Advertising is an important part of selling your show, but for those more familiar with blocking a scene or doing a cue to cue, being the one tasked with sorting out the ads for your run can throw you into an unfamiliar world of jargon and technical requirements. Here are some tips to help you understand how online and print ads work, and how to get the best out of your marketing budget. Why Advertise Online
You're going to print flyers, right? Everybody does. But have you ever stopped to think about the cost and effectiveness of flyers? Tenfold, one of EdFringe's biggest print shops will charge you £230 for 10,000 double-sided DL flyers. Then, let's say you find a few guys at £8.50 an hour who can optimistically hand out three a minute, you're looking at about £470 to distribute those flyers. So that's £700 to get 10,000 eyeballs on your artwork. Compare that with advertising online with Broadway Baby - a day's worth of advertising on Broadway Baby could easily exceed those 10,000 views and it costs just £12.
Now flyers still can play an important part of your marketing campaign, but online advertising can help you reach more people further afield of the Royal Mile.
Another Edinburgh paradigm is to staple review quotes to flyers and hand them out after the press have been in. It's a labour intensive task for your team, and if you're updating those scraps of paper during the festival as new reviews are published you'll probably develop an intense dislike of staple guns over the four weeks of EdFringe. The beauty of advertising online with Broadway Baby is you can put ads up instantly. Just modify your ad artwork with new press quotes and do a two-day campaign. You'll reach more people than standing on the mile, plus you won't have to spend all day in the green room attaching bits of paper to your flyers.
During EdFringe, Broadway Baby attracts around half a million unique visitors to the site. Imagine 500,000 people on the Royal Mile. That's your online audience. Advertising online suddenly seems more attractive than standing in Edinburgh's drizzle, doesn't it?
Call To Action
Your ad banner artwork needs to give the viewer a reason to click. In marketing parlance, it's called the 'Call To Action'. That can be a simple as text saying 'Book Now', or you can get clever and say something like 'Click for an exclusive video preview' (assuming you have an exclusive video preview, of course). The point is you want to create a sense of urgency or reward for clicking your banner. This is not like a static poster hanging on the wall; you want the viewer to interact so you need to tell them what to do. Advertising banners on Broadway Baby can be in PNG, JPG or GIF format. Smart advertisers use GIF because it offers something the other two formats can't - animation. Animated GIF files can be thought of as mini slide shows which display frames in a loop. That means you can put an awful lot more information on an Animated GIF, plus the animation itself is more eye catching than a static file.
GIF animation is a bit of a specialist skill though, so you'll need to have a graphic design in your team that knows the format. File sizes need to be kept under 100k, so you need to be smart with which parts of the image is animated.
Broadway Baby sells ads by 'tenancy', that is to say you elect the days you want to show your ads rather than buying 'impressions' (see below). We used to sell ads by tenancy, but it became clear that this was a little confusing for the bulk of our advertisers who just wanted an ad live on specific dates.
An 'impression' is a single time your ad is displayed. Sometimes also called a 'view'. For the real jargon heads this is sometimes called CPM - which is Cost Per 1000 (yes, I know that should be CPT, but someone somewhere decided 'Mille' was a better term just to add even more jargon to the pot). We don't bother with CPM, you just book the days you want your advert shown.
Ads on Broadway Baby can be in JPG, PNG or GIF format. These are simply the graphic format the image is saved in. Each has its own advantages depending on your actual image. JPG and PNG are always static and offer better quality if your image is very photographic. GIF can be static or animated, allowing you to have several frames within the same space so you can show the title, venue, dates and quotes without making the text so small it's unreadable. You do have to ensure your ad filesize is under 100k (a max limit imposed so the visitor doesn't click away from the page before your banner has had a chance to load). Broadway Baby doesn't support Adobe Flash files since so much of our traffic is increasingly coming from mobile phones and tablets that don't support it.
A click-through (or click-thru for our American visitors) is the action of a visitor clicking your banner and being taken to another website or landing page. The click-through rate is the number of times your banner is clicked divided by the number of impressions shown. So if you've displayed 100 banners and it has been clicked once, that's a click-through rate of 1%. The global click-through rate of banners is actually pretty low at about 0.1% (the average on Broadway Baby is about 0.3% since focused subject sites like this one with focus ads tend to produce better click throughs), but you should consider banner advertising to be part of your branding exercise – which is why it's very important that your poster/flyer image matches your advertising.