You’ve probably seen some of the popular ones like #MotivationMonday, #TravelTuesday or #ThrowbackThursday.

 

When in doubt, combine a daily hashtag with a fun photo! They’re a great way to fill your feed with content that is fun, shareable and creates extra reach.

 

Madera District Fair

 

There you have it: 5 ideas for posting on social media when you have no idea what to post. Get creative with these ideas, and we’re sure you could fill a whole calendar with them!

 

Good luck and happy posting!

How to *Actually* Sell Tickets with Facebook Ads in 4 Easy Steps

Billions of people use Facebook every single day. With numbers like that, it’s easy to see why Facebook is one of the best places to sell tickets for your event! Facebook ads offer an affordable but effective way to get your event in front of thousands – and even millions – of people online, all without ever leaving your office!

 

Here at Saffire, we truly believe that selling advance tickets online can make a world of difference for your event. Every year, we work with hundreds of different events. Though all of our clients are unique -different types, sizes and audiences – we all have the same goals: selling out fantastic events & making the process fast, easy and fun for customers! What’s easier than buying your ticket online and showing up completely worry-free?

 

Setting up Facebook ads for your event can be intimidating, but it is one of the best ways to get advanced sales up and running. We hear from clients every day wondering “Where do I go? What do I click? What should the ads look like, and who should I target?” The great news is that setting up ads can be easier than you think. Plus, if you are interested in running more advanced ads or need some additional help – Saffire is just one call away.

 

Here’s How to Create Facebook Ads That Actually Sell Tickets in 4 Easy Steps:

 

  1. Plan

Before you dive right into your Facebook ads, begin by creating a plan for your content. Creating a strategy will help you cut down time, reach the right audience and stay on track with your goals. Start by asking yourself a few questions:

 

What Is Your Goal for Each Ad?

Before you get started, it’s important to create a specific and actionable goal for what you’d like to accomplish with your ads. This many seem obvious. “We want to sell tickets – duh!” But keep in mind that people rarely buy tickets the first time they hear about an event. That’s why Saffire recommends creating a series – or “campaign” of multiple Facebook ads used to inform and excite your customers before eventually getting them to buy. For this reason, Facebook offers a few different types of ads meant to promote your event in different ways.

 

Whether your goal for this specific campaign is to gain awareness (we recommend running awareness campaigns three to six months before your event) or to get off the ground running with ticket sales, choose a goal that is measurable and realistic. For an awareness campaign, your goal might be something like reach 5,000 people. For ticket sales, try something like sell 500 tickets in two weeks.

 

What Is Your Budget?

There are a couple of different things that will affect the reach of your ad including your audience, engagement and budget. Decide on a budget early so you can plan out your campaign effectively. Generally, we recommend budgeting about $100 for a two-to-three week ad.

 

 

  1. Create Content

Once you’ve got your strategy planned and ready to go, it’s time to actually create your content. An effective Facebook ad requires two things: an eye-catching photo or video and copy for your description.

 

For your photo or video, we recommend choosing something eye-catching from a previous or similar event. Make sure that your graphic shows potential customers what there is to love about your event. What makes your event special? The amazing food? The superstar talent? Or maybe you’re running a really great deal or giveaway! Whatever it is, choose one FOMO-worthy feature and focus on that. Then write a description that draws people in. We recommend keeping it short and sweet, and don’t forget your call to action!

 

If your having trouble coming up with ideas, checking out ads from your competition is a great way to keep yourself in the game with fresh ideas. Check out Facebook’s new Ads Library to check out active campaigns.

 

  1. Target

Targeting is one of the most important pieces of creating an effective ad. What’s a great ad without the perfect people to show it to? When it comes to targeting your ad to the right people, there are a few things you should be thinking about:

 

  1. Area – Targeting your ad to people who live close by.
  2. Demographics – Targeting your ad to people who fit your audience demographics. This might mean targeting parents if your event is a family-friendly fair or targeting 21-35 year-olds if your event is a hip music festival.
  3. Interests – Targeting your ad to people who have liked similar things on Facebook. This might mean targeting people who already like your Facebook page, have liked similar events in the past or even people who follow your concert talent or partners!

 

Don’t forget to retarget, retarget, retarget! It’s easy for people to get distracted online. Sometimes all they need is a nudge (or 3) in the right direction. Studies have shown that people are 80% more likely to respond to a retargeting ad than a regular campaign! Don’t take that number for granted. It’s one of the most important reasons Saffire recommends creating a campaign instead of running just one ad – and it can be extremely effective!

 

There are a few ways you can use retargeting to work in your favor including: retargeting people that have interacted with another ad in your campaign, retargeting people that have bought tickets to a past event using custom audiences and retargeting people that have been on your website recently.

 

  1. Test, Refine & Do It Again

 

Finally, it’s time to let your ad run! Once your ad has been running for a day or two, you can check its performance in the Ads Manager. Over time, your analytics will be your guiding light to help you tweak your ads for the best results. Remember, Rome was not built in a day – and neither is a successful ad campaign. Testing and tweaking are the keys to figuring out your audience and creating ads the resonate.

 

 

If you’re still having trouble creating the perfect ad, have no fear! Saffire’s marketing team is available to help craft an ad that is just right for your event. Chat with your coach or salesperson to learn more about our ad services.

 

How to Actually Sell Tickets with Email Marketing in 2019

Email marketing has been around pretty much since the internet was born. Social media and search engine ads have stolen some of its shine in recent years, but we still believe in the power of good ol’ email! Why? It’s (almost) free, it’s accessible and everybody on the internet has one! With so many people using ad blockers and scrolling through their social feeds at the speed of light, email is also the perfect way to capture someone’s attention. Here’s the top ways to keep up with email trends that actually sell tickets in 2019:

 

  1. Personalization and Segmentation

Millennials have spoken, and they want custom content. We’re talking about diving a little deeper than your standard email {!Contact.FirstName}.  Huge digital companies like Amazon, Coca-Cola and the Austin City Limits Festival have changed the way we market by placing personalization at the center of their strategies. Think about how you react when an ad pops up in your inbox or newsfeed for something that you’ve already been lusting after for days. We’d bet your typical scroll reflex slows down and you’re much more likely to give it a click.

Next time you send out a marketing email, ask yourself if you’ve included these relevant contacts: Customers who have purchased tickets for the same or similar events, customers who have purchased merchandise, customers with abandoned carts, customers who have shown interest in the event on your website.

More importantly, think about who you SHOULDN’T include. Instead of sending every email to one giant list, segment your lists based on what each person is truly interested in. In other words, don’t waste your time sending kids story time emails to the rowdy 21+ crowd. While it may seem like you’re increasing your odds by increasing your reach, what you’re really doing is making it more likely for someone to opt-out, or worse, stop engaging with your event altogether.

 

  1. Clear and Compelling Call to Action

If you want your reader to buy anything, you’ve got to create engaging calls to action that compel your readers to follow through right away. Once a reader clicks away – that’s it. You’ve pretty much lost them, at least for now.

Many people see the call to action as a one-line sentence or link at the end of your email (Buy Tickets, Sign Up, Follow Us). While that’s an important piece to the puzzle, remember that the rest of your email is important, too. No one ever buys something without a compelling “why.”  What is it about your event that makes it a good use of their time? The delicious food? Great photo ops? A spectacular line up? Focus on one element and tell a really good story. Then hook them at the end. Storytelling is the best way to help people really connect with your brand, instead of just feeling like you’re trying to sell them something.

 

  1. It’s All About the Follow-Up

Here’s the great thing about selling online: you can essentially chase down a potential customer without looking like a total creep. It’s easy for people to get distracted online. Sometimes what people need is just another nudge (or 4) to lead them in the right direction.  Moz found that you can bring your conversion rate to up to 41%, compared to a 1-2% average by simply remarketing to customers who appear interested, but just haven’t bought yet.

Now, we’re not advocating for spamming people’s inboxes. Instead, what we’re talking about is using a well-timed, well-planned campaign to keep people thinking about your upcoming event. An email campaign for an upcoming festival might look something like this:

Email 1: Event announcement

Email 2: Early bird sale offer

Email 3: Line up announcement

Email 4: Second sale announcement

Email 5: Reminder: Two weeks left to buy tickets

Don’t forget to create an email for people who have abandoned their cart or who have high click & open rates but haven’t bought a ticket yet. It’s likely these people are interested, they may just need an additional nudge. You don’t have to follow up solely through email, either! Use retargeting to reach people who have recently purchased or engaged with your brand on their newsfeeds, Google search and using plain ol’ website banners.

 

  1. Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Sales are the oldest trick in the book for a good reason: they work. This one’s old school, but we still believe that a good sale or giveaway is one of the best ways to sell tickets. Just make sure that the offer is valuable for both you and the client.

 

Email marketing is still one of the best tools to connect with your audience and sell tickets, but it will only work if you are creating relevant content and humanizing your brand.

 

 

How to Use Facebook’s Magic 3D Photo Feature

The world’s most used social media app added a brand new feature! It’s called 3D Photo, and it does exactly what it sounds like it does – well, kind of. The new feature adds distance between the foreground and background of a photo, making it look “3D.” Or, as Facebook puts it, like you’re looking at something “through a window.”

When you view a 3D photo, you can scroll or tilt your device to make the foreground of the image look like it’s moving in space. Facebook says the feature is “a new way to share your memories and moments in time with a fun, lifelike dimension.” The bad news? It’s only available on iPhones 7+ and up.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Take a photo using portrait mode on your iPhone.
  1. Open your Facebook app.
  1. Search for and like the Facebook 360
    This is the secret trick! Facebook has given a few select people automatic access to the feature. For most people though, liking this page is the key to unlocking the 3D photo option in the app.
  1. Close and reopen the app.
  1. Create a new post. You should now be able to see the “3D Photo” option in the list of features to add to your post. Click it. A list of available photos should pop up.
  1. Select your photo and wa-lah! Your 3D photo should now be available to post.

We see this feature adding all kinds of fun to our timelines! Photos with backgrounds that pop (we’re looking at YOU fairs, festivals and destinations!) come to life with 3D effects. For some eye-catching options, have a staff member ride your Ferris wheel with midway lights blinking in the background. If you live in a destination with water, waves crashing to the beach in the background is sure to be a pleaser!

Have fun! We can’t wait to see what you create.

Create Memorable Activations through Experiential Marketing

You may have heard some buzz about experiential marketing lately, but what exactly does it mean? After the Saffire Marketing Team attended the branding track of South by Southwest this year, we got a pretty good taste of experiential marketing firsthand! This unique marketing strategy helps engage audiences with awareness of a brand, by allowing them to be a part of the brand creation itself rather than just passively receiving a message. The brand’s value is activated, or realized by the consumer, creating a stronger relationship between the consumer and the brand.

SXSW has increasingly become one of the greatest places to show off your brand to festival attendees, and during the conference, downtown Austin becomes one giant advertisement for 10 days. Instead of online campaigns, brands focus on taking over bars, restaurants and venues to transform them to experiential marketing wonderlands. Some of the activations this year included: German Haus, E.U. House, Peru House, Pinterest House, and Snickers House. These brands swooped in and transformed trendy bars into billboards full of free food and drinks, swag, and live music.

On a tamer side of things, some brands chose to have small lounges scattered throughout hotel and convention meeting spaces. These typically monotonous meeting spaces were transformed into places for attendees to relax, recharge, rehydrate and learn a few things about the lounge’s hosts. Two of our favorite examples were the Brazil Lounge and a giant cheese spread by the state of Wisconsin. It is definitely better to TASTE cheese from Wisconsin rather than read about it on social media!

One of the best activations was the Google Assistant Fun House, an entire house focused on immersing the consumer into a smart house powered by Google Assistant. Check out the house by clicking on the video below:

How your organization can utilize these fun ideas? It doesn’t have to be super fancy! All you have to do is let users experience your brand or your sponsor’s brand firsthand. Here are examples of things that your organization can implement:

  • Experiential marketing is a great way to grow an event and offer your sponsors something different and unique. Have a sponsor cover the cost of a lounge, bar or booth and let a sponsor deck it out with their branding. Attendees LOVE free samples of any kind, so encourage sponsors to come with fun giveaways. Rather than a traditional booth for a sponsor, make it something more fun!
  • Have a brand? Why not travel with it! Look for outside events where you can bring your brand to life.  This works especially well if you are marketing a destination–bring food samples, mini drinks or small crafts to events and festivals and let consumers get a taste! As mentioned above, various destinations had activations at SXSW, including Germany, Peru and Fort Worth, Texas!
  • Set up a pop-up booth about your organization in a market you are hoping to grow. (You can either partner with that city to do something in your hometown or at your event, or just get permission first.) Pick somewhere with high traffic like a park and do a fun giveaway! Offering a special discount to people that visit your event or destination after meeting you at a pop up is also a great way to measure the ROI on your effort.

As our world becomes more digital, sometimes the best way to connect with your audience is to let them experience your brand off-screen. Think of another way you can utilize experiential marketing in your marketing mix?  Feel free to share it with us!

 

Facebook Videos Made Easy

The mere thought of creating and starring in a marketing video can be terrifying! Well, guess what? Times are changing! You no longer have to star in a video to have perfectly curated video clips! Did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound? That’s right – that mean’s there’s no pressure fur us as marketers to stand in front of the camera!  Not only that, but native videos on Facebook have 10 times higher reach compared to YouTube links you might share in your Facebook post! We are going to focus on what YOU CAN DO TODAY to get a native Facebook video planned, created and posted.

The best part is that you don’t even need any video editing software! It’s as simple as choosing some of your photos, sticking some text on them, building the video on Facebook and adding some music to it!

  1. Create a Storyboard: Since this is a quick and easy exercise, we will keep the storyboard creation short and simple. First, you will need to decide what you want to showcase in your video. Then, decide how many images you would like to showcase in your video (you can choose between 3 – 10 images). Then, if you want the graphics to deliver a message, write out what you want each image to say. Remember, all images will be on the screen for the same duration, so keep the text SHORT and impactful. You can choose between 0.5 and 5 seconds per image. Finally, decide what kind of feel you want the video to have (upbeat, chill, funny, country/western, etc.).
  2. Select your Background Music: Based on what kind of feel you want your video to have, now is the time to select your music! Don’t worry, you don’t need a guitar! In December of 2017, Facebook rolled out Sound Collection, which is a collection of royalty free and high-quality audio tracks and sound effects. The only limit here is that these audio files can only be used on Facebook and Instagram. Sound Collection allows you to search and filter songs by genres, moods, lengths, vocal type and sound effects by categories and lengths. Check out the variety of options here.
  3. Add Some Text: Saffire recommends using a simple, free photo editing tool like Canva.com. You can quickly and easily put together stunning graphics with your message on them. Check out Canva’s How-To Guide here.
  4. Create your slideshow in Facebook! Once logged into Facebook, click on “Write a Post” and select the camera icon. From the drop-down menu, click on “Create a Slideshow”. A pop-up window will appear. This is where you can upload your own images, chose your music, image duration and transition options of the slides. When you are happy with your slideshow, you can select “Create Slideshow” in the bottom right corner of the page. In a matter of two minutes, you will have a video slideshow on your page. Ta-da!Facebook also gives you the option to boost the post so that your video slideshow will be seen by even more of your target audience! If you have any other questions about the process you can follow this easy step-by-step guide here.

The Saffire Marketing team wanted to show you just how easy and quick you can create a video, so we put together a slideshow video of our own! We only used Canva and made this in less than an hour. Check it out below!

FBSlideshowVideo

Making an effective social media video does not have to be a daunting task. Facebook’s slideshow video generator is the easiest way to make an eye-catching video that will resonate with your audience!

 

 

4 Inexpensive Ways to Go Above & Beyond for Your Sponsors!

By: Jodi Buresh

 

So the other day in the office, we had a current client ask us if we know of any good ideas on how to report back to their sponsors after their event.  This client was looking for presentation ideas and what to include to show a little more value in that sponsorship. That got us thinking about how all of our friends in the event, venue and destination industries have more than likely solicited sponsorship at some point, so we thought we would put out a post!

The standard basic recap report usually shows the typical statistics of the event, the demographics and how many visitors viewed their website or social media page.  But this client was looking for something ‘different’, something unique that will set them apart from the other events that are trying so desperately to secure the dwindling sponsorship dollars.

For those of you that don’t know, before Saffire, I was the Assistant General Manager at the Red River Valley Fair Association in West Fargo, North Dakota. While at the fair, I helped generate thousands in sponsorships and without those dollars, our events would not have been successful. Below are my top four suggestions to go above and beyond the event recap:

  • Video – If you have a Day Sponsor or Event Sponsor, take a video on the day of the event. For example, we had the Electric Company as a day sponsor for Kids day at the Fair.  On their day, I videotaped myself in front of kids on a carnival ride.  The script read: “Hey Electric Company.  This is Jodi Buresh and we are SO HAPPY that you are our sponsor for today at the Red River Valley Fair.  As you can see, the kids are enjoying the great weather and are having a blast.   We truly appreciate your support!!!”  Throughout the day I took a few more short videos of people or photos of them.  Later that evening, I combined those into a quick video using a video editor.  I used Animoto.com to create the video.  It was easy and took less than 15 minutes.  I would then email it off to the sponsor before I would leave that night!   Cost:  $0
  • Photos – I am a visual person which means I like to show our sponsors what they are getting for their dollars. One year we had a major sponsor for one of our grandstand entertainers.  To show them how much we appreciated their sponsorship, I made a sign with their logo on it.  I got pre-approval from the Stage Management, and asked the entertainer to take a photo with the sign.  That sponsor was so grateful for that photo that they have it framed and hanging in their entryway of their office.   Cost:  $10 for the frame.
  • Gifts – Sponsors appreciate small tokens of appreciation, but they do not want their sponsorship dollars to be spent on gifts back to them. If you are planning to give your sponsors an appreciation gift, be cognizant of the cost.  One year we ordered small individual bags of cotton candy.  Printed a label for the front of it using the Fair’s Marketing scheme for that year.  When I went for the Recap Report appointment, I took along the cotton candy bag.  Cost:  $2 each bag.
  • National Sponsors – Sometimes National Sponsors expect more information from their sponsorship to justify the cost they are spending to be a part of the organization. The Farm Show that we hosted had free admission, so it was difficult to give an accurate count on how many people attended the 3-day event.  We utilized aerial photos showing the parking lots and the grounds packed with people to help secure the sponsor for future years.  We also had additional photos of people near their booth interacting with their sales people.  Cost:  $0

 

There are so many more ideas out there on how to engage more with your sponsors and being creative with the recap reports.  We welcome your suggestions and ideas and will plan to share those in some upcoming issues of The Dirt.  Please send those to us at info@saffire.com

Pokemon Go Proves to be a ‘Catch’ for Marketers

With more than 100 million downloads and 20 million daily active users, Pokémon Go became the biggest craze of the summer. Launching all over the world, Pokémon Go creates a whole new realm of advertising which, by now, should be in your back pocket. Pokémon Go is everywhere and is used by an overwhelming number of people; so initially you might be thinking, how can I use this trend to my benefit?

The gamer’s (typically 21 to 27-year-old men) goal is to catch all of the Pokémon, which are creatures of different sizes and types spread throughout your geographical location and will randomly pop up when the app is open. Users also take advantage of the “PokéStops”, which are points on the game map used to collect “PokéBalls”. You can think of “Pokéballs” as small, ball-shaped cages used to store each Pokémon you collect. Users also travel to Pokémon Gyms, used for battling other Pokémon and trainers. The “PokéStops” and Gyms, are normally located near landmarks, statues, parks, churches, etc. which are strategically place to attract many people. This is where the marketing comes in. PokéStops could also be used as a tool by businesses to turn their location into a huge, profitable ad in the virtual world of Pokémon.

One example of an organization using this app to its advantage is the Brown County Fair, located in Aberdeen, SD. Currently they have 8 PokéStops on their fairgrounds and have decided to put them into their marketing strategy. The stops are located anywhere from the Bunny Barn to the Grandstands, which are an easy way to get traffic to these fairground locations. The fairgoers have the opportunity to see parts of the fair they otherwise might have never experienced!

If your organization doesn’t have a PokéStop, and you want one at that location, you can request one. The request forms are here: http://support.pokemongo.nianticlabs.com

Additionally, if your organization would like a Pokémon Gym on your location, a suggestion can be submitted at http://support.pokemongo.nianticlabs.com

 

Tips and Tricks

  • Make sure a few people in your organization have a Pokémon Go account, so they can purchase lures, which will help attract Pokémon to your location
  • Put up signs that warn people to stay out of restricted areas.
  • Get a Pokémon logo at each building or monument that has a PokéStop. Signage is important!
  • If a gym is on your property, give the leader of that particular free tickets or prizes if he or she is a leader at a certain time of the day (Advertise this on Social Media to attract more people to battle in the Gym).
  • This could provide incentive for other players to take over your particular gym. The prize for the winner of a PokéHunt or Gym leader could also be PokéCoins.

Staying up to date with the newest tech fads may seem overwhelming at first, but whether it’s giving an extra jump to a small business’s finances or helping double revenue in big corporations, Pokemon Go is a growing force not to be reckoned with.

Pokémon Go is free and available for download through the Apple App Store for iPhone users and the Google Play store for Android users.

 

We want to thank Michaela Liebl for being our Guest Blogger! Michaela is currently a student at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She is looking forward to a career in the fair or festival industries and is currently seeking internship opportunities. To contact Michaela about this article or about potential internship opportunities, please email her at michaela.liebl@wolves.northern.edu