Scaring up business is an art form all its own. Like discussed in Location, Location, Location, Issue #2 of this weekly blog series, “Just because you build it does NOT mean they will come….” You must advertise your haunt for it to succeed. There are many faces to rip off and try on, so we are going to take a couple of weeks exploring the labyrinth of corridors inside this puzzle box. Let’s begin with the basics.
Flyers and posters have long been a staple in letting people know about limited time entertainment happenings. A well balanced informational graphic design for print should be much like a character make up on the reveal stage of Face Off. It should immediately tell the story of your haunt without overcrowding too much information.
OUR 2015 FLYER / POSTER DESIGN FRONT AND BACK
Free web sites such as www.iPiccy.com or www.gimp.com are valuable tools that can assist your design efforts and contain cost. Initially to keep costs down, we printed our own flyers and posters but quickly found that it is actually much more cost effective due to ink and paper prices, to have the printing done for us. Having the printing done for you will also allow you a more professional look for that ever so important first impression. There are legions of printing services available. We utilize www.nextdayflyers.com
Allowing the incorporation of other businesses into your printed publicity is another way to lower your expense. Attract sponsorship by giving one side of your flyer to someone else, or work others logos into your design and split the cost.
Once you have your design in print……put it everywhere! We deliberately distribute to approximately a one hour drive time radius. We also take our advertisements along when traveling or vacationing. Thrill seekers will travel far distances so it never hurts to leave flyers when out of state, ect. Do some market research to pin point your largest demographic, which may not be your intended target audience. If you have a Facebook business page, you can view insights which break down age and gender of your most common customers. We found that women were among the highest percentage of our patrons. Using that data, we expanded our flyer and poster distribution to places women stereotypically visit such as hair and tanning salons. You obviously want everyone to come to your haunt but have to be judgmental to a degree when distributing your advertisements. Your flyers will produce more business from sitting by the cash register at Hot Topic or a tattoo shop as opposed to a senior citizen home. Much like we talked about (in reference to obtaining actors) in “Patchwork” Issue #6 of this blog series, do not be afraid to go outside of your circles during distribution.
I once read an article one on marketing. One of the tips suggested when leaving flyers on the counter of any business, was to leave them on the right side as opposed to the left. Studies have shown that generally, while waiting for goods, change or services, people tend to look to the right more often then the left. An additional guideline discussed in that article was to expect 10% of the total circulated amount to turn into actual paying business. We have witnessed this standard to be true through our own efforts and by feedback from other haunt owners as well.
Last season we doubled our advertising efforts (which includes more than flyers) and saw a 45% increase in business. Proof that word of mouth is important for success but initially and continually calling attention to your creation is crucial. Next Terrifying Tuesday, we will touch on some of the many other aspects of advertising such as radio, television and social media, to name a few. Please feel free to add anything to our discussion in the comments below.